THIS IS A DIGITAL (PDF) FILE – paperback edition available here
Introduction … page 1
Chapter One: 30-Day Months … page 3
Chapter Two: 360-Day Years … page 7
Chapter Three: 49-Year Jubilees … page 11
Chapter Four: Celestial Error … page 13
Chapter Five: Scribal Mischief … page 17
Chapter Six: Temple Dates … page 33
Chapter Seven: 2300 Passovers … page 35
Chapter Eight: Gentile Times … page 41
Chapter Nine: Caesar’s Decree … page 43
Chapter Ten: New Covenant … page 49
Conclusion … page 55
Appendices … page 57
Excerpt – from the Introduction
The Bible is an error-free record of sacred events that have taken place in real time. It holds within its pages a chronology that records the unique order in which the events of biblical history have occurred. The time line of sacred events recorded in the biblical text and the time line of events in the secular history that parallels it, if both are correctly understood, will align with one another precisely. In reality, there can be only one chronology of events in history that is true.
That being the case, a trustworthy harmonization of both sacred and secular chronologies is a fundamental tool that is required for accurate exposition of God’s word. This is especially true for the time-specific passages, such as those recorded in the Book of Daniel and elsewhere. Otherwise, if a Bible expositor starts by using flawed sacred chronology and/or faulty secular history, the resulting exposition will always contain error. Sadly, that has too often been the case in both Christian and Jewish theological circles for more than a century. By forcing Bible chronology to conform to the secular chronology of the academe (e.g., conform to an at-times ambiguous Assyrian time line), or to support sectarian interpretive schemes, especially where eschatology and man-made dogma are concerned, a chronology at odds with the biblical testimony has evolved and is widespread in use. Nowadays, that flawed biblical chronology, along with its history, is accepted by many Bible professionals as sacrosanct.
In modern times, the greatest single obstacle to development of a more accurate harmonization of sacred chronology with secular history is the unquestioning acceptance of incorrect chronologies and histories handed down from previous generations, often from past spiritual giants who have transformed error into truth by adding their seal of approval along the way. The teaching of those errors continues to corrupt the meaning of important passages of Scripture. In the pages that follow, some of the more serious chronology and history errors taught in seminaries, featured in commentaries and study Bibles, and heard in sermons will be discussed. Note that in these discussions, the constraints of the biblical text will always take precedence over any man-made theological or secular system.
Listed below are some of the more common errors of chronology and history used in Bible exposition that will be examined:
- The Jewish calendar had twelve 30-day months. false
- A 360-day “prophetic year” is needed to interpret prophecy … false.
- A Jubilee Year was celebrated by Israel every fifty years … false.
- Thiele’s “mysterious numbers” of the Hebrew kings is accurate … false.
- Solomon’s Temple was completed in the year 960/959 BCE … false.
- The 2,300 days in Daniel 8 were fulfilled by the Maccabees … false.
- The “times of the Gentiles” have not yet ended in history … false.
- The 70 weeks in Daniel 9 are a time period of 490 years … false.
- The Antichrist will make a covenant with end-time Israel … false
- and more chronological errors are discussed.
No doubt, many of you will be shaking your head by now at my claim that the widely-used traditional Bible chronology and history is flawed in so many instances. Perhaps you find it more comfortable not to question, trusting that the old interpretations must be correct because they have been endorsed by so many for so long. That way my claim can be dismissed as nothing more than a sciolistic attempt to create confusion and upset the theological applecart.
But, hear me out. The reason for making such a bold claim is based on the application of a basic principle of exposition: To be considered valid, an interpretation of sacred chronology and history must exactly agree with the biblical text while precisely aligning with documented secular history, both at the same time. The validity of any traditional interpretation that fails to do both must be questioned. As you read this book, consider the evidence pointing out how selected traditional interpretations are in error, evaluating the arguments with a seeking spirit that relies only on Scripture as final arbiter.
Then, prayerfully come to your own conclusion. —Dan Bruce, Author