5. From Acts of the Apostles to John's Revelation

The early growth of the church in Jerusalem        30 – 35AD

30 AD             Jesus is crucified in Jerusalem at the start of the Passover Festival. He rises from death and appears to hundreds of his followers. He is taken up to heaven from the Mount of Olives.

30 AD             The disciples are filled with the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost.

30 AD             Peter and John heal a crippled man in the Temple courts.

30 AD             Peter and John are arrested and appear before the Jewish council.

c.32 AD          The believers share their possessions. Joseph the Levite (‘Barnabas’) sells a field and donates the money to provide for poor believers. Ananias and Sapphira lie about the price obtained for a property.

c.32 AD          The apostles perform many miraculous signs and wonders. The believers meet regularly in Solomon’s Porch on the edge of the outer court of the Temple.

c.33 AD          The apostles are arrested by the High Priest but are released during the night by an angel. They are brought before the Jewish council, flogged, and ordered not to preach about the resurrection of Jesus.

c.34 AD          Seven assistants are appointed to oversee the distribution of food to widows and poorer believers.

35 AD             Stephen, one of the assistants, is accused of blasphemy by some Jews from Cyrene and Alexandria. He defends himself powerfully, but is unlawfully stoned to death.

35 AD             Persecution breaks out against the church in Jerusalem. The Jewish believers are scattered throughout Judaea and Samaria, and flee to Phoenicia, Cyprus and Antioch in Syria.

c.35 AD          The Letter of James is sent by the leader of the church in Jerusalem to the Jewish believers dispersed by persecution.

 

The journeys of Philip and Peter and the conversion of Saul       35 – 46AD

35 AD             Philip joins the believers who have fled to Sebaste (Samaria). Many people are healed and more become believers. Peter and John are sent from Jerusalem. As they pray for the new believers, the Samaritans are filled with the Holy Spirit.

35 AD             Philip baptises an official from the court of the Queen of Ethiopia, then travels to Caesarea where he settles.

35 AD             Saul (Paul) travels to Damascus to persecute the believers. On the way, the risen Lord Jesus appears to him and he is converted. He spends some time away from the city, then returns to Damascus for three years.

35 AD             Peter visits the believers in Lydda where he heals Aeneas. In Joppa, he raises Tabitha from death.

35 AD             Peter travels to Caesarea where Cornelius, a Roman centurion, and his family become the first Gentile believers.

38 AD             Paul visits Peter and James, the leaders of the church in Jerusalem. Paul is sent by the believers to Tarsus, from where he ministers to the believers in Syria and Cilicia for the next five years.

43 AD             Paul arrives in Antioch in Syria with Barnabas, and ministers there for a year.

44 AD             James, the brother of John, is beheaded by King Herod Agrippa I. Peter is imprisoned by Herod Agrippa but is miraculously set free.

44AD              Peter hands over the leadership of the church to James, the brother of Jesus, and flees from Jerusalem.

44 AD             Paul and Barnabas make a famine relief visit to the believers in Jerusalem. They take John Mark back to Antioch.

44 AD             Herod Agrippa dies while Paul and Barnabas are in Jerusalem.

 

Paul’s First Missionary Journey      46 - 48 AD

46 AD             Paul and Barnabas are commissioned by the believers in Antioch to spread the Good News about Jesus around the eastern Mediterranean.

46 AD             Paul and Barnabas travel across Cyprus. At Paphos they preach to the Roman proconsul and condemn Elymas, a sorcerer, to blindness.

46 AD             Paul and Barnabas sail from Paphos to Perga on the coast of Pamphylia.

46 AD             Paul and Barnabas head inland to Antioch in Pisidia. The Jews are abusive, so from this point on Paul begins to preach to the Gentiles.

47 AD             Paul and Barnabas spend some months at Iconium. They leave when they discover some Jews are plotting to stone Paul for blasphemy.

47 AD             At Lystra, the people think that Paul and Barnabas are human incarnations of the Greek gods Hermes and Zeus. Later, Paul is stoned, dragged outside the city walls and left for dead.

47 AD             Paul and Barnabas preach the Good News in Derbe. From Derbe, the disciples retrace their steps back to the coast at Perga.

48 AD             Paul and Barnabas sail back to Antioch in Syria from Attalia.

48 AD             Paul and Barnabas report back to their ‘home church’ in Antioch.

49AD              Emperor Claudius expels all the Jews (and Jewish Christians) from Rome. Gentile Christians are not expelled.

49 AD             Paul and Barnabas attend the Council of Jerusalem in 49/50AD.

50 AD             Paul writes his Letter to the Galatians from Antioch.

 

Paul’s Second Missionary Journey              50 – 52 AD

50 AD             Paul and Silas travel through Syria and Cilicia to Derbe. At Lystra they are joined by Timothy.

50 AD             Barnabas and John Mark revisit the Jewish believers in Cyprus.

50 AD             Paul, Silas and Timothy travel through Phrygia, Galatia and Mysia to the Aegean coast at Troas.

51 AD             Joined by Luke, they sail across the Aegean Sea to Neapolis where Paul first sets foot on European soil.

51 AD             Paul and Silas are dragged before the Roman magistrates in Philippi after casting an evil spirit out of a girl.

51 AD             Leaving Luke in Philippi, Paul and Silas travel along the Via Egnatia to Thessalonica. After a riot, Paul is dragged before the Roman magistrates again, and is forced to flee to Berea.

51 AD             Silas and Timothy stay in Berea while Paul travels to Athens.

51 AD             Paul addresses the Areopagus (the Athenian council) on Mars Hill.

51 AD             Paul moves on to Corinth – where Silas and Timothy rejoin him.

51 – 52 AD     Paul stays in Corinth with Aquila and Priscilla for a year and a half.

51 – 52 AD     Paul writes his First and Second Letters to the Thessalonians from Corinth.

52 AD             Paul leaves Corinth with Aquila and Priscilla and sails to Ephesus.

52 AD             Paul leaves Aquila and Pricilla in Ephesus and sails to Caesarea.

52 AD             Paul reports back to the church leaders in Jerusalem, then returns to his ‘home church’ at Antioch in Syria.

 

Paul’s Third Missionary Journey    53 – 57 AD    

53 AD             Paul and Timothy revisit the believers in Galatia and Phrygia.

53 - 56 AD      Paul and Timothy stay with Aquila and Pricilla in Ephesus for three years.

53 –56 AD      From Ephesus, Paul’s fellow-workers carry the Good News of Jesus throughout the Roman province of Asia. Epaphras, for example, establishes new churches at Colossae, Laodicea and Hierapolis.

56 AD             Paul writes the First letter to the Corinthians from Ephesus.

56 AD             Paul sends Timothy and Erastus on ahead to Macedonia.

56 AD             After a riot led by the silversmiths in Ephesus, Paul joins Timothy and Erastus and writes the Second letter to the Corinthians from Philippi.

56 – 57 AD     Paul stays for three winter months in Corinth.

57 AD             Paul writes his Letter to the Romans from Corinth.

57 AD             Paul returns overland through Macedonia. He stays in Philippi for the Passover festival before sailing to Troas with Luke.

57 AD             Paul and his companions meet up at Assos and sail to Miletus where Paul meets the leaders from the church in Ephesus.

57 AD             Paul and his companions sail back to Caesarea via Tyre and Ptolemais.

57 AD             Paul and his Gentile companions arrive in Jerusalem, where Paul reports back to the church leaders. He presents the Jewish Christian leaders with the offerings brought from the Gentile churches.

 

Paul’s arrest, imprisonment and Journey to Rome           57 – 62 AD    

57 AD             Paul is arrested by the Roman commander in the Temple courtyard.

57 AD             Paul addresses the Jewish council and causes uproar between the Pharisees and the Sadducees. He is re-arrested for his own safety.

57 AD             Paul is transferred to the Roman headquarters at Caesarea where he appears before the Roman governor Felix.

57 - 59 AD      Paul is kept under prolonged house arrest in Caesarea. On several occasions he speaks to the Roman governor Felix and his Jewish wife Drusilla.

59 AD             Felix is succeeded as Roman governor of Judaea by Porcius Festus.

59 AD             Paul refuses Festus’s request to go to Jerusalem to be tried and appeals to the Emperor in Rome.

59 AD             Paul sets sail from Caesarea for Rome in the autumn with Luke and Aristarchus.

59 AD             Paul is shipwrecked and spends the winter months in Malta.

60 - 62 AD      Paul reaches Rome in the spring and is kept under house arrest for two years awaiting trial before the Roman emperor Nero.

60 – 62 AD     Luke writes the Gospel of Luke and the Acts of the Apostles while staying with Paul in Rome. John Mark writes the Gospel of Mark in Rome at about the same time.

c.60 AD          Paul writes his Letter to the Ephesians, the Letter to the Colossians and his Letter to Philemon from Rome. He also writes a Letter to the Laodiceans which has not survived.

c.61 AD          Paul writes his Letter to the Philippians while under house arrest.

62 AD             Paul is tried before Emperor Nero and is aquitted and released.

c.62 AD          James, the brother of Jesus, the leader of the Jerusalem church, is unlawfully stoned to death by Jews in Jerusalem.

 

Paul’s Fourth Missionary Journey and his execution in Rome    62 – 67 AD    

c.62 AD          Paul travels to Crete and commissions Titus to lead the church there.

c.62 AD          Paul visits Miletus, then leaves Timothy in charge of the church at Ephesus.

c.63 AD          Paul travels to Troas and Philippi, possibly visiting Colossae en route.

c.63 AD          Paul writes his First Letter to Timothy from Philippi.

c.63/64 AD     Paul probably visits Ephesus again before travelling back to Rome via Corinth and Nicopolis. Paul writes his Letter to Titus from Corinth.

64 AD             The Great Fire of Rome is followed by intense persecution of Christians by Emperor Nero.

c.65  AD         The Letter to the Hebrews is written to Jewish Christians who are suffering persucution.

c.65 AD          The Letter of Jude is written by the brother of James and Jesus.

66 AD             The outbreak of the Romano – Jewish War is followed by persecution of Jews throughout the Roman Empire.

66 AD             Peter, John and other believers begin escaping from Jerusalem, which is now becoming dominated by extreme nationalist zealots. Over the next two years, many Jewish Christians escape to Pella in Peraea (modern-day Jordan) where Symeon, a nephew of James (the brother of Jesus) leads the Jewish Christian community.

66 AD             Peter writes his First Letter to the persecuted Jewish Christian believers scattered across the northern part of Asia Minor.

c.67 AD          Paul is imprisoned in the Mamertine Prison in Rome.

c.67 AD          Paul writes his Second Letter to Timothy while in prison in Rome.

c.67 AD          Paul is executed during the intense persecution of Jewish Christians by Emperor Nero.

c.67 AD          Peter, imprisoned in Rome, writes his Second Letter.

c.67 AD          Peter is executed in Rome during the persecution of Jewish Christians by Emperor Nero.

 

The destruction of Jerusalem and the ministry of John    67 – 95AD

70 AD             The Temple in Jerusalem is destroyed by the Romans under Titus. Following this, Jewish rabbis, meeting in Jamnia, take steps against the Jewish Christians who refused to support the Jewish nationalists in the war against the Romans. They introduce a prayer – the ‘Birkhath ham-Minim’ – a ‘blessing’ (in reality a curse) on ‘heretics’ – to make it impossible for Jewish Christians to join in synagogue worship.

c.75 AD          Matthew (Levi) writes the Gospel of Matthew for Jewish Christian believers scattered across the Roman world. He probably writes his gospel at Antioch in Syria, the main centre of Greek-speaking Jewish Christians.

c.85 AD          John writes the Gospel of John in Ephesus.

c.85 – 88 AD  John writes his First, Second and Third letters from Ephesus.

c.88 – 89 AD  John is persecuted by the Roman emperor Domitian.

c.90 – 95 AD  John is exiled to the island of Patmos in the Aegean Sea.

c.90 AD          John receives his Revelation from Jesus while in exile on Patmos.

c.95 AD          John returns to Ephesus where he dies and is buried.

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