(1) Apparently man has been on the planet earth for much longer time than previous Bible dates estimated. Archaeologists have unearthed settlements in Jericho that date to 9000 B.C. Jericho
(2) This estimate is based on the fact that the probable date of the Exodus is 1446 B.C. Now, the Israelites lived in Egypt for 430 years according to Ex 12:40. Therefore, the Israelites must have entered Egypt in 1446 + 430 = 1876 B.C. Although the 430 years duration of the Israelite sojourn in Egypt has been disputed by some scholars, it is consistent with recent archaeological research. For a reference on this issue, see The Duration of the Israelite Sojourn in Egypt.
(3) Scholars currently have two estimates for the year of the Exodus: a "high date" (1446) and a "low date" (1290). The author prefers to use the high date because archaeologists have not found evidence of massive Israelite existence in Egypt around 1290 B.C. This could be because the Israelites had already left Egypt long ago - that was, in 1446. Also, most scholars agree that King Solomon started his reign in 970 B.C. According to 3 Kgs :1, the exodus happened 480 years before the fourth year of King Solomon's reign (c. 966 B.C). Now, 966 B.C. + 480 =1446 B.C.
(4) This was the "end" of Herod's reign, based on Josephus Flavius: Antiquities of the Jews Book XVII, Ch.8, #1, and War of the Jews, Book I, Ch. 33, #8. However, this was the "nominal" (not the actual) end of his reign because in 4 B.C., he divided his kingdom and promised them to his sons (Herod Archelaus, Herod Antipas, and Herod Philip), and even had his sons share in the administrative work as well. But this does not mean that he was no longer in charge. He was still the king recognized by Rome and the one who was pretty much in control of Judea until his death in A.D. 1.
(5) The shaded area represents the time from Jan. - Dec of 1 B.C. The year A.D. 1 begins at the end of Dec., 1 B.C. (There is no "A.D. 0") The year of Christ's birth is estimated based on the year of Herod's death, which in turn is estimated based on a lunar eclipse that was supposed to have occurred shortly before his death. NASA calculations show that there was a lunar ecclipse on Dec. 29, 1 B.C. This puts Herod's death to the early months of A.D. 1. For interesting articles on the year of Christ's birth, see Yet another Eclipse for Herod and Herod's Death, Jesus' Birth and a Lunar Eclipse.
(6) Jesus was 12 years old then, according to an inclusive method of counting.
(7) Using an inclusive method of counting, this is fifteen years from the beginning of Tiberius reign (c. A.D. 14), in accordance with Luke 3:1-3.
(8) Interestingly, if Christ was born on 1 B.C., he would indeed be 30 years of age by the time he began his public ministry, as Luke 3:23 says. John the Baptist would have been 30 years of age also when he began to preach. Among the Jews the ministry does not begin before the age of 30, per Num 4:3; 4:23; and 4:47.
(9) Some scholars date Christ's death at A.D. 30. However, this appears to be too soon if He was baptized in A.D. 29. There are other reasons for a late date of A.D. 33. See this article: 7 Clues Tell Us When precisely Christ Died
(10) Some scholars date St. Matthew's Gospel after that of St Mark based on the hypothesis that St. Matthew depended on St. Mark's Gospel as his source. This is odd because St. Matthew did not need to depend on St. Mark, since he was an Apostle and actually heard our Lord speak. St. Mark, on the other hand, learned of Christ only from St. Peter. Another reason for an early date of St. Matthew's Gospel is the fact that St. Paul, in 1 Cor 15:3-4, spoke of Christ's death and resurrection "according to the scriptures." This means that there was already at least one Gospel written before St. Paul wrote his first Epistle to the Corinthians in A.D. 57. One more reason for the early date of St. Matthew's Gospel is the testimony of St. Irenaeus in Against Heresies, Book III, Ch. 1, par. 1: “Matthew also issued a written Gospel among the Hebrews in their own dialect [i.e., Aramaic], while Peter and Paul were preaching at Rome, and laying the foundations of the Church [that means, Saints Peter and Paul were still living when St. Matthew wrote his Gospel.] After their departure [that means, after the martyrdom of Saints Peter and Paul], Mark, the disciple and interpreter of Peter, did also hand down to us in writing what had been preached by Peter. Luke also, the companion of Paul, recorded in a book the Gospel preached by him. [Of course, it is possible that St. Mark and St Luke started writing their Gospels a few years before the death of Saints Peter and Paul.] Afterwards, John, the disciple of the Lord, who also had leaned upon His breast, did himself publish a Gospel during his residence at Ephesus in Asia.” Annotations in red were added. In Book III, Chapter 11, par. 8 St. Irenaeus also said, against those who were promoting several other gospels, that there were four, and only four, authentic Gospels.
Q & A
1. There is proof of human evolution backed by fossils dating back to 200,000 years ago. I saw your Bible History Timeline, but is the time of creation of Adam and Eve really unknown?
RESPONSE: The Bible did not say when exactly Adam and Eve were created, so we are free to speculate on that. My guess (and it's only a guess) is that true humans have been on this planet for no more than 10,000 years ago. You said that there was proof of fossil-backed human evolution dating back to 200,000 years ago. Be careful. Paleontologists probably found fossils of hominins, or creatures whose anatomical structures are similar to those of humans, but which are not necessarily human. Personally, I do not accept them as human, even if they were classified as homo sapiens, unless there is evidence that they possessed intelligence higher than those that we observe among brute animals. For example, the mere fact that these creatures used tools is no sign of human intelligence, because some brute animals also use tools. See 10 Animals that Use Tools. Also, the mere fact that they could communicate signs or signals is commonly observed among many animals; so it is not a sign of human intelligence. When a professor of anthropology or paleontology claims that a fossil is human, ask for evidence of human intelligence. For example, ask whether they also found symbolic writing higher than simple sign language. Without this evidence, then they probably found only fossils of hominins rather than humans. Even the cave paintings and stone age art from 40,000 years ago would not decisively prove human intelligence, because we know of elephants and other animals that could produce similar artistic works. If even elephants could paint pictures, why couldn't a non-human hominin make cave paintings and primitive sculptures?