Psalm 107 v 2
"Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story..."
My name is Rod Hawkins; I was born in 1959 in Newtownards, Co. Down, N Ireland. My late parents, known to the extended family as Granda Ronnie (91) and Grannie Maggie (89) are now with their Lord as is the youngest member of the family, Mark, who died in a car accident in 1985 aged 18. I have two brothers and three sisters.
I am married to Pamela and we have three adult children - Peter, Judith and Chloe. We live in Carrickfergus, Co. Antrim, N Ireland.
This is my story...
How it all started
Sometime around 2001-2002, my parents bought me the following daily devotional:
D A Carson
FOR THE LOVE of GOD - Vol 1
Published by IVP
It contains a daily bible reading plan by Robert Murray M’Cheyne which takes you through the Old Testament once a year and the New Testament & Psalms twice a year.
I have now read the entire Bible from cover to cover many times. On 31 December 2017, I completed lap 10 of a projected 10 year plan to read the Bible from cover to cover every year for 10 years in succession.
The vision for this timeline website is a direct result of engaging in this reading programme and my goal is now to continue with this annual reading plan for as long as I am able to do so.
In recent years I have alternated between Vol 1 & 2 of D A Carson - For the Love of God - as a devotional compliment to my daily reading. These are scholarly in nature but also have a relevant application for life.
These are published by IVP and can be found on Amazon or any good Christian Book Shop.
A print version of this reading plan is available on request; see the 'Contact' page on the Menu Bar.
bibletimeline.org.uk is an outline of God's purpose for humanity from a biblical perspective.
It is based on what the bible has to say about the origin, history and final destiny of humanity - from the beginning of time until the end of time. The subject of the nation of Israel and how she interacts with other nations on earth will be a prominent theme.
Essentially, the timeline covers Genesis to Revelation - Creation to the End Times.
From the outset
bibletimeline.org.uk covers circa 6000 + years of human history and delves into a wide spectrum of subjects, some of which have proved to be controversial over many years. You might not agree with every detail.
It is my hope that you will be challenged to consider these subjects and how they impact your life both now and in the future. I hope that you will learn something new and perhaps be inspired to read the bible for yourself in order to shape your views on these interesting topics.
God has described himself as the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End. The timeline follows this pattern; there was a beginning - and life on this earth will come to an end.
In more detail
God is not distant
God not only created the heavens and the earth; he has intervened in time in order to communicate with us. He has a ‘purpose’ and he will ensure that his purpose for humanity will reach its fulfilment.
God’s ultimate intervention in human history is described in the following passages of scripture:
John 1 v 1-3
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.
John 1 v 14
14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
Hebrews 1 v 1-2
1 In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe.
Matthew 1 v 21-23
21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.
22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel - which means God with us.
The coming of ‘Messiah’ or the coming of Christ into the world is the fulcrum point on this timeline. Everything in human history - past, present and future - hinges on this event.
The timeline is essentially structured with this in mind. There are 6 'period pages' before the coming of Messiah; these are divided into 3 Periods from Creation to the Flood and 3 Periods from the Rise of Israel to the end of the Old Testament.
Then there are 6 'period pages' after the death and resurrection of Christ; these are also divided into 3 Periods relating to the Church in the Age of Grace and 3 Periods relating to the End Times.
These period pages are represented by 'tiles' on the 'home page' and can be clicked to go to any of the above time periods.
Period pages 1 - 13
The Pre-Flood period
1: The Creation
2: The Fall of Man
3: The Flood
The Post-Flood period
4: The Rise of Israel – 400 years in Egypt
5: The Exodus – 40 years in the desert
6: The Promised Land – Judges, Kings and Prophets
Christ is central in history
The vital link between the Old and New Testaments
The Age of Grace
8: The Early Church – Roman persecution
9: The Middle Ages – Clericalism and Ecclesiasticism
10: The Reformation and the Modern Day Church
The End Times
11: The Rapture and The Tribulation
12: The Millennial Reign of Christ
13: The Final Judgement and Eternity
Colossians 1 v 15-17
15 The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.
This timeline will show that there is 'One God' who created all things and who sustains all things; His central purpose in creation and in the universe is his interest in and his interaction with mankind. We are central in God’s thoughts and purpose. We are the pinnacle of, and central in creation.
Genesis 1 v 26
“Then God said, Let us make man in our image, in our likeness...”
Man is unique in creation. He is different from all the other creatures.
We have an appreciation of art, medicine, architecture, design, reason, debate, morality and beauty. Animals do not.
We live our lives by calendar days, weeks, months and years. Animals do not.
We wear watches to monitor time, and we use satellites to forecast the weather and we celebrate birthdays. Animals do not.
Genesis 5 v 3
When Adam had lived 130 years, he had a son...
We know from scripture that Adam had a definitive starting point in time and history. We also know that Adam was made as a mature man.
You could say that on the day that Adam was made he looked as if he was 25 years old but he was one day old. The same can be said of Eve.
Adam did not experience birth, he was never in a mother’s womb, he probably did not need an umbilical cord and so it is likely that he would not have had a ‘belly button’. He did not experience childhood or adolescence; he had no parents. Again, the same can be said of Eve.
We know from the two genealogies in Genesis chapters 5 and 11 that there was a specific period of time from Adam to the day of the Flood - according to the literal reading of these two genealogies - this is calculated at 1656 years. See Timeline 1 & 2
We can therefore, from this point in time, link the following periods of history and deduce an estimated time frame from the Flood to Christ and therefore from Adam to Christ and therefore from creation to Christ.
Time periods - Adam to Christ
The following 'estimated' time periods are represented on Timeline 3. These periods of time are supported by various genealogies and other key verses from the bible.
1656 years – Adam to the Flood
490 years - The Flood to Israel
430 years - Egypt to the Exodus
40 years - Law & Tabernacle
300 years - The Judges
500 years - Kings to the Exile
70 years - The Exile in Babylon
520 years - The silent years
4006 + years - Estimated time from Adam to Christ
According to this timeline;
a) The age of humanity is circa 6000 + years
b) The age of the universe is circa 6000 + years
The point is this; to the human mind (mine included) it is the most natural thing to believe that the universe has existed for a much longer time than several thousand years.
However, as I have repeatedly read the bible from cover to cover it is my observation that scripture supports the idea that:
a) creation and humanity are the same age
b) this age is circa 6000 + years - not millions or billions of years
If you are prepared to follow this timeline, you will see that some of these passages from scripture - especially the words of the Lord Jesus - do not sit comfortably with the notion that the universe has existed for millions or billions of years.
See link to Timeline 3: at the bottom of this page.
A young humanity
The Bible contains several genealogical records which authenticate human ancestry throughout Old Testament times.
In particular, the genealogy of Christ as recorded in Luke 3, charts the lineage of Christ right back to Adam. This is remarkable and I thank God for prompting Luke to include this in his Gospel record.
The genealogical records in Genesis 5, Genesis 11, Matthew 1 and Luke 3 make very compelling reading and point to a young humanity.
Some people say that the genealogies in the bible cant be relied on because they claim that there are gaps in the genealogies. Even if there are some 'gaps', that would only add a few generations - perhaps several hundred years or more.
Such gaps (if they exist at all) would not justify a massive leap from several thousand years of human ancestry to somehow become millions or billions of years.
Important note: Dr Luke was renowned for being meticulous in his research and writing.
Luke 1 v 3-4
"With this in mind since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, I too decided to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught."
It is Luke's genealogy which traces the ancestry of Christ right back to Adam. Luke makes the claim that he has carefully investigated everything from the beginning and that he has written an orderly account.
Jude v 14
"Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about them..."
Jude records that Enoch was the seventh from Adam - as the Genesis 5 genealogy clearly states. This verse adds support from the New Testament that the Genesis 5 genealogy is to be taken as accurate.
Furthermore, Paul emphasises to Timothy that, "All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness." 2 Timothy 3 v 16.
The Genesis 5 genealogy is an unbroken link from Adam to Noah and the Flood; and subsequently Genesis 11 continues this link from Noah to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
Matthew's genealogy is also 'braced' in a similar way; not only do we have the genealogy listed but we have this remarkable statement to back it up:
Matthew 1 v 17
"Thus there were fourteen generations in all from Abraham to David, fourteen from David to the exile and fourteen from the exile to the Messiah."
Both Matthew and Luke chart the lineage of Jesus back to Abraham. Matthew deals with the ancestry of Christ through Joseph back to David through Solomon, whereas Luke deals with the ancestry of Christ through Mary back to David through Nathan.
In short, both Joseph and Mary trace their ancestry back to King David, Abraham, Noah and Adam. The combined genealogies of Genesis 5, Genesis 11, Matthew 1 and Luke 3 point to a young humanity with an age of circa 6000 + years.
The great Apostle Paul makes the following claims about the origin of humanity and the ancestry of Christ when preaching in Athens and also when writing to the believers in Rome.
Acts 17 v 26 – The origin of humanity
26 From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands.
Romans 9 v 5 - The lineage of Christ
“Theirs is the adoption as sons, theirs the divine glory, the covenants, the receiving of the law, the temple worship and the promises. Theirs are the patriarchs, and from them is traced the human ancestry of Christ, who is God over all, forever praised! Amen.”
This is a brief outline of how the ancient civilisations existed in succession alongside Israel.
Their successive terms as regional superpower were famously depicted in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream of the giant statue in Daniel Chapter 2 and are later alluded to in Revelation 17 v 9-10.
Egypt - personalised in Pharaoh
This precedes the vision – it was in Daniel's past
Assyria - Personalised in Sennacherib
This precedes the vision – it was in Daniel's past
Empires depicted in Nebuchadnezzar's vision
Babylon - Personalised in Nebuchadnezzar
Represented by the Gold Head – present at that time
Medo-Persia - Personalised in Cyrus
Represented by the Silver chest & arms – in Daniel's near future
Greece - Personalised in Alexander the Great
Represented by the Bronze belly & thighs – in Daniel's future
Rome - Personalised in Caesar
Represented by the Iron legs – in Daniel's future
Revelation 17 v 9-10
“This calls for a mind with wisdom. The seven heads are seven hills (mountains) on which the woman sits. They are also seven kings. Five have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come; but when he does come, he must remain for a little while.”
Kingdom of beast - Personalised in Antichrist the seventh World Ruler
Represented by the Iron and clay feet - future from now
This looks forward to the Tribulation Period when the Antichrist will have world domination over a mixed race united under a new charismatic political leader with control over a new world religion.
When John was writing the book of Revelation - circa AD 95 - this was his perspective;
Five have fallen : Pharaoh, Sennacherib, Nebuchadnezzar, Cyrus & Alexander
One is current: Caesar
The other has not yet come: Antichrist
During the Tribulation period, the Antichrist will assume world superpower status and will take on the role of the ancient world rulers as outlined above.
He will consider himself to be the natural successor of these ancient rulers; but he will go beyond his ancient predecessors and proclaim himself to be god.
At the bottom of this page you will see a link to Timeline 3 - Genesis to Revelation; It illustrates the flow of human history.
You can also read more about the chilling events of the final earthly empire – the kingdom of the beast - on the Rapture and Tribulation page.
The Bible is reliable
The bible’s story-line remains absolutely consistent in its portrayal of a supreme God and how he interacts with mankind. Many of the Bible’s accounts and events are supported by other ancient manuscripts and historical records from antiquity.
There are also many prophecies recorded in the Bible that have already reached fulfilment as historical proof of the Bible’s authenticity as the Word of God.
2 Peter 1 v 19-21
19 We also have the prophetic message as something completely reliable, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.
20 Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation of things. 21 For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.
2 Timothy 3 v 14-17
14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, 15 and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.
16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
The Bible is relevant
What is also truly fascinating is the fact that the Bible remains credible in the twenty first century. In modern times the world has seen many fundamental changes in how mankind behaves and communicates.
Just consider for a moment some of the ‘game changing’ events which have occurred in the past few hundred years; e.g.
• The industrial revolution in the 1700's
• The discovery and application of electricity in the early 1800’s
• The development of nuclear power in the early 1900's
• The electronic communications revolution
• The Internet in the early 1990’s
• The microchip
Think about it; none of these world changing events has dented the authenticity or relevance of the Bible. Why? Because the Bible is exactly what it claims to be; it is the eternal, unchanging and living Word of God.
Science is not ‘the enemy’. We are grateful for those who have devoted their life’s work to the study of science. However, the views of prominent scientists continuously evolve with time, knowledge and experience.
Let’s not forget that God created science, God created the laws of physics and the laws of nature; men are merely discovering what was already there from the very beginning.
The Bible however, remains the same; it is unchanging in its portrayal of creation, human history and the end of the world. It has stood the test of time in its written form since its compilation - between 2000 to 3500 years ago!
Brief note on Translation
The Old Testament was written in Hebrew - the everyday language of the Old Testament Hebrews - the Jews. The New Testament was written in Greek - the predominant everyday language of the gentile nations of the Middle East and surrounding areas.
Today in the modern church and indeed all across the English speaking world, we have the complete bible translated into our everyday language - English. The bible is also translated into many languages across the world.
When it comes to 'accuracy of translation', we depend on scholars from all backgrounds and traditions to determine the actual translation of words, contextual setting and meaning.
There is a difference between a 'translation' and a 'paraphrase'. A translation is a recognised version of the bible that has been properly translated from the original Hebrew and Greek language (and the Latin Vulgate) into our language. Whereas a paraphrase is simply a version of the text with added comments and meaning.
Examples of formally recognised 'translations' are:
KJV - King James Version or AV - Authorised Version - published 1604-1611
RV - Revised Version - published 1885-1898
NKJV - New King James Version - published 1975
NIV - New International Version - published 1970 and fully revised in 1984 and again in 2011
Examples of 'paraphrased' versions are:
The Living Bible, The Amplified Bible, The Phillips Bible and The Message - which is New Testament only.
We should be grateful that we have the bible translated into our everyday language, however, unless we are experts in Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek, we need to exercise some caution regarding the translation and subsequent interpretation of the bible.
This timeline is based on my repeated reading of the NIV which is universally recognised as an accurate translation of the original text into English.
Brief note on Interpretation
It is generally accepted by scholars from all backgrounds that when it comes to reading and interpreting the bible - we need to have ‘principles of interpretation’ or ‘guidelines’.
On several pages on this timeline website I have expressed my deep and sincere appreciation to J Allen for his teaching and for his books on Daniel and Revelation.
These have proved to be of immense value to me on my journey with this timeline.
This is one of his ‘golden rules’ of interpretation;
“When LITERAL sense makes GOOD sense, then seek no OTHER sense, lest you end up with NONSENSE.”
The other fundamental principle for me is this;
"Scripture interprets Scripture."
Apart from the obvious grammatical and contextual considerations, these have been a constant guiding principle and feature of interpretation throughout this timeline.
The End Times
Regarding the last three 'time periods' on this timeline;
11. The Rapture and the Tribulation
12. The Millennial Reign of Christ
13. The Final Judgement and eternity
These 'time periods' all refer to future events which are yet to unfold. Sadly, there is an unfortunate ‘trend’ within certain modern day churches to avoid the books of Genesis and Revelation (the beginning and the end). The consensus of opinion being – these books are too complex or too controversial. Forgive the irony, but I disagree.
In Revelation 22 v 13; we have already pointed out how God describes himself;
“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.”
Daniel 8 v 27
“I was appalled by the vision; it was beyond understanding.”
Daniel 9 v 20-25
“v 22 He instructed me and said to me’ Daniel, I have now come to give you insight and understanding...
v 23 Therefore, consider the word and understand the vision....
v 25 Know and understand this..”
Daniel at first thought that the vision was beyond understanding; he was exhausted and appalled by what he saw. However, within just a few days, he was given understanding. We should follow his example and persevere in our search for the true meaning of prophetic scripture.
Many Christians support the views of modern science which has struggled and pushed through seemingly insurmountable barriers, and yet they discourage the exploration of prophetic scripture which has so much to say regarding the end times.
It is my view that the end times as depicted in the books of Daniel and Revelation - could well be imminent.
The Holy Spirit
Christians who are indwelt by and filled with the Holy Spirit can understand issues which seem to be beyond understanding.
The apostle Paul emphasises the point that born again Christians have the capacity to understand issues which ‘the wisdom of this world’ fails to grasp. This ability to understand difficult issues is directly linked to the indwelling Holy Spirit.
1 Corinthians 2 v 6-10
“6 We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. 7 No, we declare God’s wisdom, a mystery that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began.
8 None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.
9 However, as it is written: “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived - the things God has prepared for those who love him - 10 these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God.
1 Peter 1 v 10-12
10 Concerning this salvation, the prophets, who spoke of the grace that was to come to you, searched intently and with the greatest care, 11 trying to find out the time and circumstances to which the Spirit of Christ in them was pointing when he predicted the sufferings of the Messiah and the glories that would follow.
12 It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves but you, when they spoke of the things that have now been told you by those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. Even angels long to look into these things.
Luke 1 v 1-4
1 Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us, 2 just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the word.
3 With this in mind, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, I too decided to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, 4 so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught.
Scripture encourages us to search diligently, to seek God earnestly and to strive continuously to understand his word.
This timeline is a humble attempt to outline the purpose of God as it is revealed in human history from Genesis to Revelation. It deals with the past, present and future.
At the end of each of the 13 pages, there is an article called - The Thread. This thread starts in Genesis and ends in Revelation. It demonstrates that the bible is consistent and coherent in its message throughout all ages.
This timeline will highlight a thread of truth which runs throughout human history from creation, through every time period illustrated on this timeline, right through to the end times as recorded in the book of Revelation.
That thread is this:
God is Alpha and Omega; as creator, he has revealed himself to mankind as the only true and supreme God for all nations.
He communicates with us and desires to participate in our lives in order to have a relationship with us.
His ultimate goal is to prepare us to spend eternity with him in perfect holiness and happiness through salvation.
This thread starts in Genesis chapter one and continues through all of human history as recorded in the Bible from Genesis to Revelation.
There are two opposing forces which can also be traced from Genesis to Revelation.
First - is the unrelenting sinful nature and stubborn rebellion of mankind refusing to submit to God's laws.
Second - is the constant stalking and harassment of that ancient serpent, the devil. He never gives up in his vain attempts to thwart the will of God in his dealings with mankind.
All through human history, God reigns supreme and in the closing chapters of Revelation, Satan finally meets his eternal doom while the saved of earth enter an eternity of bliss and happiness with God.
It is my hope and prayer that as you take time to explore this timeline you will come to the following conclusion;
If you are already a born again Christian; you will be encouraged to make daily bible reading a top priority for the remainder of your life on this earth. I hope that as you consider the end times and what lies ahead, you will make it a priority to warn others of the pending judgment.
If you are not a Christian, I hope that you will accept the Lord Jesus as your personal Lord and Saviour.
In the borrowed words of the late Mr Alex Easton of Scotland, I hope you will learn to read and study the bible in his recommended way:
Read to know - read the bible every day
Study to show - search the scriptures and use other reliable study aids
Feed to grow - devotional reflection and daily submission to God
I trust that you will enjoy the journey on this timeline as much as I have.
Improve the Content
We welcome any input or suggestions that will improve the content of bibletimeline. It may be that you are an expert in some specific subject; periods of history, prophecy or theology for example, so if you have the expertise and inclination and would like to write an article or add a page;
Please do not hesitate to make contact via the Contact Tab.
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Read more: various content pages and additional reading pages
Timeline 1: Genesis 5 genealogy – Creation to the Flood
Timeline 2: Genesis 11 genealogy – The Flood to Jacob
Timeline 3: Genesis to Revelation
Below is a link to a fabulous website which dates creation at 4115 BC to a specific day and month and year. It lists many of the Old Testament events relating to Adam, Noah, Abraham and the nation of Israel by specific dates - according to scripture.
This website chronicles events from Creation to Messiah. It is a truly wonderful resource which adds context to the Old Testament.
Link: The Sacred Calendar.com / Author is Jim Liles - USA
Reading Plan: Read the Bible in one year pdf - go to Contact tab.
Link: Back to Bibletimeline Home Page