Now that we are once more in the thick of Sunday School season, I often find myself answering questions about where and when certain Bible events occurred, or being asked what historical bits of the Bible are most important and such. Answering those questions can sometimes get very complicated, so I put together a chronological list of the major events that had an impact on the world of the Bible. Enjoy!
1. Abraham (2000-1900 BC or so) -> Isaac -> Jacob & his 12 sons
2. Slavery of Israelites in Egypt
3. Exodus under Moses (1440 BC, 1250 BC, or 1220 BC)
4. Sinai and the giving of the Law -> desert wandering
5. Conquest of Canaan (the Promised Land) under Joshua
6. Time of the Judges
7. United Kingdom of Israel (Saul, David, and Solomon)
8. Temple is built in Jerusalem during reign of Solomon
9. Kingdom splits North/South after Solomon’s death, in part due to economic issues associated with the lavish nature of his reign (922 BC or so): Israel in the North, Judah in the South
10. Assyrian empire becomes world power
11. Assyrian empire conquers Northern Kingdom of Israel (720 BC)
12. Neo-Babylonian Empire becomes world power
13. Babylonians conquer Judah and level Jerusalem (March 16, 597 BC). Surviving Jews are sent away to Babylon in exile.
14. Persian Empire becomes world power
15. Jews returned to Palestine; 2nd temple of Jerusalem is built.
16. Alexander the Great conquers Persia, and much of the known world (spreading Greek culture and language)
17. Antiochus Epiphanes forces Greek values and religion on the Jews: outlaws the Sabbath, executes those in possession of Torah scrolls, and sacrifices a pig to Zeus in the temple of Jerusalem (the “Abomination of Desolation”, 167 BC)
18. Judas the Maccabee (Judas the Hammer) leads a rebellion and, against all odds, wins Jewish independence; cleanses and recommits the temple in Jerusalem (164 BC, the Jewish holiday Hanukkah celebrates this event)
19. Roman Empire conquers the known world, and gains control of Palestine.
20. Herod the Great made ruler over most of Palestine. He begins enlarging and remodeling the temple in Jerusalem (20 BC).
21. Jesus of Nazareth ministers to the region, proclaims himself to be the Messiah, and is crucified in 30 or 33 AD.
22. Resurrection of Jesus on Easter, his Ascension, and the coming of the Spirit at Pentecost creates the Christian Church. The preaching of the Gospel about Jesus to the world begins.
23. Earliest Christian documents are written (Paul’s letters are some of the first, earliest one included in the Bible believed written in 54 AD. Gospel of Mark written between 64-69 AD)
24. The Jews rebel against Roman rule. The revolt ends in the destruction of Jerusalem and its temple by the Romans (70 AD).
25. The Jews rebel against the Romans again, led by a man named Bar Kochba, in 132 AD. The revolt is crushed and Jews forbidden from living in Jerusalem. The city is rebuilt, renamed, and transformed into a pagan city.