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Chronology of the Bible and the Book of Mormon

Many biblical events and persons are mentioned in the Book of Mormon. Biblical chronology is useful to Book of Mormon readers to provide a frame of reference for these events and persons. But creating an accurate biblical chronology has always been problematic. Virtually all chronological information in the Bible is given in terms of relative dates-without a fixed reference point. So while it is possible to reconstruct relative chronology, there is no fixed point from which to calculate the dates in order to locate them precisely in the BC/AD system.

In the last century much work has been done that has increased the precision of biblical chronology. For example, today it is possible to correlate the dates of biblical events and people with other contemporary sources from the ancient Near East. Many ancient Near Eastern records from Mesopotamia and from Egypt contain information about astronomical events, such as eclipses of the sun and the moon, that can be assigned with great precision to absolute dates. But though much progress has been made in the study of biblical chronology, several significant issues of chronology have not been completely resolved, such as the dates of the events of the universe's history in Genesis 1-11, the dates of the Patriarchs, and the exact dates of the Exodus and the conquest of Canaan.

The accompanying chronology reflects some of the most recent scholarship on these dates. However, all of these dates must be viewed with caution and be regarded as only approximate, particularly those of the universal history, those of the Patriarchs (Abraham through Joseph), and those dates connected to the Exodus.

For the chronology of the Jaredites, I have used John L. Sorenson's article, "The Years of the Jaredites" (BYU Today, September 1968, 18-24).

Events of the Universal History (Genesis 1-11)-Approximate dates

4004 BC Adam and Eve

2349 BC The Great Flood

2200 BC Tower of Babel

3100 BC (Sorenson) Tower of Babel, departure of Jaredites for Promised


The Patriarchs (Genesis 12-50)

2000 BC Abraham

1900 BC Isaac

1800 BC Jacob

1750 BC Joseph

Exodus / Conquest of Canaan / Judges

1260 (?1440) BC Exodus

1220 (?1400) BC Crossing the Jordan

1220 - 1045 BC Judges

United Monarchy

1045 - 1014 BC Reign of Saul

1011 - 971 BC Reign of David

971 - 931 BC Reign of Solomon

931 BC Division of the Kingdom

Kingdom of Israel (931-722 BC) Kingdom of Judah (931-586 BC)

931-909 BC Jeroboam 931-913 BC Rehoboam

873-853 BC Ahab (Prophet Elijah)

841-813 BC Jehu (Prophet Elisha)

ca. 770 BC Isaiah born

ca. 760 BC Hosea

ca. 755 BC Amos 767-740 BC Uzziah

740 BC Isaiah receives his call

from the Lord

ca. 740-687 BC Micah

740-732 BC Pekah 740-735 BC Jotham

732-722 BC Hoshea 735-715 BC Ahaz

732-722 BC Israel conquered by


715-687 BC Hezekiah

701 BC Assyrian siege of


687-642 BC Manasseh

ca. 687 BC Isaiah is killed

642-640 BC Amon

640-609 BC Josiah

ca. 627-585 BC Jeremiah, Zephaniah,


609 BC Jehoahaz

609-598 BC Jehoiakim

597 BC Jehoiachin (Prophet


597 BC Some exiled to Babylon

597-586 BC Zedekiah's Reign

597-586 BC Lehi's family departs


586 BC Mulek departs Jerusalem

ca. 593-563 BC Ezekiel

586 BC Babylonian Captivity

580 BC the discovery of the


Coriantumr by the Mulekites

Exile and Return

539 BC Cyrus conquers Babylon

538 BC Some Jews return from Babylon

520-515 BC Temple rebuilt and dedicated (Prophets Haggai, Zechariah)

458 BC Ezra

445 BC Nehemiah

ca. 400 BC Malachi

Intertestamental Period

331 BC Alexander the Great conquers the Persian empire, including Judah

320 BC Judah under Ptolemaic rule

198 BC Judah shifts to Seleucid rule

175 BC Antiochus Epiphanes IV, Seleucid king, comes to throne and eventually outlaws Judaism

167-165 BC Maccabean Revolt against Seleucid rule resulted in cleansing and rededication of the temple

63 BC Pompey, Roman general, conquers Jerusalem

New Testament Period

March 21, 5 BC Birth of Jesus Christ

March 16, AD 29 Crucifixion of Jesus

AD 26-29 Christ's Ministry

March to May, AD 29 Jesus's Post-Resurrection Ministry

May AD 29 Day of Pentecost (Acts 2)

AD 29-46 Apostles' early missionary efforts to Jerualem, Judea, Samaria, Antioch, and elsewhere;

Stephen is stoned to death; conversion of Paul,Peter's decisive vision opening the gospel to Gentiles; early

ministries of Peter and Paul; Paul's first missionary

journey (Acts 3-14; Acts 13:1-14:26)

AD 31 Paul's conversion

AD 34 Paul's first trip to Jerusalem where he stayed 15 days.

Barnabas introduced him to Peter and James (Acts

9:26-30; Galatians 1:18-19). Being in danger, he

retired to Tarsus (Acts 9:29-30) and there remained

six or seven years, preaching in Syria ane Cilicia

(Galatians 1:21-24)

AD 40 Herod Agrippa I: persecution of the Church; James killed;

Peter imprisoned and miraculously delivered (Acts 12)

AD 41 Barnabas took Paul to Antioch (Acts 11:26), and after one

year paid a visit to Jerusalem (Acts 11:29-30).

AD 44 Paul's first missionary journey with Barnabas and Mark (Acts

13:1 to 14:26)

AD 41-46 General epistle of James written by Jesus's half-brother.

AD 46 Jerusalem conference convened (Paul attended with other

apostles). Circumcision and Gentile conversions

discussed (Acts 15:1-33; Galatians 2:1-10). Paul then

returned to Antioch (Acts 15:35)

AD 48-50 Paul's second missionary journey (Acts 15:36 to 18:22),

lasted about 3 years. 1 and 2 Thessalonians written

by Paul from Corinth (Acts 15:40-18:22). This journey

ended with a visit to Jerusalem. After a short stay in

Antioch, Paul began his third journey.

AD 51-54 Paul's third missionary journey which lasted about 3

years (Acts 18:23 to 21:15). 1 and 2 Corinthians

written by Paul from Ephesus and Macedonia;

Galatians written by Paul from Corinth. Romans

written by Paul from Corinth.

AD 54-56 On Paul's return to Jerusalem, he was arrested (Acts 21:17

to 23:35). Imprisoned for two years at Caesarea (Acts

24:1 to 26:32). Then sent to Rome for trial.

AD 57 Paul's sent for trial to Rome, suffering shipwreck on the way

(Acts 27:1 to 28:10). Remained in captivity in Rome

for 2 years (Acts 28:30). From captivity wrote

Colossians, Ephesians, Philemon, and Philippians.

He was then released from captivity

AD 59-64 Paul then appears to have visited Asia, Macedonia, Crete,

and perhaps Spain. Hebrews, 1 Timothy, and Titus

written during this period.

AD 64 Paul again taken prisoner to Rome. He wrote 2 Timothy

before his martyrdom, possibly from Rome. 1 and 2

Peter written by the apostle Peter before his

martyrdom, possibly from Rome

ca. AD 65 Paul martyred likely in the spring. Peter martyred.

AD 66-70 First Jewish revolt against Rome

AD 70 Destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple by the Romans;

apparent migration of Christians to Pella (according to

Eusebius), and transfer of Church headquarters, likely

to Ephesus

AD 70-100 Jude written; 1, 2, and 3 John and Revelation written by

John the Beloved (probably ca. AD 95), possibly from


AD 135 End of the Bar Kochba Revolt (second Jewish revolt)

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