I believe that there is a time gap (I'm referring to a time gap between the events related in those books, not between the time of writing of the books themselves) between the last books of the Old Testament (the different books of prophets) and the first books (the Gospels) of the New Testament.

I am specially interested in the time gap between the book of Zechariah and the Gospel of Matthew but I haven't been able to find an adequate time reference in the book of Zechariah so I don't know if my claim is true or false.

Is there a time gap between the events related in the book of Zechariah and the Gospel of Matthew?

  • This is an interesting question (with several possible answers, depending on how we define our terms), but I've voted to close, because this question does not actually focus on a specific biblical text.
    – user2910
    Jan 14, 2016 at 17:25
  • @MarkEdward I'm interested specially in the time gap between the books of the prophets and the Gospel of Matthew, but I can edit the question to narrow it down to one book if necessary.
    – S -
    Jan 14, 2016 at 17:34
  • For Jews, the new covenant is yet to come. Yes, there is a huge time gap between the old covenant (noach's) and the current covenant (moses') and the new covenant(don't know who but certainly not jesus).
    – Cynthia
    Jan 15, 2016 at 5:18
  • 1
    I have edited my question to refer to two specific texts. I hope that now can be considered on topic.
    – S -
    Jan 15, 2016 at 17:20

1 Answer 1


The the closest event to the death of Jesus recorded in scripture is Nehemiah's second return to Jerusalem. The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia states:

On the other hand, the abuses which Malachi attacked correspond so exactly with those which Nehemiah found on his 2nd visit to Jerusalem in 432 BC (Nehemiah 13:7) that it seems reasonably certain that he prophesied shortly before that date, i.e. between 445 and 432 BC. As Dr. J.M.P. Smith says, The Book of Malachi fits the situation amid which Nehemiah worked as snugly as a bone fits its socket" (ICC, 7).

Malachi then was probably recorded shortly thereafter, as noted by most timelines.

This then puts about 430 years of silence from God between the last event of the Old Testament and the birth of Christ sometime between 4 and 6 AD

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    Note that 1 Maccabees, which is recognized as canonical by the Catholic and Orthodox churches, ends with events taking place in 134 B.C.
    – user10397
    Jan 14, 2016 at 19:16
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    The consensus of scholars is that Daniel was compiled shortly before 1 Maccabees (and 2 Maccabees), so although there was a gap, it was a gap of less than 200 years. Jan 14, 2016 at 20:15
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    @DickHarfield - This date for Daniel is certainly supported by a significant body of Scholars, but to say that it is the consensus of scholars is far from accurate. There is scholarly disagreement on that point and it is far from a settled matter. Jan 14, 2016 at 21:40
  • @JamesShewey Sorry, by 'consensus' I did not mean that all scholars think thus, just a clear majority. Larry R. Helyer says in Exploring Jewish Literature of the Second Temple Period "A few scholars push the date back into the fourth century B.C., [still much later than the events portrayed] but this is a minority position. A date in the first century is rendered unlikely ..." Jan 14, 2016 at 22:24
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    I think whether it is a majority is also very debatable, but I'm not volunteering to count them all. Jan 14, 2016 at 22:29

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