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Transcript of Acts Chronology
(cc) image by jantik on Flickr
Chronology of Acts & the Apostles
Emperor Ceasar Augustus
-Herod the Great-
Jesus of Nazareth
Jesus is "lost" in the Temple
Jesus begins His public ministry
Jesus is crucified
Jesus ascends into heaven
Jesus raises from the dead!
the Church begins
Stephen is martyred
Philip's ministry in Samaria & to the Ethiopian eunuch
James the Greater martyred
Peter is miraculously released from prison
James the Just writes his Epistle of James
Barnabas & Saul minister together in Antioch
Londinium (London) established
Barnabas & Paul's (Saul) 1st missionary trip
Paul writes Galatians
The Jerusalem Council
Paul & Silas
2nd Missionary Trip
Paul & Barnabas split
Historical Intro to the New Testament
The succession of Gentile empires leading to the birth of Christ provides the historical context known in the epistles as “the fullness of time”. Each had its own contribution, both politically and socially
27 BC - AD 476
c. 590-520 BC
Orthodox Judaism emerged from the captivity.
Synagogues developed because the temple was destroyed.
Idolatry ended with the captivity.
Jews: generally members of the tribes of Judah, Benjamin, and Levi who returned from captivity during the Persian Era led by Ezra & Nehemiah
Samaritans: Jews who were left in the land during the Assyrian & Babylonian Captivities. They intermarried with people who were placed in the land by the Assyrians. They were considered ½ breed heretics by the Jews.
Gentiles: anyone who was non-Jewish (and except Samaritans).
Cyrus conquered Babylon. He was kind and beneficent toward the Jews and permitted exiles to return to Judah. In this period reforms were led by Ezra and Nehemiah. The division between the Jews and the Samaritans developed during this period
Herod the Great
Pharisees:the term “Pharisee” means “separatist”. These people were the religious purists, the traditionalists, the orthodox, and the non-conformists of the New Testament period. They were descended from Jews who had fought the Hellenistic in the days of the Maccabees. They were extremists who separated from their fellow Jews as well as from the heathen. The Pharisees were proud of their separation and even hypocritical. They were generally those who controlled the synagogues.
Sadducees:These were the religious liberals of the New Testament. They denied the authority of tradition. They distrusted any revelation later than the Pentateuch. Doctrinally, they denied the ideas of a resurrection, angels, and spirit beings (& miracles). They were Hellenistic, adopting Greek ways into Jewish culture. In the New Testament times they controlled the priesthood and the temple ministry.
Essenes:This was an ascetic sect, which had reacted to the externalism of the Pharisees and the worldliness of the Sadducees. They lived ascetic and celibate lives in communes apart from society. Their main concern was with reading and studying Scripture, prayer and ceremonial cleansings. Messiah to come to them as true Israel.
The Essenes were known for industry and piety. They were against war and slavery. The center for this sect was at a site called Qumran on the Dead Sea. A primary contribution was the preservation of the Scriptures, as witnessed by the Dead Sea Scrolls. Their purpose, as a sect, was to leave corruption and “prepare the way of the Lord.” They expected the Messiah to come to them as true Israel.
Herodians:This political group believed that the best interests of the Judeans lay in cooperation with the Romans. Their name was taken from Herod the Great who sought to Romansize Palestine.
Zealots:This also was a political group, as reactionary to the Herodians as the Pharisees were to the Sadducees. They believed, militantly, that Judea should be independent of Rome and Roman influence.
This will eventually cause the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 ad.
Religious & Political
Alexander the Great expanded the empire and conquered Persia. Through his influence the Greek Language became the official language, lingua franca, of the known world, and Greek culture was spread throughout the empire, a process called hellenization.
After his death in 323 bc, his empire was divided between his four generals, Antigonus, Cassander, Ptolemy, and Lysimachus. Through political maneuvering and intrigue, Palestine became the point of contention between the Seleucidae and the Ptlomeies, the ruling families of Syria and Egypt
Alexander the Great expanded the empire and conquered Persia. Through his influence the Greek Language became the official language, lingua franca, of the known world, and Greek culture was spread throughout the empire, a process called hellenization
Seleuicidae—198-166 bc—period of severe persecution of the Jews. After a defeat in Egypt, Antiochus IV Epiphanies returned to Syria taking his vengeance out of the Jews, killing many, preventing religious observances, and polluting the temple by erecting a pagan alter of Olympian Zeus in it and sacrificing a pig on the alter in 168 bc. This action incited a Jewish revolt.
Scribes: Strictly speaking the scribes were members of a profession rather than a sect. They were copyists of the Law, and thus considered authorities on the subject. They were the lawyers of the New Testament. Their authority also gave them recognition as teachers of the Law. In their thinking, they were usually closer to the Pharisees than any other group.
Maccabeans—166-135 bc—the Jews revolted against Antiochus IV, lead by Judah Maccabeaus. This was a time of serious longing for a military and political Messiah. There was also continual war with Syria and civil war during this period. Simon, one of Judah’s (Mattathias’ son) three sons arranged for political freedom for the Jews, for which, in gratitude, his family was given the position of ruling high priests, known as the Hasmoneans. This wealth and power which came to the priests obscured the Davidic line by the time of the New Testament.
Hasmoneans—135-63 bc—Period was characterized by political freedom, but greed, jealousy, and intrigue. Civil disorder and military weakness resulted in a Roman takeover. During this period the Hasidim emerged, the religious conservatives who were the forerunners of the Paraisees. The Hellenizers also emerged, desiring some qualities of Greek life and downplaying Jewish distinctiveness and eventually became the Sadducees. The Sadducees were dominant among the Hasmoneans, thus explaining their concentration in Jerusalem in New Testament times
Flight to Egypt & return
upon Herod's death
BCE=Before Christian Era
A.D. = Anno Domini
CE=Christian or Common Era
Section of a fresco in the Niccoline Chapel by Fra Angelico, depicting Saint Peter consecrating the Seven Deacons. Saint Stephen is shown kneeling.
Apostles appoint deacons
Peter Baptizing the Centurion Cornelius, by Francesco Trevisani, 1709
Thomas is martyred
Paul in Corinth
Paul departs on his 3rd Missionary Journey
2 years in Ephesus
Paul arrives in Jerusalem
& is arrested
The Gospel according to Matthew written
axed to death by a halberd Nadabah, Ethiopia
The Gospel according to Luke written
Paul writes to
Philemon on behalf
James the Just
(Jesus' 1/2 Bro) martyred
The Acts of
Paul released from jail
thrown off the Temple in Jerusalem by Ananus the High Priest, then beaten with a fuller's club
Epistle to the
Peter & Paul arrested
Paul is beheaded in Rome
(Jesus' 1/2 bro)
writes his epistle
by General Titus
Jude (Jesus' 1/2 bro)
killed in Edessa
Simon the Zealot
killed in Britain
Matthias martyred in Jerusalem
John writes his gospel from Ephesus
1, 2, 3 John
Isle of Patmos
Colosseum is completed
& becomes the sight of hundreds of Christian deaths