Teach Us to Number Our Days

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Flavius Josephus (AD 37 - 100) - Biblical Chronology

 

Josephus works "The Jewish War" (about AD 75) and "Antiquities of the Jews" (about 

AD 94) contain long narratives of Jewish History which closely align with narratives of the

old testament. At numerous points in his narrative he makes statements as to the total

number of years that have transpired between old testament events and sometimes events

he has witnessed in his lifetime. These include events concerning the Jewish Temple which

can be easily connected with Julian calendar dates. The problem is that Josephus does

not always give the details of how he arrives at the Biblical year totals which at times  

are self contradictory. Further complicating the picture is the fact that transcribers of

the ancient originals replaced some of the year data with Septuagint Bible values and some

year data with Samaritan Pentateuch values. William Whiston (1667-1758) who

transcribed the complete works of Josephus into English, provided a dissertation entitled

"Upon the Chronology of Josephus" in which he attempted to re-construct the original

Josephus Chronology. However, without the original manuscripts there is far too much  

conjecture to feel comfortable in accepting this important historical work as establishing

an accurate and definitive Bible Chronology.