What’s Wrong with the World

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Chronology of the Pauline epistles

New post up at my personal blog giving my reconstruction of the full chronology of the Pauline epistles. Obviously, much of this is not original, but if you're interested in the subject, you might like to see a full list.

Comments (3)

This is an amazing amount of work, Lydia. Thank you.

Do you know of a comparable line-up of Gospel passages, not in terms of when they were written, but in terms of how they lay out in the life of Christ? Since few think that all of the Gospels were written chronologically, even an attempt to fit together the order that we could ascertain - though it would not cover all passages because some simply could fit anywhere - would be helpful.

Hmm, something like a harmony of the gospels, only with approximate dating. I'll ask EH (Esteemed Husband). It's the kind of thing one of those "old guys" would have written up, and done well, too.

The main thing there is that John records more Passovers and more times in Jerusalem generally (one in the winter) than the Synoptics, so one has to fit all of that together. John also records a Judean ministry prior to the Galilean ministry that most of the synoptics start with after the temptation in the wilderness.

To make things more complicated, Luke keeps saying, "While he was traveling to Jerusalem" concerning travels to Jerusalem that *could not* have been the same journey, but one has to interpret Luke by way of John to conjecture which of the Johannine references to visits to Jerusalem are probably in view in those passages. I haven't figured out to my own satisfaction whether Luke *realized* that these are all different visits to Jerusalem or whether he was just using what his witness sources told him without trying to decide that issue. Luke had a profound knowledge of the geography of the regions he traveled with the Apostle Paul but may not have known as well the detailed geography of the Palestine region which is part of what clues one in (though only part) to the fact that this was not all one trip to Jerusalem.

Tim tells me A.T. Robertson is sort of the gold standard of harmonies, and he does have some dating conjectures.


Dating the life of Christ is related on the one hand to the death of Herod the Great during Jesus' infancy and, on the other end, to various astronomical calculations intended to figure out when Passover would have begun in various years, together with controversies about how to interpret the gospels concerning the day of Jesus' death. I lean toward a 30 A.D. crucifixion, on a Friday, with Jesus eating a Passover meal the previous night and the Passover lamb killed on the Thursday, per the implication of the synoptic gospels. Also, modern back-dating astronomical calculations of the first day of Passover are sometimes over-idealized, since it would depend in part on when someone would actually have *seen* the new moon in a given month, and obviously, we don't have "that guy's" charts.

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