A Chronology of Scripture
listing the events in the history of the canon and ancient versions of Scripture, and of the place of Scripture in the church and in society.
1921. Abraham arrives in Canaan.
1898. Destruction of Sodom.
1897. Birth of Isaac.
1837. Birth of Jacob and Esau.
1760. Isaac blesses Jacob. Jacob flees to Haran.
1750. Birth of Judah.
1739. Jacob wrestles with the Angel at Peniel, who gives him the name Israel.
1689. Death of Israel in Egypt.
1520. Book of Job written (?)
1491. Moses called at the burning bush. Exodus from Egypt. Law given from Mount Sinai.
1470. Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers probably written by now.
1451. Deuteronomy written. Death of Moses.
1426. Joshua written. Death of Joshua.
1165. Hannah presents the boy Samuel to Eli.
1095. Saul anointed king by Samuel.
1056. Death of Saul. David becomes king.
1017. David numbers the people of Israel. Seventy thousand die of pestilence.
1015. Death of David. Solomon becomes king. Psalms, Judges and Ruth written by now.
1004. Solomon dedicates the Temple. Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs written.
984. Solomon builds heathen shrines for his wives.
975. Death of Solomon. Rehoboam becomes king in Jerusalem and plays the tyrant.
974. Jeroboam wrests 10 tribes of the North from Rehoboam and builds rival altar in Bethel.
925. First and Second Samuel written about now.
910. Elijah preaches against king Ahab in the North.
899. Naboth robbed and murdered by Jezebel.
855. Obadiah begins to preach.
800. Joel begins to preach (?)
785. Jonah begins to preach.
760. Amos begins to preach.
750. Hosea begins to preach.
740. Isaiah begins to preach.
730. Micah begins to preach about now.
726. Hezekiah becomes king of Judah, purges the land of idols.
722. Fall of the Northern kingdom to Assyrians. The 10 tribes taken into captivity.
710. Sennacherib invades Judea.
681. Death of Isaiah.
678. Samaria colonized by Assyrians.
650. Manasseh, king of Judah, taken captive to Babylon.
641. Josiah proclaimed king at 8 years of age.
630. Zephaniah begins to preach about now.
627. Jeremiah begins to preach.
624. Reformation of religion begun under Josiah.
621. Josiah purifies the Temple. Book of the Law discovered there.
615. Nahum begins to preach about now.
609. Death of Josiah in battle.
606. Habakkuk begins to preach about now.
605. Daniel begins to preach.
593. Ezekiel begins to preach.
586. Jerusalem destroyed by Babylonian army of Nebuchadnezzar.
580. Thousands of Jews exiled. Lamentations written. Death of Jeremiah.
550. First and Second Kings written about now.
538. Capture of Babylon by Persian army of Cyrus.
536. First return of Jewish exiles to Jerusalem with Zerubbabel.
530. Death of Daniel.
527. Death of Cyrus.
520. Zechariah and Haggai begin to preach.
515. Temple rebuilt by now.
490. Persians defeated by Greeks at Battle of Marathon.
480. Events of Book of Esther.
460. Esther written.
458. Return of Jewish exiles to Jerusalem with Ezra.
440. First and Second Chronicles and Ezra written. Malachi begins to preach.
432. Return of more Jewish exiles with Nehemiah. Samaritans establish rival temple. Nehemiah written.
424. Death of Persian king Artaxerxes I and succession of Darius II.
400. Death of Nehemiah.
336. Accession of Darius III, last of the Persian kings. Alexander succeeds Philip as king of Macedonia.
332. Alexander the Great arrives in Jerusalem.
331. Alexander defeats Persian army at Battle of Arbela.
323. Death of Alexander the Great and division of his empire.
320. Ptolemy Soter (Greek king of Egypt) annexes Judea.
283. Ptolemy Philadelphus reigns in Egypt.
250. Septuagint version of the Pentateuch published.
223. Antiochus the Great reigns over Syria.
200. Tobit, Epistle of Jeremiah and Ecclesiasticus written. Letter of Aristeas written.
198. Antiochus the Great annexes Judea.
190. First Esdras written.
175. Antiochus Epiphanes ascends the throne.
174. Antiochus Epiphanes makes Jason High Priest.
170. Additions to Esther written.
168. Antiochus Epiphanes sets up altar to Zeus in the Jerusalem Temple. Maccabean revolt against Greek rule.
166. Judas Maccabeaus victorious. Israel independent.
160. Death of Judas Maccabeaus, succeeded by Jonathan.
150. Judith and Baruch written. Septuagint version of Hebrew canon now complete.
143. Jonathan Maccabeaus slain, succeeded by Simon. Book of Jubilees written.
120. Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs and Assumption of Moses written.
100. Wisdom of Solomon and First Maccabees written.
75. Additions to Daniel (Song of the Three Children, Story of Susanna, and Bel and the Dragon) written.
70. Second Maccabees and Prayer of Manasseh written. Book of Enoch compiled.
63. Third Maccabees written. Judea conquered by Roman army of Pompey.
37. Herod the Great appointed by Roman Senate as king of Judea. Psalms of Solomon written.
31. Augustus made Roman emperor.
19. Herod's restoration of Temple begun. Fourth Maccabees written.
5. Birth of Jesus Christ in Bethlehem.
4. Death of Herod the Great.
6. Judea annexed to the Roman province of Syria. Books of Adam and Eve written.
14. Death of Augustus. Tiberius made emperor.
26. Baptism of Jesus. Pontius Pilate begins to govern Judea. Book of the Secrets of Enoch written.
27. Jesus calls the twelve, preaches Sermon on the Mount.
28. Peter, James, John witness the Transfiguration.
29. Jesus is crucified, rises again, ascends to heaven. Holy Spirit descends at Pentecost.
35. Martyrdom of Stephen. Paul persecutes the churches.
36. Jesus Christ appears to Paul near Damascus, converts and commissions him. Paul departs to Arabia.
38. Paul preaches in Syria and Cilicia.
43. Paul invited to Antioch, preaches to church. Roman legions invade Britain under the Emperor Claudius, beginning 400 years of Roman control.
46. Paul and Barnabas leave Antioch for First Missionary Journey. They preach in Cyprus and southern Galatia, with great success. Return to Antioch in 48.
49. Judaizers come to Antioch from Jerusalem, attempt to frustrate Paul's mission. Apostles at Jerusalem affirm Paul's teaching, give Gentiles freedom from the Law of Moses.
50. Paul and Silas leave Antioch for Second Missionary Journey. They preach in Galatia, Mysia, Macedonia, Achaia, Asia. Return to Antioch in 52.
52. Paul writes First Thessalonians and Second Thessalonians.
53. Paul begins Third Missionary Journey alone. Preaches in Asia, Macedonia, Achaia.
55. Judaizers active in Paul's churches. Paul writes Galatians to counter their influence.
56. Paul hears of disorder and conflict in Corinth, writes First Corinthians and Second Corinthians. Epistle of James circulates in Jewish churches.
57. Paul writes Epistle to the Romans, goes to Passover in Jerusalem, is assaulted by mob in the Temple, arrested by Romans, held in custody at Caesarea.
59. Paul appeals to Caesar, is sent to Rome for trial.
60. Paul held in Rome, writes Philippians and Philemon.
62. Paul writes Ephesians and Colossians, is released, visits Crete and Asia, leaves Titus in Crete. Hebrews written.
63. Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke probably in circulation by this time.
64. Paul writes 1 Timothy and Titus.
65. Roman persecution of Christians begins under Nero. 1 Peter and Acts written.
66. Jews of Judea rebel against Roman rule. Paul arrested again, sent to Rome. Ascension of Isaiah compiled. Docetic heresy (in which humanity of Christ is denied) arises in churches of Asia. Paul writes 2 Timothy.
67. Paul put to death. Nero sends army under Vespasian to subdue Judea.
68. Nero commits suicide. Jude and 2 Peter in circulation. Peter dead by now. Jerusalem Christians refuse to join rebellion, move to Pela in Arabia to escape persecution.
69. Vespasian becomes Emperor, puts army under command of his son Titus.
70. Jerusalem destroyed by Roman army under Titus. Remnant of Jewish church there falls into Ebionite heresy (in which Jesus is merely a prophet), rejects all writings but corrupted Gospel of Matthew. Rabbinic academy established at Jamnia.
73. Mass suicide of 1,000 Jewish Zealots at fortress of Masada.
81. Domitian becomes Emperor. Timothy dead by now. John has charge of churches in Asia. Docetic conventicles increase there.
85. John resists Ebionite and Docetic errors in the churches, writes his Gospel of John about now.
90. Domitian renews persecution of Christians. John exiled to Patmos. 1 John written by now. Second Esdras and Odes of Solomon written. Council of Jewish rabbis at Jamnia ratifies Hebrew canon.
95. John writes his Revelation, is released, returns to Ephesus. Docetic heretics depart from John's churches and form their own sects.
98. Trajan becomes Emperor.
100. 2 John and 3 John written by now. Death of John in Ephesus. Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians written by Clement of Rome. Death of Clement. Teaching of the Twelve Apostles (earliest catechism) written. Josephus writes Contra Apionem in defence of Judaism.
110. Persecution of churches in Syrian Antioch. Second and Third Baruch written.
112. Persecution of churches in Bythynia. Pliny the Younger reports to Trajan.
115. Bishops established over elders in larger churches of Asia. Legalism prevails in many churches.
117. Death of Ignatius of Antioch in Rome. Epistle of Barnabas written by now. Hadrian becomes Emperor.
125. Earliest notice of church in Alexandria.
130. Death of Papias, disciple of John.
132. Jews hail militant Bar-Cochba as Messiah and revolt again.
135. Roman army victorious. Jews dispersed. Gnosticism flourishes in Asia. Jamnia academy moves to Galilee. Fourth Baruch written.
138. Valentinus (Gnostic arch-heretic) comes to Rome.
140. Shepherd of Hermas and Second Epistle of Clement written. Marcion opposes legalistic trend in churches, collects and edits Paul's epistles, comes to Rome.
144. Marcion withdraws from church in Rome and establishes heretical sect, rejects all writings but corrupted letters of Paul and Gospel of Luke, gains many followers.
156. Death of Polycarp of Smyrna (according to the chronology of many modern scholars), last disciple of John. Sacramentalism arises in the churches. Montanus begins charismatic revival preaching in northwest Asia, gains a following in small towns.
160. Birth of Tertullian, first of the Latin Church Fathers.
161. Marcus Aurelius becomes Emperor, begins severe persecution of the Church.
166. Death of Justin Martyr, first Christian apologist. Death of Polycarp of Smyrna (according to the chronology of Eusebius and some modern scholars). Tatian leaves Rome for Syria. Death of Marcion. Alexandrian church flourishes.
170. Muratorian Canon lists approved books of the Church: James, Jude, 2 Peter, 2 John, 3 John, Hebrews still not accepted by all. Bishops now preside over elders in most churches.
173. Tatian teaches Encratite heresy (Gnostic asceticism) in Syria, composes Diatessaron, harmony of Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke.
177. Persecution of churches in Gaul.
178. Death of Montanus. Bishops of Asia excommunicate his charismatic followers. Irenaeus bishop of Lyons.
180. Beginning of Syrian and Latin versions of the New Testament. First report of Christians among Germanic tribes.
185. Birth of Origen.
200. Death of Irenaeus of Smyrna, disciple of Polycarp. Montanist conventicles now in Gaul. Mishna (legal tradition of the Pharisees) committed to writing by rabbis.
203. Origen head of catechetical school in Alexandria.
204. Birth of Plotinus.
207. Tertullian, "distressed by the envy and laxity of the clergy of the Roman church," joins the Montanist sect in Carthage.
215. Death of Clement of Alexandria, teacher of Origen.
220. Death of Tertullian.
231. Origen moves to Caesarea.
254. Death of Origen.
263. Birth of Eusebius.
270. Death of Plotinus.
276. Execution of Manes, founder of Manichaeism.
288. Birth of Constantine.
303. Emperor Diocletian begins severe persecution of the Church. Many copies of Scripture burned.
312. Constantine converted, becomes Emperor in the West. End of persecutions.
313. Edict of Toleration promulgated by Constantine at Milan. Eusebius appointed bishop of Caesarea.
318. Arius teaches that Christ was created being, is excommunicated by Alexander, bishop of Alexandria.
320. Pachomius establishes first Christian monastery.
324. Constantine gains control over Eastern provinces, becomes sole Emperor.
325. Constantine convenes Council of Nicea, rejects Arian heresy, affirms Trinitarian Dogma.
330. Constantinople dedicated as new capitol of the Empire.
336. Death of Arius.
340. Goths converted as a tribe by Ulfilus (Arian).
345. Birth of Jerome in Dalmatia.
350. Birth of Chrysostom.
354. Birth of Augustine.
363. Council of Laodicea publishes authoritative list of books considered as Scripture in the East.
367. Easter Letter of Athanasius delimits books of Scripture.
382. Jerome comes to Rome.
387. Augustine converted from Manichaeism and baptized.
394. Olympian games abolished.
395. Augustine made bishop of Hippo.
397. Third Council of Carthage publishes authoritative list of books considered as Scripture in the West.
405. Jerome finishes Latin Vulgate version of the Bible.
410. Rome sacked by Goths under Alaric.
426. Augustine publishes his City of God.
Jn 3:16 For God so loved the world, as to give his only begotten Son; that whosoever believeth in him, may not perish, but may have life everlasting.