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  1. The Church (the Body of Christ) –
  3. timeline for Apostle Paul

The ploy almost worked, but failed at the last minute when Jews from Asia Minor recognized Paul in the Temple and incited the crowd to seize him — The Roman military intervened, rescuing him from being assassinated by the mob, but holding him under arrest — The Trials in Jerusalem. As the narrative in Acts proceeds, the descriptions become increasingly dramatic and detailed with a good number of speeches and debates.

To what extent these reports are based on reliable information is unknown.

From the data available to him, he tried to present a plausible picture of how Paul got himself arrested, extricated from the Jewish authorities and the lynch mobs, transferred to Roman protective custody, and eventually transported to Rome. Tragically, his final trump card, the appeal to Caesar, while saving him from death in Jerusalem, made his transfer to Rome inevitable.

Thus, in the end, Paul must go before Caesar because his own appeal to Roman law, and the will of God, require it ; ; ; —32; Fearing that he would be flogged, he revealed that he was a Roman citizen, whereupon the Roman officer unfettered Paul and prohibited the soldiers from flogging him b— Next, Jewish fanatics conspired to murder Paul, but were foiled when his nephew told him of their plan and then informed the tribune as well — When the next procurator, Festus, wanted to move the trial to Jerusalem, Paul sensed the danger and appealed to Caesar — This appeal created a dilemma for the procurator because there were no charges against Paul that could stand up in a Roman court of law.

When King Agrippa and Queen Berenice came to town, Festus brought Paul before them hoping that the king might help him dispose of the case — The Journey to Rome. Thus Paul, together with other prisoners, was dispatched to Rome. Under the protection of Julius, a friendly centurion of the Augustan Cohort, they sailed in a ship from Adramyttium via Sidon along the coast of Asia Minor to Myra in Lycia —5.

From Myra they took a ship to Italy —8. This trip almost ended in disaster when they encountered a violent seastorm, suffer shipwreck, and barely made it ashore in Malta —44 , not realizing where they were Paul stayed for three months and was remembered in Malta for his extraordinary miracles — As the winter season drew to a close and the travel lanes reopened, Paul, still accompanied by the officer Julius, now his friend, took another ship to Syracuse in Sicily, continuing to Rhegium and Puteoli in Italy — Thus he arrived in Rome, where Roman Christians met him well outside the city — An attempt by Paul to explain himself before the Jewish leaders in Rome failed — Strangely, Acts has nothing to say about what happened when the two years were over.

Probably Luke, the author of Acts, knew that Paul was executed as a martyr in Rome cf. The reason Luke chose to end the book in this way if this is the original end is unknown, but there are various theories that try to explain it see Acts Hermeneia, —28; Schneider —82, — The entire matter of the collection made by the Pauline churches seems to be unknown to Luke. Even when he found bits of information in his sources, he did not know what to do with them and therefore misplaced and misinterpreted the data —30; , 26; — For him Paul was not a letter-writer but a powerful speaker, the opposite of what his opponents had concluded cf.

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Still later testimonies are 1 Clem. The historical information contained in these sources is extremely limited and does not significantly increase the data that can be obtained from the NT. Two attendant circumstances further complicate matters. But all information yielded by Acts rests on the assumption that its author had access to historically reliable sources and that he used them in an historically responsible fashion, an assumption that is open to criticism.

The significance of this point lies in its deviation from the framework of Acts, which presents five such trips.

Datable Events. This visit would then have occurred in a. The conference of church leaders in Jerusalem, the so-called Apostolic Council described in Gal —10, presupposes that Peter was still in Jerusalem his departure is reported in Acts , and that James and John, the sons of Zebedee, were still alive their martyrdom is mentioned without dating in Mark The John who attended the conference Gal was most likely one of the sons of Zebedee. If there is then the question about whether the events reported in Acts 12—17 are sufficient to fill the period from 43 to 51, it should not be assumed that Acts reports everything that happened.

These dates are all approximations. Other synchronizations are even less certain. When Paul says he was driven out from Damascus three years after his conversion mission in Arabia and return to Damascus Gal —18; 2 Cor —33 , a precise dating within the reign of Aretas IV ca. The edict of Claudius mentioned in Acts —2 is attested also by Suetonius, but the exact date cannot be ascertained.

The date of a. The replacement of Felix by Festus 60—62 [? If we knew precisely how long Paul stayed in Palestine and how long it took to travel from Ephesus to Palestine, his two and one-half years of residence in Ephesus Acts could be dated, but the time spans are a matter of guesswork.

Paving the way : contributions of interactive conflict resolution to peacemaking

If he traveled to Rome in the year 60, stayed there for two years Acts , and was martyred immediately afterwards, his death would fall into the years 63 or 64, a date coinciding with the persecution of Christians by Nero after the great fire a. Dating of the Letters. While there is some agreement about the sequence of the letters, further complications arise if some of the letters e. At a number of points, however, connections can be made between the letters and datable events in Acts.

This letter appears to have been written not long after the founding of the church, which according to Acts —9 took place during the second missionary journey, perhaps in a. Given that Silvanus and Timothy were with Paul 1 Thess ; cf. Acts , the letter may have been sent from Corinth ca.

The dating of Galatians is quite uncertain because Acts does not report the founding of any churches in Galatia; nevertheless, the itineraries recorded in Acts do leave open the possibility that Paul founded these churches during his second missionary journey —8 and visited them again during the third It is unclear whether this return visit occurred before or after the Galatian crisis, which goes unnoticed in Acts. The Corinthian letters have a history in themselves, made up of a complex series of letters.

If the Corinthian church was founded during the second missionary journey Acts —18 , ca. Whether Philemon, also a prison letter Phlm 9 , comes from the same time and place cannot be determined. Here we find general agreement in assigning the apostolic conference to the 40s and the extant letters to the early and mids.

Paul's Prison Epistles - Lesson 1: Paul's Imprisonment (Part 1 of 14)

The following can provide no more than a sketch. Methodological Problems. However, the speeches attributed to him in the book of Acts express the theology of the author of Luke-Acts, not Paul, and should not be used see Vielhauer On the whole, Paul sets forth his theology not in doxographical abstractions but in contextual letters reflecting ongoing debates. These occur in the course of extended arguments in which Paul moves from his theological premises to the resolution of specific issues, both practical and theoretical.

In arguments where Paul actually cites his presuppositions, they often have the form of abbreviated principles or formulae, sometimes lifted from another context e. This first requires that due consideration be given to the argument of an epistle as a whole. As in any exchange of letters or dialogue, the same or similar issues may be brought up repeatedly, and Paul may respond differently in each case.

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Depending on the circumstances, Paul can change his argumentation, present a revised version of it, or even change his position. Character of His Thought. Such oversight allows surface-level contradictions to obscure consistency of thought at a deeper, presuppositional level see Boers ; Beker Admittedly, though, if Paul did pursue a consistent theological position throughout his letters, despite the differences between them, this consistency remains to be demonstrated.

Or did he develop his arguments ad hoc, based only on a limited set of assumptions?


Did Paul have a consistent theology throughout his apostolic career, or did his theology gradually evolve in the context of mission and controversy in which he was constantly involved? If he worked from a fixed theological system, was that system pre-Christian Pharisaic, rabbinic, or apocalyptic with his Christian convictions simply overlaid or appended? Or was his theology something altogether new that grew out of his vision of Christ and his commission to take the gospel to the gentiles? In short, how creative and dynamic a theologian was the apostle Paul?

Such questions form the substance of the present debate in NT scholarship. Understanding His Thought. It is more than the sum of his extant letters and letter fragments, and more than a string of surface-level quotations. This approach places us more in step with the apostle himself, because, while he no doubt does hold some non-negotiable assumptions, his theology is primarily the result of processes of thought. As a result, positions taken in his last letter, Romans, are considerably more advanced that those in his first extant letter, 1 Thessalonians.

This does not mean, however, that he would repudiate his earlier letters, for each letter is designed to respond to particular readers and a specific set of theological problems. Each letter must therefore be judged sufficient in itself theologically, though insufficient to the extent that it calls for future follow-up. If conceived of as the totality of all his thinking, involving all the letters he ever wrote and all the speeches and activities he ever undertook, this theology is inaccessible to us.

Traces of development include direct references by Paul himself to views held in the past but now overcome, citations of pre-Pauline traditions taken over by him, or shifts in his thinking observable by critical investigation. Pre-Christian Pharisaism.

timeline for Apostle Paul

If this is assumed, he must have been a well-versed member of the Pharisaic party. This much can be said, although a paucity of sources leaves us unable to say anything specific about the education of diaspora Pharisees in Asia Minor see Saldarini — That he was authorized to persecute Christians means that his aims received official recognition. Although our sources regarding early Pharisaism are scarce, there is reason to assume that these Pharisees had educational standards and theological consciousness, even if their criteria may have been quite different than later rabbinic orthodoxy.

One should not assume that Pharisaic theological education of a serious nature could be obtained only at Jerusalem against Oepke ; see ANRW, pt. Those who nevertheless trust Acts Oepke —46; van Unnik — draw further conclusions from it, mostly by consulting later rabbinic sources. If Paul, as Oepke suggested , was an ordained rabbi and educated in Jerusalem, serious problems arise. Is it conceivable that a pupil of Gamaliel displays no evident knowledge of Hebrew scripture, instead always citing the? Jeremias even postulated that Paul was a Hillelite because he shared doctrines and exegetical methods attributed to Rabbi Hillel.

Haacker advanced the opposite hypothesis, labeling Paul a Shammaite. One should, in fact, ask why it is almost impossible to establish any connections between Paul and the rabbinic sources. Whatever the answer may be, the accuracy of the information about Gamaliel Acts ; is dubious. Gal , 14; Acts ; At any rate, it seems to be clear that already the pre-Christian Paul had focused his theological concerns on the Torah, circumcision, and other ancestral traditions.

He was, of course, not alone in this, as demonstrated by his later opponents in Jerusalem, Galatia, and elsewhere, who even as Christian Jews continued to hold the same views Paul once held and then rejected. Does his critique of false Torah observance , pretentiousness —20 , hypocrisy —22 , and mere external ritual —29 reflect concerns he had felt already as a Pharisee?

This critique has close parallels in the Sermon on the Mount. Sanders —43? Or did he harbor some doubts, like the would-be disciple of Jesus in Mark who, having done all of the Torah from his youth on, was still unsure of the way to eternal life? If these questions could be answered positively, we would begin to understand why he was impressed, first negatively, then positively, by the Christian gospel.

Conversion to Jesus Christ. Four things immediately present themselves. Unfortunately, our knowledge of this old church is extremely limited, so that we do not precisely know what kind of instruction and tradition Paul received at that time see also Betz Galatians, 64— What did the Christians of Damascus have in mind when they converted non-Jews? How did they, as Jews, justify it?

What was their theological reason for making converts outside of the Torah covenant? Was it in fact done outside of the Torah covenant?