No set of scripture dates for the Hebrew Scriptures/Old
Testament will satisfy all readers and scholars. Choices based on scholarly evidence must be
weighed. The dates of this timeline are based on research as presented in the Jerome Biblical Commentary by Raymond Brown, Joseph Fitzmyer and Roland Murphy, The Bible Timeline by Thomas Robinson, and The
Handbook of Biblical
Chronology by Jack Finegan. Brown,
Fitzmyer and Murphy also present their findings in The New Jerome Bible Handbook.
crucial date chosen from all this research in creating a baseline for the
timeline is the time of the
Exodus. The evidence that Rameses II was the pharaoh of the Exodus is cogent
enough to warrant its use in
building this timeline.
Graphic Representation of Hebrew Scripture/Old
As with most research, some set of criteria must be
chosen to present the dates of the Hebrew Scriptures/Old Testament books. This timeline uses
periods of time during which the particular books were either collected, formulated and/or written.
The oldest Christian canon of Old Testament
books, the Septuagint canon, as affirmed by the North African Church Councils
of Hippo (393 AD) and
Carthage (397 AD) was also used. This list of 46 books remain intact until
this day and possess the
most authority. The 46 books were the canon of the Christian Old Testament for almost 1100 years until the 16thcentury.
The shaded rectangles for each book do not propose to be
chronologically accurate in terms of length
of development and serve only to denote the period of time during which the
book probably developed.
Accuracy of length of development can never be determined. The heavily shaded portion of the rectangle approaches the date(s) research
shows as most probable for the event. If there are more specific dates calculated for the period
of the development of a book, they are given with the shaded area of the rectangles.