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.
|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.|