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PAGE I. THE CHRONOLOGY OF THE APOSTOLIC AGE
• 201 2. THE DATE OF THE LETTER OF JAMES . . . . . . . 208 2. THE TITLE OF PART III. . . . . . . . . . 209 4. THE TIME OF PETER'S VISIT TO ANTIOCH. . . . . . 209 5. THE DATE OF FIRST THESSALONIANS . . . . . . . 210 6. THE DATE OF SECOND THESSALONIANS . . . . . . 211 7. THE DATE OF THE LETTER TO THE GALATIANS . . . . 212 8. COMMUNICATION BETWEEN PAUL AND THE CORINTHIANS IN THE
INTERVAL BETWEEN HIS FIRST VISIT TO CORINTH AND THE
WRITING OF FIRST CORINTHIANS; THE DATE OF THE LETTER 216 9. THE SUFFERINGS OF PAUL IN EPHESUS. . . . . . . 218 10. THE EXPERIENCES OF PAUL IN THE INTERVAL BETWEEN FIRST
CORINTHIANS AND SECOND CORINTHIANS . . . . . 218 II. THE DATE OF THE LETTER TO THE ROMANS . . . . . 221 12. THE EPISTLES OF THE IMPRISONMENT . . . . . . 222 13. PAUL'S FOURTH MISSIONARY JOURNEY, AND HIS SECOND ROMAN
IMPRISONMENT . . . . . . . . . . . 224 14. THE LITERATURE OF THE PERIOD OF THE JEWISH WAR . . 226 THE LITERATURE OF THE YEARS 70-100 A.D. . . . . . 230
THE CHRONOLOGY OF THE APOSTOLIC AGE.
THERE are two events in the political history of Judea which are in the New Testament so connected with the history of the early church, and at the same time so definitely dated by the evidence of secular writers, as to make them of special importance in the construction of the chronology of the Apostolic Age. These two events are the death of Herod Agrippa I., and the accession of Festus to the procuratorship of Judea as the successor of Felix.
The death of Herod Agrippa I. is recorded by Josephus, Ant. 19. 8. 2, as having occurred when he had completed the third year of his reign over all Palestine. Now since from Ant. 19. 5. 1 it appears that Claudius made him king over all Judea shortly after his own accession, and since Claudius became emperor early in 41 A.D., it follows that Agrippa died in 44 A.D. See Wieseler, Chronologie des Apostolischen Zeitalters, pp. 129–136, and Schürer, Jewish People in the Time of Christ, Div. I., Vol. II., p. 163. From the book of Acts, chap. 12, which gives an account of Herod's death not greatly unlike that contained in Josephus, Ant. 19. 8. 2, it appears that Herod died after the Passover, but how long after is not definitely indicated. Wieseler has indeed calculated from Josephus that Aug. 6th is the exact date, but his calculation rests upon insufficient data. Spring or summer of the year 44 A.D. is as definite a date as can be given for the death of Herod.
Two noteworthy events are closely associated in the book of Acts with the death of Herod, namely, the death of James the brother of John, and the imprisonment of Peter. James perished by the sword of Herod not long before the Passover of this year 44, while Peter was imprisoned at about the Passover season and released just after that festival. The end of the earthly career of James is thus definitely dated for us. This imprisonment of Peter is also the latest event of his life the time of which can be exactly determined. Though he doubtless lived for many years after this, and though we know some of the events of his later life, no subsequent event of it can with confidence be assigned to a particular year.
The exact date of the visit of Barnabas and Saul to Jerusalem to carry relief to the brethren of that city seems at first sight to be definitely fixed also
by Acts, chap. 12, since the story of Herod's persecution of the church and of his own death is interjected between the mention of the journey of Barnabas and Saul to Jerusalem, and of their return 1 from Jerusalem to Antioch. But a more careful examination deters us from drawing so definite an inference from this position of the narratives as that the deată of Herod occurred while Barnabas and Saul were at Jerusalem. The writer introduces the account of the events at Jerusalem (Acts 12:1) with the very general phrase, “ Now about that time.” Moreover, it seems improbable that the Antioch Christians would send relief to Jerusalem to provide against a famine which was yet so far from being immediately impending that Judea was still furnishing the Phoenicians with food (Acts 12: 20). Probably, therefore, we must abide by the author's indefinite phrase “ about that time," which would permit this relief visit to Jerusalem to have taken place a year or two after Herod's death.
A further difficulty is raised in reference to this visit of Saul and Barnabas to Jerusalem by the fact that in the Epistle to the Galatians, where the argument seems to forbid the omission of this visit if it actually took place, there is nevertheless no mention of it. Whether the Acts is in error here, and if so precisely to what extent, whether in reference to the fact of the journey itself, or only as to the participation of Saul in it, or perhaps merely as to his actual arrival in Jerusalem itself, are questions which do not require discussion in a note which aims to fix only the main points of the chronology of the Apostolic Age.
But certain other events of early Christian history, more important in themselves than this particular visit to Jerusalem, are associated by the writer of Acts with the death of Herod; and though their chronological position is less definitely indicated than in the case of the death of James and the imprisonment of Peter, yet valuable information is afforded us. At about the time when these events were taking place in Jerusalem (Acts 12 : 1), a Christian church existed at Antioch in Syria, and Barnabas and Saul were connected with it (Acts 11 : 22–30). The planting of the church in Antioch was manifestly a still earlier event (Acts 11:20, 21), and the beginning of Gentile Christianity, so far as it was connected with the founding of the church in Antioch, is accordingly assigned to a point earlier than the year 44, probably by a period of several years. To much the same effect is the indication of Acts 11 : 19, 20 that the gospel was preached to 2 Gentiles in Antioch
1 The true reading in Acts 12 : 25, according to Westcott and Hort, with whom Wendt, in Meyer's Kommentar über das Neue Testament, seventh edition, agrees, is “to Jerusalem"; but this phrase is understood by them to limit, not“ returned,” but “ministration.”
* Acts 11:20 presents a difficult question of textual criticism, viz.: whether we should read 'Endnvuotás Hellenists, or 'Euanvas Greeks; and, if we adopt the reading 'EaAnvuotás, the scarcely less difficult question, what is the precise sense of this term. The textual evidence strongly favors the reading 'EXAnvlotás, but the context seems to require the supposition
, the instances of which are too rare for a broad induction, designates or includes Gentiles, who, though they may have been in some sense adherents of Judaism, had