Finding Written and Recorded History
We have much history written by various historians such as the Greek Herodotus, Thucydides from Athens, Eusebius of Caesarea, the Egyptian priest Manetho, Josephus of Jerusalem, and others. It is difficult, however, to put all the events they write about into a timeline. Historians struggle to count the years back or forward from known events to piece together a chronology. Therefore, dates seem to be always changing as new writings are discovered and the picture becomes more complete.
One source that is fairly easy to trace is the Bible’s genealogy of Jesus Christ. This timeline contains details that can be meshed with other known events. In the New Testament book of Luke, we find a list of all the ancestors of Jesus: “He was the son, so it was thought, of Joseph, the son of Eli…” (Luke 3:23). What follows is a list of seventy-five names, beginning with Joseph and ending with “Adam, the son of God.”
In ancient times, in many places, it was important to people to keep track of their ancestors. The Jews kept meticulous records of their ancestors.
Using this list and counting backward, we come to approximately 4000 BC for the beginning of Jesus Christ’s ancestry. The Bible is the story of Jesus Christ. Genesis, the first book, promises that a redeemer will come, who will reverse the curse of sin and death. God then selects a people through whom Christ will come (the Israelites). There are many prophecies in the Old Testament regarding his coming. Then the New Testament is the story of how Jesus Christ came.
This is an excerpt from chapter 1 of my book, Ancient History At a Glance, How the Bible Connects History. You can purchase a copy here for only $12.75.