ACTS OF THE APOSTLES
JAMES, JESUS' BROTHER:
Soon after this, James, Jesus' brother, was killed. Josephus explained that King Agrippa died. But before a successor could arrive from Rome, the high priest, Ananus Jr., another son of Ananus Sr., the current high priest....
assembled the Sanhedrin of the judges, and brought before them the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ, whose name was James, and some others; and when he had formed an accusation against them as breakers of the law [of Moses], he delivered them to be stoned. Antiquities of the Jews Book 20, 9:1
PAUL'S WRITINGS: While in prison, Paul wrote these books of the New Testament:
Colossians: "Remember my chains" (4:18, pg. 189)
Philemon: "Paul, a prisoner of Christ....while I am in chains" (1:1, 13, pg. 201)
Ephesians: "For I am an ambassador in chains" (6:20, pg. 183)
Philippians: "Whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel....Now I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel. As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ. Because of my chains, most of the brothers in the Lord have been encouraged to speak the word of God more courageously and fearlessly....All the saints send you greetings, especially those who belong to Caesar's household" (Philippians 1:7, 12-14 pg. 184; 4:21, pg. 187).
AD 63: IT IS BELIEVED PAUL WAS RELEASED BY NERO
"Prepare a guest room for me, because I hope to be restored to you in answer to your prayers" (Philemon 1:22, pg. 202)
"Convinced...I will remain...so that through my being with you again your joy in Christ Jesus will overflow on account of me" (Philippians 1:25, pg. 184).
"And I am confident in the Lord that I myself will come soon" (Philippians 2:24, pg. 185)
"At my first defense, no one came to my support, but everyone deserted me....And I was delivered from the lion's mouth" (2 Timothy 4:16-17, pg. 199)
NERO STARTED OUT GOOD WHILE HIS MOTHER WAS ALIVE. Josephus said:
He publicly put his own mother to death not long afterward, making her this requital, not only for being born of her, but for bringing it so about by her contrivances, that he obtained the Roman empire. He also slew Octavia his own wife, and many other illustrious persons, under this pretence, that they plotted against him. Antiquities of the Jews, Book 20, 8:2
AD 64: Nero burned Rome, the beginning of Gentile persecution of the Christians.
AD 65: Peter was executed. Tradition says he was crucified upside down.
AD 66: PAUL WAS EXECUTED DURING HIS SECOND IMPRISONMENT
in Rome, perhaps after two years in detention. Tradition said he was beheaded.
He did not expect to escape death. He told Timothy in the last thing he ever wrote,
I am suffering even to the point of being chained like a criminal (2 Timothy 2:9, pg. 198)
I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time has come for my departure. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day (2 Timothy 4:6-8, pg. 199).