The Old Testament comprises about two-thirds of the Bible’s text, but since it is further removed from us than the New Testament—culturally and chronologically—it presents particular analytical challenges. The accompanying spreadsheet attempts to help you as you study the Old Testament by laying out a relatively comprehensive timeline of the ninth through sixth centuries B.C., an era during which much important Israelite history took place. Here are two guidelines as you use this tool:

  1. The charts and tables presented in this document are my creation, but the information contained therein is commonly held within the scholarly community. As I recall, when I created these charts several years ago, I relied particularly on two works: William Sanford LaSor, David Allan Hubbard, and Frederic William Bush, Old Testament Survey: The Message, Form, and Background of the Old Testament (2nd; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1996), and Andrew E. Hill and John H. Walton, A Survey of the Old Testament (2nd ed.; Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2000). There are many data points represented on the charts, so if I got something wrong, please let me know by leaving a comment!
  2. The first spreadsheet in the workbook is perhaps the most useful, but in case you’d like to see what rulers and prophets were on the scene at a given date, you’ll want to use the second sheet, marked “generator.” Simply type in a B.C. date and the spreadsheet will populate with the relevant data. To make it look pretty, click the “Sort” button. (Note: In order for these features to work, you must enable macros.)
  3. If you are interested in God’s moral assessment of the kings of Israel (northern kingdom) and Judah (southern kingdom), check out the sheets labeled “southern kings” and “northern kings.” These sheets give a visual representation of which kings were good and which kings were evil.

Open the workbook, kick the tires a little bit, and if you find it helpful, just leave us a comment indicating so.

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