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not long after the death of Stephen. Concerning the date of this event, see p. 206. Whether the events of Acts, chap. 1o, by which a beginning of Gentile Christianity was made in Cæsarea also, were earlier or later than the founding of the Antioch church cannot be definitely determined. Quite possibly these two independent beginnings of the gospel of the uncir. cumcision were not far apart in time.
The position of the twelfth chapter is also significant with reference to the beginning of Paul's missionary journeys. With the thirteenth chapter begins the second part of the book of Acts, which deals exclusively with these journeys and the apostle's subsequent imprisonment. The position of this chapter referring to the work of Barnabas and Saul at Antioch, and connecting it chronologically, even if somewhat loosely, with the death of Herod, implies that in the author's view the missionary journeys of the apostle had not begun when Herod died, yet did begin apparently not long after that event. This arrangement is the more significant in view of the fact that the author implies that he was one of the apostle's traveling companions. Though not with Paul from the first, he is likely to have known when the apostle began his journeys; and we are thus led to infer that the departure from Antioch (Acts 13:4) occurred about 45 or 46 A.D.
The recall of Felix, and the accession of Festus to the procuratorship of Judea, are fixed, not indeed with absolute certainty but with a high degree of probability, as having occurred in the summer of 60 A.D. The evidence is presented and discussed at length in Wieseler, Chronologie des Apostolischen Zeitalters, pp. 66-99, and more briefly by Schürer, Jewish People in the Time of Christ, Div. I., Vol. II., pp. 182–184.
This date, together with the statements in the book of Acts and a few data from the letters of Paul, enable us to fix with approximate accuracy the time of the events narrated in the latter half of the book of Acts, and of the writing of most of the Pauline letters which belong to this period. Reckoning backward from the accession of Festus in the summer of 60 A.D., we see that the Cæsarean imprisonment of two years (Acts 24:27) began in 58 A.D. From Acts 20 : 16 it appears that it began in the spring, or, to be more exact, probably in the month of May (according to Wieseler's calculation, on the 17th day of May, see Chronologie, etc., p. 118), hence a little earlier in the year than it ended. The departure from Philippi (20:6) occurred about forty days earlier, namely, in the early part of April. Since Paul had been three months in Greece, he must have arrived there about the first of January in this same year 58. From Acts 20:1-3 we learn that this arrival in Corinth was preceded by a journey from Ephesus by way of Macedonia. This is undoubtedly the same journey that is referred to in 2 Cor. 7:5, where it seems
not been circumcised. Acts 15 : 1 shows that a few years later, at any rate, the Antioch church contained uncircumcised Gentiles among its members. But see a different view of the meaning of 'Eadmucotás in Hort, Judaistic Christianity, p. 59 f.
to be in progress, and in 1 Cor. 16:5-9, where it appears as still projected. From 2 Cor. 2:12, 13 it appears that Paul went by way of Troas, where he tarried a little time, and from 1 Cor. 16:8 we see that it was the apostle's intention, at least, to leave Ephesus in the late spring. Assuming that this was the spring preceding his arrival at Corinth, though we do not certainly know this, it would place the apostle's departure from Ephesus in May or June of the year 57. There is some uncertainty respecting the length of his stay in Ephesus (see Acts 19:8, 10, 22; cf. 20 : 31); but this and the journey from Antioch across Asia Minor must have occupied nearly three full years. In this case the departure from Antioch (Acts 18:23) must have taken place as early as the summer of the year 54. The third missionary journey as a whole may then be assigned to the years 54-58.
The length of the apostle's stay at Antioch between the second and third missionary journeys (Acts 18:23) cannot be determined with definiteness. But at the earliest the departure from Corinth (Acts 18:18) must have been in the spring of the year 54; it may have been a year earlier. Assuming, however, the later date, the eighteen months' stay in Corinth (Acts 18:11) began in the autumn of the year 52. The previous portion of the second missionary journey (Acts 15:40–17: 34) can scarcely have occupied less than another year and a half, bringing us to the spring of the year 51 as the time of the departure of Paul and Silas from Antioch.
Still reckoning backward, and allowing time for the sojourn of Paul in Antioch referred to in Acts 15: 30–36, the council at Jerusalem (15: 1-29) falls in the year 50 or 51. If, with most scholars, we identify this council with that described in Gal. 2:1-10, between it and the conversion of Paul there lies an interval of from twelve to seventeen years. The uncertainty as to the length
of the interval is due to the uncertainty whether the fourteen years of Gal. 2:1 · and the three years of Gal. 1: 18 are to be reckoned in each case as full years,
or as embracing terminal fractions of years counted in each case as years, and whether the fourteen years are to be reckoned, like the three years, from the apostle's conversion, or from the end of the three years. It seems improbable that the fourteen and the three should in both cases be reckoned as full years, and about equally improbable that they should be considered as reckoned from the same starting-point. We shall probably not be far wrong if we assume that the conversion of Paul preceded the council at Jerusalem by about fifteen years, and hence occurred about the year 35 or 36.
An independent datum for the determination of the time of Paul's conversion is furnished by 2 Cor. II: 32, 33 taken in connection with Gal. 1:17, 18 and Acts 9:25. In 2 Cor. 11:32, 33 Damascus is mentioned as being in
1 Concerning the attractive, but wholly conjectural substitution of four for fourteen in this passage, see Sieffert ad loc. in Meyer's Kommentar über das Neue Testament, seventh edition.
charge of an ethnarch under Aretas the king, undoubtedly referring to the Nabathean monarch. We have no definite knowledge of the time of this possession of Damascus by the Nabatheans, but the fact that, while it is proved by coins that Damascus belonged to the Romans in the days of Augustus and Tiberius, and again in the days of Nero, yet no Damascus coins of Caligula or Claudius are known, points to the reigns of these latter emperors (37-54 A.D.) as the time of the Nabathean occupancy. Schürer, Jewish People, Div. I., Vol. II., Appendix II., p. 357, holds that it could not have occurred earlier than 37 A.D. If this is correct, the conversion of Paul cannot have been earlier than 34 A.D. For 2 Cor. 11:33 and Acts 9 : 25 evidently refer to the same departure from Damascus, and this, according to Gal. 1:17, 18, could not have been later than three years after his conversion. This evidence, therefore, though it is not very definite, and at best fixes a terminus in but one direction, combines with that derived from the passages discussed above to fix the conversion of Paul as not more than a year or two either side of the year 36 A.D.
To the period of about fifteen years which Gal. 1: 18 and 2: I show to have elapsed between Paul's conversion and the council at Jerusalem belong his three years in Damascus and Arabia, about A.D. 36–38, his sojourn in Syria and Cilicia of unknown length, his ministry in Antioch, which we have already seen may be assigned approximately to the years 44-46, and his first missionary journey, which must fall between the years 46 and 50. The data for determining the time occupied by this journey are somewhat indefinite. Ramsay estimates that it occupied two years and four months at the least (Church in the Roman Empire, p. 72).
If now we return to the year 60, in the autumn of which Paul departed from Cæsarea as a prisoner on his way to Rome, and reckon forward, it will appear from the various statements respecting time in Acts, chaps. 27 and 28, that Paul and his company arrived in Rome in the spring of 61 A.D. From Acts 28: 30, we are able to assign the years 61-63 to the first Roman imprisonment, though we are not able to say certainly whether the imprisonment continued beyond the latter year.
The evidence that Paul was released from this imprisonment, and for a time engaged in missionary work before being again arrested and finally put to death, will be found in brief in Note 13. We have no exact data for determining the time covered by these later labors of Paul. Tradition says that Paul died under Nero, hence before June, 68, this being the date of Nero's death. Two years, however, would seem sufficient for the journeys which the pastoral epistles imply; and the death of Paul may therefore have occurred as early as A.D. 65.
Thus we are enabled, using the death of Herod in 44 A.D. and the accession of Festus in 60 A.D. as the chief points of reckoning, and employing such otber chronological data as are furnished by the Acts and epistles, to construct a more or less definite chronological framework of the years 36-65 A.D. To extend this framework in either direction we must have recourse to new data. Of the events of the Apostolic Age, which preceded the conversion of Saul, it can only be said that as they evidently followed the death and resurrection of Jesus, and as these latter events probably occurred in the year 30, they fall between the years 30 and 36 A.D. No data are available for the more exact chronological location of the events recorded in the first eight chapters of the book of Acts.
For the period of the history of the church which followed the death of Paul, as of that from the end of the two years in Rome till his death, we have no narrative record. The story of the Jewish war, which broke out in 66, and which brought about the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D., is told by Josephus. The fall of Jerusalem must have been an event of tremendous import in the history of the church; and certain books of the New Testament (see Note 14) show in some measure the impression which the event itself or the foresight of it made ; but no New Testament writer mentions it as an accomplished fact.
From 70 A.D. to the end of the century is a period of great obscurity, with no definite landmarks in Christian history. There can be no doubt that John survived all or nearly all his fellow-apostles, and his death may be appropriately reckoned as marking the end of the Apostolic Age. But in what year it occurred we cannot state with certainty. The traditions which represent him as living to an extreme old age justify us only in assigning his death to the latter years of the century. The year 100 set down in the following table is to be understood merely as a round number.
On the basis of these data and calculations, some of them yielding quite definite and certain results, others leading only to approximate and probable conclusions, we are able to construct a table, the different parts of which, of course, vary in certainty according to the evidence on which they are severally based.
OUTLINE OF THE APOSTOLIC AGE
IN PARTS AND CHAPTERS, WITH APPROXIMATE CALENDAR DATES.
PART 1. The Primitive Church in Jerusalem : From the ascension of Christ until the
death of Stephen. From 30 to 35 A.D.
II. The great day of Pentecost.
PART II. The Church scattered abroad and preaching the Word: From the death of
Stephen until the sending out of missionaries from Antioch. From 35
to 46 A.D. CHAPTER V. The work of Philip the Evangelist.
VI. The early Christian life of Saul. From 36 to 43 A.D. CHAPTER VII. Peter in Lydda, Joppa, and Cæsarea.
VIII. The early days of the Church in Antioch and contemporary events in Jerusalem. From 38 to 45 A.D.
PART III. Missions in Asia Minor, Macedonia, and Greece: From the beginning of
Paul's first missionary journey until his last arrival in Jerusalem. From
46 to 58 A.D. CHAPTER IX. Paul's first missionary journey. From 46 to 49 A.D.
X. Paul's second sojourn in Antioch and the council at
Jerusalem. From 49 to 51 A.D.
salem until his death. From 58 to 65 A.D. CHAPTER XIII. Paul's last visit to Jerusalem. 58 A.D. XIV. Paul's two years' imprisonment in Cæsarea. From 58 to
60 A.D. XV. The voyage to Rome. 60 and 61 A.D. XVI. Paul's two years' imprisonment in Rome. From 61 to
63 A.D. XVII. The last labors and letters of Paul. From 63 to 65 A.D.
PART V. The Closing Period of the Apostolic Age: From the death of the apostle
Paul to the death of the apostle John. From 65 to 100 A.D.
Jerusalem. From 66 to 70 A.D.
Literature: WIESELER, Chronologie des Apostolischen Zeitalters; HACKETT, Commentary on Acts, Introduction, $86, 7; MEYER, Commentary on Acts, Introduction, $4, with added table of various chronologies; WENDT, in Meyer's Kommentar über das Neue Testament, Apostelgeschichte, seventh edition, Einleitung, $4; Schürer, Jewish People in the Time of Jesus Christ, Div. I., vol. II., p. 163 and p. 182 ff., and references there on the date of the death of Herod and the recall of Felix; LEWIN, Fasti Sacri (contains very full chronological tables, and essays on special points of New Testament chronology).