Visualizing the Genesis Timeline from Adam to Abraham

I have previously showed how a network diagram plotting biblical genealogies can help us follow what would otherwise be a very monotonous section of text. Those same passages laid out on a timeline shows us how the ages of fathers and sons build up into the chronology visualized above. It is a remake of similar charts I’ve seen in several creationist resources.

The 17th-century historian, Archbishop James Ussher, is the one most often cited for calculating the year of creation at 4004 BC. He did so based on a chain of logic which spans 100 pages in The Annals of the World. While his work is widely scoffed at today, it is important to remember that renowned scientists Johannes Kepler and Isaac Newton also arrived at very similar conclusions based on their own calculations.

The particular details of how the biblical record aligns with our calendar and many nuances about the calculations have been covered and debated at length elsewhere. Outside of Ussher’s work, The Chronology of the Old Testament by Floyd Nolen Jones is the most thorough modern analysis I’m aware of. It includes a CD with detailed charts for the visually inclined (like me).

For a higher-level timeline of the whole Bible arranged by book and chapter, go to the periods page.

5 Comments
  • Bill Lyons
    Posted at 12:58h, 07 August

    Thank you for this! This looks just like something I plotted on graph paper back in high school. Something that struck me then and I still find interesting now is that Abraham probably learned about the Flood directly from Noah and Shem before he left Ur. And, while we don’t know where Noah and Shem lived, Isaac could have learned the stories directly from Shem as well.

    Another thing I find interesting is that so many generations died within a relatively short time (roughly 100 years), which was also around the time of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. Raises so many questions in my mind.

  • Chris
    Posted at 17:15h, 05 October

    Issue here is that Abraham was 75 when his father died. If that is the case we should take when Terah died and subtract 75 to get Abrahams birth at 130 years old not 70

    • Robert
      Posted at 06:54h, 07 October

      I see you’re correct. Thanks for pointing that out. I have updated the chart accordingly.

  • Chi-Yin Hsu
    Posted at 13:55h, 31 March

    how do i download the chart and print the chart?

    • Robert
      Posted at 15:19h, 31 March

      At the bottom of the chart, on the right side, there is a download button that gives you the option to save it as a PDF or image. I recommend PDF; it will look better when printed.