A Chronology of the Bible
Challenge to the Standard Version
By Yosef ben-Jochannan (1973)
Dedicated to Truth
All faith is FALSE, all faith is TRUE
(From: “The Kasidah of Haji Abu el-Yezdi”; as translated by Sir Richard F. Burton)
On the morning of Wednesday, July 11, 1973 in Chock Full O’Nuts Restaurant, Lenox Avenue and 135th Street, Harlem, New York City, New York, it was my very good fortune to be sitting for another fruitful session of COMMON ECUMENICAL talk among the following Black Clergymen: Reverend George H. Polk of the Memorial Baptist Church, Reverend William F. Hawkins of the Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church, Reverend Hawkins J. Plummer of the Salvation Baptist Church, and Reverend James Gunther of Transfiguration Lutheran Church—who joined us later on. Along with us were a few of our many lay friends. In the course of the conversation of the morning, which centered around a two volume manuscript I am completing for publication later on this year titled—The Black Man’s Religion [Volume II and III], Reverend Polk suggested that:
“It would be of extreme importance that the average parishoner have some kind of understanding of the chronoligical development and order in which the King James Authorized Version of the Old and New Testament came about. …,” etc.
Reverend Hawkins and Reverend Plummer immediately supported the idea. It was then agreed that pages 82 through 86 of the entire chronology of my manuscript—”THE NEED FOR A BLACK BIBLE,” Volume III [of the above work] would be extracted as it were, then made into a lay peoples’ pamphlet of no more than ten  pages. And, that it would include a few single paragraph comments on the subject of the ORIGIN and DEVELOPMENT of the OLD and NEW TESTAMENT by a few members of the Black Clergy. The following is the result of that glorious communion we were all privileged to have had that heavenly morning.
As we look back into the history of the Holy Bible, or “HOLY SCRIPTURE AS WRITTEN BY GOD INSPIRED SCRIBES,” we seem to forget that all of the BIBLES we use were the works of various writers, both men and women; but mostly men. And that all of the WORKS or BOOKS were compiled into what is today our various VERSIONS of “HOLY BIBLES” or “HOLY SCROLLS.” We have also failed to realize that the BIBLES we use today are the result of a period of hundreds of REVISIONS and TRANSLATIONS that cover approximately two thousand four-hundred and nintey-five [2,495] years—from ca. 700 B.C. [BCE] to 1973 A.D. [CE]. Yet all in this period was preceded by much more earlier fundamentals created and developed by indigenous African People. These later on became the basic teachings of Judaism, and then Christianity. For even Moses, the father of the OLD TESTAMENT, was an African who used much of the ancient teachings of his fellow Africans of the Nile River [BLUE and WHITE] and Great Lakes regions Mysteries System of Northeast and Central-East Africa he allegedly passed down to other African Jews that converted them into what later became the PENTATEUCH or OLD TESTAMENT [Five Books Of Moses or Holy Torah].
The very first “BIBLE” or “SCROLL” on record produced by man, with regards to paying honour and divine respect to a “CREATOR OF ALL MANKIND,” was that of the African People of the Nile Valley and Great Lakes regions of Central, East and Northeast Africa. They were no different than the Africans we see today in the Harlems and Timbuctoos of the entire world we erroneously call: “NEGROES, COLORED FOLKS” and “BLACK PEOPLE” today. It was called by its African creators and developers…
Since the ORIGINAL BIBLE was produced by the Africans approximately 3,400 years before the OLD TESTAMENT, and more than 4,200 years before the NEW TESTAMENT, countless VERSIONS of it have been written and published. From this base, all of the biblical references in this pamphlet is rendered. You will notice that they follow in sequential order…the two  ORIGINALS and all of the VERSIONS of the old and New Testament. For further details beyond this pamphlet, you should read Volume III or The Black Man’s Religion.
Although it is the “KING JAMES [Authorized] VERSION OF THE OLD AND NEW TESTAMENT” that most Protestant Christians use as “THE ONE, AND ONLY, TRUE BIBLE,” you MUST be reminded that it is one of the very late of the many VERSIONS of the BIBLE; and that many of the other VERSIONS since its publication in 1611 A.D. You will also notice that there were many English VERSIONS before the “KING JAMES [Authorized] VERSION OF THE OLD AND NEW TESTAMENT.” Its popularity was due to the fact that the rulers of Great Britain’s military power was able to force practically everyone in their hundreds of colonies throughout the entire world to adopt the “OFFICIAL BIBLE OF THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND” as
|(1) MEMPHIS, early capital of Ta-Merry during Aha’s reign—founder of the 1st Dynasty, c. 3200 B.C.E(2) ON, or HELIOPOLIS, where African astronomers made man’s first calendar, C. 4,100 B.C.E.
(3) SARHARA or SAQQARA, home of first STEP PYRAMID, built by architect Imhotep for Pharaoh Djoser, IIIrd Pharaoh of the IIIrd Dynasty, c. 2780 B.C.E. The true beginning of the PYRAMID AGE—the OLD KINGDOM PERIOD (not shown on the map, but its just northwest of Cairo, below Giza).
(4) GHIZEH or GIZA, home of the largest of the pyramids. These PYRAMIDS were built during the IVth to VIth Dynasties, c. 2680–2270 B.C.E.
3200 to 47 or 30 B.C.E.
|Date: B.C.E. [B.C.]||Description|
|10,000–6000||STELLAR CALENDAR in use by the ancient Nile Valley Africans, and other Africans of the Great Lakes regions.|
|4000||SOLAR CALENDAR in use by the ancient Nile Valley Africans.Book of the Coming Forth By Day and By Night was introduced in its revised state, also know today as the Book of the Dead [as translated from Hieroglyph to English by Sir. Ernest A. Wallis Budge, London, England, 1885 C.E.].|
|3700||BEGINNING OF THE “WORLD” [Creation Story according to the Hebrews’ adoption of Moses’ “Pentateuch much later on].|
|3100 [“4100”]||DYNASTIC PERIODS begin under the Nubian named AHA or NARMER [whom Herodotus called “Menes”]; end of the PRE-DYNASTIC “OLD KINGDOMS.”|
|1770||BIRTH OF ABRAHAM—the “first Hebrew” [Jew]—in Asia, at the City of Ur, Chaldea during its colonial period under African rule; to SUN WORSHIPPERS [parents].|
|1675||FIRST FOREIGN INVASION OF ALKEBU-LAN [Africa]. Egypt overrunned by Hyksos invaders from the Banks of the Oxus River around the so-called “Fertile Crescent.” These were the first of the so-called “Semitic Peoples” in Africa.|
|1670||ABRAHAM AND HIS FAMILY ARRIVED IN AFRICA [Qamt, which the Hebrews were to later rename “Mizrain,” today’s Moslem’s “Mizrair,” and Christian’s “Egypt”]. Famine and disease drove the handful of Hebrew shepherds into Africa.|
|1320 [?]||MOSES [an African of Qamt] BORN IN AFRICA. [The supposed “Father of the Old Testament”].|
|1230 [?]||MOSES CIVIL WAR AGAINST PHARAOH RAMESES IInd. DATE OF THE “EXODUS OF THE HEBREWS” FROM SUCCOTH TO MOUNT SINAI. [Central Qamt, or “Egypt,” to Eastern Qamt].|
|1190 [?]||DATE OF MOSES DISAPPEARANCE [Death”].|
|700–500||PENTATEUCH [“Five Books of Moses, Holy Torah,” or Old Testament] completed and placed into circulation. A VERSION of the Book of the Coming Forth By Day and By Night, as distorted by Hebrews living in “Egypt;” supposedly the “…words of God passed on to Moses. …,” who allegedly “…passed them on, word for word, to God-inspired scribes. …,” etc.|
|250–100||SEPTUAGINT VERSION OF THE PENTATEUCH. The first Greek VERSION of the Hebrews distortion of the Book of the Coming Forth By Day and By Night written by seventy-two  writers: rabbis and other “scholars” [“God inspired scribes” according to the teachings of the Jews, Christians and Moslems]. This was written at Alexandria, Egypt [North Africa] by African Hebrews. It was a compliment of forty-five  BOOKS, also called “THE ALEXANDRIAN CANON.” This VERSION was used by the earliest Greek and Latin Church.|
|30–4 [?]||BIRTH OF JESUS CHRIST OF NAZARETH. Announcement of a Hebrew boy of Hebrew [Israelite] parents named Joseph and Mary.|
|Date: C.E. [A.D.]|
|12||JESUS CHRIST CHALLENGE’S HIS TEACHERS [rabbis] IN THE TEMPLE AT JERUSALEM, JESUS SENT TO AFRICA TO HIDE FROM ROMAN EMPEROR HEROD; STUDY IN THE LODGES; AND FOR HIS INITIATION IN THE MYSTERIES SYSTEM OF EGYPT, NORTH AFRICA.|
|33||JESUS CHRIST MURDERED BY ROMANS AND JEWS.|
|52–100||KOINE BIBLE VERSION. First Christian NEW TESTAMENT BIBLE published and circulated. Written in the Greek Language. Parts were written in “Aramaic;” allegedly the “Language Jesus Christ spoke among the common people of Isreal. …,” etc., called: PALESTINIAN CANON VERSION. This text was developed by the Synod of Jamnia as a VERSION of the Pentateuch.|
|322||COUNCIL OF BISHOP AT NICENE. This group of Bishops of the Roman Catholic Church met upon an Edict of Emperor Constantine to take action on the Books of the Bible, along with Mary’s “Immaculate Conception” and “Virgin Birth” of Jesus Christ.|
|323||BISHOPS OF NICENE [on majority vote] APPROVED THE “IMMACULATE CONCEPTION” and “VIRGIN BIRTH OF JESUS CHRIST” to Mary. Jesus Christ declared to be “GOD”—THE FATHER, THE SON, AND THE HOLY GHOST” [today’s “Spirit”].|
|350–400||NEW TESTAMENT CANON VERSION. The first twenty-seven  Books. A revision of the ORIGINAL total of forty-five  Books.|
|400||SAINT JEROME’S LATIN VULGATE VERSION. Based upon the Greek Septuagint Version.|
|550||EUROPEAN VERSION OF BABYLONIAN TALMUD. Publication of the 6th Century C.E. racist version of the interpretation of the Pentateuch by European rabbis and other “scholars.”|
|570 [B.H. 52]||BIRTH OF PROPHET MOHAMET ibn ABDULLAH. Historians argue as to whether he was born at Mecca or Medina. [B.H.=Before the Hejirn].|
|622||MOHAMET ibn ABDULLAH FLEES MECCA; ESTABLISHMENT OF THE RELIGION OF ISLAM AT THE OASIS OF YATHRIB OUTSIDE OF MEDINA; THE YEAR OF THE HEJIRA [A.H.].|
|670 [?]||HOLY QUR’AN [Englisn “Koran”] copiled and circulated. This Moslem Bible adopted the basic teachings of the Old Testament and New Testament. Serious modifications to the teachings in both were made to the satisfaction fo the Prophet and his followers—the chief one of whom was the writer of the first section, “BILAL” [an African from Ethiopia, East Africa].|
|600–900||MASORETIC TEXT. This VERSION was written in Hebrew by Jewish scribes of the Masorite School. This VERSION is the basic one most so-called “Orthodox Christians” still refer too as the original source, which is incorrect. It was, in fact, the basic Bible used for many more translations into various languages for many generations of Christians.|
|1382||JOHN WYCLIFF’S FIRST COMPLETE ENGLISH VERSION OF THE OLD AND NEW TESTAMENT.|
|1456||GUTTENBERG VERSION OF THE HOLY BIBLE. The “first book” ever printed by typesetting method. A folio-type edition of the Latin Vulgate Version. It was not “the first book,” as so many Christians believe.|
|1460 [?]||MOSES ben MAIMONDIES TALMUD. “Official Translation” of Five Books of Moses according to Moses ben Maimonidees of Spain, et al.|
|1516||SAINT ERASMUS VERSION OF THE HOLY BIBLE. This was written in the Greek Language.|
|1529||REVEREND MARTIN LUTHER PROTEST AGAINST THE “EDICT OF THE DIET OF WORMS” against the Reformation. Birth of the major revolution in the Roman Catholic Church and the formation of the foundation of Protestantism.|
|1535||WILLIAM TYNDALE VERSION. Written in English. The “first English” language version used for further translations, etc. in English.|
|1535||MILES COVERDALE VERSION OF THE HOLY BIBLE. Written in English as a tribute to King Henry VIIIth of Great Britain.|
|1537||THE FIRST BIBLE EVER PRINTED IN ENGLAND.|
|1537||SAINT MATTHEW’S VERSION OF THE HOLY BIBLE. Written in English according to the Coverdale and Tyndale Versions.|
|1539||COVERDALE GREAT BIBLE VERSION. An amalgamation of the Coverdale and Tyndale bibles, as authorized by the monarch of Great Britain—Henry VIIIth.|
|1560||GENEVA VERSION OF THE HOLY BIBLE. Written by Coverdale, William Whittingham, John Knox, et at. Produced in Geneva, Switzerland. The “first English Version with Chapters divided into Verses.”|
|1582–1610||DOUAY-RHEIMS VERSION OF THE HOLY BIBLE. Written by scholars of the Roman Catholic Church. An English translation of the Latin Vulaate Version at the Catholic College. The name was due to the New Testament issuance at Rheims in 1582 C.E.; whereas the Old Testament issuance was at Douay, France in ca. 1609 or1610 C.E.|
|1611||KING JAMES AUTHORIZED VERSION OF THE OLD AND NEW TESTAMENT. Written by subjects of King James of Great Brittain. to satisfy conditions set down by himself and the royalty of his realm, all of which was opposed by the Pope in Rome, particularly those aspects that allowed James to maintain his own polygamous behavior. This is the BIBLE most Black People believe to be “THE ONE AND ONLY TRUE HOLY SCRIPTURE…THE ACTUAL WORDS OF GOD” [meaning Jesus Christ of Nazareth], which was allegedly “…WRITTEN BY GOD INSPIRED SCRIBES.” The Black Clergy and Black Theologians perpetuate this myth in order to continue their manipulation of their fellow African [BLACK] People who so believe.|
|1885||ENGLISH REVISED VERSION OF THE HOLY BIBLE. A revision of the King James Authorized Version of the Old and New Testament by Europeans and European-Americans from the United States of America. This was the “first time in history” that European-Americans were allowed to participate in the further distortions of the ORIGINAL TEACHINGS from the Africans and Asians of the Nile Valley and Tigris-Euphrates Valleys.|
|1901||AMERICAN STANDARD VERSION OF THE HOLY BIBLE. By the American Committee that worked on the English Revised Version of 1995 C.E. Jealously between Europeans and European-Americans caused the production of this VERSION.|
|1924||THE MOFFATT VERSION OF THE HOLY BIBLE. By James Moffatt. Written in 20th Century “modern” Englisn.|
|1931||SMITH-GOODSPEED VERSION OF THE HOLY BIBLE. The Old Testament prepared by J.M. Powis-Smith as editor; the New Testament by Edgar J. Goodspeed of the University of Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.|
|1941||THE CONFRATERNITY VERSION OF THE HOLY BIBLE. A reversion if the Douay-Rheims-Challomer Version. The New Testament section was published by the Episcopal Confraternity of the Christian Doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church; the Old Testament section remained according to the Latin Vulgate Version.|
|1945–1949||KNOX VERSION OF THE HOLY BIBLE. Written in English by Msgr. Ronald A. Knox according to the Latin Vulgate Version authorized by the Roman Catholic Command of Wales and England to counteract the King James Version.|
|1952||REVISED STANDARD VERSION OF THE HOLY BIBLE. written by a group of the United States of America’s European-American “GOD INSPIRED SCRIBES” under the sponsorship of the National Council of Churches of Christ.|
|1961||NEW ENGLISH VERSION OF THE HOLY BIBLE. Written by a group of English writers under the sponsorship of the Protestant Churches of Britain, and by others from Oxford and Cambridge University Press.|
|1973||THE COMMON AMERICAN LANGUAGE VERSION. This was approved by a group of rabbis, priests, ministers, and theologians who found all of its contents satisfactory to the TEACHINGS of Judaism and Christianity in the United States of America.|
Most Jewish, Christian, and Moslem parishoners do not know very much about the basic book they use as their only religious and divine guide. The reason for this is based in the fact that very few of them, not unlike yourself, know the answers to the following questions related to the history and development of the ORIGINAL BIBLES and their many VERSIONS.
- QUESTION: What is meant by the word BIBLE?
ANSWER: Bible [Latin—BIBLIA; Greek—BIBLIA; a noun]—a collectio of writings, little book; any collection or book of writings sacred to a particular religion; a book regarded as the only authoritative one in its class, such as the Christian New Testament, Jewish Old Testament, and Moslem Quran, etc.
- QUESTION: What was the first BIBLE written?
ANSWER: Approximately 5000 to 4100 B.C. [B.C.E. or Before Christ]. It was written in Ta-Merry [Qamt, Kimit, Sais, etc.]—the African nation the Israelites renamed MIZRAIN, and the English translated into EGYPT.
- QUESTION: When was the first Hebrew [or Jewish] BIBLE Written?
ANSWER: Between the years 700 and 500 B.C. by Egyptian Hebrews [Jews] of Egypt.
- QUESTION: When was the first Christian BIBLE written?
ANSWER: Approximately from 52 to 100 After the Death of Christ [A.D. or C.E.].
- QUESTION: How many BOOKS were in the first Jewish Bible?
ANSWER: Four. These were expanded to FIVE at the Council of Jamnia.
- QUESTION: How many BOOKS were in the first Christian BIBLE?
ANSWER: Forty-five. They were reduced to TWENTY-SEVEN at the Nicene Conference.
- QUESTION: Which one of the bibles is called the OLD TESTAMENT?
ANSWER: The Five Books of Moses or Pentateuch, also known as the Holy Torah.
- QUESTION: Who was the African that introduced the story about “CREATION OF THE WORLD;” when was he born; and what was the name of the Pharaoh he faught?
ANSWER: Moses [Drawn from water]; born in Egypt, North Africa; who fought pharaoh Ramesis II that reigned over Egypt from ca. 1298 to 1232 B.C [or B.C.E.].
- QUESTION: What is the name of the ORIGINAL [first] CHRISTIAN BIBLE; and in what language was it written?
ANSWER: Koifie Bible; originally written in the Greek language and Aramaic [the language allegedly “spoken by Jesus Christ”—the “language of the people”].
- QUESTION: Who is the main character in the Old Testament; and in the New Testament?
ANSWER: Ywh, also called “JEHOVAH, ADANOI, ADONI, ADONIS, GOD, FATHER,” etc. in the Old Testament; Jesus of Nazareth, also called JESUS CHRIST [Joshua the anointed], LAMB OF GOD, HOLY GHOST [Spirit], SAVIOUR, REDEEMER, SON, GOD, TRINITY, DIVINE SPIRIT, LIGHT OF THE WORLD” in the New.
- QUESTION: In what year was the Moslem [Muslim] QURAN [of Bible] written?
ANSWER: Approximately in the year 670 A.D., or 48 A.H. [forty-eight years following the founding of the Moslem Religion, Islam, by Mohamet ibn-Abdullah. A.H.
- QUESTION: How many VERSIONS of the Bible preceded the King James Version?
ANSWER: Sixteen  MAJOR VERSIONS. There were many that failed to receive acclaim.
- QUESTION: Name at least one BIBLE written for another English monarch.
ANSWER: The Miles Coverdale Version written for King Henry VIIth in 1535 A.D.
- QUESTION: What is the meaning of the word VERSION; and how does it differ from the following words: ORIGINAL and FACIMILE?
ANSWER: A translation of the Bible gives an account of one point of view. The ORIGINAL is the first base from which the VERSION is taken. A FACIMILE is a direct copy of the ORIGINAL without any changes whatsoever.
- QUESTION: Which Bible was “WRITTEN IN THE LANGUAGE CHRIST SPOKE”?
ANSWER: See the answer given above in item 9; also read Date 52–100 A.D. above.
- QUESTION: What is the Difference between the Latin-Vulgate and King James VERSIONS?
ANSWER: VERSIONS; usage of words; meaning of words; period of time; difference in belief about “the teachings of Jesus Christ,” etc.
- QUESTION: Were all of the men who wrote all of the VERSIONS equally “INSPIRED”?
ANSWER: It must be assumed that all of the writers were “INSPIRED BY GOD” if any of the VERSIONS from which the King James’ is taken is correct. IF any of the base VERSIONS is faulty, so must those taken from it follow in the same way.
- QUESTION: Would you accept another English VERSION; and why?
ANSWER: YES. Because the English grammar and style would be easier to read and understand than the archaic Ole English in which the King James Version is written.
- QUESTION: Who is the MAIN CHARACTER in all of the HOLY BOOKS of the world?
ANSWER: GOD. Whether HE, SHE, or IT; all of the religions of the world recognize a DIVINE entity that is translated into the English language meaning “GOD.”
- QUESTION: Which was the ORIGINAL FORM of the Bible: BOOK or SCROLL?
ANSWER: SCROLL. The first was made from the PAPYRUS PLANT of the Nile Valley.
The advent of the “Cultural Revolution” that swept the Black Communities of the entire world also swept the RELIGIOUS conscience of the Black Clergy. As leaders of the largest segment of the Black Communities the Black Clergy generally suffer equally as much as their followers; thus it must equally deal with the proper information needed for an informed Black Community, particularly in the area of the religious life. The first step must be with the human life-style the history of religion teaches. In order to accomplish this end the need to understand the main DOCUMENT of said teaching, its origin, its development, and its meaning, becomes the responsibility of the Black Theologians, Black Clergy, and the Black Teachers. In this respect the following members of the Black Clergy comment on “The Choronology of the Bible.”
COMMENT BY REV. GEORGE P. POLK:
This Bible Chronology is a must for any serious student of God’s Sacred Truth. Every Black Christian ought to know from whence his religion came. Dr. ben-Jochannan has accomplished this task admirably.
COMMENT BY REV. WILLIAM F. HAWKINS:
When God summons a man for a specific task, the man is God-equipped for it. An accurate chronology of the Bible, written in easy reading style as set forth by Dr. ben-Jochannan, makes it easy for the Black Clergy and Black Teachers alike to better understand the Bible as a whole. I am proud to have the honor of commenting on the works of such a scholar.
COMMENT BY REV. JAMES E. GUNTHER:
This monogram presents a challenging springboard for deeper exploration and investigation to member-seminaries of the American Association of Theological Schools. It’s implications for Church History and Biblical Studies stagger my imagination. To think of Moses as an African, to think of Egypt as a part of Africa opens the gate of Truth and the opportunity to demythologize Western, North American, Theological symbol systems. I commend it to our laymen and religious educational institutions and Board of publication.
COMMENT BY RABBI HAILU PARIS:
Certainly the beginning of Judaeo-Christian-Islamic theology had its origin in the teachings of the indigenous African and Asian peoples of the Nile River, Tigris River, and the Euphrates River valleys. This is just a sample of the background of the origin of the source of the TRUTHS all of us preach—the OLD and NEW TESTAMENTor QUR’AN.
COMMENT BY REV. SIS. BESSIE I. ROBBINSON:
I had always wondered what was the TRUE ORIGIN of the first Bible; the place where it was written; the people who wrote it; and the name of ORIGINAL. The Lord certainly acts in His mysterious way; would I have expected the answer from other than a member of the Clergy? No! TRUTH has no boundaries. Dr. ben-Jochannan was called to deliver the WORK and its SOURCE OF ORIGIN. I will have to read the rest of his works.