05 Feb 2013 
#42 Timeline of Paul's ministry according to the seven deemed authentic Pauline epistles and Acts of the apostles

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Justifications for this timeline start here.

Paul's beginning and 2nd journey

a) Winter/spring 35: Paul takes part into the persecutions against the proto-Christians starting in Jerusalem (Gal1:13,23a, Ac7:57-8:1-4a,9:1-2)
b) Late spring 35: Paul's conversion in Damascus (Gal1:15-16a, Ac9:18b)
c) Spring 38: three years later (Gal1:18a), Paul escapes from Damascus (2Co11:32-33, Ac9:25) and returns to Jerusalem for a fifteen days visit at Peter's home (Gal1:18b-19, Ac9:26).
d) Spring 38 to spring 42: Paul's exit from Jerusalem (Ac9:30) and stay in his home city, Tarsus in Cilicia (today southern Turkey) up to late 41/early 42
Note: late 41 is likely (according to the clue in 2Co12:2) but cannot be firmly established.
e) Spring 42: Paul is invited by Barnabas to join him in Antioch (Ac11:25-26a).
f) Spring 42 to winter 48/49: Paul is based in Antioch as the protege and companion of Barnabas, participating in missionary journeys in Syria and Cilicia (Gal1:21).
g) Spring & summer of 49: most likely time for Paul and Barnabas (westward) missionary trip ("Paul's first journey") to Cyprus, Pamphylia and "southern" Galatia. Back to Antioch for the winter (note: this trip could have happened one or a few years earlier and lasted longer)
h) Spring 50 to spring 52: Paul's second journey leading to the creation of Christian communities in Macedonia (Philippi, Thessalonica and Berea), Athens and Corinth (where he stays one year and a half - Ac18:11)

Paul's 3rd journey

a) Spring 52: Paul's trip to Jerusalem from Corinth (fourteen years (Gal2:1) after the one in 38). The "council" of Jerusalem takes place then (See Appendix B for explanations).
b) Summer and early fall 52 (or earlier): Paul spends time in Antioch (dispute with Peter: Gal2:11-14) and departs (alone).
c) Fall 52 to winter 53: Paul becomes sick on his way NW and recuperates in "northern" Galatia where he makes converts (Gal4:13-15; Ac18:23,19:1a).
d) Winter 53: Paul's arrival in Ephesus. He learns Apollos & Peter had visited Corinth and each one got followers at his detriment (1Co1-4).
e) Winter 53 to spring 55: Paul preaches in Ephesus for two years and three months (Ac19:8,10). He feels partially abandoned by the Corinthians (1Co9). But, later, the situation improves greatly.
f) Spring 55: Paul's trip to Macedonia and then Corinth (2nd one here: 1Co16:5-8; 2Co13:1-2), where Paul is rejected. Likely no collection (as planned in 1Co16:1-4) is done.
g) Summer 55 to spring 56: Paul stays in Ephesus (about nine months).
h) Spring 56: Paul's short trip to Troas and Macedonia (where Paul hears the good news from Titus) then back to Ephesus (2Co1:15-24,7:5-7). Meanwhile a collection has been on-going in Corinth since late 55 (2Co8:10b-11).
i) Late spring 56: The "riot" in Ephesus.
j) Late spring 56 to fall 56: Paul is imprisoned in Ephesus. The collection in Corinth is aborted (2Co8:10b-11).
k) Fall 56: Paul is freed and goes to Macedonia (probably Philippi first).
l) Fall 56 to early spring 57: Paul visits the Macedonian Christians and then stays in Corinth (for three months (Ac20:3a); the third trip to that city). The collection is restarted and completed in Corinth (Ro15:26).
m) Late spring 57: Paul's arrival in Jerusalem and arrest (Ro15:25-26,31; Ac20,21)

A) The NIV Study Bible (introduction to 'Romans') stipulates that 'Romans' was written in the early spring of 57. That was before Paul's trip to Jerusalem and after a collection in Macedonia and Achaia (I agree with this context), during a three months winter stay in Corinth (Ac20:3). Consequently, a dating of 56 for the "riot" in Ephesus would be implied.
B) The NIV Study Bible is also in agreement for the start of the third missionary journey of Paul (in Ephesus) in early 53. Then, the three years of Paul's preaching in Ephesus mentioned in Ac20:31 would bring us to 56 and the "riot".
Next, in another post, and associated to that issue, I'll show that 1 Corinthians and 2 Corinthians are each a combination of three letters (plus some interpolations).

Cordially, Bernard

Tags: {Paul} {Paul's journeys}
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