Paul's Timeline

Paul's Timeline

AD 10-67
Paul was born in Tarsus in AD 10, and died in Rome in AD 67, according to Eusebius, and Tertullian says, Paul was beheaded in Rome. According to a legend in Rome, Paul was beheaded in the Tiber river, and three fountains sprang up at that place. St. Laterno Basilica was established at that place.
Emperor Tiberius.

Stephen was stoned in AD 35. Many scholars believe that Stephen's death was a main factor that led him to Jesus' teachings and his apostles. Paul was an eyewitness of Stephen's death. (Act 7:58) "And cast him out of the city, and stoned him: and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man’s feet, whose name was Saul."

Paul was the best student of Gamaliel, and received authority to persecute Christians in Damascus and other places outside of Jerusalem. Why did he have to go to Damascus? (Probably there was a contingent of Christians there?) Paul's encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus. Because of persecution Peter moved to Samaria and found converts there.

First visit to Jerusalem. Paul writes "after three years" he went from Damascus to Jerusalem to meet Peter for 15 days. Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and abode with him fifteen days. (Galatia 1:18) Thus, granting of apostleship by Peter and other remaining apostles takes place in AD 39.
James Zebedee was beheaded. This signals a formal break up between the Judaism and the budding Christianity. The Jerusalem church head by James, Jesus' brother, realized they can no longer claim as a sect of Judaism, but they must claim their own identity as Christians. See also Dieter George, Bible Review, December 2002.
Barnabas invites Paul to teach and convert Greeks in Antioch. So he goes there.
Paul's first Mediterranean tour begins. It last 3 years. For instance, he goes to Antioch in Psidia (a different city than Antioch in Syria where he taught) and Iconium.
The Famine (Acts 11:27-30) recorded by Luke took place in approximately 46 A.D. according to Tacitus. Josephus and Sentonius say it was between 44 and 48 A.D.
Peter comes to Antioch. After his return, the Jerusalem church sends itinerants to Antioch and tells them Christians should be circumcised.

Paul goes to Jerusalem (2nd visit) with an assistant (Timothy?) to ask that Jewish law concerning circumcision be relaxed on gentiles. Peter states that he first tried to convert gentiles and supports Paul. James, the brother of Jesus, gives the final verdict: Gentiles need not be circumcised but should avoid foods that were offered to pagan gods, etc. Goes off on his 2nd tour?
Athens (he makes a speech at Aeropagus, concerning Greeks' offering to unknown god, etc.), then to Corinth. He writes the Letters to Thessalonika.
Corinth, there was a trial. Paul goes back to Antioch.
3rd tour. Ephesus. Paul and Appollos meet in Ephesus in AD 54.
Paul goes to Corinth. He was almost whipped by a Roman centurion (?), but Paul reveals he is a Roman citizen. The centurion sends him to Caesaria, and Paul was imprisoned for 2 years.

Paul knew there were Christians in Alexandria already, and their version of Christianity was different from Paul's. (Epistles to Romans written in AD 57) Thus, Paul had been teaching for 20 years when he found out there were different Christians who were taught by others before him. He adopts the policy of not laboring in cities where Christians were already present.

Paul's arrest in Jerusalem? Paul brought contributions to the Jerusalem church. He goes through a purification ceremony. He was imprisoned for 2 years in Caesarea.
Paul was tried by Festus (governor?) and Paul appeals to Caesar, and leaves for Rome. Shipwrecked at Malta. Stays there for 3 months, and leaves for Naples. 120 miles on foot to Rome.
Under house arrest. He meets lots of visitors. Nero was the emperor.
Acts ends in AD 62, and does not describe the end of the story. Luke did not finish his sequel to Acts. Scholars believe Paul was freed because Jewish customs was not a punishable crime under the Roman law.
Nero starts fire to get rid of slums and rebuild a certain section. The fire was not contained. He tries to find a scapegoat and blames Christians.

According to Clement (AD 96), Corinth? 1st Clement (cf Apostolic Fathers) states that Paul was arrested again in Rome. He was incarcerated at Mamertine prison (this prison still exists near Palatino hill and Coloseo in Rome), and later beheaded. Peter was also imprisoned there but later crucified the same year.

A bas relief in St. Mamertine prison, Rome, showing Peter and Paul baptizing the earnest believers. Both were baptizing believers in St. Mamertine prison. Dominance of Alexandrian teachers during the first few centuries of the Christianity suggests that some early disciples were Alexandrian philosophers who were converted to Christianity. Their students in Alexandria for several centuries dominated the theological debates among Chrsistian theologians.


In response to Roman congregation's request, and under Peter's direction, Mark began to write his Gospel before Peter's death, but completed it thereafter.

St. Mark's sarcophagus in Basilica di San Marco, Venice.

It was St. John Mark who established the Alexandrian church. Mark's body was later removed to Venice, Italy when the Moslems invaded Alexandria in 640 AD. Most of the early theologians and heresies originated in Alexandria, rather than in Rome even though Apostles Peter and Paul both died there.


Jewish revolt against Rome fails

Did Paul visit Alexandria?

Rodan was a great philosopher. According to the Urantia Book, Rodan was from Alexandria and died somewhere in Greece, most likely during the Christian persecution after 64 AD during Nero's reign.

And so all went well in Jerusalem until the time of the coming of the Greeks in large numbers from Alexandria. Two of the pupils of Rodan arrived in Jerusalem and made many converts from among the Hellenists. Among their early converts were Stephen and Barnabas. These able Greeks did not so much have the Jewish viewpoint, and they did not so well conform to the Jewish mode of worship and other ceremonial practices. And it was the doings of these Greek believers that terminated the peaceful relations between the Jesus brotherhood and the Pharisees and Sadducees. Stephen and his Greek associate began to preach more as Jesus taught, and this brought them into immediate conflict with the Jewish rulers. In one of Stephen's public sermons, when he reached the objectionable part of the discourse, they dispensed with all formalities of trial and proceeded to stone him to death on the spot. (p.2068, §1)

This passage suggests that Stephen and Barnabas were Rodan's converts and they arrived in Jerusalem before 37 AD when Stephen was stoned to death. It was Barnabas who took Paul to the apostles in Jerusalem. But there is enough evidence suggesting that there must have lived a prominent philosopher who was converted to Christianity in Alexandria.

1. Alexandria was the center of Christianity during the first three centuries after Christ until the Nicea Council in AD 325. Most of early Christian theologians were of Alexandria, including Pantaenus--who was Rodan's pupil according to the UB--, Clement--who was also a pupil of Pantaenus--and Athanasius.

2. Why didn't Paul ever visit Alexandria? Paul states that he did not want to labor where others have taught about Christ already. He knew there was a great contingent of teachers in Alexandria, and he knew that Alexandrian teachers--he met Apollos already--were well trained. Some rivalry may have existed between Apollos and Paul. Paul rites for instance on Apollos: (1Co 3:6) "I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase."

These two factors imply that there WAS a great philosopher-teacher in Alexandria, one possibly taught by Jesus himself, and he must have founded a school, possibly the Catechetical School of Alexandria. This does not prove that he was Rodan. But without such an early dominant Christian philosopher, Alexandria would never have been the center of Christianity during the first three centuries. Only because of Emperor Constantine, Rome began to dominate the Christendom after the third century. Max Muller noted:

Those who are truly called the fathers and founders of the Christian church were not the simpleminded fishermen of Galilee, but men who had received the highest education which could be obtained at the time, that is Greek education. In Alexandria, at the time the very center of the world, it had either to vanquish the world or to vanish. Christianity came no doubt from the small room in the house of Mary, where many were gathered together praying, but as early as the Second Century it became a very different Christianity in the Catechetical school of Alexandria. What Clement had most at heart was not the letter but the spirit, not the historical events, but their deeper meaning in universal history.

Prominent Christians in Alexandria (e.g. Athanasius) defended the divinity of Jesus during the early Christian era. The Alexandrian church was known to have apostolic lineage, i.e., one apostle established the first church.

William Adler in "Reception of Bouseet's Shulbetrieb" (1978-79) writes on the esitence of a great philosopher in Alexandria:

"Reaction to Bousset's Schulbetrieb was initially very slight, no doubt due to its publication during World War I. In fact, the only major review of the book over a period of several years following its publication appears to be that of Adolph von Harnack in Theologische Literaturzeitung 25, 26 (1915) 537-539. Harnack's review was generally quite favorable,creating the impression that he was glad that someone had undertaken to demonstrate something about which he himself had similar presentiments. Harnack felt that it is to Bousset's credit to have demonstrated that the dependence of such writer as Philo and Clement on school traditions did not represent isolated and unrelated phenomena, but reflected rather a general pattern.

"Much of the rest of Harnack's review explores the broader implications of Bousset's work, especially for the "dark early history of the Christian community at Alexandria in the secondcentury." Harnack found confirmation that it was the teacher, not the bishop, who first held preeminence in Alexandria, and that these teachers "expressed in their 'gnosis' a freedom of thought that was hardly tolerable in most other Christian communities of the same period..."

"Bousset's source critical method was the linchpin in his entire reconstruction of Alexandrian school traditions, and it was here that most of the subsequent criticisms concentrated. Bousset'smethods revealed to him at least two sources in Clement's writings which could be tied to Alexandrian school traditions.

"One a Lehrbuch entitled Theft of the Greeks, and the other a chunk of material in several of Clement's writings which Bousset called the "Pantaenus source." These sources, inserted into the Stromata after the initial draft, utterly disrupted the orderly treatment of themes and differed measurably from what Bousset claims were Clement's own views. Even Harnack in his otherwise favorable review expressed some hesitations about Bousset's application of Quellenkritik to Clement and Philo, although he did not feel that Bousset had underestimated the contributions of those authors themselves to the works. Other critics were not so generous.