EPISTLES OF THE NEW TESTAMENT
Since Paul wrote most of them, an outline of his earlier years is given. Paul was close to the age of Jesus, perhaps five or ten years younger.
* indicates Paul wrote the church in this city a letter either before or after his visit.
Dates assume Jesus was born BC 6. All dates are approximate.
AD 5? Acts 22:3 Born in Tarsus, Celicia, on border of Turkey
Acts 22:28 Roman Citizenship given to everyone who lived in Tarsus
Phil. 3:5 Full-blooded Jew of Tribe of Benjamin
AD 10 Acts 22:3 Moved to Jerusalem to study under theologian Gamaliel
Galatians 1:14 Was intellectually superior to other students
Acts 26:4-5 Was a Pharisee, a Jew who believed in the resurrection
AD 27 Jesus crucified, raised, and ascended back to heaven
AD 28 Acts 22:4-5 At age 30, Jewish men became eligible to be priests, elders, etc. and be
Acts 26:9-11 part of the Sanhedrin; Paul apparently was a member as he voted to have Christians put to death.
Acts 7:58-9:2 Held coats while Stephen was stoned to death
1 Timothy 1:13 He was a "violent man"
AD 29 Acts 9:1-19 On his way to arrest more Christians, Jesus appeared from heaven to Paul and sent him into town to find out from Ananias what he must do to be saved.
Acts 9:20-22 Immediately preached Christianity in synagogues of Damascus
AD 30 Galatians 1:16-17 In seclusion, was taught 3 years personally by Jesus
AD 33 Acts 9:23-25 Resumed preaching, but Jews conspired with King Aretas to have him
2 Cor. 11:32-33 arrested and executed, so he escaped by night over the wall.
AD 34 Acts 9:26-28 Went to join the disciples there, but they refused because they were afraid of him. So Barnabas took him and introduced him to the apostles.
Galatians 1:18-19 In Jerusalem stayed two weeks with Peter. Also saw James, Jesus brother, now identified as an apostle. Did not see any other apostles.
Acts 9:28-30a During that time, Paul debated the Grecian Jews and they tried to kill him. The Christian learned of the conspiracy.
Acts 22:17-21 Meanwhile, while in the temple, Jesus appeared to Paul in a trance and told him to escape Jerusalem and begin preaching to the
Gentiles "far away."
Acts 9:30b The Christians helped him escape to Caesarea, a seaport town on the Mediterranean, to go to Paul's hometown of Tarsus.
CILICIA, TURKEY, AND SYRIA:
AD 35 Galatians 1:21-24 Preached throughout Syria, his home province, and Cilicia on the north border probably about five years.
AD 37 Acts 11:19-24 The churches that began in Phoenicia/Lebanon, and in Cyrene on the other side of Egypt, and on the island of Cyprus sent men to Antioch to begin the church there.
AD 39 The church in Jerusalem sent Barnabas to Antioch to encourage them.
AD 40 Acts 11:25-26 Barnabus went to Tarsus to find Saul. He took him back to Antioch to further mentor him.
AD 41 Acts 11:27-30 A year later, a severe famine occurred and the church in Antioch sent funds by Paul and Barnabus to help the poor Christians in Judea.
AD 42 Acts 12:1-19 Apostle James beheaded.
FIRST MISSIONARY JOURNEY
Paul Age 47
Antioch Acts 13:1 Elders sent out Paul and Barnabus to preach in Turkey.
CYPRUS Acts 13:4-12 With John Mark as their helper
Perga Acts 13:13 John Mark returned to Jerusalem
Galatians 4:13-14 Went here because Paul was sick
Antioch Acts 13:14-52 Preached in synagogue
Turned away from Jews to Gentiles
Iconium Acts 14:1-5 Preached in synagogue
Lystra Acts 14:6-19 Healed lame man
Barnabus called Zeus, Paul called Hermes
Jews from Antioch and Iconium stirred up crowd
Stoned, left for dead
Derbe Acts 14:20 To recover from stoning
Out-of-Body experience while near death (2 Cor. 12:1ff)?
Lystra Acts 14:21-23 Strengthened congregations he'd established
Iconium Also appointed elders
Pisidia Acts 14:24a Passed through
(He will write the congregations in Galatia the following year from Jerusalem regarding these Gentiles keeping the Law of Moses which the Jews kept insisting on.)
Perga Acts 14:24b-25 Preached
Attalia Acts 14:26a Sailed home to Antioch
Antioch Acts 14:26b-28 Reported in to elders and stayed "a long time"
Jerusalem Galatians 1:18; 2:14 Went to Jerusalem to consult with apostles regarding Jewish Christians making Gentile Christians keep the Law of Moses (17 years after conversion)
Acts 15:1-21 Council of apostles and elders regarding Gentiles keeping Law of Moses
Acts 15:22 Selected Judas/Barsabbas and Silas to represent them to Gentiles
Acts 15:23-29 Apostles wrote letter to "believers in Antioch, Syria and Cilicia" for them to deliver
Another famine which they observed while here. Will spread the word around Turkey and Greece.
JAMES WROTE BOOK OF JAMES
Discusses quarrelling within congregations
He may have written his own letter besides the one the apostles and elders sent referred to above
Matthew 13:55 He was brother of Jesus; apostle James had been executed in Acts 12:1-2.
Sent to Jewish Christians everywhere
James last mentioned Acts 21:18, a dozen years later.
Antioch Acts 15:30-34 Judas/Barsabbas and Silas went on to the province of Cilicia with letter regarding Gentiles.
Acts 15:35 Paul and Barnabas remained here to preach while Judas and Silas were gone.
Galatians 2:1-10 Paul, Barnabus and Titus went back to Jerusalem. There he saw James, Peter, and John. There they decided Peter would travel and concentrate on the Jews while Paul would travel and concentrate on the Gentiles.
WROTE GALATIANS (IN TURKEY)
(Province included cities of Derbe, Lystra, Iconium, Antioch)
In preparation for his visit within the year
THEME: GOSPEL VS LAW
Acts 15:36-39 Paul and Barnabas decided to revisit churches
The two old friends had a dispute
Barnabas took John Mark and sailed for Cyprus, his home province (Acts 4:36).
Acts 15:40a Paul took Silas and revisited churches in Syria
AD 48 SECOND MISSIONARY JOURNEY
Paul Age 53
Tarsus Acts 15:40b Paul and Silas revisited churches in Cilicia, Paul's home province.
*GALATIA, TURKEY: Paul and Silas hand carried letter from Jerusalem apostles and elders to Gentile churches here regarding not keeping the Law of Moses. It confirmed what he himself had said in his earlier letter to them.
Lystra Acts 16:1 First met *Timothy who had a good reputation in church there
Iconium Acts 16:2-5 Church spoke well of Timothy here too
Decided to take Timothy with him
Phrygia: Acts 16:6 Preached as they travelled on this edge of Asia, but apparently with no results, as the Holy Spirit forbade them to stay.
*Colossae Colossians 1:7; 4:12 Later, church established here by Apaphras. Other Christians in Colossia were Philemon a slave holder, Archippus and Apphia (Philemon 1 & 2).
Acts 16:6 Preached as they traveled the province
Troas/Troy Acts 16:7-10 Kept from entering Province of Bithynia along the Black Sea just south of Russia.
Paul had vision of man of Macedonia begging him to come there
Joined by Luke ("us" in v. 10)
THRACE (Samothrace), BULGARIA
Acts 16:11 Docked one day
Neapolis Acts 16:11 Ship docked, continued on foot
*Philippi 16:12-40 Converted Lydia who'd moved there from *Thyatira, Asia, Turkey; stayed in her house and began church there.
(Revelation 2:18-29) (*Thyatira was one of the churches in Asia addrssed in Revelation by John 40 years later and having trouble with idolatry among Christians.)
Cast demon out of ESP slave girl; her owners reported Paul as causing trouble
Beaten and imprisoned for causing trouble
Earthquake and escape
Conversion of Jailor
Officially released by Roman authorities
Returned to Lydia's house awhile
(He will write them 12 years later from prison in Rome)
2 Corinthians 9:1-2 Later, the Christians here decided to send money to poor Christians in Judea because of example set by Corinthians
Amphipolis Acts 17:1 Passed through
*Thessalonica Acts 17:1-4 Preached in synagogue; Jews & Greeks converted
1 Thess. 2:2 He "suffered and been insulted in Philippi" and referred to "strong opposition."
1 Thess. 2:7-9 Supported self
Acts 17:5-9 Jews stirred up riot
Dragged Jason into court for housing Paul & Silas
1 Thess. 2:17 "We were torn away from you."
1 Thess. 3:1 "When we could stand it no longer, we thought it best to be left by ourselves in Athens."
1 Thess. 2:2 (He will write them from Athens to encourage them in their persecution.)
Berea Acts 17:10-14 Preached in synagogue
Bereans checked scriptures to make sure Paul was true
1 Thess. 3:1 Tried to return to Thessalonica, but couldn't
Jews from Thessalonica stirred up riot
1 Thess. 3:2-3 Silas and Timothy stayed behind
Athens Acts 17:15-34 Preached in synagogue
Preached in marketplace
Preached to a council of the Areopagus
1 Thessalonains 3:1 WROTE 1 THESSALONIANS HERE
1 Thess. 3:2-6 Timothy had just returned with news the Thessalonians were doing well
Must endure persecution; Jesus will return soon
Sent letter by Timothy
2 Thessalonians 2:1 WROTE 2 THESSALONIANS
2 Thessalonians 2:3 Apparently they thought Jesus' return mentioned in first letter was soon
2 Thess. 3:6-13 Seemingly some had quit jobs
*Corinth 1 Corinthians 3:6,10 Planted the church here
1 Cor. 1:16; 16:15 Stephanas' household first converts (before Paul arrived)
Acts 18:1-11 Met Aquilla and Priscilla after the Jews exiled from Rome, possibly converted P & A here; lived with them, was tentmaker with them
Preached in synagogue
Joined by Silas and Timothy
Quit preaching to Jews
Ruler of synagogue converted next door
Stayed 1-1/2 years
Acts 18:12-17 Jews brought charges when got new procounsul to no avail
Beat the second ruler of the synagogue who Paul had just converted - Sosthenes.
2 Corinthians 8:10 The Christians here decided to send financial help to the poor Christians in Judea who'd lost jobs and property, and were being imprisoned (Hebrews 10:32-34). They'd sold all they had and now needed outside help (Acts 4:32-37). Too late to collect. They'll send the money to Paul later.
Acts 18:18a Paul fled, taking Priscilla and Aquila with him.
1 Corinthians 1:1 Probably also took Sosthenes with him.
(Will write them about 4 years later regarding their worldly congregation)
AD 53 Acts 20:1-2 Probably visited them briefly.
Cenchrea Acts 18:18b Had hair cut off because of vow
ILLLYRICUM, S. EUROPE:
Romans 15:19-20 It was apparently at this time that Paul went up and preached in ILLYRICUM which was a larger province that included today's Bulgaria, Yugoslavia and Austria. May not have accomplished much here as it was rather barbaric then.
*Ephesus Acts 18:19-21 Left Priscilla and Aquilla there
Preached in synagogue
Promised to return "if God's will"
Caesarea Acts 18:22 Greeted church
Saw poverty of Judean Christians for himself.
Antioch Acts 18:22f Home congregation. Reported in and stayed awhile
AD 54 THIRD MISSIONARY JOURNEY
Paul Age 59
Acts 18:23 Traveled and preached
1 Corinthians 16:1 Told churches here about poverty of Judean Christians
1 Corinthians 16:1 Told churches here about poverty of Judean Christians
Phrygia Acts 18:23 Traveled and preached
*Ephesus Acts 18:20 Returned as he had promised
Acts 18:24-28 Apollos preached John's baptism here
1 Cor. 16:19 Apollos converted to Jesus here by Priscilla and Aquila
Apollos went on to Corinth to preach
Acts 19:1-12 Paul arrived and rebaptized Apollos' converts into name of Jesus
Paul preached in synagogue 3 months
1 Corinthians 16:19 Church met in Priscilla and Aquila's house
1 Corinthians 16:1 Told Christians here about poverty of Christians in Judea
AD 55 Set up school for two years
1 Corinthians 1:14 Peter seems to have preached there too.
AD 57 Acts 20:31 Near end of three-year stay
Acts 19:13-20 Sorcerers converted and burned books
Acts 19:21-22 Sent Timothy and Erastus ahead to Macedonia near Corinth
Acts 19:23-41 Silversmiths of goddess Diana stirred up riot
Converts thrown into ampitheater
1 Corinthians 15:32 Paul possibly arrested and put in arena with "wild animals"
Acts 20:1 Released and in hiding, sent for Christians, and encouraged them before slipping out of town.
(He will write them 6 years later from prison in Rome.)
1 Corinthians 16:8;
7:1; 16:15-19 WROTE 1 CORINTHIANS
Had received letter and visits from Stephanas, Fortunatus and Achaicus regarding their worldly ways in private and assemblies.
1 Cor. 16:1-4 Said they started the plan to send money to poor Christians in Judea but hadn't followed up. They need to collect money every Sunday to have it ready when he arrived. Then they should give representatives they choose the money to take directly to Jerusalem or go with him back to Jerusalem.
1 Cor. 16:5-11 Told of plans to revisit Macedonia and then Corinth. Would not get there for nine years.
1 Corinthians 16:12 Had tried unsuccessfully to get Apollos to return and help them
1 Corinthians 1:1 &
2 Cor. 8:16; 12:18 Sent letter by Sosthenes (one of the original converts in Corinth, a former synagogue ruler who'd been beaten - Acts 18:17), and *Titus.
2 Corinthians 9:1-2 Titus may have stopped by Philippi on way back and told them about Corinthians plan to send money to the poor saints in
2 Corinthians 2:6;
12; 7:6f Titus arrived saying Corinthians were upset but still loved him and wanted to see him
Set out on foot
Acts 20:2 Encouraged as he went.
AD 57 2 Corinthians 2:12 Passed north through Troas, on to Macedonia.
2 Corinthians 2:6,12,14;
13:1; 17:6f Probably wrote 2 Corinthians here.
WROTE 2 CORINTHIANS
2 Cor. 8:11-13 Reminded them of their decision a year ago to send money to poor Christians in Judea which they still hadn't done (see 1 Corinthians 16:1-4) - more childishness.
2 Cor. 8:17-20 Sent it by Titus whom he said could take their donation
Acts 20:3-5 Traveled three months with
Sopater from Berea in Macedonia, Greece
Aristarchus and Secundus from Thessalonica in Macedonia, Greece
Gaius and Timothy from Derbe in Galatia, Turkey
Tychicus and Trophimus from Asia, Turkey
All probably had donations from their home congregations to take to poor Christians in Judea.
2 Corinthians 13:1-2 Probably revisited Corinthians then. Stayed 3 months here and at Philippi.
Sent them ahead to wait for Paul at Troas in Mysia, Asia, Turkey
Acts 19:21-22 WROTE ROMANS
Romans 16:21-24 THEME: RIGHTEOUSNESS RATINGS
Romans 16:23 He was in a city with Gaius (1 Corinthians 1:14) of Corinth; he sent greetings from Phoebe in a suburb of Corinth - Cencrea (Romans 16:1).
Rom. 1:11; 5:25-31 Asked them to pray for the benevolent campaign in his travels for the poor Christians in Judea.
Romans 1:11; 15:23ff Told them he wanted to visit them on way to Spain after visiting Jerusalem
Romans 16:3,5 Priscilla and Aquilla had returned to Rome, their home.
Romans 16:7 Andronicus and Junias had been imprisoned with Paul possibly in Ephesus, but were now back at Rome too. (Were his "relatives")
Romans 16:11 Another relative, Herodion, lived there.
Romans 16:13 Rufus who lived there was possibly Paul's brother. Their mother lived there too.
Romans 16:1-2 Delivered by Phoebe of Cenchrea, Achaea, Greece
*Philippi Acts 20:6 Set sail
Troas/Troy Acts 20:6-12 Stayed seven days
Met with Christians on Sunday for Lord's Supper and preaching
Brought Eutychus back to life
Talked all night
Assos Acts 20:13 Paul boarded ship Timothy, Luke and other men were on
Mitylene Acts 20:14 Docked temporarily
Kios Acts 20:15 Docked temporarily
Samos Docked temporarily
Miletus Acts 20:16-38 Paul sent for elders of Ephesus and warned them of heresies originating with the elders themselves
Cos Acts 21:1 Docked temporarily
Rhodes Docked temporarily
Patara Acts 21:1 Docked and changed ships
CYPRUS Acts 21:2 Sailed past
SYRIA Acts 21:3a Sailed past
Tyre Acts 21:3b-6 Encouraged church and spent night
Ptolemais Acts 21:7 Encouraged church and spent night
Caesarea Acts 21:8-14 Docked. Encouraged church
Stayed with Philip several days
Accompanied by brethren here, headed for Jerusalem
Jerusalem Acts 24:17 Came to "bring my people gifts for the poor."
Acts 21:15-23:22 Met James (only apostle left) and elders
Paul made another vow with some other Christian Jews at temple
Jews from Asia stirred up riot
Defended self before people, then Sanhedrin
Jews plotted to kill Paul
Paul sneaked out of Jerusalem at night by Romans
Caesarea Acts 23:23 - 26:32 Tried before Felix
Jailed two years
AD 60 Tried before Festus
Tried before King Agrippa
Acts 27:1-2 Set sail for Rome, accompanied also by Aristarchus
AD 61 FOURTH MISSIONARY JOURNEY?
Paul Age 66
Sidon Acts 27:3 Encouraged church
Myra Acts 27:4-6 Stormy fall journey.
Docked. Changed ships.
Cnidus Acts 27:7 Stormy fall journey.
Could not dock.
Fair Havens Acts 27:8-12 Docked. Harbor unsuitable for winter stay.
Headed for Crete
Acts 27:13-28:11 Ship wrecked
Preached and performed miracles 3 months until weather cleared up
*Titus 1:5 Left Titus here to finish establishing church and appointing elders & deacons. (Will write him later about this)
Syracuse Acts 28:12 Stayed three days
Rhegium Acts 28:13 Stayed one day
Puteoli Acts 28:13-15 Stayed one week
*Rome Acts 28:16-30 Allowed to live by himself with one soldier to guard him
Preached from rented house
Stayed two years
Philippians 4:15-16 WROTE PHILIPPIANS
Phil. 1:7, 12-14; 4:21"...palace guard....I am in chains."
Phil. 1:24-25; 2:24 Anticipated release soon
Philippians 2:25-30 Delivered by Epaphroditus
Ephesians 3:1; 4:1 WROTE EPHESIANS
THEME: ETERNAL PLAN
Ephesians 6:20 "For I am an ambassador in chains."
See Above Had spent 3 years here and left during riot
Ephesians 6:21 Delivered by Tychicus
See Above Had seen "Macedonian call" in vision (where Philippi is); converted Lydia, cast demon from fortune teller, imprisoned, converted jealor.
Colossians 4:10 WROTE COLOSSIANS
"Remember my chains."
Colossians 4:7-9 Delivered by Tychicus who was returning Onesimus to his master, Philemon
Colossians 1:7 While living in Ephesus, he'd converted Epaphras who went back home to
Colossians 4:12 Colossae to set up church there.
Philemon 23 Epaphras now imprisoned in Rome with Paul and concerned about his home
Colossians 4:12 congregation, "wrestling in prayer" for them.
Philemon 1:1,13,22 WROTE PHILEMON
"Paul, a prisoner...while I am in chains."
Anticipated his release: "Prepare a guest room for me."
He'd converted Onesimus, a run-away slave, and was returning him to his master, Philemon.
About to be freed from prison. Wants Philemon to prepare a room for him.
Colossians 4:7-9 Delivered by Tychicus at same time as Colossians as Philemon lived there.
2 Timothy 4:16-17 Escaped mouth of lions. Released from Prison
*Colossae WROTE TITUS
Titus 1:5 Had left Titus behind in Crete while went on to Rome for trial so Titus could firmly establish the church there.
Titus 3:12 Wants Titus to leave Crete and go to Nicopolis near Philippi in Macedonia and Bulgaria.
2 Timothy 4:10 Later he will send Titus to Dalmatia (Yugoslavia)
Titus 3:12 Delivered by Artemas or Tychicus.
1 Timothy WROTE 1 TIMOTHY
THEME: TOTAL CHURCH
1 Timothy 1:3 After release from prison and going to Colossae in Asia, he apparently went to Ephesus where he left Timothy behind to refute false teachers while he went on to Macedonia, Greece, where Philippi and Thessalonica are.
Titus 3:12 Left immediately for these northern and barbaric areas on border of Macedonia, Greece. Planned to meet Titus there. He'd preached in this area of southern Europe before final trip to Jerusalem (see above, Romans 15:19).
Corinth 2 Timothy 4:20a Revisited. Left Erastus, Timothy's old friend, there.
Miletus 2 Timothy 4:20b Revisited. Left Trophimus there sick in his home province.
Troas/Troy 2 Timothy 4:13 Revisited. Left his cloak and parchments there.
AD 66 Paul Age 71
*Rome 2 Timothy 1:8; 2:9 Rearrested; "chained like a criminal."
2 Timothy 4:6-8 WROTE 2 TIMOTHY to say goodbye
THEME: TEARING THE CHURCH
Also his old friends, Priscilla and Aquila, had apparently fled from here to Ephesus after Nero burned Rome
2 Timothy 4:9-13 Asked Timothy to get Mark and come quickly; he knows he's about to die.
AD 67 NERO BURNED ROME
JUDE WROTE JUDE
Matthew 13:55 Probably brother of Jesus
1 Peter 1:1 PETER WROTE 1 PETER
PETER wrote his first letter to Christians in the provinces of Pontus and Bithynia (both by the Black Sea), Galatia to the south of it, Capadocia to the south of that, and Asia on the Aegean coast to the west - all of Turkey except three small provinces.
1 Peter 5:12 Wrote with the help of Silas and John Mark. They will probably deliver the letter. (Some believe he told life of Christ to John Mark who in turn wrote the gospel of Mark.)
AD 68 PETER WROTE 2 PETER
2 Peter 3:15-16 Referred to Paul's letters
2 Peter 1:15 Anticipated dying soon.
Peter executed (crucified upsidedown according to tradition)
AD 69 Paul beheaded (according to tradition) about a year after Peter executed.
About Age 74
Jerusalem Temple and city destroyed by Rome; Jewish religion impossible to properly keep now.
BOOK OF HEBREWS WRITTEN
THEME: HANG IN THERE
Author unknown. Possibly Apollos, Barnabus, or John
Sent to Jewish Christians; discusses old Jewish religion and how it was done away with by God anyway; it was just a pattern of Christianity now, and heaven to come.
AD 70 JERSALEM AND TEMPLE DESTROYED
Ephesus JOHN WROTE 1, 2 and 3rd JOHN
THEME: GENUINE CHRISTIANS
(Date determine by topic - Jesus came in flesh - contemporary Christians writers indicating this false philosophy becoming popular about then. Place determined by his soon being exiled to Patmos, an island off of Ephesus.)
Patmos JOHN WROTE REVELATION
Sent especially to seven congregations in the Province of Asia: Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, Laodicea.
Last apostle still alive.
James, his brother was a hothead (Luke 9:54) and was the first to be martyred (Acts 12:2). Perhaps John learned his lesson and learned how to become diplomatic. But how lonely he must have been. Then suddenly his old friend, Jesus, appeared to him. He hadn't seen him in over 60 years. What a reunion!