The Life of the Apostle Paul


By Steven Matthew Hahn, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania,


The following is a summary of the events in the life of Paul. The events are ordered chronologically and are grouped by geographical location. The primary sources used are Paul’s letters and the Acts of the Apostles. All references to time are highlighted in red. All references to place are highlighted in blue. All places of archaeological interest are highlighted in black.



Pre-Conversion Years



Tarsus (Acts 16:37, 22:3a,27-28, 23:6, Phil. 3:5a, Gal. 1:15-16, Lev. 12:1-3)

• God sets him apart from his mother’s womb so that he might preach the Son of God among the Gentiles (Gal. 1:15-16).

• He is born a son of Pharisees (Acts 23:6) in Tarsus of Cilicia (Acts 22:3a) a Hebrew of Hebrews of the nation of Israel of the tribe of Benjamin (Phil. 3:5), and a Roman citizen (Acts 16:37, 22:27-28).

• He is circumcised the eighth day (Phil. 3:5a, Lev. 12:1-3).


Jerusalem (Acts 5:34a, 7:58-8:1a, 8:1b, 21:37,40, 22:2-3,20, 23:16, 26:4, 26:5b,14, 1 Cor. 9:5, 2 Cor. 11:6a, Gal. 1:14, Phil. 3:5b, Acts of Paul and Thecla)

• From the beginning, he is brought up in his own nation at Jerusalem (Acts 22:3b, 26:4) and has at least one sister (Acts 23:16).

• He speaks the Aramaic, Greek and Hebrew languages (Acts 21:37,40, 22:2, 26:14), but considers himself unskilled in speech (2 Cor. 11:6a).

• He lives as a Pharisee according to the strictest sect of Judaism (Acts 26:5b, Phil. 3:5b), and works as a tent-maker (Acts 18:3), and possibly does not marry (1 Cor. 9:5).

• He is a man little of stature, thin-haired upon the head, crooked in the legs, of good state of body, with eyebrows joining, and nose somewhat hooked, full of grace: for sometimes he appears like a man, and sometimes he has the face of an angel (Acts of Paul and Thecla).

• He is educated as a Pharisee under Gamaliel, strictly according to Jewish laws, and is advanced in Judaism beyond many of his contemporaries and zealous for his ancestral traditions (Acts 5:34a, 22:3c, Gal. 1:14).

• As a young man, he gives hearty approval of the stoning of Stephen in Jerusalem and watches out for the cloaks of those who slay him (Acts 7:58-8:1a, 22:20). On this day a great persecution arises against the church in Jerusalem, and they are scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles (Acts 8:1b).


Syria (Acts 8:3, 22:4,19, 26:9-11, Gal. 1:13, 1 Tim. 1:13,15)

• He begins to ravage the church, and enters houses and synagogues, and beats, binds, drags off, and puts in prison those who believe in Jesus (Acts 8:3, 22:4,19, 26:10). He keeps pursuing them even to foreign cities, and when they are being put to death, he casts his vote against them (Acts 26:9-11). He persecutes the church of God beyond measure and tries to destroy it (Gal. 1:13). He is a blasphemer, a persecutor, and a violent aggressor, and acts ignorantly and in unbelief (1 Tim. 1:13). He is foremost of all sinners (1 Tim. 1:15).


Jerusalem (Acts 9:1-2, 22:5)

• He goes to the high priest and asks for letters to the synagogues in Damascus granting him authority to bring those belonging to the Way bound to Jerusalem as prisoners to be punished.



Conversion and Early Ministry

(14 years, AD 34 - 48)



Damascus (Acts 9:3-22, 22:6-16, Gal. 1:16-18, 2:1)

• He approaches Damascus at about noontime and encounters Jesus in a bright light from heaven. Jesus directs him to enter the city, and he is led into Damascus without sight.

• He remains three days without sight and neither eats nor drinks.

• He prays and sees a vision of a man named Ananias. Jesus directs Ananias to go to the house of Judas on the street called Straight, and he goes and lays his hands upon Saul. Saul regains his sight, and arises and is baptized in the Holy Spirit, and washes away his sins (Acts). Saul is converted in AD 34, three years before his first visit to Jerusalem following his conversion (Gal. 1:18), and fourteen years before his second visit to Jerusalem following his conversion (Gal. 2:1).

• He is with the disciples at Damascus for several days and immediately he proclaims Jesus in the synagogues. He keeps increasing in strength and confounding the Jews at Damascus.

• He does not immediately consult with flesh and blood, nor does he go to Jerusalem, but he goes away to Arabia (Gal. 1:16-17).


Arabia (Acts 9:23, Gal. 1:17,23, 2 Cor. 12:2-9)

• He comes to (the farther reaches of) Arabia (Gal. 1:17), and possibly stops in a number of cities along the King’s Highway proceeding from Damascus, perhaps to Palmyra north of Damascus, or perhaps south of Damascus to Bosra, Gerasa, Philadelphia, Madaba, Petra (the Nabataean capital), Elath on the Red Sea, or to Mt. Sinai.

• He possibly stays for many days (Acts 9:23), and evidently preaches the faith (Gal. 1:23).

• He returns once more to Damascus (Gal. 1:17).


Return to Damascus (Acts 9:23-25, 22:17, 2 Cor. 11:32-33)

• After many days elapse (from the time of his conversion), the Jews seek to kill him, but the plot becomes known to him.

• The ethnarch under Aretas the king has the city of Damascus guarded in order to seize him (2 Cor. 11:32). Aretas, king of Nabataea, rules Damascus from the time the Nabataeans take control of Damascus at the accession of Caligula in AD 37 to the time of his death in AD 40.

• His disciples take him by night and lower him in a basket through a window in the wall, and he escapes (Acts, 2 Cor. 11:33). It is possible that Saul flees from Damascus before he goes to Arabia.

• He returns to Jerusalem (Acts 22:17).


Jerusalem (Acts 9:26-30a, 22:17-21, Gal. 1:18-19, 2:1)

• He goes up to Jerusalem to become acquainted with Peter (Gal. 1:18). This occurs in AD 37, three years after his conversion, and eleven years before his second visit to Jerusalem following his conversion (Gal. 1:18, 2:1). The eleven year time-span between his first and second visits to Jerusalem following his conversion must be fixed between AD 37, the earliest possible date of his first visit, and AD 48, the latest possible date of his second visit.

• He attempts to associate with the disciples who are all afraid of him, and Barnabas brings him to the apostles.

• He stays with Peter fifteen days but does not see the other apostles, except James the Lord’s brother (Gal. 1:18-19).

• He preaches openly in Jerusalem and talks and argues with the Hellenistic Jews.

• He prays in the temple and falls into a trance. Jesus tells him to get out of Jerusalem because they will not receive his testimony, and tells him He will send him far away to the Gentiles (Acts 22:17-21).

• When a plot to kill him becomes known, the brethren bring Saul to Caesarea.


Caesarea (Acts 9:30b)

• The brethren send him to Tarsus.


Tarsus (Gal. 1:21-23)

• He presumably preaches the faith in Tarsus, his birthplace.


Syria and Cilicia (Gal. 1:18,21-23, 2:1, Acts 11:26b, 15:23, 2 Cor. 11:23-27, 12:2-9)

• He goes into the regions of Syria and Cilicia, and is still unknown to the churches in Judea. He evidently preaches the faith in these regions (Gal. 1:21-23), and very likely in Antioch of Syria (Acts 15:23). This period spans ten years and begins in AD 37, shortly after his first visit to Jerusalem following his conversion, and ends in AD 47, one year before his second visit to Jerusalem following his conversion (Gal. 1:18, 2:1, Acts 11:26b).

• In AD 40, fourteen years before the writing of the Second Epistle to the Corinthians, Paul is caught up into the third heaven and again into Paradise, and hears things unspeakable, and because of the greatness of the revelations, he is given a thorn in the flesh to keep him from exalting himself (2 Cor. 12:2-9).

• Sometime during or before this period Paul suffers from many labors and imprisonments, and is beaten times without number, is often in danger of death, five times receives thirty-nine lashes from the Jews, three times is beaten with rods, three times is shipwrecked, and spends a night and day on the sea, is on frequent journeys, in dangers from rivers, robbers, his countrymen, the Gentiles, the city, the wilderness, the sea, and false brethren, and endures labor and hardship through many sleepless nights, in hunger and thirst, often without food, and in cold and exposure (2 Cor. 11:23-27).


Tarsus (Acts 11:19-26a)

• After Barnabas is sent by the church in Jerusalem to Antioch to instruct concerning the salvation of the Gentiles, he leaves for Tarsus to look for Saul, and he finds him and brings him to Antioch.


Antioch (Acts 11:26b-30, Josephus, Sentonius)

• For an entire year Barnabas and Saul meet with the church and teach considerable numbers.

• Agabus makes a revelation that there will be a world-wide famine, and the church in Antioch determine to send a contribution to the Jews in Judea, and they send it in charge of Barnabas and Saul (Acts). This famine is dated between AD 44 and AD 48 (Josephus, Sentonius).


Jerusalem (Acts 12:25a, Gal. 1:18, 2:1-10)

• Saul goes up to Jerusalem with Barnabas and Titus because of a revelation (Gal. 2:1). This occurs in AD 48, fourteen years after his conversion, and eleven years after his first visit to Jerusalem following his conversion (Gal. 1:18, 2:1). The eleven year time-span between his first and second visits to Jerusalem following his conversion must be fixed between AD 37, the earliest possible date of his first visit, and AD 48, the latest possible date of his second visit.

• Paul encounters false brethren who apparently argue with him that the Gentiles must be circumcised in order to be saved (Gal. 2:4), and in fear that he might be running in vain, he submits the gospel he preaches among the Gentiles in private to those who are of reputation (Gal. 2:2). But not even Titus, who is a Greek, is compelled to be circumcised (Gal. 2:3). Paul does not yield in subjection to the false brethren for even an hour (Gal. 2:5). James, Peter and John offer Barnabas and Saul the right hand of fellowship and only ask them to remember the poor (Gal. 2:6-10).

• Barnabas and Saul fulfill their mission and return from Jerusalem (Acts 12:25a).


Return to Antioch (Acts 12:25b)

• Barnabas and Saul return and take John Mark along.



First Missionary Journey

(1 year, AD 48)



Antioch (Acts 13:2-4a, 5b)

• The Holy Spirit sets apart Barnabas and Saul for the work He has called them.

• The prophets and teachers in Antioch lay their hands on them and send them away.

• They go down to Selucia, and take John Mark as their helper (possibly in spring AD 48).


Selucia (Acts 13:4b)

• From Selucia they sail to Cyprus.


Cyprus (Acts 13:5-13a)

• They reach Salamis and proclaim the word of God in the synagogues.

• They go through the whole island as far as Paphos, and probably take the road along the southern coast and pass through Kition, Amathous, and Kourion.

• In Paphos, Barnabas and Saul are summoned by the proconsul, Sergius Paulus. The false prophet, Elymas seeks to turn the proconsul away from the faith, and Saul (who is also called Paul) inflicts him with blindness for a time and the proconsul believes.

• Paul and his companions put out to sea from Paphos.


Perga (Acts 13:13b-14a, 15:37-38)

• They come to Perga in Pamphylia.

• John Mark leaves them and returns home to Jerusalem. Paul regards this as desertion.

• They go on from Perga.


Pisidian Antioch (Acts 13:14b-50, 2 Tim. 3:11)

• They arrive at Pisidian Antioch.

• On the Sabbath Paul preaches in the synagogue, and the people beg them to speak on the next Sabbath, and many Jews and God-fearing proselytes follow them.

• On the next Sabbath nearly the whole city assembles, and Paul and Barnabas preach, and those appointed to eternal life believe.

• The Jews arouse the prominent women and leading men of the city and instigate a persecution against Paul and Barnabas and drive them out of their district (Acts). Paul endures persecution in Antioch, and the Lord delivers him (2 Tim. 3:11).


Iconium (Acts 13:51-14:6, 2 Tim. 3:11)

• They go to Iconium.

• They enter the synagogue and speak in such a way that a great multitude of both Jews and Greeks believe, but unbelieving Jews stir up the Gentiles and embitter them against the brethren.

• They spend a long time here speaking out boldly and performing signs and wonders. The city is divided, and some follow the Jews and others the apostles.

• Those who disbelieve seek to mistreat and stone them, and when it becomes known, they flee to the cities of Lycaonia, Lystra and Derbe and the surrounding region (possibly to Kilistra) (Acts). Paul endures persecution in Iconium, and the Lord delivers him (2 Tim. 3:11).


Lystra (Acts 14:7-20, 16:1, 1 Tim. 1:2,18, 1 Cor. 4:17, 2 Tim. 3:11)

• At Lystra they continue to preach the gospel. It is possible that Paul meets Timothy at this time, and begets a new “son” in the faith (1 Tim. 1:2,18, 1 Cor. 4:17, Acts 16:1).

• At Lystra Paul heals a man lame from birth, and when the multitudes see it, they believe Barnabas and Paul are the gods, Zeus and Hermes. The priest of Zeus wants to offer sacrifice with the crowds and with difficulty they restrain them.

• Paul endures persecution in Lystra (2 Tim. 3:11). Jews come from Antioch and Iconium and win over the multitude and stone Paul and drag him out of the city supposing him to be dead (Acts). The Lord delivers him (2 Tim. 3:11), and he arises and enters the city (Acts).

• The next day Paul goes away with Barnabas to Derbe.


Derbe (Acts 14:21a)

• They preach the gospel in Derbe and make many disciples.


Return to Lystra, Iconium and Pisidian Antioch (Acts 14:21b-23)

• They return to Lystra and Iconium and Antioch strengthening the disciples and appointing elders for them in every church and commending them to the Lord.


Return to Perga (Acts 14:24-25)

• They pass through Pisidia and come into Pamphylia.

• They speak the word in Perga and go down to Attalia.


Return to Attalia (Acts 14:26a)

• From Attalia they sail to Antioch.


Return to Antioch (Acts 14:26b-28)

• They report to the church all the things that God has done with them and how He has opened a door of faith to the Gentiles.

• They spend a long time with the disciples.



Gentile Controversy and Council of Jerusalem

(Possibly winter AD 48/49)



Antioch (Acts 15:1-2, Gal. 2:11-14)

• Peter comes to Antioch, and Paul sees that he eats with Gentiles (Gal. 2:11-12a).

• Some men come down from Judea and teach that the Gentiles must be circumcised in order to be saved, and Paul and Barnabas have great dissension and debate with them (Acts). When certain men from James come to Antioch, Peter and the other Jews stand aloof from the Gentiles, so that even Barnabas is carried away by their hypocrisy, and Paul opposes Peter in the presence of all and asks, “if you, being a Jew, live like the Gentiles and not like the Jews, how is it that you compel the Gentiles to live like Jews?” (Gal. 2:12b-14).

• Paul writes the Epistle to the Galatians (to Antioch, Iconium, Lystra and Derbe in the Roman province of Galatia). He rebukes them for turning away from the gospel of grace and seeking to be justified by the works of the law.

• The brethren send Paul, Barnabas and certain others to Jerusalem concerning the issue of Gentile circumcision.


Phoenicia and Samaria (Acts 15:3)

• They pass through Phoenicia and Samaria and describe the conversion of the Gentiles to the brethren.


Jerusalem (Acts 15:4-29)

• They arrive in Jerusalem (possibly in winter AD 48/49) and are received by the apostles and elders, and the Council of Jerusalem convenes. After much debate, Peter, Barnabas, Paul, and James speak, and the apostles and elders determine that Gentile believers are not required to be circumcised, but only hold to certain basic essentials.

• Silas and Judas are chosen to send a letter to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas, containing the decrees of the apostles and elders, to the Gentile believers in the churches in Antioch, Syria and Cilicia.


Return to Antioch (Acts 15:30-35)

• They go down to Antioch and deliver the letter to the congregation.

• Paul and Barnabas stay in Antioch and preach and teach with many others.



Second Missionary Journey and Extended Ministry in Corinth

(2 years, AD 49 - 51)



Antioch (Acts 15:36-40, 13:13)

• After some days, Paul wants to go with Barnabas to visit the brethren in every city in which they proclaimed the word, and see how they are. Paul disputes with Barnabas whether to take John Mark along with them (who according to Paul deserted them in Perga of Pamphylia). Such a sharp disagreement arises that they separate.

• Barnabas takes Mark and sails to Cyprus, and Paul chooses Silas and departs (possibly in spring AD 49).


Syria and Cilicia (Acts 15:41)

• Paul and Silas travel through Syria and Cilicia and strengthen the churches.


Derbe and Lystra (Acts 16:1-3, 1 Tim. 1:18, 4:14, 2 Tim. 1:6)

• Paul comes to Derbe and Lystra and circumcises Timothy and brings him along, perhaps as a substitute for John Mark (Acts). It is possible that at this time prophesies are made concerning Timothy (1 Tim. 1:18), and that through prophetic utterances and the laying on of hands by the presbytery and by Paul, a gift of God is bestowed upon him (1 Tim. 4:14, 2 Tim. 1:6).


Phrygia and Galatia (Acts 16:4-6)

• They pass through the cities (including probably Iconium and Antioch) and deliver the decrees from the apostles and elders in Jerusalem. He strengthens the churches in the faith, and they increase in number daily.

• They pass through Phrygia and Galatia, but the Holy Spirit forbids them to speak the word in Asia.


Mysia (Acts 16:7-8)

• They come to Mysia, and the Spirit of Jesus forbids them to go into Bythinia.

• They pass through Mysia, and go down to Troas.


Troas (Acts 16:9-11a)

• Paul sees a vision in the night of a man of Macedonia who calls him to come to Macedonia and help.

Immediately they seek to go into Macedonia, and conclude that God has called them to preach there.

• They put out to sea from Troas and take Luke along.


Samothrace (Acts 16:11b)

• They run a straight course to Samothrace.


Neapolis (Acts 16:11c)

• On the following day they come to Neapolis and depart for Philippi.


Philippi (Acts 16:12-40)

• They stay in Philippi for some days.

• On the Sabbath, Paul preaches at a women’s gathering, and Lydia of Thyatira is persuaded and baptized. They stay with her.

• A slave-girl with a spirit of divination follows Paul for many days.

• Paul heals the slave-girl, and her masters see their hope for profit in fortunetelling is gone, and seize Paul and Silas and drag them before the authorities. They are beat with rods and put in prison.

• At midnight, there is a great earthquake, and the prisoners are miraculously released. A jailer prepares to take his own life, but Paul preaches to him, and he is saved and baptized that hour.

Day comes and the chief magistrates discover they are Romans and release them from prison and beg them to leave the city.

• They encourage the brethren and depart, but Luke remains.


Amphipolis and Apollonia (Acts 17:1a)

• They travel through Amphipolis and Apollonia.


Thessalonica (Acts 17:1b-10a, 1 Thess. 1:6-9, 2:2,9, 2 Thess. 2:3-5, 3:7-10, Philip. 4:16)

• They come to Thessalonica (Acts) and work night and day so as not to be a burden to them (1 Thess. 2:9, 2 Thess. 3:7-10). The church in Philippi sends Paul a gift more than once for his needs when in Thessalonica (Philip. 4:16). One or more of these gifts may have been given on Paul’s third missionary journey.

• Paul speaks the word amid much opposition (1 Thess. 2:2). He preaches in the synagogue for three Sabbaths and some are persuaded, along with a great multitude of the God-fearing Greeks and a number of the leading women (Acts). They receive the word in much tribulation and turn to God from idols (1 Thess. 1:6-9). He teaches them about the great apostasy that will precede the Day of the Lord (2 Thess. 2:3-5).

• The Jews form a mob against the brethren, and Paul and Silas are sent away by night to Berea.


Berea (Acts 17:10b-15)

• They arrive in Berea and enter the synogogue. The Jews in Berea are more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, and many believe, along with a number of leading Greek women and men.

• The Jews of Thessalonica come and stir up the crowds in Berea, and immediately the brethren send Paul out and bring him to Athens. Silas and Timothy remain.


Athens (Acts 17:16-18:1a, Orossius)

• Paul reasons in the synagogue, and in the market place every day.

• He is brought to the Aereopagus by the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers and preaches. Some sneer while others believe.

• In the ninth year of the reign of Claudius (from January 25, AD 49 to January 24, AD 50), Claudius commands all Jews to leave Rome (Orossius). This occurs while Paul is in Athens, or at some time earlier.

• He leaves Athens and goes to Corinth.


Corinth (Acts 18:1b-17, 1 Cor. 1:1,14-16, 2:1-5, 16:15, 1 Thess. 1:7, 2:14, 2 Cor. 10:10, 11:7-9, Philip. 4:14-15)

• Paul comes to Corinth (possibly in spring AD 50) and meets Priscilla and Aquilla, who have recently come from Italy because of the expulsion of Jews from Rome, and stays with them.

• He works with Aquilla as a tent-maker, and reasons in the synagogue every Sabbath. He comes in weakness and fear, and in demonstration of the Spirit and of power (1 Cor. 2:1-5). They regard his personal appearance as unimpressive and his speech contemptible (2 Cor. 10:10).

• Silas and Timothy come down from Macedonia and Paul devotes himself completely to the word. He solemnly testifies to the Jews, and when the Jews resist and blaspheme, he goes to the Gentiles, and stays at the house of Titius Justus, whose house is next to the synagogue.

• The household of Stephanus is converted, the first-fruits of Achaia (1 Cor. 16:15). Crispus, the leader of the synagogue, believes with all his household, and many in Corinth believe and are baptized (Acts). Sosthenes, the leader of the synagogue (and successor or colleague of Crispus) is also possibly converted (1 Cor. 1:1, Acts). Paul baptizes Crispus and Gaius, the household of Stephanus, and perhaps others (1 Cor. 1:14-16).

• The Lord directs Paul to stay in Corinth, and he stays for a year and six months, and teaches the word of God.

• He preaches the gospel without charge, so that he will not be a burden to the church, and “robs” other churches to serve them (2 Cor. 11:7-8). When he is in need, brethren come down from Macedonia and fully supply his need (2 Cor. 11:9). Since leaving Macedonia, no other church shares with Paul in giving and receiving but the church in Philippi alone (Philip. 4:14-15).

• Paul, Silas and Timothy write the First Epistle to the Thessalonians sometime after Silas and Timothy come down from Thessalonica. Paul instructs them concerning sexual purity and the uniting of believers to Christ on the Day of the Lord. He says they are imitators of the churches in Judea who suffer from the Jews as they suffer from their own countrymen (1 Thess. 2:14), and are an example to all believers in Macedonia and Achaia (1 Thess. 1:7).

• Gallio assumes office as proconsul of Achaia on July 1, AD 51. The Delphi inscription (a copy of a letter from the emperor Claudius to the city of Delphi, which is located across the bay from Corinth) mentions the name of Gallio in his official capacity of proconsul, and the date given is the 26th imperial acclamation of the emperor Claudius. This dates between January 25, AD 52 (the beginning of Claudius’ l2th tribunician power during which time the 26th imperial acclamation took place, according to a Carian inscription), and August 1, AD 52 (at which time the dedication of the Aqua Claudia at Rome took place and Claudius had already received the 27th imperial acclamation as stated in the inscription of the Aqua Claudia). A proconsul normally served for only one year, beginning on July 1. It is unlikely that Gallio began his proconsulship in AD 52, because the time-span between the recent expulsion of Jews from Rome prior to his arrival in Corinth (above) and Paul’s appearance before Gallio many days before the end of his year and six months in Corinth (below) exceeds his length of stay in Corinth. All dates in this chronology, except where noted, are determined by counting forward or backward from this event through the relative sequence of events.

• The Jews rise up against Paul and bring him before the judgment seat. Gallio refuses to judge matters between the Jews and drives them away. Sosthenes is beaten, and Gallio is not concerned. It is likely that this trial occurs shortly after Gallio’s arrival in Corinth, for as a new magistrate, Gallio might want to seek favor with the people and grant them their requests, and the Jews would see this as a good opportunity.

• Paul remains many days longer.

• Paul, Silas and Timothy write the Second Epistle to the Thessalonians at about this time. Paul seeks to comfort them in their affliction, and reminds them the Day of the Lord will not come unless the apostasy comes first.

• He puts out to sea for Syria (possibly in fall AD 51) with Priscilla and Aquilla.


Cenchrea (Acts 18:18-19, Numbers 6:2-21)

• He has his hair cut in Cenchrea for he is keeping a Nazarite vow (Acts), and probably brings the hair with him to offer in Jerusalem (Numbers).


Ephesus (Acts 18:20-21)

• They come to Ephesus and Paul leaves Priscilla and Aquilla here.

• He preaches in the synagogue, and they ask him to stay longer. He does not consent, but takes leave of them, and says he will return to them if God wills, and sets sail from Ephesus.


Caesarea (Acts 18:22a)

• He lands in Caesarea.


Jerusalem (Acts 18:22b, Numbers 6:2-21)

• He goes up and greets the church (Acts).

• He probably completes his Nazarite vow by offering his hair in the temple along with a burnt-offering, a sin-offering, a peace-offering, and a grain-offering (Numbers).


Return to Antioch (Acts 18:22c)

• He goes down to Antioch (perhaps in fall AD 51) and spends some time.



Third Missionary Journey and Extended Ministry in Ephesus

(4 years, AD 54 - 58)



Antioch (Acts 18:23a)

• Paul departs from Antioch.


Galatia and Phrygia (Acts 18:23b, 19:1)

• He passes successively through Galatia and Phrygia.

• He passes through the upper country and comes to Ephesus (while Apollos is at Corinth).


Ephesus (Acts 19:1-20, 20:18,31, Col. 1:7, 2:1, 4:12, Philem. 19, 1 Cor. 16:12)

• From the first day he sets foot in Asia he remains in Ephesus the whole time (Acts 20:18).

• He meets some disciples of John the Baptist, who are familiar with the baptism of repentance only, and he baptizes them in the name of Jesus.

• He reasons in the synagogue for three months (perhaps in summer AD 54), and when some of the Jews speak evil of the Way before the multitude, he withdraws from the synagogue and takes away the disciples.

• He teaches in the School of Tyrannus for two years (perhaps from summer AD 54 to summer AD 56) and all who live in Asia hear the word.

• He performs extraordinary miracles, and many confess their evil practices, and the word of the Lord prevails (Acts). Epaphras of Colossae (Col. 4:12) is possibly converted through Paul’s ministry while at Ephesus and sent to nearby Colossae to bring the word (Col. 1:7). Philemon is also possibly converted through Paul’s ministry while at Ephesus (Philem. 19), for Paul has apparently not been to Philemon’s probable hometown of Colossae at this point (Col. 2:1).

Night and day for a period of three years (possibly from spring AD 54 to spring AD 57), he does not cease to admonish each of the elders of the church in Ephesus with tears (Acts 20:31).

• Apollos evidently comes to Ephesus from Corinth at some point (Acts 19:1, 1 Cor. 16:12).


Corinth (2 Cor. 2:1, 12:21, 13:1-2, 1 Cor. 16:7, Acts 20:18)

• Paul evidently at some point during his three years in Ephesus comes in sorrow to Corinth (2 Cor. 2:1, 13:1), probably for a short duration (1 Cor. 16:7, Acts 20:18), because of many there who practice impurity, immorality, and sensuality (2 Cor. 12:21), and tells them if he comes again, he will not spare them (2 Cor. 13:2).


Ephesus (Acts 19:21-20:1,19, 1 Cor. 1:1,11, 3:1-6, 4:11-13,17,19, 5:1,5,9, 7:1, 11:18-19, 15:30,32, 16:1-8,15-18, 2 Cor. 1:15-16, 2:1,9,23, 8:6)

• Paul writes an epistle to the church in Corinth, presumably from Ephesus, sometime after his visit to Corinth (for otherwise he would not have need to clear up a misunderstanding caused by this epistle in his next epistle), and says they are not to associate with fornicators (1 Cor. 5:9). He apparently indicates his intention to pass their way into Macedonia, and from Macedonia to come to them again and be helped on his journey to Judea (2 Cor. 1:15-16). He directs them possibly at this time to make a contribution to the poor brethren at Jerusalem (1 Cor. 16:2), and sends Titus maybe at this time to take responsibility for the collection (2 Cor. 8:6), and perhaps carry the epistle.

• He directs the churches of Galatia as well to set aside money for the collection to the saints in Jerusalem (1 Cor. 16:1-2).

• Stephanus, Fortunatus and Achaicus come to him from Corinth and refresh his spirit (1 Cor. 16:15-18). Timothy and Erastus also minister to him (Acts).

• He is informed that there are divisions in the church in Corinth (1 Cor. 1:11, 11:18-19) and incest in the church in Corinth (1 Cor. 5:1).

• He chooses to delay his visit to Corinth in order to spare them of his severity and give them time to repent (2 Cor. 1:23), not wanting to come to them in sorrow again (2 Cor. 2:1), and also to test their obedience (2 Cor. 2:9). He also changes his mind and purposes to go to Jerusalem after he has once passed through Macedonia and Achaia and then afterwards to Rome (Acts 19:21).

• He sends Timothy and Erastus into Macedonia and stays in Asia for a while (Acts). Sosthenes perhaps comes to Ephesus and relieves Timothy (1 Cor. 1:1). This Sosthenes is possibly the leader of the synagogue in Corinth who was beaten before the judgment seat during Paul’s first stay in Corinth.

• Tears and trials come upon him in Asia through the plots of the Jews (Acts 20:19). He fights with “wild beasts” in Ephesus (1 Cor. 15:32) and is in danger every hour (1 Cor. 15:30). He and his companions are hungry, thirsty, poorly clothed, roughly treated, and homeless, and become as the scum of the world (1 Cor. 4:11-13). They are burdened excessively in Asia, beyond their strength, and despair of life, and escape the “sentence” of death (2 Cor. 1:8-9).

• Paul receives a letter from Corinth asking him about marriage, fornication, and disorders in public worship (1 Cor. 7:1), and in response, Paul and Sosthenes write the First Epistle to the Corinthians. Paul indicates that he will send Timothy to them (1 Cor. 4:17), apparently after Timothy fulfills his mission to Macedonia (Acts 19:22), and that he will come to them soon if the Lord wills (1 Cor. 4:19). He says that he will remain in Ephesus until Pentecost, and that he will come to Corinth after he goes through Macedonia, and perhaps spend the winter (1 Cor. 16:5-8). He addresses them as babes in Christ (1 Cor. 3:1-6), and instructs them concerning many issues. He also informs them of his dire circumstances at the present time (1 Cor. 4:11-13). He also directs them to take up collections for the saints in Jerusalem before he comes and that when he arrives he shall send the men they have approved with letters to Jerusalem with their gift, and if it is fitting for him to go, that they will accompany him (1 Cor. 16:1-4). He also delivers the incestuous man over to Satan (1 Cor. 5:5). He possibly sends Stephanus, Fortunatus and Achaicus back to Corinth with the epistle (1 Cor. 16:16,18).

• Demetrius, a silversmith who makes shrines of Artemis, whose business is threatened by Paul’s preaching, instigates a riot which moves into the theater. The disciples prevent Paul from speaking to the people.

After the uproar ceases, Paul exhorts the disciples and departs for Macedonia (Acts). It appears that Paul may not have remained in Ephesus until Pentecost as he had planned (1 Cor. 16:8), but departs some time prior to Pentecost (in spring AD 57).


Troas (2 Cor. 2:12-13)

• He comes to Troas for the gospel, and when he does not find Titus (whom he anticipates will come from Corinth), he goes into Macedonia.


Macedonia (Acts 20:2a, 2 Cor. 1:1,15-17, 2:5-8, 7:6-11, 8:6, 9:1-2, 10:10, 12:21, 13:2)

• He goes through these parts (Acts) possibly in summer AD 57. It is probable that he passes through Philippi, Thessalonica, and Berea, and collects contributions for the brethren in Jerusalem.

• Titus comes into Macedonia and brings a report from Corinth that Paul’s letter, the First Epistle to the Corinthians, made them sorrowful to the point of repentance (2 Cor. 7:6-11), but not all of them (2 Cor. 12:21).

• Paul and Timothy write the Second Epistle to the Corinthians probably from Macedonia (2 Cor. 9:2), to the church in Corinth and to all the saints in Achaia (2 Cor. 1:1). Paul informs them that the punishment inflicted on the incestuous man by the majority is sufficient, and that they should forgive him (2 Cor. 2:5-8). He tells those who are sinning, if he comes again, he will not spare them (2 Cor. 13:2), and indicates that he does not intend to terrify them with his letters, for they regard his letters as weighty and strong (2 Cor. 10:10). He indicates he was not vacillating when he changed his mind and chose not to pass through Corinth on his way to Macedonia as he originally planned (2 Cor. 1:15-17). He tells them he boasts to the churches of Macedonia, that Achaia has been prepared since last year to make a contribution to the brethren in Jerusalem (2 Cor. 9:1-2), and sends Titus back to Corinth to complete the collection (2 Cor. 8:6), and possibly to carry the epistle.


Illyricum (Rom. 15:19)

• He comes as far as Illyricum and preaches the gospel (Rom. 15:19) possibly in fall AD 57.


Corinth (Acts 20:2b-3, Rom. 1:15, 15:22-29, 1 Cor. 16:5-7)

• He comes to Greece and spends three months (Acts). He presumably comes to Corinth and spends the winter (1 Cor. 16:5-7) (winter AD 57/58).

• Paul writes the Epistle to the Romans at this time, and says he is eager to preach the gospel to them in Rome (Rom. 1:15), and that he has longed for many years to come to them (Rom. 15:23). He indicates he has fully preached the gospel from Jerusalem to Illyricum, and that there is no further place for him in these regions (Rom. 15:23). He tells them he is going to Jerusalem (with contributions from the churches in Macedonia and Achaia to the brethren there), and then to Rome and then to Spain (Rom. 15:22-29)

• As he is about to set sail for Syria a plot is formed against him and he decides to return through Macedonia instead.


Return to Macedonia (Acts 20:4-6a, 1 Cor. 16:3)

• He goes to Macedonia accompanied by Sopater of Berea, Aristarchus and Secundus of Thessalonica, Gaius of Derbe, and Timothy, and Tychicus and Trophimus of Asia, who then go on ahead of him and wait at Troas (Acts). Presumably these men were chosen in their respective churches to carry letters with their gift to the saints in Jerusalem (1 Cor. 16:3).

• Paul and Luke sail from Philippi after the days of Unleavened Bread (April 7, AD 58).


Troas (Acts 20:6b-13)

• They come to the disciples at Troas within five days and stay seven days.

• They gather on the first day of the week and as Paul preaches, Eutychus falls to his death. Paul raises him up.

• Luke and the disciples set sail for Assos while Paul arranges for himself to go by land.


Assos (Acts 20:14a)

• Paul meets Luke and the disciples at Assos.


Mitylene, Chios, Samos (Acts 20:14b-15a)

• They sail to Mitylene and arrive the following day opposite Chios and the next day to Samos.


Miletus (Acts 20:15b-38)

• The following day he sails to Miletus deciding to sail past Ephesus in order that he might not have to spend time in Asia and make it to Jerusalem on the Day of Pentecost.

• He calls for the elders of the church in Ephesus to meet him in Miletus.

• He exhorts them and tells them that they will see his face no more.


Cos, Rhodes, Patara (Acts 21:1-2)

• They set sail and run a straight course to Cos and the next day to Rhodes and from there to Patara and board a ship going to Phoenicia.


Tyre (Acts 21:3-6)

• They pass Cyprus on the left and sail to Syria and land in Tyre.

• They look up the disciples, and stay seven days. The disciples keep telling Paul not to go to Jerusalem.

• The disciples escort them to the beach. They pray and say farewell and aboard the ship.


Ptolemais (Acts 21:7)

• They finish the voyage from Tyre and arrive at Ptolemais.

• They greet the brethren and stay one day.


Caesarea (Acts 21:8-16)

• The next day they come to Caesarea and stay with Philip.

• Agabus comes down from Judea and prophesies that the Jews in Jerusalem will bind Paul and deliver him to the Gentiles and the disciples beg Paul not to go to Jerusalem.

After these days he gets ready to go to Jerusalem with the disciples from Caesarea.


Jerusalem (Acts 21:17-26, 24:17)

• Paul comes to Jerusalem after several years to bring alms to his nation and to present offerings (Acts 24:17). They come to Jerusalem (probably in May or June AD 58, before Pentecost) and are received by the brethren.

• The following day they go to James and the elders and discuss Paul’s ministry to the Gentiles. When James relates to them how many thousands of the Jews there are zealous for the Law who have heard that Paul is teaching that the Jews should forsake Moses and not circumcise their children, he directs Paul to observe the days of purification so that all will know that he walks according to the Law.

• The next day Paul goes to the temple and gives notice of the completion of the days of purification until the sacrifice is offered.



Arrest and Caesarean Imprisonment

(2 years, AD 58 - 60)



Jerusalem (Acts 21:27-23:30)

Seven days after he arrives in Jerusalem, Jews from Asia see Paul in the temple and stir up the crowds, and wrongfully accuse him of bringing Gentiles into the temple. The people drag him out of the temple and seek to kill him. The Roman commander comes with soldiers and centurions and stops the beating and orders Paul to be bound. Paul asks to speak to the people and is given permission. He speaks to the people about his life as a Pharisee, his conversion, and his ministry to the Gentiles, and when the crowds hear this last statement they stop listening and raise there voices against him. The commander orders him into the barracks to examine him by scourging and when Paul tells them he is a Roman they stop.

• The next day he is brought before the chief priests and all the Council, and he speaks to them. The high priest Annanias orders him to be struck on the mouth, and Paul reviles him, not knowing he is the high priest. He speaks to them further about the resurrection and causes a great uproar between the Pharisees and Sadducees. He is brought back to the barracks.

• On the following night the Lord speaks to Paul and tells him to take courage and says he will also witness to His cause in Rome.

• When it is day about forty Jews form a conspiracy and take an oath not to eat until Paul is killed, and conspire to lynch him. The son of Paul’s sister hears of the ambush and tells Paul who then asks the centurion to bring the boy to the commander, Claudius Lysias. The boy informs the commander of the ambush, and the commander calls two centurions to prepare to take Paul by night to Felix the governor with a letter.


Antipatris (Acts 23:31)

• Paul is brought by soldiers to Antipatris by night.


Caesarea (Acts 23:32-27:1a)

• The next day they bring him to Caesarea.

• He is presented to the governor Antonius Felix (r. AD 52 - 60) with the letter from Claudius Lysias. When Felix learns he is from the province of Cilicia, he gives orders for him to be kept in Herod’s Praetorium (official residence).

Five days after Paul’s arrest, the high priest Annanias comes down from Jerusalem with the lawyer Tertullus and brings charges against him.

• Paul is summoned, and Tertullus accuses him along with the Jews, of being a real pest, a fellow who stirs up strife among the Jews throughout the world, and a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes who is trying to desecrate the temple. Paul makes his defense and indicates that he serves God according to the Way, which his accusers call a sect, and believes everything in the Law and the Prophets, and hopes in the resurrection of the dead. He says he came to Jerusalem to worship twelve days ago and was found in the temple, purified, without crowd or uproar, but certain Jews from Asia made false accusations, and no misdeed could be found when he stood before the Council. Felix decides to wait for the commander to come down from Jerusalem and then decide his case, and keeps Paul in custody but allows him to have visitors.

Some days later Felix returns with his wife Drusilla, who is a Jewess, and sends for Paul. Paul discusses righteousness, self-control and the judgment to come, and Felix becomes frightened and sends him away.

• Felix sends for Paul quite often and converses with him, and hopes that money will be given him by Paul.

• After two years (in summer AD 60) Felix is succeeded by Porcius Festus (r. AD 60 - 62), and Felix leaves Paul in prison in order to do the Jews a favor.

• Festus arrives in the province three days later, and goes up to Jerusalem, and the Jews request a concession against Paul, that he might be brought to Jerusalem (so that they can set an ambush to kill him on the way) and after eight or ten days, he returns to Caesarea with some influential Jews.

• The next day Festus orders Paul to be brought to the tribunal.

• After Paul arrives, the Jews bring many and serious charges against him, and he says in his own defense, “I have committed no offense either against the Law of the Jews or against the temple or against Caesar”. Festus asks Paul if he is willing to go to Jerusalem to stand trial before him, and Paul replies that he is standing before Caesar’s tribunal where he ought to be tried, and that no one can hand him over to the Jews, and he appeals to Caesar.

After several days, King Agrippa II (r. AD 44 - 100) and Bernice (his wife and sister) arrive in Caesarea to pay their respects to Festus, and spend many days. Festus lays Paul’s case before the king, and the king requests to hear him.

• The next day, amid great pomp, Agrippa and Bernice enter the auditorium with the commanders and prominent men of the city, and Paul is brought in. Paul makes his defense and speaks of his former life as a Pharisee, his subsequent conversion, and his present ministry to the Jews, and also to the Gentiles for which he was seized in the temple by those who seek to kill him. Agrippa says to Festus, that if Paul had not appealed to Caesar, he might have been set free.

• It is decided that Paul should sail to Italy.



Journey to Rome and First Roman Imprisonment

(2 years, AD 60 - 62)



Caesarea (Acts 27:1b-2)

• He is delivered to the centurion, Julias, and put on a ship from Adramyttia about to sail to the region along the coast of Asia. Luke and Aristarchus accompany him.


Sidon (Acts 27:3-5a)

• The next day they put in at Sidon.

• Julias allows Paul to see his friends and receive care.

• They put out to sea and sail under the shelter of Cyprus, and then along the coast of Cilicia and Pamphylia.


Myra (Acts 27:5b-6)

• They land in Myra in Lycia and board a ship sailing to Italy. Aristarchus, a Macedonian of Thessalonica, either stays on the ship going to Macedonia (and later rejoins Paul in Rome), or takes the ship to Italy with Paul and Luke.


Cnidus (Acts 27:7a)

• They sail slowly for a good many days and with difficulty arrive off Cnidus.


Crete (Acts 27:7b-15)

• They sail under the shelter of Crete off Salmone and with difficulty sail past it.

• They come to Fair Havens near the city of Lasea.

• A considerable time passes, and the voyage is now dangerous, and the fast (the Day of Atonement, September 29, AD 60) is now over, and Paul admonishes them. The majority, however, decides to put out to sea and attempt to reach Phoenix and spend the winter there.

• They begin to sail closely along Crete, but before long they give way to the wind and let themselves be driven along.


Clauda (Acts 27:16)

• They run under the shelter of a small island called Clauda.


Adriatic Sea (Acts 27:17-38)

• They let down the anchor fearing they will run aground on Syrtis and let themselves be driven along.

• The next day they are violently storm-tossed and begin to jettison the cargo.

• On the third day they throw the ship’s tackle overboard.

• After many days they abandon all hope.

• After a long time without food, Paul meets an angel of God who tells him he will stand before Caesar and that the lives of all on the ship will be spared, and Paul encourages them.

• On the fourteenth night, they are driven about in the sea, and they surmise that they are approaching land and wait for daybreak. Paul informs the centurion of the sailors plot to escape and leave the rest to perish, and their plan is thwarted. Paul encourages all to take food.


Malta (Acts 27:39-28:11)

• When day comes they run the vessel aground on the island of Malta (in late October AD 60). The centurion prevents the soldiers from killing the prisoners that none should swim away and escape, and all are brought safely to land. The natives receive them.

• Paul has an encounter with a viper. After a long time he does not die, and the natives regard him as a god.

• He heals the father of Publius, the leading man of the island, and all on the island who have diseases.

• After three months (in February AD 61) they set sail.


Syracuse (Acts 28:12)

• They put in at Syracuse and stay three days.


Rhegium (Acts 28:13a)

• They sail around and arrive at Rhegium.

• On the next day a wind springs up.


Puteoli (Acts 28:13b-14a)

• On the second day they come to Puteoli and stay seven days with the brethren.


Rome (Acts 28:14b-31, 27:24, Luke 1:1-4, Eph., Philip., Col., Philem.)

• They come to Rome (in spring AD 61) and the brethren come from as far as the Market of Appias and Three Inns to meet them. Paul is allowed to stay by himself with the soldier who is guarding him.

• After three days he calls the leading men of the Jews to come to him and they set a day for them to hear him.

• The Jews come in large numbers and hear him preach from morning until evening. He persuades some, but not others.

• He stays two full years (until about spring AD 63) in his own rented quarters and welcomes all who visit, and preaches the kingdom of God with all openness, unhindered.

• His imprisonment for Christ’s sake becomes well known throughout the whole praetorian guard, and turns out for the greater progress of the gospel, for the brethren now have greater courage to preach the word of God without fear (Philip. 1:12-14).

• Some of Caesar’s household are possibly converted at this time through Paul’s ministry from prison (Philip. 4:22).

• Epaphras brings news to Paul from Colossae about the faith and love of the saints there (Col. 1:4-8)

• Onesimus of Colossae (Col. 4:9), a runaway slave of Philemon, is converted through Paul’s ministry while in prison (Philem. 10).

• The church in Philippi revive their concern for Paul and send Epaphroditis to him with a gift (Philip. 2:25, 4:10,17-18). Epaphroditis apparently brings news about divisions among the brethren in Philippi (Philip. 1:27, 2:2-4,14, 4:2).

While in prison (Philem. 1), the aged Paul (Philem. 9) and Timothy write the Epistle to Philemon, Apphia, and Archippus in Colossae (Philem. 1-2), and send it in care of Onesimus and Tychicus (Col. 4:9). Paul urges Philemon to show mercy and receive Onesimus back, and to charge any dept Onesimus owes Philemon to his own account (Philem. 15-18). He also seems to hint at his desire to receive Onesimus back from Philemon for use in service (Philem. 10-14).

While in prison (Col. 4:3,10,18), Paul and Timothy write the Epistle to the Colossians, and Paul exhorts them to live righteously and to forsake false teachings. He sends word to Archippus to fulfill his ministry (Col. 4:17) and sends greetings from Epaphras and informs them of Epaphras’ deep concern for those in Colossae, Laodicea, and Hierapolis (Col. 4:12-13). He instructs them to have the letter read in Laodicea and to read the letter coming from Laodicea (Col. 4:16), which may be the Epistle to the Ephesians. He sends Tychicus and Onesimus to inform them of his situation, and to carry the epistle (Col. 4:7-9).

While in prison (Eph. 4:1, 6:20), Paul writes the Epistle to the Ephesians, or rather to the saints in Asia (for some old manuscripts omit reference to Ephesus (Eph. 1:1), the epistle lacks a personal greeting, and his audience seems to be unknown to him (Eph. 1:15, 3:2, 4:21)). He declares to them God’s eternal purpose to reconcile sinners to Himself (Eph. 1:3-3:21), not only from among the Jews, but also from among the Gentiles, who once were aliens, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, but now in Christ are fellow citizens with the saints (Eph. 2:11-22). He exhorts them to walk in God’s righteousness and gives specific instructions to husbands, wives, children, fathers, slaves, and masters (Eph. 4:1-6:20). He says he has heard of their faith (Eph. 1:15-16) and does not cease to pray for them, and tells them not to lose heart at his tribulation (Eph. 3:3), but to pray that utterance may be given to him to proclaim the gospel with boldness (Eph. 6:19-20). He sends the epistle in care of Tychicus, and instructs him to inform them of his present circumstances (Eph. 6:21-22).

While in prison (Philip. 1:7,17), Paul and Timothy write the Epistle to the Philippians and Paul indicates that he is on trial for his life and yet trusts that he will be released and will come to Philippi shortly (Philip. 1:19-26, 2:24).

• Luke writes (possibly in Rome) the Gospel of Luke and the Acts of the Apostles, which collectively represents an account of the things accomplished among the apostles in consecutive order and is based on his own eyewitness account and information handed down by other eyewitnesses (Luke). It may have been prepared for use in Paul’s defense.

• Paul presumably stands before the emperor Nero (r. AD 54 - 68) and gives his defense and is released (Acts 27:24).



Later Ministry and Second Roman Imprisonment

(5 years, AD 63 - 67)



Philippi (Philip. 2:24)

• He presumably comes to Philippi in Macedonia.


Colossae (Philem. 11, 22)

• He probably comes to Colossae and lodges with Philemon.

• He perhaps takes Onesimus along for service.


Spain (Rom. 15:24,28, Clement of Rome)

• He goes possibly to Spain and proclaims the gospel there (Rom.). He preaches as far as to the extremity of the west (Clement of Rome).


Crete (Titus 1:5)

• He goes to Crete and is probably accompanied by Titus.

• He possibly visits Gortys, the capital city, and preaches there.

• He leaves Titus in Crete to set things in order and to appoint elders in every city.


Ephesus (1 Tim. 1:3)

• He evidently comes to Ephesus.

• He urges Timothy to remain on at Ephesus in order to instruct certain men not to teach false doctrine.

• He departs for Macedonia.


Macedonia (1 Tim. 1:3)

• He leaves Macedonia and comes possibly to Corinth.


Corinth (1 Tim., Titus)

• He delivers Alexander and Hymenaeus over to Satan, possibly at this time, so they may be taught not to blaspheme (1 Tim. 1:20).

• He hopes to come to Timothy in Ephesus before long, but in case he delays, he writes the First Epistle to Timothy, (1 Tim. 3:14-15a) sometime after leaving Macedonia, in order that Timothy may know how one ought to conduct himself in the household of God (1 Tim. 3:15) and to urge him once again to remain on at Ephesus in order to teach certain men not to teach false doctrines (1 Tim. 1:3). He states that Christ came into the world to save sinners among whom he is foremost of all (1 Tim. 1:15) and that the goal of their instruction is love (1 Tim. 1:5), and that for godliness they labor and strive (1 Tim. 4:8-10). He sets forth principals concerning congregational prayer (1 Tim. 2:1-8), the place of women in the church (1 Tim. 2:9-15), and the qualifications of elders and deacons (1 Tim. 3:1-13), and warns that some will fall away from the faith and teach doctrines of demons (1 Tim. 1:3-11, 4:1-10, 6:3-5,20-21). He also gives instructions concerning widows (1 Tim. 5:3-6), elders (1 Tim. 5:17-20), slaves (1 Tim. 6:1-2), and the rich (1 Tim. 6:6-10,17-19). He tells Timothy to prescribe and teach these things (1 Tim. 4:11) and solemnly charges him to maintain these principals without bias (1 Tim. 5:21).

• He writes the Epistle to Titus who is in Crete sometime after leaving Macedonia, and says, “for this reason I left you in Crete, that you might set in order what remains, and appoint elders in every city” (Titus 1:5), and he sets forth the qualifications for elder (Titus 1:6-9). He urges Titus to reprove the brethren severely for holding to false teachings (Titus 1:10-16), to teach them with sound doctrine (Titus 2:1-10), and to exhort them to live righteously (Titus 2:11-3:2). He exhorts him to speak confidently the message of God’s mercy (Titus 3:5-8), and to shun foolish controversies (Titus 3:9). He sends Artemas or Tychicus to him, carrying the letter, and urges him to come to him in Nicopolis where he plans to spend the winter (Titus 3:12).


Nicopolis (Titus 3:12, 2 Tim. 4:10)

• He presumably comes to Nicopolis to spend the winter (Titus).

• Titus probably comes to him from Crete (Titus).

• Paul possibly sends Titus to Dalmatia at this time (2 Tim.).


Return to Ephesus (1 Tim. 3:14)

• He probably returns to Timothy in Ephesus before long.


Miletus (2 Tim. 4:20)

• He evidently comes to Miletus.

• He leaves Trophimus sick in Miletus.


Troas (2 Tim. 4:13, 2:9)

• He evidently comes to Troas.

• He leaves his cloak in Troas at the house of Carpus, with his books and parchments (2 Tim. 4:13), perhaps while in a hurry in an attempt to flee arrest (2 Tim. 2:9).


Rome (2 Tim., 1 Tim. 1:3, 3:1, Acts 18:19, Jerome)

• The Great Fire of Rome occurs in July AD 64. Nero, who is widely believed to have started the fire himself, blames the fire on Christians, and begins to arrest them.

• Paul is evidently arrested and imprisoned in Rome as a criminal (2 Tim. 2:9), possibly as a result of the harm done him by Alexander the coppersmith (2 Tim. 4:14-15), and possibly the same Alexander he delivered over to Satan earlier for blaspheming (1 Tim. 3:1).

• He is visited by Onesiphorus who eagerly searches for him in Rome and finds him, and is not ashamed of his chains (2 Tim. 1:16-18), and apparently returns home to Ephesus (2 Tim. 4:19).

• He has his first defense and no one supports him but all desert him (2 Tim. 4:16), including all who are in Asia (2 Tim. 1:15), but the Lord stands with Him, and he is delivered out of the lion’s mouth (2 Tim. 4:17).

• He sends Tychicus to Ephesus, and Erastus remains at Corinth. Demas loves the present world, and deserts him and goes to Thessalonica, Crescens goes to Galatia, and Titus to Dalmatia. Only Luke is with him (2 Tim. 4:10-12,20).

While in prison (2 Tim. 2:9) in Rome (2 Tim. 1:16-17), he writes the Second Epistle to Timothy, who is probably still in Ephesus (1 Tim. 1:3) with Prisca and Aquilla (2 Tim. 4:19, Acts 18:19), and Onesiphorus (2 Tim. 4:19), and indicates that he longs to see him (2 Tim. 1:4). He tells him not to be ashamed of his imprisonment (2 Tim. 1:8), to endure hardship (2 Tim. 1:8, 2:3-7, 4:5,10-13), and to remember the gospel (2 Tim. 1:8-10, 2:8-13). He exhorts him to continue in the Scriptures (2 Tim. 3:14-17), to retain the standard of sound words (2 Tim. 1:13) with accuracy (2 Tim. 2:15), and to entrust these things to faithful men (2 Tim. 2:1-2). He tells him to avoid worldly chatter (2 Tim. 2:17-18), and to solemnly charge them not to wrangle about words (2 Tim. 2:14), and sets forth the qualifications of the Lord’s bond-servant as it relates to correcting those in opposition (2 Tim. 2:19-26). He solemnly charges Timothy to preach the word, and says a time will come when they will turn away (2 Tim. 4:1-4), and evil men and imposters will proceed from bad to worse, and the godly will be persecuted as happened to him (Paul) in Antioch, Iconium, and Lystra (2 Tim. 3:1-13). He indicates that he has finished his course, and the time of his departure has come (2 Tim. 4:6-7), and urges Timothy to come to him soon (2 Tim. 4:9), before winter (2 Tim. 4:21).

• Timothy presumably comes to Paul in Rome (2 Tim. 4:9,21), with his cloak and his books and parchments from Troas (2 Tim. 4:13), and probably picks up Mark (possibly John Mark who accompanied Paul on his first missionary journey, and left him in Perga of Pamphylia) and brings him along (2 Tim. 4:11).

• He evidently stands trial and is convicted (2 Tim. 4:6).

• In AD 67, the fourteenth year of Nero, Paul is beheaded at Rome (Jerome).

• He is buried on the road to Ostia on the 37th year after the death of our Lord (Jerome).


Heaven (2 Tim. 4:8,18)

• On a future day the Lord brings Paul safely to His heavenly kingdom, and gives to him the “crown” of righteousness.