In spite of our best efforts to make everything perfect, time and study reveal details that should be corrected or updated. Click the name of a publication to see a list of improvements:
Simplified Summary of the Old Testament (original edition, 2017)
page 21, final bullet point
Hebrews 13:8 should be Hebrews 8:13.
page 36, Samuel
Samuel was a Levite but not a priest. He was not from Aaron's family, so could not be a priest according to the law, but as a Levite he could offer sacrifices. (Exodus 28:1, 30:30, 40:12-15, Numbers 16:36-40, 1 Chronicles 6:1-28)
page 37, David
David wrote 75 of the Psalms - only half. The new edition includes information on Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon, and Lamentations.
pages 51 and 53, Asa
Length of reign: 910–869 BC: 41 years (0+38+3)
page 51, final point under Asa
2 Chronicles 16:1 relates that Baasha attacked Asa in the 36th year of Asa's reign. However, Baasha was succeeded by his son, Elah, in Asa's 26th year (1 Kings 16:8). It appears that there was a scribal error in Chronicles. 2 Chronicles 16 must either refer to the 16th year of Asa's reign or the 36th year following the division of the kingdom in 930 BC (Thiele, 84), both of which fell in 894. This would logically place Baasha's effort to stem defection in the year following Asa's Ethiopian victory and emigration of Jews from Israel to Judah (2 Chronicles 15:9-10).
pages 55 and 57, Jehoshaphat and Jehoram
Jehoshaphat 872–848 BC: 25 years (3+16+6)
Jehoram/Joram 853–841 BC: 13 years (6+7+0)
Began six-year coregency with Jehoshaphat in his father’s 17th solo year
page 76, Nahum
Nineveh fell to the combined forces of the Babylonians and Medes in 612. Though the Scythians had a part in the attacks on Nineveh in previous years, they were not an active part of the final siege of 612. Diodorus Siculus' account of the fall of Nineveh corroborates Nahum's mention of a flood, though Diodorus isn't accurate in all his details in other accounts.
page 84, Josiah's family
Jehoiachin/Coniah was the son of Eliakim/Jehoiakim, not Jehoahaz
page 92, Persian Kings in the Bible
Clarification: Cyrus established the Achaemenid Empire of Persia between 559 and 550 (sources disagree on the exact date) and conquered Babylon in 539 (Nijssen, Daan. Ancient History Encyclopedia: Cyrus the Great. 2018. Web. 21 February 2018. <https://www.ancient.eu/Cyrus_the_Great/>)
page 92, Esther
Mordecai was Esther's cousin, not her uncle. The Latin Vulgate and certain traditions call him her uncle, but that variation appears to have resulted from a scribal error
Difficulties of the Divided Kingdom
The dating of events in the period of the divided kingdom is especially challenging, for the following reasons:
Israel and Judah used two different methods of reckoning the years of a king’s reign. Judah originally used what is called the accession-year reckoning, in which kings didn’t count their first year until the beginning of the year following their ascension to the throne. Israel used the nonaccession-year system, which counted a king’s reign from the time he took the throne. (Thiele 21, 43)
In addition, Judah began each year in the month of Tishri, while Israel began theirs with the month of Nisan. (Thiele, 21)
To make it even more interesting, it appears that Judah began using Israel’s nonaccession-year system during Jehoram of Judah’s reign and continued through Joash’s reign. This makes sense when one considers the influence that Athaliah, daughter of Israel’s King Ahab, had on Jehoram. 2 Kings 8:18 states that he “walked in the ways of the kings of Israel,” in more ways than the reckoning of time. Then with the reign of Amaziah in Judah and Jehoahaz of Israel, both kingdoms switched to the accession-year system (Thiele, 21;43-60).
Another factor in the equation is that parts of years were counted as entire years.
Lastly, the length of reign given often includes time as a coregent, while the beginning of the reign is counted from the time the king’s sole reign began.
It often seems that the numbers don’t add up like they should, but the problem is typically not with the Biblical text, rather with our understanding of how time was reckoned by the ancient Jews.
This may seem like minutiae, but for some it can undermine confidence in the reliability of the Bible. While there are occasional minor scribal errors in the Biblical text, the percentage of error is so infinitesimal as to be negligible. I hope that a clearer understanding of these details gives you further assurance that the Bible is, indeed, the reliable, inspired word of God.
Simplified Summary of the Old Testament (second edition, 2022)
Simplified Study, Teacher Edition
Simplified Study, Student Edition