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alarm02Another mysterious instance of time reckoning not seeming to align in different parts of Scripture is in the tally of the years of the children of Israel in the land as they are added up by Paul in the New Testament and as they are added up by the author of Kings in the Old Testament. Paul, in his address in the synagogue in Pisidian Antioch, speaks of the length of time the Israelites spent in the land. First, he starts off in Acts 13:18.

18. Now for a time of about forty years He put up with their ways in the wilderness.

Paul speaks of “about” forty years as it was a round number. Two years were spent in coming out of Egypt, coming to the Mount Sinai, making the covenant, etc. The wandering after that took thirty-eight years. Thus a number of forty is achieved. Forty years passed from the exodus from Egypt to the entrance into the land.

Paul then speaks of their entrance into the land.

19. And when He had destroyed seven nations in the land of Canaan, He distributed their land to them by allotment.
20. “After that He gave them judges for about four hundred and fifty years, until Samuel the prophet.

So we now have a total of 40 years in the wilderness plus 450 years in the land until Samuel, for a total of 490 years. Next, he speaks of the time of King Saul. Read the rest of this entry »

bigben02The way time is reckoned in the Scriptures can sometimes be confusing and even seem contradictory. Time intervals do not seem to fit, dates do not add up, and altogether it can seem confusing. Do the Scriptures contradict when it comes to time? How can we explain these seeming “contradictions in Scripture”?

In our first message, we examined the idea of inclusive and exclusive time reckoning, whereby one can either include parts of days as full days (inclusive reckoning), or one can exclude parts of days as not being days (exclusive reckoning). We also examined the reigns of kings, and saw that sometimes, from comparing the kings of Israel to the kings of Judah, that we can see that there were gaps between or overlaps between kings, and considered the causes of these things. In our last message, we considered whether Christ was in the grave “three days and three nights” or whether He rose “on the third day.” We discovered that the “third day” was a figure of speech meaning when death was complete, and the Lord truly was a full three twenty-four hour days in the tomb. In this message, we will consider how the Hebrews marked time regarding their hours and days, and then consider the puzzle of Anno Dei versus Anno Mundi time. Read the rest of this entry »

grandfather02Of the problems that trouble the student of Scripture, one of the more puzzling is the discrepancies sometimes seen in the way time is reckoned in the Scriptures. Dates do not seem to add up, time intervals do not seem to fit, and confusion is the result. Does the Bible contradict Itself when it comes to time? How can we explain these seeming “contradictions in Scripture”?

In our last message, we examined the idea of inclusive and exclusive time reckoning, whereby one can either include parts of days as full days (inclusive reckoning), or one can exclude parts of days as not being days (exclusive reckoning). We also examined the reigns of kings, and saw that sometimes, from comparing the kings of Israel to the kings of Judah, that we can see that there were gaps between kings (caused, perhaps, by a disagreement over succession, or by a child being too young to take the throne when his father died). We also saw that there are overlaps sometimes, and suggested this was from co-regency, when a father would allow his son to take the throne and reign alongside him. In this issue, we will examine the topic of how long exactly Christ was in the grave. Did He rise from the dead on the third day, or was He in the tomb three days and three nights?

How long exactly was the Lord Jesus to be dead and in the tomb? The Lord Himself says so most plainly in Matthew 12:40. Read the rest of this entry »

sundial01A startling puzzle when we consider the reigns of the various kings of Israel and Judah is that sometimes the numbers in the years of their reigns simply does not work out. One who is familiar with the book(s) of Kings knows that the reigns of the kings of the one kingdom are dated by comparison to the reigns of the kings of the other kingdom. This should make everything plain and easily confirmable, and yet what often happens is that the numbers do not seem to add up. Are there historical errors in this record? Is the Biblical author simply guilty of bad math skills? Or is there another reason?

Let us consider an example of some of these badly overlapping reigns. One example is in the reigns of Elah, Zimri, Omri, and Ahab. This period is well marked out, since King Asa of Judah reigned for forty-one years, so his reign spanned that of Elah and Omri. In I Kings 16:8, we learn that Elah began to reign in the twenty-sixth year of Asa.

8. In the twenty-sixth year of Asa king of Judah, Elah the son of Baasha became king over Israel, and reigned two years in Tirzah.

So if Elah reigned two years, he would have reigned from Asa’s twenty-sixth year to his twenty-eighth year. The next king after him is Zimri, who kills him and takes his place. We read when his reign started in I Kings 16:15. Read the rest of this entry »

sandtimer02Of the problems that trouble the student of Scripture, one of the more puzzling is the discrepancies sometimes seen in the way time is reckoned in the Scriptures. Dates do not seem to add up, time intervals do not seem to fit, and confusion is the result. Does the Bible contradict Itself when it comes to time? How can we explain these seeming “contradictions in Scripture”?

The first problem with time reckoning we will consider is that of the time that passed between certain statements of the Lord and the transfiguration. We see this time interval first in Matthew 16:28-17:1.

28. “Assuredly, I say to you, there are some standing here who shall not taste death till they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom.”
17:1. Now after six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, led them up on a high mountain by themselves;

The same time gap is clear in Mark 9:1-2. Read the rest of this entry »