Bible Chronology Books By Eugene Faulstich
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History, Harmony, & The Hewbrew Kings
 

History, Harmony, & The Hebrew Kings


Time is the framework of history. An accurate history requires an accurate framework of dating events. The meaning of the past can not be understood without the meaning of time. The difficulty in understanding the nature of time as been well stated by Augustine: “Si nemo a me quaerat, scio, si quarenti explicari velim, nescio” (I know what it is if no one asks me, but if I want to explain it to an inquirer, I do not know how.)

It is often as difficult to date past historical events as it is to give the precise meaning of time. The further that one becomes removed from a given past event the more difficult the time element becomes. Life itself demonstrates this truth. It is easier to relate the time element of personal past events which occurred in the immediate past (last year) than to give the time element of past personal events in the distant past (ten, twenty, thirty, forty, etc.., years ago). Yet time is so important. When it is compared to life; one has little of it and even knows less about it.

In the Bible, time is regarded as extremely important. That is why the God of the Hebrews has put so many time notations into His Sacred Book. The Bible contains chronological data (the stream of time) from its opening page in Genesis and continues its time frame as its historical events unfold to the reader. The Bible deals with chronology. As a history book, it cannot be separated from its chronological materials; Biblical history and Biblical chronology go hand in hand. The concept of history in the Bible contains a three-fold time element-- past, present, and future. That is because, as Exodus 3:14 records, God is the great-- I Am That I Am-- present; I Was What I Was-- past; and I Will Become What I Will Become-- future. The past aspect of time relates to ‘completed history’; the present aspect of times refers to ‘continuous history’; and the future aspect deals with the realm of prophecy or ‘incomplete history’. The Hebrew God is both the creator and the controller of history and chronology. He is the Lord of History and reveals Himself in time-- past, present, and future.

Biblical chronology has been studied for centuries because man has desired to know more about God and His acts-- past, present, and future. It was believed that the Bible as a history book contained its own timetable.

Unfortunately, with the advancement of rationalism and the modern development of the theory of evolution, humanistic thinkers considered it better not to be locked in the chronological framework of the Bible. As a result, rationalistic thought began to separate history from chronology in the Bible. Not willing to reject much of the historical data, the rationalists were willing to reject most of the chronological data. The rejection of the chronological notations came with such assertions as: the genealogies contain gaps; prophecy was uttered after the event; certain books contain ‘Aramaisms’ and have to be dated later; some books had to have more than one author because some of the theological ideas are too advanced for that time period according to the evolutionary concept of religion; the chronology of the Hebrew king is hopeless; and Biblical chronology in general is inaccurate.

As time continued, the study of Biblical chronology was discontinued. However, with the discovery of archaeological materials relevant to the Bible and advancement in technology by inventing the computer, it now becomes possible to recover and reevaluate the chronology of the Bible. In the past, it would have taken a life time to accomplish the same work which can now be accomplished quickly through the use of the computer. Complex mathematical computations can be done in seconds by the computer.

The present research has as its goal the recovery of the chronology of the Hebrew Kings so that scholarship might reevaluate and perhaps reclaim the chronology of the Bible.

It has always been the contention of historians that without chronology it is impossible to understand history. It appears that rationalism has made Biblical history ‘meaningless’. Biblical history lies in ruins without the framework of chronology. Without the time element, Biblical events become fiction rather than fact, myth rather than miracle, inaccurate history rather than precise prophecy and epic magnification rather than divine truth. Often the hearer responds with doubt rather than faith. To say the least, this has hurt the cause of Judaism as well as Christianity, the advancement of the Torah as well as the Gospel and the work of evangelism. Uncertainty in Biblical historicity and accuracy has led to the failure of both Jews and Christians to testify, to confess the truth of the Bible and to witness to others.

It is hoped that the present research will help in a measure to restore the integrity and accuracy of the Biblical text through its recovery of the chronology of the Hebrew Kings. The period of the Hebrew kings and the Divided Kingdom has been chosen first for study for two reasons: 1) it is the most difficult area of Biblical chronology, and 2) it is the heart of Hebrew history.

The complex nature of Hebrew chronology in the period of the Hebrew kings makes it the most difficult area of Biblical chronology. This period in history, along with the date of creation, receives the greatest attacks from rationalists. These critics led students of the Bible to believe that it is impossible to find a harmonious scheme in the chronological data of the kings of Israel and Judah and that synchronism, Biblical and secular, appear hopeless. This kind of rationalism concludes that not only is the chronology inaccurate but so is the history if synchronization becomes impossible with the history of the nations who came into contact with Israel.

The age of the Hebrew kings is the heart or center of Hebrew history and certainly, central for the nation of Israel. This is the great period of the Hebrew prophets, Elijah and Elisha, Isaiah and Jeremiah, Amos and Hosea, etc.., and their prophecies. It is also the period of the Solomonic Temple and its worship. The recovery of the chronology of the Hebrew kings would be beneficial to Judaism and those of the circumcision. It would contribute to the great heritage of the modern state of Israel.

Before the chronology of the Hebrew kings can be recovered, the Hebrew calendar and principles of Biblical chronology must be discovered. Astronomical data will be examined; for it provides reliable dates.

Laying aside any preconceived opinions regarding the chronology of the Hebrew kings, the present research has endeavored to ascertain just what the Hebrews did in matters of chronological procedure. The chronologist must keep in mind that it is not his task to manufacture history but to recover the chronology associated with history.

As the chronologist deals with the numbers of the Hebrew kings, he should remember that he is dealing with something fundamental and absolute, i.e., something altogether fixed that allows no deviation in any way , even by a single year, if the chronology to be recovered is to be entirely accurate. Slight adjustments cannot be made in order to secure some desired result. Bible events-- the what and when-- happened as recorded. Therefore, the task of chronologist is to fit those events into his own chronological framework within history. As the chronologist carefully and correctly completes his work, a chronological scheme will emerge which will be consistent with itself and in perfect harmony with the correct chronological pattern of the nations surrounding Israel.

Where conflict in synchronization arose between Biblical dating in extra-biblical sources, solutions were sought. In every case, the integrity and accuracy of the Bible was upheld. The Bible provides within its own pages a marvelous system of ‘checks and balances’-- cross-referencing, cyclical phenomena and time s pans. This system has preserved the accuracy of Biblical chronology. Even in the case of scribal error the system provides self-correction. Such is not the case with other historical documents as will be seen.

Since Biblical chronology provides its own system of ‘checks and balances’ to maintain accuracy, it becomes an apologetic tool defending the Written Word. The present study views Bible chronology, history, archaeology and languages as tools for Biblical apologetics. Therefore, the chronologist who recovers a correct chronology becomes an apologist of the Bible.

Other volumes will be forthcoming in different areas of Biblical chronology. The need is great. Since rationalists ignore the time frame in the Bible, or label it as erroneous, they have re dated, rearranged and rejected some of its historical data. No other historical document in human history has been violated as the Book-- in misuse and abuse. No one would write a history of America without using the framework of chronology. Accurate history is impossible without absolute chronology. Yet the Book is read, studied and taught with the complete ignorance of its chronological data. With the abandonment of Bible chronology, mankind has lost a portion of ‘the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God’.

You are invited to join us in one of the most exciting chronological challenges and adventures in recent history-- to rediscover and to recover the chronology of the Hebrew kings.

- E.W. Faulstich

 
 
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