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By T. Austin Sparks

The Old Time Gospel

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Bible Lists and Charts   Paul the Apostle

Paul the Apostle
Paul preaching

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Brief Chronology of Paul's Life
(From Conversion to Death)

A.   The period from the conversion of Paul until the first trip to Jerusalem.

• (Acts 9-l2). Paul was converted on the road to Damascus

• He entered Damascus and stayed there for an unknown amount of time (Acts 9:19)

• Paul went to Arabia for an unspecified period, and returned to Damascus afterward (Galatians 1:17).

• The whole period from his conversion until his departure from Damascus is given as three years (Galatians 1:18)

• He went to Jerusalem at this time, and stayed for fifteen days (Acts 9:26-29; Galatians 1:18)

B.   The period from the 1st visit until the second visit to Jerusalem.

• After the fifteen days at Jerusalem, Paul was sent away to avoid capture, and sailed from Caesarea to the regions of Syria and Cilicia (Acts 9:30; Galatians 1:21)

• After a period ranging from eight to fourteen years, Paul traveled to Antioch with Barnabas and stayed for one year (Acts 11:25; Galatians 1:21-2:1).

• Paul then traveled to Jerusalem from Antioch, staying for a short time. This was in connection with the collection taken up in Antioch because of Agabus' vision (Acts 11:27-30; Galatians 2:1). He then returned to Antioch.

C.   The period from the second until the third visit to Jerusalem.

• After the relief visit (second visit) to Jerusalem, Paul returned to Antioch.

• Very soon afterwards, the 1st missionary journey began.

• Paul traveled from Antioch to Seleucia, then to Cyprus.

• Then he went to Pamphylia which lies to the north of Cyprus in modern day Turkey.

• From there, he went to Galatia, as far as the city of Derbe.

• Then he went back through the same cities in the opposite direction.

• Finally, he sailed from Antioch of Pisidia to Antioch of Syria.

• This entire journey apparently lasted six to nine months, concluding before the storms of winter would have stopped ship travel in the Mediterranean.

D.   The period from the third trip to Jerusalem (the Jerusalem Council; Acts l5) until the last trip there.

• Paul traveled from Antioch to Jerusalem for the council, then back to Antioch.

• At that time, they began the second Missionary Journey (Acts l5-l7).

• Paul journeyed from Antioch to Syria and Cilicia, this time using the overland route to Turkey.

• They visited Derbe and Lystra, then passed through Phrygia and Galatia. He arrived at Troas, where he set sail for Macedonia.

• Upon arrival, he went to Phillipi, then to Samothrace, Neopolis, Amphipolis, Thessalonica, Berea, Athens, and finally to Corinth where he stayed for one and a half years.

• After the Macedonian and Greek ministry, he traveled to Ephesus, Caesarea, and back to Antioch in Syria.

• Paul's third Missionary Journey (Acts l8-2l)

• Paul traveled from Antioch to Phrygia and Galatia for the third time.

• He then traveled back to Ephesus where he stayed two and one fourth years.

• After the Ephesian ministry, he sailed to Macedonia, and went by foot to Greece including a second stop at Corinth (2 Corinthians 13:1).

• He then walked back to Macedonia stopping at Phillipi, and set sail for Troas.

• From Troas, he sailed for Jerusalem stopping on the way at Assos, Mytelene, Chios, Samos, Miletus, Ephesus, Cos, Rhodes, Patara, Tyre, Ptolemais, and Caesarea.

E.   Paul's arrest in Jerusalem, and imprisonment at Caesarea (Acts 21:17-26:32)

• Paul was arrested in Jerusalem shortly after arriving from his 3rd Missionary Journey and taken to Caesarea where he was imprisoned for two years.

F.   Paul's trip to Rome (Acts 27 and 28)

• Paul left from Caesarea and sailed to Sidon, Myra, and Fair Havens on Crete, where he stayed until after the Day of Atonement.

• He then sailed west until shipwrecked on Malta, where he stayed 3 months.

• When Spring came, he sailed to Syracuse, Rhegium, and Puteoli, finally arriving in Rome, where he was imprisoned for two more years.

G.   Paul's movements after the Roman imprisonment.

• Paul was apparently freed after the Roman imprisonment.

• There is Biblical and early church historical evidence and that Paul was released and traveled more, including a trip to Spain. (Clement of Rome in I Clement, and 2 Timothy)

• At some point he returned to Rome where he was martyred in the summer of 64 A.D.

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