The Believer's Guide to Bible Chronology
by C G Ozanne MA PhD
Whenever a person compiles a chronological framework for Bible study, they put themselves up to be shot at. But the great strength of any attempt is that it gives the Bible reader a framework and structure from which to begin. It's much easier to decide on one's own chronology when you don't have to start from scratch.
Indeed, all teaching - even bad teaching - is advantageous to the follower of Christ if they are careful to judge all things in line with Scripture and not rely upon the authority of man.
In this work, Ozanne has laid out a solid Biblical framework and used internal evidence to construct a chronology that is independent of secular historical theories. Therefore, although Ozanne proposes a date of 4008 BC, for example, for the creation of mankind (but not for the creation of the universe), he is doing so because the literal and strict summation of the genealogical record demands this. He's taking the Bible as a single unit and allowing it to stand as a single, uninterrupted, historical narrative.
While I would object to a date of 4008BC for the creation of man on grounds that the genealogical record in Genesis has been necessarily recorded missing out significant numbers of generations (where fathers are grand- or great-grandfathers), a Biblical chronology must be faithful to the text and not propose speculative extensions of the date arrived at.
Therefore, on the matter of accepting the dates of the kings of Israel and Judah, Ozanne is constrained to accept the dates generally as successive ones, one king's death being the end of a reign and the coronation of the next, but with some co-regencies where the text necessitates - whereas my own belief is that many, rather than few, of the kings were co-regents while their fathers continued to live - possibly incapacitated or not reigning fully for various other reasons - so that my own chronology of this time is significantly different.
A chronology of the Biblical record must, to repeat, be faithful to the text it seeks to represent. It's the job of the Biblical commentators and historians to add proposals of interpretation (not statements of fallibility) to the text where it seems necessary - but the chronologist must say what they plainly see and nothing much more.
This Ozanne does well.
If the reader compares some of my own proposed dates with Ozanne's (for example, those mentioned above along with the birth of Christ and others), they will find differences and disagreements that are quite healthy to leave on the same web site for the reader to consider and study for themselves.
There is one matter, however, that needs to be observed by myself and that is the date of the crucifixion. Although Ozanne places it on Friday 14 Nisan, the day when the Passover lambs were sacrificed in the Temple, I am in no doubt that this should be, rather, Friday 15 Nisan, the day on which the lambs were eaten.
I have gone in to this at some length in the Appendices in my Passover notes and won't go in to the matter at this point. It seemed wrong of me not to publish the work on this web space because of this one doctrinal difference for the chronology is an important book to be made available to the Internet Community.
I have, therefore, chosen to release it with the author's permission.
A hardcopy bound edition of this work is obtainable by contacting myself here and I will forward the mail on to the author when received. Please mark your Subject as 'For the attention of Charles Ozanne'.