The New Testament appears to have been completed within the first century AD.
There have been a number of attempts to define the authors of letters such as Hebrews, where there is no scripturally given author, and also to date the Apostolic Letters and events of Acts.
Similarly, there are numerous conclusions that might be drawn relating to compilers of Old Testament books, the interpretation of prophecy, and debates relating to specific recorded events.
The aim of these study notes is not a critique, but it aims to summarise the Bible narrative as written and thus has purposely sought to avoid where possible drawing on extraneous observations.
Thus no dates or interpretative dissertations are given, nor attempts to surmise the compilation order for these writings from either Old or New Testaments.
To gain a general understanding of the Old Testament (OT), it is however necessary to have an overall comprehension of the approximate ordering of events and the ordering of the main records. Dates and time periods, when given in scripture, are usually based on a given event as the starting period. Thus all dates given below are approximate.
External Archaeological and Historical sources indicate that Jerusalem, when Jehoiachin was king of Judah, fell to Nebuchadnezzar in 597BC.
This event, and generally undisputed date, helps set the approximate timeline for the Kings of Judah and Israel and thus helps put some general approximate timelines on events of the OT.
Genesis covers the time period of approximately the first two millennia. Exodus, Leviticus and Numbers together chronologically follow Genesis, followed by Joshua then Judges and thence into Samuel.
The table below details the time of the kings with an indication of the number of years they reigned and when the given prophets were prophesying.
The book of Ezra follows the end of the captivity, the prophecies of Haggai and Zechariah fall within the time period of this record. The record in Nehemiah follows, and Esther also fits within the period of the Achaemenid Empire.
This leaves an approximate 400 year gap before the commencement of the NT.