An Overview of the New Testament 

Although the New Testament only covers a time frame of approximately one hundred years, many Christians struggle to understand it because the letters are not organized in CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER in our English Bibles. The New Testament letters are organized in two-parts: Paul’s letters and the General letters (not written by Paul). The order of Paul’s letters in our English Bibles is determined by their length: (1) CHURCHES: begins with the longest (Romans) and ending with the shortest (2 Thessalonians) (2) INDIVIDUALS: begins with the longest (1 Timothy) and ends with the shortest (Philemon).

NIV Study Bible  – Timeline of Paul’s Life, p. 1664
Paul: Apostle, FF Bruce, Timeline of Paul p. 475

(THE Gospels)


The first redemptive period of the New Testament is approximately 33 years long (4/3 B.C. to A.D. 30/33), and covers the historical time frame of the life and ministry of Jesus Christ as recorded in the four Gospels:

6-4 BC – The birth of Jesus Christ
5-4 BC – Escape to Egypt. Slaughter of children.
Spring 4 BC – Death of Herod the Great.
AD 5 (approximately) – Paul (Saul) was born in Tarsus
5-65 – The Life and Ministry of Chronology of Paul
AD 7-8 – Jesus visits Jerusalem as a child.
AD 12 – Augustus makes Tiberius co-regent.
AD 14 (August 19th) – Tiberius becomes Caesar
AD 25 – Pilate & Caiaphas appointed to office.
AD 29 – John the Baptist’s public ministry begins.
AD 28-30 – Public ministry of Jesus (FF Bruce)
AD 29 – Jesus’ public ministry begins.

Matthew 10:1-4

Matthew 4:18///

APOSTLE ANDREW (Brother of Peter)
APOSTLE PETER (Brother of Andrew)
APOSTLE JOHN (Brother of James)
APOSTLE JAMES (Brother of John)
APOSTLE JAMES (Son of Alphaeus)

AD 30 – The death & resurrection of Jesus
AD 31 (October 18) – Tiberius executes Sejanus
AD 33 (Friday, April 3, 3:00 pm) – Jesus dies
AD 36 – Pilate dethroned. Caiaphas deposed.
AD 37 – Tiberius Caesar dies.

(Acts 1:8) You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.


Jesus Calls (Matthew 9:9-13)


THE BOOK OF ACTS (AD 30-60; 30 Years)

Luke wrote the book of Acts in — ; covers AD 30-60)

The second redemptive period of the New Testament is approximately 30 years long, and covers the historical time frame of the life and mission of the early church as recorded in the book of Acts: The Life and Mission of the New Testament Church.  The Narrative of the Mission of the Apostles (A.D. 30-60)  This class covers the 30 year historical period from the day of Penecost, and the missionary journeys of apostle Paul in the planting of the New Testament church.  This historical period ends with the apostle Paul in prison in Rome.  The birth and formation of the Jerusalem church and the missionary journeys of the apostle Paul.  From Antioch to Rome (AD 47-57)  From Antioch to Rome took around 10 years for the apostle Paul to plant local churches in four Roman provinces – Galatia, Macedonia, Achaia and AsiaThe book of Acts took place from 30 to 60. It is helpful to recognize that the basic structure of the book of Acts is found in chapter 1:8, You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem (read Acts 1:8), and in all Judea and Samaria (Acts 8-12) and to the ends of the earth (Acts 13-28). In general, Jerusalem and Judea are covered in chapters 1-7, Samaria in chapter 8 and the Gentiles in chapters 9-20. The basic structure of the book of Acts is found in chapter 1:8, AYou will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you and you will be my witnesses inJersusalem (read Acts 1:8), and in all Judea and Samaria (Acts 8-12) and to the ends of the earth (Acts 13-28). This section will examine the development and growth of the church’s of Asia in their first ten years of existence (AD 60-70) gleaning missiological insights from five of Paul’s letters. The Apostle Paul’s trial in Rome serves as the transitional event in the life of the New Testament church. From 60-70 A.D., we witness the first ten years of development and growth of the church.

The spread of the gospel in Jerusalem (Acts 1-7)
The spread of the gospel in Judea and Samaria (Acts 8-9)
The spread of the gospel to the ends of the earth (Acts 10-28)
From Jerusalem to Antioch – It took 16 years (30 to 46 A.D.) To spread from Jersusalem to Antioc
Jerusalem Church (2 years; AD 30-32)
(Acts 1:8) – The great commission of Jesus
(Acts 2-13) From Jerusalem to Antioch (14 years; AD 32-46). Following the persecution diaspora in Jerusalem, it would 14 years for the church to be planted in Antioch.
(Acts 2:1-13) – Pentecost and the birth of the Church (AD 30)
120 Believers at ascension of Jesus Christ
(Acts 2:37-41) – Church grows by 3,000 (50 days laters) at Pentecost.
(Acts 4:4) – 5,000 added at preaching of Peter
(Acts 5:2) – Added daily (Acts 5:4)
So, about 70 days after ascension of Christ the church in Jerusalem could have numbered around 20,000 or more.
Bishop Peter
Acts 2:42-47
Acts 4:32-37
(Acts 6:1-6) Division in the Jerusalem Church
(Acts 6:7-Chapter 7) persecution and martyrdom of Stephen (AD 31)
Acts 8:2-8 – 7 Deacons
(Acts 8:1-4) – Persecution and the Jerusalem scattered (AD 31-32)
Hebrews and Hellenists Division/Disapora Jewish Hebrews to Jewish Hellenists (AD 32)
Phillip, Peter and John in Samaria (AD 32)
Peter Judea (AD ?)
Peter in the cities of Lydda, Joppa and Caesarea (AD 32)
Peter evangelizes Judea (AD 34-36)
Philip and Ethiopian: The Gospel enters North Africa (AD 32)
(Acts 9:19–29) – Paul returned to Jerusalem where he debated the Hellenistic Jews
(Acts 11:1-3) Church leaders gathering in Antioch

(Acts 13:4-14:28) (Spring AD 45 to Spring/Summer AD 47)

(Acts 13) – The Conversion of Paul: Damascus, Syria (AD 31/32; 33)

AD 33-49 – Part Two of Paul’s Life: An accurate chronology of Paul’s first seventeen years as a believer is difficult to construct. During these seventeen years, he writes no letters and only briefly makes reference to them in his later letters (especially Galatians 1-2).

Church in Damascus, Syria

Paul spoke in the synagogues of Damacus (AD 33)

Paul sent to Tarsus and the Roman provinces of Syria and Cilicia (AD 38). When the Jews attempted to kill him, the church there sent Paul back to Tarsus of Cilicia (Gal. 1:21; Acts 9:30). Paul’s time in Cilicia was between 5–10 years. AD 38 – Paul sent to Tarsus by the Jerusalem Church. Paul plants churches in the Roman provinces of Cilicia and Syria (Galatians 1:21; AD ? 38-43 or 37-45 36-39 or 36-46 or 38-43). or in the area around Tarsus before his work in Antioch. However, we can conclude that his activities did lead to churches being planted at least in Syria and Cilicia (Galatians 1:22; Acts 15:41). The two main cities of Antioch and Tarsus. Paul in Tarsus of the Roman Province of Cilicia — Paul’s mission in Cilicia and Syria (Galatians 1:21). At this time, the churches in Judea had not met Paul. Likely Paul had already been evangelizing in Antioch and so familiar with Paul. Taught for one year, first called Christians (Acts 11:25-26). Paul and Barnabas teach the followers of Jesus in Antioch for one year, during this time they are first called Christians Little is known about Paul’s so-called “silent years” back home. Yet two obscure references in Acts 15 suggest that Paul was probably active in church planting. or in the area around Tarsus before his work in Antioch. However, we can conclude that his activities did lead to churches being planted at least in Syria and Cilicia (Gal 1:22; Acts 15:41).


(Acts 15:23) The churches in Cilicia were one of the addressees of the letter drafted by the Jerusalem council

(Acts 15:41; Galatians 1:22) – Paul in the Nabetean Kingdom/Arabia (AD 33-35/36; 3 years) We do not have a lot of information on Paul’s activities in Arabia (Gal 1:17)

(Acts 15:41) Later Paul visited these Cilician churches at the beginning of his second ministry journey

Since only Paul is known to have been in Cilicia during this period, the existence of these churches suggests that the apostle is their founder. The core of these churches was undoubtedly diaspora Jews who, like Paul’s family, lived in the region.

(Acts 11:19-21) – The Church in Antioch

(Acts 11:19-21) Greek-speaking Jewish Christians from Jerusalem plant a church in the city of Antioch, Syria among Jews and Gentiles (AD  .

Barnabas travels to Tarsus and brings Paul back to Antioch. Barnabas went to Tarsus to find Paul and brought him back to Antioch, the capital of the province of Syria and the third largest city in the Roman Empire. (AD 42)

(Acts 11:20-26) – Paul and Barnabas discipled the growing church of Jews and Gentiles there for a whole year (AD ??). It was at Antioch that the believers were first called Christians.

Jerusalem prophets travel to Antioch, Agabus proclaims famine in Roman world, which took place during the reign of the Roman Emperor Claudius.

Death of Herod (AD 44)

(Acts 11:25) Paul and Barnabas take John Mark and return to Antioch from Jerusalem

(Acts 11:25). After completing their mission in Jerusalem, Paul and Barnabas brought John Mark back with them to Antioch (Acts 12:25).

(Acts 12:1-2) Martyrdom of Apostle James (AD 43/44) The martyrdom of the Apostle James, brother of John, by the sword of Herod Agrippa

FROM ANTIOCH TO ROME (AD 47-57; 10 Years)

The third redemptive period of the New Testament is approximately 10 years long (AD 47-57), and covers the 10-year historical time frame of the Apostle Paul’s three missionary journeys as recorded in the book of Acts.  During this period, SEVEN New Testament letters were written: From Antioch to Rome took around 10 years for the apostle Paul to plant local churches in four Roman provinces – Galatia, Macedonia, Achaia and Asia. From Antioch to Rome took around 10 years for the apostle Paul to plant local churches in four Roman provinces – Galatia, Macedonia, Achaia and Asia. It took around 10 years for the Apostle Paul to plant local churches in four Roman provinces. Galatia, Asia, Macedonia, Achaia


Also because of the constant travel and commerce toward the east of Antioch we can also assume that Christianity spread eastward to Edessa (todays Urfa). In postapostolic period the great center of the Syraic-speaking church was at Edessa and from Edessa the gospel reached into the Tigris-Euphrates valley, Persia, central Asia and China. Syriac-speaking church in Edessa – east of Antioch, became the center of mission into the Tigris-Euphrates valley, Persia, central Asia and China (Harrison Apostolic Church p.74) However, the primary evangelistic thrust was west.


The next phase in the church’s expansion into Turkey began in Acts 13:1. Here the prophets and teachers in the church at Antioch set apart Barnabas and Saul for a ministry work to which the Holy Spirit had called them.

The first missionary journey was into the Roman province of Galatia. It was a circular missionary tour which took around one year to complete. On his return, Paul took a one year furlough in Antioch. The first missionary journey was into the Roman Province of Galatia (47-48). It was a circular missionary tour which took around one year to complete. It does not say that they planned this route out but we could assume that. The Roman Province of Galatia C north central Asia Minor, Iconium, Lystra, Derbe, The province of Galatia (FF Bruce p.267). The region of the province of Galatia called Galatic Lycanonia lay east of the region called Galatic Phrygia; it was politically distinct from the district called Antiochian Lycaonia which lay further east and belonged to the domain of Antiochus, king of Commagene, and not to the province of Galatia (FF Bruce Acts p.288). The book of Acts (luke) mentions Paul activities in the southern cities of Galatia (Acts 13-14), however even though traveled in the northern region of Galatia Luke mentions no establishment of churches but only scattered disciples. (Acts 16:6; 18:23)


Paul and Barnabas travel to the Antioch’s port on the Mediterranean called Seleucia Pieria, the two sailed with John Mark to Barnabas’ home on Cyprus. Cyprus (Acts 13:4-13) The native island of Barnabas. Paphos, Cyprus: At Paphos several important events took place: Saul began to use his Roman name Paul, Paul assumed leadership of the apostolic party, and the Roman proconsul Sergius Paulus became a believer. The proconsul owned numerous estates in the region of Pisidian Antioch; and perhaps because of his recommendation, the apostles sailed northward to the coast of Asia Minor landing at Perga.


In the city of Perga, John Mark left and returned to Jerusalem. Why? John Mark Departs Paul and Barnabas in the city of Perga of the Roman Province of Pamphilia (Acts 15:36-41). Why? Paul and Barnabas travel through the Tauras Mountains to the city of Pisidian Antioch (Acts 13:14-50).

Perga chief city of the province of Pamphylia. departure of John Mark. was the native land of Paul, probably landing at Attalia (modern Antayla) and went 12 miles to Perga (14:24-26)

Inially it seems that Paul was going to target the The Roman Province of Pamphylia a small province of southern Asia Minor extending 75 miles along the Med coast and 30 miles inland to the Tarsus mountains. (Acts 2:10) Perga, Pisidia on the north, Cilicia on east, Lycia to SW. Pamphylia was a coastal district of Asia Minor bounded on the north by the Taurus range, on the west by Lycia and on the east by Cilicia and on the south by the Mediterranean. Cilicia SE Asia Minor, north and west Tarsus mts, south med, Plain of Cilicia, city of Tarsus, Only acccessible by two mt passses C Cilician gates and Syrian Gates. Pisidia C a small province in southern Asia Minor just north of Pamphylia and contained Pisidian Antioch

Pisidian Antioch (modern Yalvac) and the whole region From Pisidian Antioch they crossed the regional frontier into Pisidia, the southernmost region of the Galatian province C Perga C then to the port of Attalia (modern Antalya)

Paul writes in ? that the Galatians received him when he was ill ??????????


Pisidian Antioch Paul and Barnabas proceed inland, crossing the rugged Taurus Mountains before they arrived at Pisidian Antioch (Acts 13:13–14). Here on the first Sabbath they preached in the synagogue. Verses 13:16–47 recall Paul’s first recorded sermon in Acts as well as the first recorded sermon in Turkey. Paul’s ministry in Pisidian Antioch is shortened by opposition from the Jews and leading men and women of the city. Such opposition became a familiar pattern throughout Paul’s ministry travels.


The pair traveled to Iconium where many also believed.


Again persecution drove them down the road to Lystra, where Paul was left for dead.


Following a miraclous recovery, he and Barnabas continued to Derbe where many also believed.

APPOINTING CHURCH ELDERS in the Roman Province of Galatians

(Acts 14:21-25) They then retraced their journey in order to strengthen the newly planted churches and established church leadership or elders before returning to Antioch (AD 49). Paul ordains elders in Galatian churches, preaches in Perga of the Roman province of Pamphylia, and returns to Antioch from his first missionary journey and gives a report to the Antioch church (Acts 14:21-28). The two retraced their steps to strengthen the disciples and appoint leaders in the churches. These four churches in the southern portion of the Roman province of Galatia—Pisidian Antioch, Iconium, Lystra, and Derbe—became the core of Paul’s churches in Anatolia.


The apostles returned to Perga, and this time caught a ship at Attalia for their return to Antioch.

The church there was greatly encouraged that God had opened the door of belief to the Gentiles (14:27).

(Acts 13:51-14:5) Iconium

(Acts 14:6) to the cities of Lycaonia, Lystra, Derbe and the region round about

(Acts 14:6-20) Lystra (mound of Zostera, near Hatunarary, 18 miles s-sw of Iconium) .


Acts and surrounding country of Lystra and Derbe

Paul spends about one year in Syrian Antioch after returning from his first missionary journey (AD 49). A time when Paul spends most of his time defending the Gospel from false teaching by Jewish believers from Jerusalem.

Peter visits Antioch from Jerusalem (AD 49).

(Acts 15:1-2) Jewish believers go to Syrian Antioch and teach salvation includes circumcision (AD 49)

(Galatians 2:11-21) Paul confronts Peter in public (AD 49)

Paul Writes the letters of Galatians (AD 49). The letter of Galatians was addressed to the local churches that were planted during this trip in Pisidian Antioch, Iconnium, Lystra, and Derbe. Cyprus Pisidian Antioch Iconium, Lystra and Derbe Jerusalem Council (Before the Jerusalem Council in Acts 15) Galatians was written before the council of Jerusalem (FF Bruce p.323; Ramsey). The letter of Galatians was addressed to the local churches that were planted during this trip in Pisidian Antioch, Iconium, Lystra, and Derbe. (South Galatia, FF Bruce Acts p.287).

(Act 15:4-21) Paul and Barnabas go to the Jerusalem Council (Paul’s third visit to Jerusalem) (AD 49)

Paul and Barnabas return to Antioch. Silas, a Greek-speaking Jew and Roman citizen and the letter was read to the Antioch Church. (AD 49-50)

(Acts 15:36-18:22) (Spring AD 49 to Fall AD 51; 1 1/2 years in Corinth)

(Acts 15) There was no special guidance of the Holy Spirit for the second missionary journey. (AD 50)

(Acts 15:36-40) The separation of Paul and Barnabas (AD 50). Paul was determined to revisit the Galatian churches, but when Barnabas suggested that they take John Mark again, the two apostles parted company. Paul selects Silas.

There seems to be no special guidance for the second missionary journey as we saw in the first. It simply seemed to be a suggestion by Paul made to Barnabass. What we witness next is a mission split. Why? What was the disagreeement over? It seemed to be personal differences. Who was John Mark? The author of the gospel. Mark had left in Pampylia.

John Mark was Barnabas’ cousin according to Colossians 4:10. For Paul it seems that the reason of refusing Mark was that he deserted them (Acts 15:38). There have been all kinds of reasons given for this mission spit between Paul and Barnabas  Wagner, Marks fear of spiritual warfare, modality vs sodality leadership ect but it most likely had to do with the location of the mission itself. Paul simply did not want to take Mark back into the Galatian region for that is where he departed and it might bring distrust by the Galatian church to the mission team. Thus Barnabas and Mark went to Cyprus.

Barnabas and Mark go to Cyprus (AD 50)



Paul and Silas travel through Syrian Alexandria, modern Iskenderun, and then turned west through Cilicia and probably along the road which led through Mopsuestia, Adana and Tarsus. From Tarus they turned north and crossed the Tarsus range by the Cilician gates and entered Cappadocia. Turning west they took the road to Derbe (FF Bruce Paul p.213).

(Acts 15:41) Paul and Barnabas “strengthened the churches” through the Roman provinces of Syria and Cilicia (AD 50). Silas joined Paul, and they strengthened the churches in Syria and Cilicia on their way to Derbe and Lystra.

Returned to Galatia to the churches they had established two or three years previously.

(Acts 16:1) LYSTRA & TIMOTHY

The ordination and commissioning of Timothy (Acts 16:1). Here Paul had a providential meeting with a young believer named Timothy. Recommended by the church there and in Iconium, Timothy was circumcised and then joined the apostles (16:1-3). Timothy the son of an earlier convert (young and second generation Christian). Since a young leader like Mark was gone now Paul looks for a young leader to join their team and they chose Timothy. For missiological reasons not theological reasons Timothy was cirmcumcized. Elders from the house churches joined togethto form a presbytery and ordain and commission Timothy. It was the local church not a mission agency (Paul ect) that ordained and commissioned them. FF Bruce thinks that possibly that Paul received a prophetic word at Lystra (possibly by the Presbytery which was commissioning Timothy for the mission) not to go to Asia and then on their way they thought about going northwest into Bythinia however they simply had a internal check of the HS through prayer for guidance (FF Bruce Paul p.216). They could not go north or to Asia so they turned west and skirted the territory of Mysia and reached the Aegean coast at the port of Alexandria Troas (modern Kestambol).

Pauls Long Road to Ephesus

After revisiting the four south Galatian cities where he started churches on his first journey, Paul continued westward from Pisidian Antioch on his second journey. In a recently published paper, I wrote: “Pauls travel westward to Asia points to an intended destination of Ephesus, the provinces leading city and the western terminus of the main commercial and military road crossing Anatolia….Rather Paul has strategically decided to minister next in the fourth largest city in the empire, which also had a large Jewish population.” After entering the Roman province of Asia (Acts 16:6), probably near the important road junction at Apamea, Paul was forbidden to preach in the province. With Timothy and Silas he turned northward to Dorylaeum and then to Alexandria Troas.

(Acts 16:6) Phyygia and Galatia

The Provinces of Bithynia or Pontus or Asia (16:6-7) The Holy Spirit did not allow Paul either to go south to Asia or north into Bithnynia. The Roman Province of Bithynia region on the northern edge of Asia Minor fronting on the Black Sea, the Bosphorus and the Sea of Marmara. (Acts 16:6-10) (1 Peter 1:1). The Roman Province of Pontus large area along the Black Sea. (Acts 2:9) (1 Peter 1:1)

Holy Spirit refused to go to the Roman Province of Asia (AD 50)

Paul forbidden to go to Ephesus (Roman Province of Asia). After the three visited the church in Pisidian Antioch, the Holy Spirit forbade them to visit Ephesus in the province of Asia. Their subsequent route through central Turkey has occasioned much debate by scholars. They certainly turned northward following the Roman road, and then arrived at the important junction at Dorylaeum. Here they turned northwest toward the important cities of Nicea and Nicomedia in the province of Bithynia. But again the Holy Spirit forbade them from entering Bithynia.

(Acts 16:6-8) They passed by Mysia and arrived at the important port city of Alexandria Troas, near the city of Troy made famous in Homer’s Iliad. Here Paul received a vision of a Macedonian man; at last the Holy Spirit provided clear direction. Acts 16:10-17 begins the first of three “we” sections in the book (cf. 20:5-21:18; 27:1-28:16). These suggest that Luke was himself a companion and eyewitness to portions of the journeys he described.

(Acts 16:9) Troas

Troas, a regular port of call for ships journeying between Asia and Macedonia. Vision to Macedonia. Luke we sections begin. During Paul’s second missionary journey he desired to enter Asia however in Acts 16 he was hindered by the Holy Spirit. Why? It actually improved Pauls strategy by establishig churches on the western shore of the Aegean before he settled in Ephesus. The Macedonian call (Ramsey thinks the person was Luke that Paul saw in the vision) for the “we” sections begin.


before receiving the vision of the man inviting him to cross to Macedonia. From Macedonia Paul continued through Greece to Athens and finally to Corinth, where he spent 1 1⁄2 years establishing a church in this important Roman colony (Acts 18:1–18).

(Acts 16:12) In Philippi


(Acts 17:10-15) THE CITY OF BEREA

Silas and Timothy stayed in Berea and tells them to rejoin him

(Acts 17:16-34) In Athens. Comparison of the movements of Paul and his coworkers described in 1 Thessalonians 3:-10 with Acts suggests the following sequence of events: Paul arrives in Athens (1 Thessalonians 3:1; Acts 17:15-34). After Silas and Timothy arrive in Athens. Paul sends Timothy back to Thessalonica to encourage the church that was being persecuted (1 Thessalonians 3:1-5). Paul sends Silas somewhere in Macedonia (Acts 18:5), perhaps Philippi, from which he received financial gifts to support the apostle and coworkers (Philippians 1:4 DZ; 4:10-20)

Acts 18:1-17; 1 Corinthians 4:14-15, 2 Corinthians 10:13-14) THE CITY OF CORINTH (AD 50-51, 18 months)

(Acts 18:12–17).Paul appears before Gallio (July-September AD 50-51) – The encounter with Gallio is important for establishing the time of his departure

Acts 18:18 states that Paul “stayed on for some time” (prosmei,naj h`mer, aj i`kana.j; cf. Acts 9:43). I agree with Witherington The Acts of the Apostles, 556, that this was “an undefined but apparently considerable number of days” and “that Paul stayed until the sailing season began in the early spring.”

(1 Thessalonians 3:6; Acts 18:5; Acts 18:1-17) Silas and Timothy return to Paul in Corinth

(1 Thessalonians 3:6). Paul writes 1 THESSALONIANS from Corinth in response to Timothy’s good report (AD 51)

Paul writes 2 THESSALONIANS from Corinth, a few months latter wrote 2 Thess. Paul wrote 2 Thess to respond to confusion that continued in the Thessalonian church regarding the second coming of Jesus. (AD 51)

(Acts ——-) Paul’s first visit to Epheus (spring AD 52) In the spring of AD 52, at the conclusion of his ministry in Corinth, Paul departed from Cenchrae, its port city on the Saronic Gulf. He stopped in Ephesus on his way to Jerusalem.  This sailing distance of approximately 250 miles (400 kilometers) becomes important as we consider how many times the Aegean is traversed in the years ahead.

Paul ministers in Ephesus synagogue (summer AD 52). Although the word both here and in verse 26 is singular, surely there must have been more than one synagogue in Ephesus. The citys Jewish population has been estimated around at least 10,000 persons. Despite the extensive archaeological excavations in the ancient city, no remains of a synagogue have yet been found.

(Acts 18:19-21) Paul leaves Priscilla and Aquilla to start a house church (AD 52)

At Ephesus he left Priscilla and Aquila, as well as spoke in the synagogue (Acts 18:19– 20). He was invited to stay by the synagogue leaders but was compelled to continue on to Jerusalem to fulfill his vow (Acts 18:18). He promised the leaders that he will return “if it is Gods will” (18:21). Paul must have interpreted subsequent events as indicating that it was Gods will to return because after brief visits to Jerusalem and Syrian Antioch, Paul departed immediately for Ephesus. Although this transition is described in only two verses (22–23), the time involved was probably close to five or six months.

(Acts 18:28) Paul in Antioch (AD 52)

Apollos, from Alexandria, Egypt in Ephesus with Priscilla and Aquila (AD 52)

During Pauls absence much spiritual activity was going on in Ephesus. Priscilla and Aquila began to hold meetings in their home, undoubtedly a rented house or apartment. The Alexandrian Apollos arrived in Ephesus and spoke eloquently about the baptism of John in the synagogue (18:24–26). After Priscilla and Aquila explained the “way of God more adequately,” Apollos became a believer in Jesus as messiah. How long Apollos remained in Ephesus is not stated, although it was certainly several months. At some point Apollos wished to go to the province of Achaia, and the Ephesian believers encouraged him to go. They wrote a letter of recommendation to the disciples

(Acts 18:23-21:7) (Spring/Summer AD 52 to Spring AD 57)

God’s will was that Paul visit Ephesus, so after a time he and Timothy started their journey to this metropolis of Asia. After visiting the churches in Galatia and Phrygia, they arrived at Ephesus via the upper road through the Cayster River valley. Ephesus was the fourth largest city in the Empire, boasting a population of perhaps 300,000 people. He rented the lecture hall of Tyrannus to preach and teach the gospel. In Romans 16:5 Paul sent greetings to Epenetus, his first convert in the province of Asia. The fruit of his 2 ½ year residency in Ephesus was that the entire province of Asia heard the word of the Lord (19:10). One of the seven wonders of the ancient world—the temple of Artemis—was located in Ephesus, and thousands of pilgrims and sightseers journeyed to Ephesus annually to worship the goddess at her temple. Paul’s success, however, brought a reduction in traffic; hence the lucrative sale of Artemis images by the silversmiths was declined. The threat to their commercial interests provoked these merchants to take action, thus causing the riot described in Acts 19:23–41.

Paul barely escaped from the city and headed up the coast, passing through Troas on the way to Macedonia. He also had problems in the Corinthian church (cf. 2 Cor. 2:12ff.) and was attempting to locate his emissary Titus, whom he had sent ahead.

The third missionary journey centered in the city of Ephesus in the Roman province of Asia. Paul’s Third Missionary Journey (A.D. 52-56/57). The church=s third missionary journey was centered in the city of Epheus in the Aegean shores of the Roman Province of Asia from AD

1 – From Syrian Antioch to Ephesus

He probably waited in Antioch for the snows to clear from the Cilician Gates in order to cross the Taurus Mountains. Or at least this is David Magies judgment regarding Ciceros travel through Cilicia: “During the winter months the pass in the Taurus was blocked by snow” (RRAM 2:1154). He cites a passage from Cicero, “Taurus propter nives ante mensem Junium transiri non potest; “for Taurus is impassable before June, owing to the snow (Ep. Att. 5.21.14; trans. Evelyn Shuckburgh). Magie notes that in the year 50 BC June 1 in the uncorrected, pre-Julian calendar fell on April 21. However, in his calculations Chris Bennett suggests a slightly earlier date of April 8 (; accessed July 17, 2007). A journey starting in early April would put Paul in Ephesus in mid- May. Yet earlier in the letter (5.21.5) Cicero says that he left Tarsus on January 5 (corrected date November 17) and crossed the Taurus on his way to Asia. This suggests crossings could be made later in the fall. During a warm weather cycle a crossing could be made throughout much of the winter. For

Ephesus: The leading city in Asia (Arnold.  Ephesians: Power and Magic p.13ff)

The assurance of God=s timing and strategy of Epheus (Bruce Acts p.379-80, 84; Ramsey St Paul Traveler p.265). Epehsus was to be the new center of the Gentile mission next important to Syrian Antioch (Bruce Acts p.387).

Paul revisits Galatia churches (summer AD 52)

makes plans for money collection for Jerusalem; Paul traveled through the Galatic region (Bruce Acts p.380) which was the same land route of second journey, he was strengthing disciples however his overall purpose was fresh evangelization in the province of Asia.

— (Acts 19:1) he took a direct route “inner road” to Ephesus (spring AD 52)
Suggests a strong sense of missiological purpose. Paul’s departure from Pisidian Antioch seems to be an anxious departure, the succession of participles in the Greek in V22-23 and in fact a journey of 1,500 miles is covered in 2 verses and ch 19:1. When Luke is not accompanying Paul he seems to cover his journeys quit quickly (Bruce Acts p.379).

Although Paul did not spend time evangelizing in the Lycus Valley he does travel through there on his way to Ephesus and possibly had contact with this area (FF Bruce. Paul p.406).

— (Acts 18-20) In Ephesus (3 Years, Summer 52-Spring 55)

Paul was not the apostolic founder of the church in Ephesus. We know that Epenetus (Romans 16:5) the first convert in the province of Asia (Ephesus?).

It is likely that the church in Ephesus had a trans-Aegean relationship with the church in Corinth. Paul was not the founder of the church in Ephesus. There might have been a core of Jewish believers already in the city who had accepted Jesus either following the events of the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:9, 41) or had responded to the witness of Stephen in the Synagogue of the Freedmen (6:9–10) or to Paul in Jerusalem (9:28–29).

Nevertheless, we do know the name of the first Ephesian believer–- Epaenetus, described by Paul as the firstfruits of Asia (Rom 16:5). Priscilla and Aquila, after working at Pauls side in Corinth, assumed the leadership responsibilities of the fledging congregation here.

Paul was the apostolic founder of the Corinthian church. He writes in 1 Cor 3:6, 10: “I planted the seed…I laid a foundation as an expert builder” and in 9:1–2: “Are you not the result of my work in the Lord? Even though I may not be an apostle to others, surely I am to you! For you are the seal of my apostleship in the Lord.” However, in Ephesus he was watering the seed (3:6) and building on someone elses foundation (3:10), a reversal of roles with Apollos in Corinth. It is a testimony to Pauls flexibility that he was comfortable with either role in the process of building upon the foundation of Jesus Christ (3:11–12). He was acutely aware that his work in both Ephesus and Corinth would be tested for its quality at the day of the Lord (3:13).

A group of Christians already existed in Ephesus is clear from Lukes use of the word “brothers” in Acts 19:27. Luke uses adelphos predominantly in Acts to describe fellow Christians. Priscilla and Aquila were not worshiping alone in their home but had been joined by others. That this group had many Jewish believers is suggested by their affinity to Apollos and their willingness to support his ministry. The Jews were also the most literate ethnic group in the city. From this group a letter was drafted to the Corinthians (Acts 18:27). Apart from the letter drafted by the Jerusalem church following the council (Acts 15: 22–31), this is the only other letter in the New Testament drafted by one congregation to another.17 According to Trebilco, the letter. Trebilco comes to the same conclusion that “all of the Christians in Ephesus did not owe allegiance to Paul, and that there was a pre-Pauline group in the city” (Early Christians in Ephesus, 126). Compare 1 Corinthians 16:15 where the household of Stephanas is called the firstfruits of Achaia. 22 out of 26 times. However, in a Jewish context Paul uses the term to address his kinsman according to the flesh (Acts 22:1; 23:1, 5, 6). Each of these cases is found in direct speech within a Palestinian context. t is also possible that the brothers named in Galatians 1:1 is the church in Antioch joining their signature to Pauls when he addresses the south Galatian churches. suggests “that the Ephesian group was known to the Corinthian community, and that it was of reasonable size even at this stage.” Third, that the disciples wrote a letter to the Corinthian church suggests that there was already a trans-Aegean relationship between these congregations. Of course, it is possible that the Ephesian believers simply wrote a “To whom it may concern…” type of letter. However, the text seems to imply that specific disciples in Corinth were addressed. For when Apollos arrives in Corinth, he does not make a general appearance in the synagogue there looking for a friendly audience. Instead he is welcomed into a circle of believers who are helped by his witness (18:27). Only after ministry within the church does Apollos then turn to public debate with the Jews (18:28).

Section will identify the missiological Ephesus: The leading city in Asia (Arnold. Ephesians: Power and Magic p.13ff) The assurance of God=s timing and strategy of Epheus (Bruce Acts p.379-80, 84; Ramsey St Paul Traveler p.265). Epehsus was to be the new center of the Gentile mission next important to Syrian Antioch (Bruce Acts p.387). Ephesus marks another decisive moment in the missionary history (Lampe. Seal of the Spirit p.76). Paul=s Ephesian Ministry(late summer 52 to the spring of 55) Acts 18-2 Luke=s record in Acts although sketchy offers us the most literarary material then any other city Paul evangelized and thus provided us with some very vital missiological insights into Ephesus and Asia. The issue whether historically accurate? insights of the pioneering church planting efforts of Paul and his co-labors primarily in the biblical data of Acts chapters 18-20

Luke divides Pauls time of ministry in Ephesus into three stages:

— (Acts 19:8–9a) Paul teaching in the Ephesus synagogue (3 months; summer AD 53)

— (Acts 19:9b-10) two years of daily discussions in the lecture hall of Tyrannus.

Verses 11–20 describe the signs and wonders that accompanied Pauls teaching in the city. In other words, his ministry was not just confined to word but consisted of supernatural deeds as well, described as “extraordinary” (19:11) even for Pauls ministry.

In verse 21 (3) the third stage of ministry begins, described as “a little longer” in verse 22 (cro,non; cf Acts 15:33; 18:23).19 How long a period is meant can only be estimated. Since the ancients used a less precise measure of time than we do and usually approximated whole numbers, it is reasonable to assume that this third period was at least three months and probably longer perhaps five to six months. This allows the total to be rounded to three years, which Luke reports Paul as saying in Acts 20:31.20

During this period Lukes narrative thus gives no hint of a Corinthian ministry spanning the Aegean, so this must be reconstructed from Pauls canonical letters of First and Second Corinthians. Let us next examine those events and correlate them with Lukes three stages found in the books of Acts.

Corinthian church becomes aware that Paul is in Ephesus (AD 52)

— Paul arrived in Ephesus, a journey of approximately 740 miles (late spring AD 53)

— (Acts 19:2-7) Paul ministers to 12 Disciples (late summer AD 53). Did Paul find or search for 12 disciples? And does the number 12 have apostolic overtones? Christians? (See Bruce Acts p.385, not Christians see Stott Acts p.303). The 12 became the nucleaus of the church, the giving of the Holy Spirit was equate to Samaritan situation and thus the next step in misxsion to ends of the earth.

Spring 53: By the summer of AD 53 news of Pauls arrival in Ephesus would have reached Corinth, probably via a messenger sent by Paul himself. Spring 53: By the summer of 53 news of Pauls arrival in Ephesus would have reached Corinth, probably via a messenger sent by Paul himself.

The exact location of the synagogue in Ephesus is unknown, but it was located likely in the unexcavated behind the civil agora or down by the Sea.

Paul teaches in the Hall of Tyrannus (starts Fall AD 53-55; 2 years)

idea of catchetical school (Green Evangelism p.171-172) From the beginning Christians were learners and thinkers (Allen. Methods p.14)

During this two year time period, while Paul was teaching and training in the Hall of Tyrannus, all of the Roman province of Asia hears the Gospel (AD 53-55)

(Acts 19:9-10) The Roman province of Asia hears the Gospel and churches were planted.

The churches in the Roman province of Asia (1 Corinthians 16:19-20) ll saints (2 Cor 13:13).

The addressees of the book of Revelation were seven churches in the Roman province of Asia. The greeting in 1:4 states: John to the seven churches in Asia.= This is the sole mention of Asiain the book. Epaphras in Colossae.

(Acts 19:13-20) Extraordinary miracles and deliverances performed through handkerchiefs (AD 54;

Paul writes 1 Corinthians (Fall AD 54)

Paul writes his first letter to the Corinthians telling them not to associate with sexually immoral people (Fall 54; 1 Corinthians 5:9) and probably also giving instruction about idolatry. A messenger carries the letter across the Aegean before the rough winter seas make travel dangerous.

In summary, during Pauls three years in Ephesus these things have happened:

1) he has written three letters to the Corinthian church;

2) he has received a letter and at least two oral reports about the Corinthian church;

3) he has sent Timothy as an emissary to Corinth who has returned to Ephesus with news about the Corinthian situation.

4) he has made a “painful” second visit to Corinth

Paul receives a bad verbal report from Chloe’s messengers concerning the problems and the divisions in the Church of Corinth (AD 55; 1 Corinthians ????)

Messengers from Chloe return to Ephesus and bring an oral report of quarrels in Corinthian church. Whether these messengers were Ephesians or Corinthians is a matter of debate. Fees argument that they were Ephesians is persuasive. Chloe was apparently a wealthy Ephesian Christian who had sent believing slaves or freedmen from her household to Corinth on business. While there, they had visited house churches in Corinth and had learned that the believers were divided around various personalities, evidently all people who had ministered in Corinth– -Paul, Apollos, and Cephas (Peter) (1 Cor 1:11–12; 3:1–23; 11:17–22). The report of these messengers about the situation is considered trustworthy by Paul.23

Soon after, Stephanas, Fortunatus and Achaicus representatives from the Church in Corinth arrive in Ephesus from Corinth with a letter of questions for Paul (spring AD 55; 1 Corinthians 16:17). (1 Corinthians 7:1ff; 16:17) These questions, mentioned in 1 Cor 7:1–14:39, discuss a variety of topics such as marriage (chap 7), food sacrificed to idols (chaps 8, 10), worship and the Lords supper (chap 11) and spiritual gifts (12–14).

Sosthenes arrives probably a leader in the Corinthian Church (AD 55; 1 Corinthians 1:1) Sosthenes, a person well known to the Corinthians, has also come to Ephesus. In Acts 18:17 a Sosthenes is mentioned who is the ruler of the synagogue in Corinth. Whether he is the same as the person mentioned in 1 Corinthians 1:1 is unknown. But this Sosthenes is a clearly a brother and coworker who may well be serving as Pauls amanuensis (cf. 1 Corinthians 16:21) and co-author of the letter. Sosthenes might well have told Paul about other problems in the Corinthian church such as sexual immorality (chap 5, esp v 1; 6:12–20): “It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you” (5:1); lawsuits (chap 6:–11) and the judgment of Pauls behavior as an apostle (chap 9): “This is my defense to those who sit in judgment on me” (9:3) The Sosthenes of Acts 18:17 became the synagogue ruler of Corinth after the previous ruler Crispus believed in Jesus and joined Paul at the home of the god-fearer Titius Justus, who lived next door to the synagogue. Given this previous defection, it is likely that the Jewish community would have chosen a new leader who could lead the opposition against Pauls gospel, as he in fact did before Gallio (Acts 18:12–17). Obviously this Sosthenes could also have become a believer, but it is more likely that there were two Sosthenes in Corinth sharing the same name.

If the scenario described in the next note is correct, the NIV translation of epv es, cen cro,non, “he stayed … a little longer,” is misleading. The actual time gap would be five to six months, thus the NRSV translation is preferred: “he stayed some time longer.”

Paul sends Timothy and Erastus to Corinth via Macedonia (AD 55; Acts 19:22-25; 1 Cor 4:17; 26; 16:10-11).

Erastus, if he is the Corinthian mentioned in Romans 16:23 and 2 Timothy 4:20,27 had come to Ephesus from Corinth at some point and was now returning home. Erastuss visit to Ephesus was probably motivated by his relationship with Paul as his personal “helper,” rather than as a representative of the church. These two helpers were to remind the church of Pauls way life (1 Cor 4:17b) and help with the Jerusalem collection (1 Cor 16:1–3). They were also to discover the It is difficult to decide whether ep; emya is a real aorist (“sent”; NRSV) or an epistolary one (“am sending”; TNIV, NIV). Fees argument is persuasive: since Timothy is not mentioned in the greeting in 1:1, it is “improbable in the highest degree that he was still with Paul while he was writing the letter” (1 Corinthians, 188). Timothys departure, however, could not have occurred much before Pauls writing of the letter, and in fact his role as Pauls emissary is anticipate in 4:17 and 16:1–3). Witherington, Conflict and Community in Corinth (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1995) 32–33, believes that the Erastus of Romans 16:23 and the one named in two inscriptions found in Corinth are the same person.

Corinthian response to Pauls letter and see if the Corinthians had changed in their behavior

Timothy returns to Paul in Ephesus with a bad report (Fall AD 55; 2 Corinthians 10:10-11). Timothy found the problems in Corinth had escalated because of the recent appearance of Paul’s opponents from outside the city.

Paul writes his first letter to the Corinthians (summer AD 55) approximately three years after Paul’s first ministry visit to Corinth (Acts 18; 1 Corinthians 5:9)

Paul writes First CORINTHIANS probably carried by Stephanas, Fortunatus, and Achaicus. Paul writes his second letter to Corinthians– the canonical 1 Corinthians. He responds to both the oral reports and questions previously mentioned. Sosthenes, called “our brother,” (1 Cor 1:1) is the co-author. As Paul Trebilco notes, since Sosthenes is singled out here among others, this “suggests he is very well known to the Corinthians.” The letter is perhaps carried to Corinth by Stephanas, Fortunatus and Achaicus who are leaders probably in the Corinthian church who will read it to the house churches and serve as Pauls representative to implement its directives.

Paul anticipates an upcoming trip to Corinth when he will give more instructions in person (1 Cor 11:34)

When Paul wrote 1 Corinthians, he intended to return to Corinth after his stay in Ephesus and after passing through Macedonia, to proceed from Corinth to Jerusalem with the collection (1 Corinthians 16:5-9).

Paul’s original plans in 1 Corinthians were to stay in Ephesus through Pentecost (spring AD 56), and then travel overland through Macedonia and spend a long time, winter, in Corinth.

Paul makes a “painful” second visit to Corinth (AD 55; 2 Corinthians 2:1; 12:14; 13:1–2). The was Paul’s second overall visit to Corinth (1 Corinthians 4:18-19; 2 Corinthians 2:1; 16:10). This visit was probably a short one because Paul was in the midst of a busy ministry schedule in Ephesus, and he needed to return before the winter season shut down the Aegean for sailing. Paul then abandoned his plans put forth 1 Corinthians 16, and he took a quick boat trip to Corinth. While there this short visit turned bad., He was apparently attack by a leader in the church of Corinth. But it seems as if Timothy had returned to Ephesus and told Paul that the situation was getting really bad.

In light of this heavy confrontation, Paul left Corinth and returned to Ephesus in the midst of a large scale rebellion against Paul’s apostolic authority and message (2 Cor 1:23-2:5; 7:12), and he determined not to make another painful visit (2 Cor 2:1-2).  However, although his opponents labeled Paul a weak spiritual coward.

based on the bad report of Timothy, immediately in order to correct things, after which he would go on to Macedonia and then return for a second visit en route to Jersusalem (double benefit 2 Corinth 1:15-16). Paul had confidence that his visit to Corinth would correct all the problems, however he was wrong. This visit became his painful visit when the church called into question Paul’s authority and gospel, while one of its leaders severely attached Paul (2 Cor 2:1; 5-8; 7:8-13; 11:4).  The false teaching had led a large number, if not most, of the Corinthian church to accept another Jesus, contrary spirit,a nd another gospel (2 Cor 11:4). 

Paul planned to stay in Ephesus until after Pentecost (spring AD 55; 1 Corinthians 16:8)

Paul’s deadly peril in Asia, Ephesus Theater (late spring AD 55; Acts 19)

Spring AD 56 – Paul writes that he fight “wild beasts” in Ephesus facing great persectution, hardships in Asia (????????)

Paul is forced to change his plans to make a longer visit to Corinth and Macedonia and has decided to stay in Ephesus until Pentecost (winter AD 55; 1 Cor 16:5–6, 8–9; 2 Cor 1:15–16; cf Acts 19:21).30

Paul writes a “sorrowful” lost third letter to the Corinthians by Titus (spring AD 56; 2 Cor 2:3–11; 7:8–13). Once Paul returned to Ephesus after his short “painful” visit to Corinth, he sent Titus back in Corinth with a tearful and severe letter (his third overall letter to Corinth) in which he warned the Corinthians of God’s judgement and called them to repent.

Aquila and Priscilla leave Paul and depart for Rome, undoubtedly stopping in Corinth (spring AD 56; Rom 16:3; cf 1 Cor 16:19). Winter AD 56 – Aquila and Priscilla leave Paul and go to Rome (1 Corinthians 16:19; Romans 16:3) Aquila and Priscilla depart Ephesus for Rome (winter 56; 1 Corinthians 16:19; Romans 16:3). This must of had a negative blow to the church in Ephesus.

Paul changes his plans to visit Corinth before going to Macedonia and then revisit Corinth on way to Judea (winter AD 56; 2 Corinthians 1:15-16)


Paul leaves Ephesus to Troas, Macedonia probably with Timothy (summer AD 56; Acts 20:1; 2 Corinthians 1:1).

After Titus went to Corinth, Paul went to Troas to pursue ministry and wait for Titus.

After the riot, Paul leaves Ephesus for Macedonia, probably with Timothy (Ac 20:1; cf 2 Corinthians 1:1) After the riot in Acts 19, Paul departed Ephesus for Greece. He first took a ship to Troas, and was waiting for Titus to come with a report of the situation in Corinth in response to his tearful letter he had written in Ephesus after his painful letter.

Since Titus was late in coming to Troas, Paul departed for Macedonia, likely Philippi where he met with Titus with the good news that Corinth had dealt with his main critic. Even though there was a wide open door for ministry in Troas, Paul went to Macedonia to find Titus (2 Corinthians 2:12-13). There he met Titus and received the good news that God had used the “tearful letter” (2 Corinthians 2:4) to bring repentance to the majority of the Corinthian Christians.

However, it was also reported to Paul that under the continuing influence of his opponents, there still was a rebellious minority who continued to follow false teachers and reject Paul’s apostolic authority and message. Titus returned telling Paul that the church had dealt with the issue in Corinth, but now a new problem aroe. missionaries from the churches in Judea has arrived in Corinth callenging the apostolic credentials of Paul. 

Paul wrote 2 Corinthians from Macedonia, a year or so after the writing of 1 Corinthians (AD 55-56),

Paul makes plans to return to Corinth for his third visit (2 Corinthians 12:14; 13:1).

Summer 55 – 55 (late spring-late summer) Paul in Troas (Acts 20:4-12) leaves Ephesus for Troas with Timothy (Acts 20:1; 2 Corinthians 1:1)

Paul changes his plans to visit Corinth before Macedonia and then to revisit Corinth before going to Judea (winter AD 56; 2 Corinthians 1:15-16)

Paul goes by sea to Macedonia (October AD 55)

PAUL WRITES SECOND CORINTHIANS FROM MACEDONIA (Autumn AD 56; 3rd letter overall), most likely from Philippi. Paul writes Second Corinthians (Fourth Letter to Corinth) from Macedonia. 55 (October) – Paul writes Second Corinthians from Macedonia/Philippi. He sent 2 Corinthians (3 letter) to Corinth from Macedonia with Titus, and prepared for his third visit to Corinth. Paul in Macedonia revisiting his churches –  spends late spring and summer visiting the churches in Macedonia, Philippi, Thessalonica, Berea) who has not seen for several years.

Paul goes against his plan in 1 Corinthians 16. Paul’s painful visit to Corinth, Paul sends severe letter by Titus.

According to 2 Corinthians 1:15-2:4, Paul had apparently took a quick sea trip to Corinth from Ephesus, hoping that he would then go to Macedonia, and return back to Corinth so they could send him to Jerusalem. But this short visit developed into a major crisis, which took 2 more letters and 2 viists from Titus to staighten out.

In 2 Corinthians 1:15ff Paul’s new plans was to fist Corinth twice, first on his way to Macedonia and then again on his way back to Jerusalem.

Paul In Latin-speaking Roman Province of Illyricum (summer AD 56)

Macedonia/Greece (19:21-20:4)

PAUL STAYS IN CORINTH FOR THREE MONTHS (January-March AD 57; Acts 20:2-3).


Feast of Unleavened Bread in Jerusalem (April 7-14, AD 57)

Paul in Cenchreae (port of Corinth), Paul discovers plot of Jews to kill him, so Paul decides to travel overland through Macedonia.

Paul in Philippi

Paul at Neapolis (port of Philippi)

Paul traveled from Philippi to Jerusalem (AD 57; Acts 20)

Paul in Troas. After leaving Ephesus, Paul had an open door of ministry in Troas. Paul travels by sea from Neapolis to Troas (met with church, boy falls out of window)


After a period of successful ministry in Macedonia and Achaia, Paul returned to Troas accompanied by at least eight of his associates (Acts 20:4 plus Luke). At Troas Paul raised the young Eutychus from the dead when he fell from the upper story of a Roman apartment house called a domus. The next day Paul walked over twenty miles to Assos where he met the others on board ship. Luke carefully plots the sea journey south through the Aegean Sea until the ship stopped at Miletus, a port city that boasted two harbors. There Paul summoned the Ephesian elders and delivered on the beach one of his most impassioned messages (20: 18–35). On his journey to Jerusalem Paul stopped at one more site in Turkey, the harbor at Patara (21:2). Patara became famous later as the birthplace of Nicholas, the patron saint of Christmas. Paul’s third journey lasted from 53–56.

Travels by ship down the west coast of Asia Minor (modern Turkey)

Assos (Paul walks)

Mytilene, east coast of the island of Lesbos


Miletus (called for Ephesus elders, 30 miles) (AD 57; Acts 20:17-21:1)

Paul, on the return of his third missionary journey, stopped in Miletus and sent a representative from the Milesian church to Ephesus to bring its elders back for a tearful farewell (Ac 20:17B38). Miletus was a day’s journey from Ephesus via Priene (cf AcJn 18). Already Ephesus was having a problem with its harbor silting up, and for this reason Ramsay (1994:169) has suggested that Paul bypassed Ephesus and landed at Miletus. The four harbors of Miletus likewise silted up later, but in the second half of the first century it was a thriving port.



Patara (Lycian coast)

Paul Travels down the west coast of Israel


Ptolemais (Akko)


Tyre (Acts 20:13-38)

Caesarea (Acts 21:7-16)


Jerusalem (Acts 21:17-23:33)

Paul arrested in Jerusalem

Paul’s confrontation and arrest in Jerusalem (Acts 21:15-23:22)

Paul received an initial warm welcome in Jerusalem

Feast of Unleavened Bread (April 7-14, AD 57)

Feast of Penecost (last week of May AD 57)

Paul arrested in Jersualem (AD 57)


Paul in prison in Caesarea for two years Imprisonment.  Thriving church in Ceaserea … Evangelist Philip … maybe this was the connection with Paul that cause Philip to move to Hieropolis in late 60s.


Paul’s Voyage from Caeserea to Rome (Acts 27:1–7)

Agabus and others had prophesied to Paul along the way that trouble awaited him in Jerusalem (Acts 21:4–14). His arrest in Jerusalem was provoked when some Jews from the province of Asia accused Paul of bringing his coworker, the Ephesian gentile Trophimus, into the temple area (21:27–29). Stones in Greek warned Gentiles that entrance beyond the Court of the Gentiles was prohibited. Today one such stone is on display at the Istanbul Archaeological Museum; it reads: “No intruder is allowed in the courtyard and within the wall surrounding the temple. Those who enter will invite death for themselves.” Paul languished in Roman custody for two years at Caesarea until he appealed to Caesar (24:1–26:32). The Roman governor Festus then decided to send Paul to Rome for trial. In a touch of divine irony Paul is placed under guard on a ship from Adramyttium, bound for ports along the coast of Asia. His companions for this voyage that dates to the year 59 were Luke and Aristarchus. The northwest prevailing winds that blew across the Mediterranean forced ships sailing westward to hug the Anatolian coast of Cilicia and Pamphylia. At Myra in Lycia the Roman centurion transferred his prisoners to an Alexandrian ship returning to Rome (27:4–7). Such vessels were the most comfortable to sail on but would be heavily laden with grain to make bread for the Roman populace. The ship plodded slowly along Turkey’s Carian coast until at Cnidus Paul glimpsed Anatolia for the last time on this trip. What followed was a harrowing shipwreck that cast Paul and his companions barely alive on the shores of Malta. The book of Acts closes with Paul arriving safely in Rome where was placed under house arrest.

Paul’s voyage to Rome off Cilicia and Pampylia landing at Myra in Lycia (AD 57)

Paul on the Island of Malta (November-January AD 59-60)

(AD 60-62)

AD 60-62 – Paul’s First Imprisonment in Rome (2 years)

The apostle Paul’s trial in Rome serves as the transitional event in the life of the New Testament church. The Life and Mission of the New Testament Church. The Narrative of the Mission of the Apostles (A.D. 30-60) This class covers the 30 year historical period from the day of Penecost, and the missionary journeys of apostle Paul in the planting of the New Testament church. This historical period ends with the apostle Paul in prison in Rome. The birth and formation of the Jerusalem church and the missionary journeys of the apostle Paul. From Antioch to Rome (AD 47-57) From Antioch to Rome took around 10 years for the apostle Paul to plant local churches in four Roman provinces – Galatia, Macedonia, Achaia and Asia

Rome (Act 28:11-31

Paul’s Journey and house arrest in Rome (AD 60-62)

Acts ends with Paul under house arrest in Rome


The fourth redemptive period of the New Testament is approximately 10 years long, and covers the historical time frame from Paul’s first Roman imprisonment (AD 60) to the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple by the Romans (AD 70).  During this time period, ELEVEN New Testament letters were written:

AD 60-62 – Paul’s Roman Prison Letters (AD 60-62) Paul writes Asian churches from Rome (Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, Philemon)


(AD 62-65)

The New Testament is silent regarding Paul’s subsequent activities. The Pastoral Epistles suggest that Paul was released from prison and made another journey to Asia around the year 63. His companions were Timothy and Titus, the latter whom he left at Crete (Titus 1:5). On his way to Macedonia Paul stopped in Ephesus, where he left Timothy to stop the spread of false teaching in the church (1 Tim. 1:3). On his return to Ephesus Paul was arrested again, probably at Troas (2 Tim. 4:13). Under Roman custody Paul apparently stopped at Miletus, leaving Trophimus sick there (2 Tim. 4:20). With Paul again in chains at Rome, contact with him proved highly risky. Everyone from Asia deserted him except for one man from Ephesus named Onesiphorus, who searched for Paul and refreshed him (2 Tim. 1:15–18).

Tradition places Paul’s death in Rome during Nero’s persecution of Christians around 65.

Because of his 4 year imprisonment, and no public ministry, gave his opponents throughout the Gentile mission field to advance and sow bad seed (FF Bruce, Apostle, p. 463)

After Paul was released from his two-year Roman imprisonment, he embarks on his fourth missionary journey.  Although we cannot be sure of his exact itinerary because it is not recorded in the book of Acts,

It is during this fourth missionary journey that he writes THREE more New Testament letters (1 Timothy, Titus, 2 Timothy). 

Paul was securing apostolic teaching, church practice, and pastoral insights for the next generation of leaders and churches. 

The conclusion that Paul engaged in a fourth missionary journey is based on the following…

SPAIN (A.D. 62-64).

The Church Father Clement (1 Clement 5:7) hints that Paul actually made it to the “limit of the west,” that is Spain. (Romans 15:24, 28) I plan to do so when I go to Spain…I will go to Spain and visit you on the way. Spain/Hispania (AD 62-64; Romans 15:24, 28). Paul desire to go to Spain (Roman 15:24, 28). Early Christian literature state that the gospel went as far as Spain (Clement of Rome, Epistle of Corinthians, ch. 5).

Paul was released from the Prison in Rome (Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History, 2.22.2-3). Rome (released from prison in AD 62)

Paul went to Nicopolis in Achaia (southern Greece, Titus 3:12). Then, either from Macedonia or Nicopolis, Paul wrote the epistle to TITUS to encourage and instruct him.

Paul visited Troas (2 Timothy 4:13) where he was then arrested, taken to Rome, imprisoned, and finally beheaded.

It was from Rome, during this second imprisonment in the dungeon, that he wrote II Timothy.

Paul’s letters of 1-2 Timothy and Titus have been called the “Pastoral Letters.”  They are letters written to his close disciples and associates Timothy and Titus who were fully discipled in Paul’s teaching and practices.  These letters are the type of letters we could expect from a senior missionary written to his associates addressing pastoral issues they were facing in their church planting and maturing ministry.

How do these letters fit into the chronology of Paul’s life and ministry?

The places Paul may have visited during his fourth missionary journey are indicated in the Pastoral letters. The exact order of his travel cannot be determined with certainty but the following itinerary is a strong possibility…

Paul on the Island of Crete (AD 64-65)

Paul travels to Crete. Paul spent some time in Crete and left Titus there to carry on the work (Titus 1:5). Paul had made some inroads on Crete while on his way to Rome (Acts 27). During this time it is likely that a small house church was established. Because of the church’s problems, he leaves Titus behind. Crete (64-65; Titus 1:5) He then visited Crete, leaving Titus there to put in order the remaining matters in the churches of Crete.

(Titus 1:5) The reason I left you in Crete was that you might straighten out what was left unfinished and appoint elders in every town, as I directed you.

While on his way to or already in Nicopolis in western Greece Paul wrote the letter of Titus.

Paul in Ephesus (AD 65-66).

Paul ministered in Ephesus where he left Timothy to carry on while he went to Macedonia (1 Timothy 1:3). Paul intended to return to Ephesus at some point in the future (1 Timothy 3:14; 4:13). However, it is not clear whether he did, probably not. Paul returns to Ephesus. Because of the church’s problems, he leaves Timothy behind. Paul ministered in Ephesus where he left Timothy to carry on while he went to Macedonia (1 Timothy 1:3). Paul intended to return to Ephesus at some point in the future (1 Timothy 3:14; 4:13). However, it is not clear whether he did, probably not. The apostle then visited Ephesus, where he left Timothy to supervise the church,

(1 Timothy 1:3)  As I urged you when I went into Macedonia, stay there in Ephesus so that you may command certain men not to teach false doctrines

Miletus (AD 65, 2 Timothy 4:20)

Colosse 66 (Philemon 22)

Ephesus 66 (1 Timothy 1:3)



Paul in Macedonia/Philippi (A.D. 66)

Paul writes First Timothy from Macedonia

Paul went on to Macedonia. From Macedonia (northern Greece), he wrote I Timothy (I Tim. 1:3). aul writes the letter of

Paul writes the letter of TITUS

Philippi 66 (Philippians 2:23-24; 1 Tim 1:3)


Nicopolis 66-67 (Tit 3:12)

Nicopolis (A.D. 66-67)

Nicopolis (meaning Victory City) was located on the western coast of Greece in the province of Epirus about 200 miles west and slightly north of Athens and was founded by Augustus in 31-29 BC to celebrate his victory over Mark Antony. This was a Roman colony and served as the regional economic and administrative capitl of the province of Epirus. Paul would have naturally have gone there if he were going to or return from Rome.

(Titus 3:12) …do your best to come to me at Nicopolis, because I have decided to winter there.

1 Timothy (AD 65)

Titus (AD 65)

(AD 65)

Paul writes the letter of Second Timothy

Paul wrote Timothy (about 35 years of age) when in Ephesus and over all the churches in the Roman provinces of Asia (Ramsay, Historical commentary on the Pastoral Epistles, footnote chapter 4, p.152  Based on 2 Timothy 4:12-20

Paul was arrested a second time in either Troas or somewhere else in Asia Minor and sent to Rome for Trial. Perhaps hostile Jews charge him for his work in Asia Minor.  Paul is arrested and imprisoned again. This time his imprisonment is much more difficult and serious. It is likely that Paul was charged with being the leader of the Christians and a persistent disturber of the peace in the Roman provinces. As a result at his first defense everyone disserted him (2 Tim 4:16ff) Paul was rearrested, imprisoned, put on trial and sentenced to death and beheaded.

It is very likely that his execution was an incident in Nero’s persecutions of the Roman Chistians and to be dated in or shortly after the year 65 (FF Bruce, Paul: Set Free, p. 450).

Writing in 2 Timothy Paul asks Timothy to bring him his things from Troas (2 Timothy 4:9-13). We indicates that Paul was arrested hastly in Troas and was not even able to collect all his things before being shipped off to Rome. Paul writes 2 TIMOTHY during his second imprisonment in Rome, when he expects to die (2 Timothy 4:16-18).  He was charged with public disorder and they held him in chains like a criminal while awaiting trial (2 Tim 2:9).  The Romans were obsessed with public order and were ready to punish any danger to the pax Romana with severe measures.

(2 Timothy 4:6-8)  For 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 – and not only me, but also to all who have for his appearing.

In 2 Timothy Paul is writing in anticipation of his execution at Rome (4:6). He writes Timothy to inform him of his bad circumstances (4:9).  2 Timothy is filled with Paul’s reflections on his life’s conclusion and the awareness that he must turn his ministry over to the next generation of leaders. Church tradition associates Paul’s martyrdom with the persecution of Christians in Rome which followed the great fire in Rome of AD 64 – at least two years after the lastest possible date for hearing his case (FF Bruce, Paul, p 441).

On the night of July 18/19 in AD 64 a fire broke out at the north-east end of the Circus Maximus.  The colonnade of shops caught fire and the winds spread the fire which raged five days until the city’s fourteen divisions three completely destroyed and seven severely damaged.  It is alleged that Nero himself set the fire but chose the Christians as the scapegoats

With the death of Paul and Peter in Rome gave the church in the city of Rome a superior right to speak of apostolic authority, even though in actuality these apostles really belonged to the east.  The church in Rome has considered Paul and Peter the co-founders of the church in Rome and have claimed apostlic succession from that, although the church in Rome was founded by neither of them.  Since there was only one Bishop at one time, the naming of Peter as the first bishop of Rome in the late second century… 

The first to attach dogmatic significance to the name of Peter alone at the head of the Roman church was Cyprian the bishop of Carthage in North Africa who died in AD 258.  Soon Paul’s contribution to early Roman Christianity was increasingly overlooked.

AD 65 – Paul’s Second Roman Imprisonment and Martyrdom

65 – Paul’s Second Imprisoned and Martyred in Rome

The arrest took place in the winter of 64–65. The first hearing was in spring 65; and after it Paul, looking forward to a long interval, wrote asking Timothy to come to him before winter (November 65). The trial, condemnation, and execution would take little time; and all was over before the end of 65. Therefore the conversion must be dated in 31, the first visit to Jerusalem in 33, and the second in 44, namely, in the 3rd and 14th year of Paul’s new life.

Church tradition indicates that the apostle John moved to Ephesus with many Palestinian Christians around a.d. 65 before the fall of Jerusalem in 70. During Nero’s persecution against Christians in Rome at that time, both Peter and Paul were martyred in Rome. As the leader of the Asian church John was targeted by Roman authorities and exiled to Patmos (Rev. 1:9). While on the island John received his apocalyptic vision about the spiritual situation of seven Asian churches as well as about the future of the church and the world (1:10–11, 19).

The order of the seven churches—Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea—follows a route that a messenger would naturally follow in visiting the cities.

During Paul’s ministry in Ephesus many churches were established in Asia. Hence these seven churches seem to represent many other churches that were in Asia at the time (e.g., Miletus, Troas, Assos, Cyzicus, Magnesia, Tralles, Metropolis, etc.). The style of the seven messages is similar, with the heart of each focused on commendation and correction concluding with a promise of victory. The historical and spiritual situation of each church aids in interpreting the details of its message.

During the late 60s a new stablizing influence into the churches of the province of Asia by leaders from Judea … Apostle John and Evangelist Philip of Caesarea, they had a great influence on the Asian Christians then and for many years to come. Since they were close to the early Jerusalem Church they were able to stand against Judaisers etc.

2 Timothy (AD 65)

AD 64-65 – –2 Peter

AD 65 – Paul and Peter Martyred in Rome

Other New Testament Letters

Jude (AD 65s)

Hebrews (AD 64-68)

Apostle John moves to Ephesus

Roman governor exiles John to the Island of Patmos

Apostle Philip

(AD 66-70)

The fifth redemptive period of the New Testament is approximately 30 years long, and covers the historical time frame following the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple (AD 70) to the death of Apostle John in Ephesus (AD 95), the last living apostle of Jesus.  During this time period, THREE or FOUR New Testament letters were written by the Apostle John:

1 – Flight to Pella (Jordan)

AD 66 – Jewish revolt against Rome; Rome’s war in Jerusalem

With the Jewish revolt and destruction of the temple, the scattering of the church in Jerusalem. The church in Jersualem tried to maintain its identity for several generations, but no longer could issue decrees to be accepted by Gentiles Christians. (FF Bruce Apostle p. 464)

After the AD 70 destruction of the temple, Jewish Christian bishops continued until the bar Kokhba revolt of AD 135. At which time, the church of Jerusalem entered into its third phase, that of a Greek Church with Greek patriarchs   


Apostle John to Ephesus

Revelation (early date of AD 69)

1 John (AD 80-90s)

2 John (AD 80-90s)

3 John (AD 80-90s)

Revelation (late date of AD 90s)

The death of the Apostle John and the end of the Apostolic and the New Testament period (AD 95).

Apostle Philip

In the early 2nd century an unknown benefactor collected Paul’s letters … and from then on paul’s writings were read as a collection and not letters to individual churches (FF Bruce Apostle p. 465).


(Galatians 1:17) – Paul’s first visit to Jerusalem (two weeks AD 36). Three years after the conversion of Paul in AD 33, Paul went to Jerusalem for the first visit time, and met with Peter and Apostle James. (NIV Application Commentary, Acts p.351)