About the Book

Why:

When I first started teaching my Adult Class, I gave them a quiz. We had to put twenty events of the New Testament into chronological order. As a class, we got a 20%! Please note we had all been in good Bible preaching churches with popular Sunday School curriculums all our lives. We very frankly discussed the obvious disconnect and admitted that reading our Bibles, let alone studying them, was difficult largely because we didn't know the characters, places, cultures or how events related to or affected one other. Somehow, the information had not been conveyed to us and our response was no different from any schoolchild that does not understand a subject--we became frustrated and quit trying. Sure, we made attempts at "devotions" and participated in class but real understanding and personal application was difficult and fragmented. Real study was nearly non-existent. We were easy prey for false teachers.

So we started at Genesis and began to study our Bibles with a very specific goal: to understand the chronology and to be able to place characters and events on a simple timeline. This led, inevitably, to questions about culture, politics, geography and relationships. We wanted a basic level of familiarity to facilitate our own Bible reading and study--we hoped this study would make life application the natural next step!

People who had benefitted began to ask for my notes and a Timeline...

Thus was born this project.

Governing Objectives:

The Timeline had to be accessible by regular people. It was conceived by and for laymen as a tool for their personal Bible Study, and for their use as a resource as they teach their families or minister in their local church. It is written at a high-school level in "normal everyday English" for "C" students!

The Timeline had to be easy to use. It is spiral bound so that it will stay open and lay flat on your desk or on the couch or pew beside you.

The Timeline had to flow naturally and intuitively. The numbered lines are significant years, seasons, months or specific calendar dates. The bulleted sub-points under a given date are events that occurred on or after that calendar date.

The Timeline could not overwhelm the user with information. The entries are brief and succinct for clarity and ease of discovery. A footnoted Annotation contains any further comments or information about the entry.

The Timeline could not be a research paper. I did not footnote individual resources simply because to do so cluttered the page and detracted from the purpose of the Timeline.

Darrell W. Kincaid biblehistorymatters.com

What:

This Timeline uses different types of information.

Scriptural Facts. The facts of the story just as they are given in Scripture. Scripture is, after all, my final authority, and everything else must agree with it or be discarded.

Historical Facts. History is history, and facts will always be facts, whether reported by a Christian, Jewish, or Unbelieving Historian. These facts are very useful in placing the events given to us in Scripture in a wider historical framework. They are useful to us in understanding the circumstance of Scripture, as students removed from the circumstance by time and geography.

Prescriptive Evidence. This is evidence that is true in most cases and thus assumed to be true in a particular case. Speaking historically, we can assume certain things about a given individual, even if the particular facts are missing, by studying similar individuals of the time.

Circumstantial Evidence. This is evidence that infers certain other facts. For instance, an individual is reported to be in a certain town, and then is reported to be in another town. We can infer from these two reports that the individual traveled between the two towns.

Tradition. The body of knowledge or understanding handed down through generations of scholars that is useful to us in studying the Bible.

Darrell W. Kincaid biblehistorymatters.com

How:

I used many resources as I researched for my class, this Timeline and the Annotations. A list of the more notable authors and resources is included in the Appendix in alphabetical order; any serious student will have them in his own library. Most of the dates have been "triangulated" from as many sources as possible, the differences among them being either resolved or simply averaged. Probable sailing seasons, travel times, and concurrent events or persons helped to establish this Timeline. Our familiarity with the Gregorian Calendar we use today made it desirable to convert the Jewish and Roman dates into corresponding Gregorian dates although I realize that no such calendar existed in the First Century and the Gregorian Dates are literary license.

The Biblical record trumps all other sources of information, and, as it turns out, is full of clues and hints at time frames, sequences, dates, events, politics, social issues, geo-physical events and economic circumstances that can be used to place an event or person on the timeline. I tried very hard not to simply parrot someone else's research or opinion without double-checking the dates, persons, and events and their relationships with other dates, persons, and events.

You can use this Timeline:

  • as a tool alongside your own Bible as you read for enjoyment, devotions or more serious study to help orient yourself in the storyline of Scripture and to shed some light on the individuals and circumstances that impact your reading choice.
  • as a Linear Topical Study, working your way through Scripture chronologically and synchronizing the various passages that bear on a given time period.
  • as an Outline or Framework on which to construct your own Lesson Plans as you lead a Bible Study or Homeschool your children.
  • as a research tool for a class project or to learn about a particular event to help you visualize and understand the world in which the People of the Bible lived, worked and ministered.
  • to educate yourself and then be able to teach your children more effectively about the stories of Scripture.
  • as a Reference Tool as you listen to a speaker to understand the historical and Biblical context of his text.
  • just for fun! Much can be learned by simply flipping through the pages and reading the Annotations that will influence your understanding and application of your Bible reading

About the author

author photo

Darrell Kincaid and his wife of 30 years, Wanda (Foster) live in Sterling, Alaska where they raised four kids...they are newly empty nesters! Darrell serves as a Deacon, songleader, and teaches the adult class at Sterling Baptist Church. Darrell graduated from Maranatha Baptist Bible College in 1982 (BS).

Read More

About the book

crop of book cover

Understand the chronology of the New Testament and be able to place characters and events on a simple timeline. Answer your questions about culture, politics, geography and relationships and gain a basic level of familiarity to facilitate your own Bible reading and study.

Read More