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From Eden To Patmos: An Overview of Biblical History Paperback – August 11, 2016
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About the Author
Timothy W. Berrey (Ph.D., Bob Jones University) is a missionary with Gospel Fellowship Association and serves as the Director of Graduate Studies at Bob Jones Memorial Bible College in Quezon City, Philippines.
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Top Customer Reviews
In this book, From Eden to Patmos: An overview of Biblical History, author Timothy W. Berrey provides a well written overview of Bible chronology from the first book of the Bible to the last. I found this book to be thorough enough to address the important points of Biblical history while at the same time not getting bogged down in the minutia of some of the more controversial aspects of Bible chronology.
They say context matters and this I believe is especially true in study of Biblical history. I found this book helped me make contextual synchronisms between people and events that really brought a new way of looking at some of this chronology.
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In the spirit of respectful criticism there were several aspects of this book which I would have like to see a more in depth explanation of the authors reasoning. In particular I would have like to see the author’s basis for his chronology of Ezra and Nehemiah and their place in the second temple era.
For well over a decade now I’ve searched books on Biblical chronology looking for a thorough Biblical rendering of the chronology of the 2nd temple era. Few seem to be willing to look at this subject with any real rigor. This is an especially important subject because much of our modern view eschatology has its roots in the events of this era. You see Daniel 9 and the prophecy of 70 weeks is a major pillar of futurist eschatology yet few of my futurist brethren establish this prophecy on a solid Biblical chronological basis.
In this book Mr. Berrey looks briefly at the chronology of Ezra and Nehemiah placing them in the reign of “Artaxerxes” Longimanus, yet his rendering seemed to conflict with the most natural reading of the books of Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Haggai and Zechariah. For example the Bible shows that:
1. Ezra’s age makes him a contemporary of Darius ‘the Great’ Artaxerxes (by the reign of Longimanus he would have been at the very least 2 decades older than Moses)
2. Shallum, Akkub, Talmon the porters were also contemporaries of Darius.
3. The priests and Levites of Neh. 10 & 12 (chief of their fathers) were not only alive during the repatriation under Joshua and Zerubbabel but they were also contemporaries of Darius “Artaxerxes”. (By the reign of Longimanus they would have had ages which require an unreasonable understanding of the text)
There are several more synchronisms which show Ezra and Nehemiah were contemporaries of Darius ‘the Great’ Artaxerxes yet this is not mentioned in this book or nearly any other book on Biblical chronology. Further because modern thought ignores these facts we then must see Ezra 4 as a chronological interjection taken out of its most natural chronological order. Further this then requires the uncomfortable reorganization of Ezra 6:13-15 and the insertion of another “Artaxerxes” into the events leading up to the completion of the 2nd temple by the 6th year of Darius ‘the Great’ Artaxerxes.
I hope someday that Mr. Berrey or one of his peers will take a serious skeptical look a the current consensus regarding the Bible’s chronology of the 2nd temple era and reevaluate it in light of a more natural and reasonable reading of the text.
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In summary my criticisms notwithstanding I enjoyed this book on Biblical chronology and I learn a lot. I’d recommend it to anyone looking for a good summary of the Bible's Chronology