The Life of Paul

Posted By Thomas Perez. June 2, 2011 at 10:34pm. Copyright 2011.

Opening Thought

These dates are not to be considered fact. The notes of time in the Acts being few and vague are difficult to come by. It is only by connecting those events of secular history which it records, and the dates of which are otherwise tolerably known to us–such as the famine under Claudius Cæsar (Acts 11:28), the expulsion of the Jews from Rome by the same emperor (Acts 18:2), and the entrance of Porcius Festus upon his procuratorship (Acts 24:27), with the intervals specified between some occurrences in the apostle’s life and others (such as Acts 20:31; 24:27; 28:30; and Gal 1:1-2:21) – that we can thread our way through the difficulties that surround the chronology of the apostle’s life, and approximate to certainty. Immense research has been brought to bear upon the subject, but, as might be expected, the learned are greatly divided. Every year has been fixed upon as the probable date of the apostle’s conversion from A.D. 31 [BENGEL] to A.D. 42 [EUSEBIUS]. But the weight of authority is in favor of dates ranging between 35 and 40, a difference of not more than five years; and the largest number of authorities is in favor of the year 37 or 38. Taking the former of these, to which opinion largely inclines, the following Table will be useful to the student of apostolic history:

Chart adapted from: Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible Robert Jamieson, A. R. Fausset and David Brown,1871). The JFB Commentary is in the public domain.

Date
Event
Reference
A.D. 37 PAUL’S CONVERSION Ac 9:1.
A.D. 40 First Visit to Jerusalem Ac 9:26; Ga 1:18.
A.D. 42-44 First Residence at Antioch Ac 11:25-30.
A.D. 44 Second Visit to Jerusalem Ac 11:30; 12:25.
A.D. 45-47 FIRST MISSIONARY JOURNEY Ac 13:2; 14:26.
A.D. 47-51 Second Residence at Antioch Ac 14:28.
  Third Visit to Jerusalem Ac 15:2-30; Ga 2:1-10.
A.D. 51,53, or 54 SECOND MISSIONARY JOURNEY Ac 15:36, 40; 18:22.
A.D. 53 or 54 Fourth Visit to Jerusalem Ac 18:21, 22.
  Third Residence at Antioch Ac 18:22, 23.
A.D. 54-58 THIRD MISSIONARY JOURNEY Ac 18:23; 21:15.
A.D. 58 Fifth Visit to Jerusalem
Arrest and Imprisonment at Cæsarea
Ac 21:15; 23:35.
A.D. 60 (Autumn)–
A.D. 61 (Spring)
Voyage to and Arrival in Rome Ac 27:1; 28:16.
A.D. 63 Release from Imprisonment
At Crete, Colosse, Macedonia, Corinth, Nicopolis, Dalmatia, Troas
Ac 28:30.
1& 2 Tim.and Tit.
A.D. 63-65, or 66, or possibly as late as A.D. 66-68 Martyrdom at Rome

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