I plan to start a new Cake conversation later today on the major time periods but I want to explain why I plan to start at the beginning.
I have developed the impression over the years that many people have a very disorganized understanding of the events of the Bible.
Many years ago, I heard a man suggest that many people's understanding of Bible events is like a disorganized pile of clothing with each individual item being analogous to one of the events of the Bible.
Prior to that time, I had been trying to teach the Bible for over a decade from what I now call a bottom up approach. I focused on the individual events of the Bible and the intended lessons from each event but didn't think too much about whether others had as much of a grasp of the timeline as I did.
For about 25 years, I have been teaching a top down approach to the history of the Bible. This method requires a lot of patience on the part of the teacher. Interestingly, the New Testament emphasizes a teacher's patience. Examples include 2 Timothy 2:23-26; Ephesians 4:1-3; Philippians 2:1-5 and other passages.
I have developed a model for teaching most Bible events which usually involves 3 element but when there is a messianic aspect to the event that becomes a fourth element.
The first element is Context. This includes the events that led up to the event, the geography of the event, the culture of the event, etc.
The second element is the Original reason that the event was recorded. There are many events that took place in Bible times which are not recorded.
The third element is the discussion of what extrapolations from the event are legitimate and which extrapolations are the product of the reader's agenda or desire.
However, in order to teach the first element it is needful that the one who is being taught have referents. These referents are only effective if a solid foundation of what has previously happened is understood and are more effective if the student also has a general understanding of what the consequences are.
For example, 2 Chronicles 18:1 is only truly grasped if one is aware of 2 Chronicles 22:10-11.
Ahab, who was married to Jezebel, had a daughter named Athaliah. Jehoshaphat in order to establish an alliance with Ahab arranged that his son, Jehoram of Judah, married Athaliah. The eventual result was that almost the entire house of David was slaughtered. There are other passages that are relevant to a discussion of what the writer intends to convey in the narrative but the purpose of this post is simply to use these two events to illustrate the point of the element of context.
If our conversation persists for an extended period of time, we will probably fulfill the desire which you expressed in your latest post, but unless there is a specific event that is puzzling you or a question you have, I will start with the first period of Bible history.
By the way, I try to avoid scholarly words. Scholars refer to the first major time period by the polysyllabic "antediluvian." I use the phrase "Before the flood." The word and the phrase mean the same thing but my purpose is communication rather than obfuscation.