Old Testament Dates

I’ve just added a couple of new web pages to my Bombaxo website, which some may find of interest.

First is the page of Old Testament Dates. This includes a scheme of calendar dates for the rulers of Israel and Judah. It also provides modern dates for various dates mentioned in the prophetic and historical texts. See there for more details.

I’ve also added a page of notes regarding the Dates of the Twelve Minor Prophets, as given in the above-mentioned file. The notes explain my particular reasons for the dates given.

Some may say that such dating schemes are nuts.

To those who would say such, I hereby give, in keeping with this season of giving, perhaps a bit too generously, just as much caring about their opinion as can fit between these two lines: =

4 Replies to “Old Testament Dates”

  1. Lamden, this relates to the “maximalist” vs. “minimalist” controversy.

    On the “minimalist” side, they find little or no material of historical value in the Old Testament. The “maximalist” side finds much of historical value. Thus the somewhat snarky labels for the two sides of the controversy.

    I (and others) find the minimalist position to be unrealistically negative, and generally based on either poor historiographic foundations, or on a misunderstanding of the purpose of historiography. The field of history, as opposed to “biblical studies,” long ago came to the conclusion that such rampant cynicism and negativity, directly imported into the field from postmodern literary studies (themselves largely a farce), was bunk. Biblical studies tends to either lag behind other field, and to retain outmoded positions, or to inappropriately admit simplifications or even misunderstandings of other fields’ positions, through what seems to be a faddishness that biblical studies is particularly susceptible to. This doubtfulness on the part of the “minimalists” lies in such origins.

    Aside from these negative points against the “minimalist” viewpoint, there are positive reasons for accepting the “maximalist” viewpoint. There are various mentions of Israel and Judah and its rulers in documents from other cultures. The kings appear in the order in which they are given in the biblical account. And while there may be only a few cases in which we have the same events described both in the Bible and elsewhere, the writings from the other cultures certainly shed more light on the biblical accounts and give us a better perspective, but they do not show them to be fabrications or lies. On the whole, the biblical historical accounts demonstrate accurate knowledge of the times of which they describe.

    For those reasons, I don’t care for the opinion that “minimalists” hold.

    Thanks for the comment. I hope that answers your question.

  2. Yes thanks for that.

    I come from a background (ultra-orthodox Jewish) that believes that there can be no mistakes at all in The Bible; historical or any other.

    I personally have moved away from such a fundamentalist approach. I assume that a ‘maximalist’ need not be a ‘fundamentalist’ either.

  3. Kevin,

    Your work on the Twelve is very good. I will be referring my students to your blog this semester. I am teaching a class on the Twelve and would like for them to see some good information on the web.

    Keep up the good work

    Best
    Joe

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