Thiele’s conclusions are best summed up by the recently deceased scholar, Anson Rainey, who said, “Nobody can discount Thiele’s dates because quite simply his dates work and nobody else’s dates work.” That is the great chronological check – does the chronology actually work? Despite many recent alternative chronologies – Thiele’s now over fifty-year old theory still checks out.
The chart below has some value in that it can be used as a guide to Thiele’s chronology. It allows one to look at the entire landscape of 90 years of Israelite history on a single page (albeit a very large page) while providing the onlooker the ability to compare any given king with his contemporary (I loathe not being egalitarian and using “their” but Athaliah just missed the list). This chart is especially helpful in making sense of some problematic chronological passages. For instance, in the reign of Jehoshaphat (873-848 BCE), the writers of Kings used three different methods (accession year reckoning, non-accession year reckoning, and sole reign after co-reign) of synchronizing Jehoshaphat’s reign with his contemporaries and vice versa . Without an in-depth knowledge of these different ways of recounting – one can become thoroughly lost in recreating his years of reign. Hopefully, this chart can successfully bridge the gap of confusion between text and mathematics.
|Click to enlarge|