History in the Bible Podcast

Timeline of the New Testament

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The New Testament Timeline

This is a timeline and table of the events in the New Testament. The dates cited are the broadest accepted by modern scholars. In my podcast I use 33 AD as the date of Jesus' death, rather than the other popular scholarly choice of 30 AD. Many other dates follow from that.

You should note that the Book of Acts, on the one hand; and Paul's letters, on the other, have irreconcilable accounts of his history. Someone is telling fibs!

Event Consensus Range of Dates NT Notes
Birth of Jesus Before 4 BC Mt 2:1 Before the death of Herod the Great
Birth of Paul Before 4 BC Based on comments by Jerome.
Herod the Great dies 4 BC
Tiberius emperor 14 Accession of Tiberius.
John the Baptist commences his ministry 26–29 Luke 3:1–2 Luke says the 15th year of Tiberius. Tiberius co-ruled with Augustus in 11, and became sole ruler in 14.
Jesus' commences his ministry 26–30 Best scholary consensus.
Jesus' crucifixion 30 or 33 Calculated from the day of Passover being a Friday in that year.
Death of St Stephen 30–34 Acts 7:54 Stoned by the Jews. First Christian martyr.
Apostles flee Jerusalem 30–34 Acts 8 After Stephen's death.
Paul's call 31–34 Acts 9 A year or two after Jesus' death.
Paul in Nabatea, then in Damascus 34–36 2 Cor 11:33, Gal 1:17 Escapes from Damascus to Jerusalem. Not mentioned in Acts.
Paul's 1st visit to Jerusalem 35–36 Acts 9:26–30, Gal 1:18 Stays with Peter for two weeks, meeting no one else save James.
Acts only: Barnabas supports Paul. Paul packed off to Tarsus in Cilicia.
Paul's mission to the Jews in Syria and Cilicia 36–45? Gal 1:21–2:1 Either 14 or 17 years. Cannot be reconciled with Acts.
Caligula emperor 37 Accession of Caligula.
Paul's 1st mission: Antioch 40–45 Acts 11, 13–14 Barnabas summons Paul for a mission to Antioch. One year in Antioch. Paul's first foundation. Not mentioned in the letters.
Letter: 1 Thessalonians?
Claudius emperor 41 Accession of Claudius.
Herod Agrippa I made King of Judea, Galilee, Peraea and Samaria 41 Friend of Claudius. Roman direct rule ceases in these areas.
Peter preaches to the gentiles in Judea 42? Acts 10–11 Conversion of Cornelius. Peter justifies the gentile mission to the other disciples.
Peter arrested by Herod Agrippa I. 42–44 Acts 12 He escapes miraculously. Last major story about Peter in Acts.
Death of James the Greater 42–44 Acts 12 Executed by Herod Agrippa I. First disciple to be martyred.
Herod Agrippa I dies 44 Acts 12:20 Romans assume direct rule of Jewish territories.
Paul's 2nd visit to Jerusalem (Acts) ? Acts 11:30, Gal 2:1-10? Brings alms from Antioch. Cannot be reconciled with the letters.
Council of Jerusalem. Paul's 3rd visit to Jerusalem (Acts). 47–50 Acts 15:4, Gal 2:1-10? According to Galatians, Paul's 2nd visit, after 14–17 years absence from Jerusalem. Last appearance of Peter as leader. College of apostles now reduced to a troika of James the Just (its head), Peter (who bows to James' wishes), and the apostle John.
Antioch incident 49–50 Acts 15:36, Gal 2:11 Paul vs Peter. Paul and Barnabas disagree and separate.
Claudius expels Jews from Rome 49
Paul's 2nd mission: Based at Corinth in Greece 50–52 Acts 16–18, Established by an inscription of the Roman governor Gallio (51–52). 18 months in Corinth. Paul leaves to avoid a trial before the incoming proconsul.
Letter: 1 Thessalonians?
Paul's 4th visit to Jerusalem 52 Acts 18:22 Brief salutation visit. Not mentioned in Paul's letters.
Herod Agrippa II accedes 53–55 Granted various Jewish territories and control over the Temple, at first by Claudius, and then by Nero.
Paul's 3rd mission: Based at Ephesus in Asia 53–55 Acts 19, 2 Cor 1:18 Three years in Ephesus. His imprisonment in Ephesus inferred from 2 Cor 1:18.
Letters: Galatians, 1 & 2 Corinthians, perhaps Romans.
Nero emperor 54 Accession of Nero.
Peter in Rome 54–58/63? Traditional dating.
Paul's 5th visit to Jerusalem. 57 Acts 19:21–23:31 Arrest in Jerusalem. According to his letters, Paul's 3rd visit.
Paul imprisoned in Caesarea 57–59 Acts 23–26 Tried by governor Marcus Antonius Felix. After two years of imprisonment, a second trial before governor Porcius Festus and Herod Agrippa II. Committed to stand for a third trial in Rome.
Letter: Philemon?
Paul journeys to Rome for his trial 59–60 Acts 27–28 Shipwrecked on Malta.
Paul imprisoned in Rome 60–62 Acts 28 House arrest for two years. Letters: Phillipians, maybe Philemon.
Death of James the Just 62 Stoned to death by the high priest.
Paul's release from Rome, mission to Spain, and return to Roman imprisonment. ? 1 Clem 5:7 Suggested in a letter of Clement and by some other early Church fathers.
Death of Paul 62–63 Traditional dating.
Death of Peter 64–68 Traditional dating. Neronian persecution.

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