Inductive and Deductive Methods as Applied to OT Chronology

Rodger C. Young | May 21, 2010

Constructing an OT chronology for the four and one-half centuries from the beginning of David’s reign to the release of Jehoiachin from prison is a formidable challenge. By following a deductive methodology of resolving the problem, nonevangelical critics of the Bible have proposed that the task is impossible because of errors in the OT text. By seeking a solution through starting with observations rather than presuppositions, an inductive approach is more complex, but obtains much more satisfactory results. Among evangelicals who have used an inductive method successfully are Edwin Thiele and Leslie McFall, whose works have achieved a long-sought-after rational explanation of the chronological data of the Hebrew monarchies, an achievement that demonstrates that the Scriptures were not written by late-date authors and editors who lived long after the events they described. The method of Decision Tables, described in the present article, adds to these solid accomplishments by producing a methodology by means of which all the possibilities that are inherent in the scriptural texts may be fully explored. Such an inductive methodology has made it possible to assemble 124 items of exact chronological data from Kings, Chronicles, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel into a consistent and harmonious chronology of a period of over 400 years. The methodology has been so successful that it has served as a corrective for some chronological problems in Assyrian and neo-Babylonian history.

Vol. 18, no. 1 (Spring 2007)

Read article

Read complete issue

Cite This Article

Young, Rodger C.. "Inductive and Deductive Methods as Applied to OT Chronology." The Master's Seminary Journal 18, no. 1 (Spring 2007): 99-116.