Just how far the scroll will extend when spread out is now the object of our inquiry. We must seek some definite point of time where the scroll of the Acts can be pinned down to the calendar of the world. ii, xi: 6) that Agrippa died soon after the completion of his third year as King over We can now fix the 12th Chapter of Acts down upon the calendar of the world (see chart opposite). Josephus tells us that Felix was saved from the due punishment of his deeds by the intervention of his brother Pallas. All that we feel can be said with some measure of confidence is, that 1 Timothy and Titus were written in the interval of freedom that intervened between the two years at Rome (Acts ), when Paul was treated as a military prisoner and allowed some measure of liberty, and the subsequent imprisonment when he was treated as an evil doer, and from which there was no hope entertained of release, except by death. The Lord commenced His public ministry when He was about thirty years old and this ministry continued for a space of three years and a half.
While these four Emperors and their reigns more than cover the period of the Acts, we have no definite point of contact recorded either in sacred or secular history where, in A. If the wider range of Roman Emperors fails us here, a narrower and lesser dynasty supplies this need. xix: 8, 2) that Herod died in the 7th year of his reign and the 54th year of his life. The year of the Crucifixion of the Lord is now accepted as A. 29 which is the year of the opening chapter of Acts. Most students know that it is necessary to antedate the birth of Christ by a few years, some say three, some four, some five. This means that the date of the Crucifixion must be somewhere round about A. 29, but the reader will see from the following chronology that, working back from the settled date of Acts 12, 13, A.
These events are monumental milestones in Christian history yet Acts ends abruptly with Paul still in prison, no discussion of Nero and no mention of the fall of Jerusalem.
It should be stated at the outset that the chronology of the Acts must ever remain somewhat tentative, owing to the nature of the data provided. The external history recorded in the Acts, keeps pace with the internal revelation of doctrinal and dispensational truth recorded in the epistles, and this relationship we now indicate by pointing out a few of the verbal links that associate an epistle with its place in the Acts. We conclude this analysis by setting out the chronological order of the fourteen epistles of Paul.
The chronology of the book of Genesis can be built up from Adam, all authorities agreeing on the date of Josephs death recorded in Genesis , 1635 B. The chief purpose of chronology in the Bible is to establish an unbroken chain of events that link Adam to Christ. Whichever of these dates may be the true one, we know from Acts that Felix had been many years Procurator when Paul stood before him. When Paul arrived at Rome he was delivered into the custody of the prefect of the praetorian guard at Malta (Acts 28:1-11); the sea was not open to navigation until February, and consequently Burrhus would have been dead before Paul reached Rome, if we make his arrival as late as A. We take as our basis of comparison Pauls own summary given in Acts -21. With the exception of the statement of our Lord Himself, Ye cannot serve God and Mammon douleuo is used exclusively by the apostle for service unto the Lord. The association of night and day as an indication of continuance is a characteristic expression of Paul. Chronological Order of Pauls Epistles The hope of Israel is in view from Acts 1:6 to Acts . 65 we have a period of thirty-five years, or five sets of seven years, each seventh year being marked by a Divinely expressed comment.
Negative critical scholars strengthen their own views as the separate the actual events from the writings by as much time as possible.
For this reason radical scholars argue for late first century, and if possible second century, dates for the autographs [original manuscripts].
Let us approach the question in its broadest outline first. When Paul was delivered from the Jewish mob by Roman soldiers, it is evident from the words of the chief captain that he had been mistaken for the false prophet, an Egyptian who led 30,000 fanatical Jews to the Mount of Olives to see Jerusalem fall. As another small link the word murderers in Acts is in the original who murdered people in broad daylight, and that they arose during the reign of Nero. These, added to the earliest possible date of the sicarii, would bring us to A. Felix was recalled to Rome to answer charges of misrule; and he was followed by accusing Jews. With the setting aside of Israel a new dispensation comes into operation, and a new set of epistles. We do not attempt to supply actual details, until we arrive at A. To this we add five more years to bring us to the date of the destruction of Jerusalem.
The reign of four Roman Emperors covers the period of the Acts. It was for this reason he left Paul bound, (Acts ). Seven Epistles after Acts 28 The evidences for the exact dating of these Prison and Pastoral Epistles are not sufficient to enable anyone to dogmatize.
By these dates they argue that the New Testament documents, especially the Gospels, contain mythology.
The writers created the events contained, rather than reported them.
For instance, during the trip from Troas to Philippi on Paul’s first missionary journey the author uses “we” as if he were there (–17). Evidence in Paul’s letters reveals Luke accompanied Paul (Col ).
Furthermore, the uniform testimony of the early church that Luke was the author of the third gospel and of Acts is undisputed. Although Luke was a Gentile he had familiarity with Greek Old Testament.
This is a short list points I have distilled from Tyson’s Marcion and Luke-Acts .