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Chronology of Acts

This chronology of Acts is based on two events recorded in Acts with "known" dates in history: the arrival of Festus in Palestine in the year AD 60 and the death of Herod in AD 44--three years after Claudius became emperor of Rome and expanded Herod's rule in AD 41. Correlating events and the passing of time either mentioned or implied in Acts and working forward and backward from these two given dates provides the following approximate dates.

For example, assuming AD 60 is the year that Festus arrived in Palestine, and reading Acts 24:27--"But after two years [of Paul's imprisonment], Felix was succeeded by Porcius Festus, and wishing to do the Jews a favor, Felix left Paul imprisoned," we conclude that Paul was arrested at Jerusalem (Acts 21-24) in AD 58.

Date Events Scriptures Epistles Written
Spring 61 – Spring 63 Paul in Rome Acts 28:30 Ephesians (3:1; 4:1), Philippians (1:12-13; 4:22), Colossians (4:10, 18), Philemon (1, 9, 10, 23).
Autumn 60 – Spring 61 Paul sent to Rome Acts 27:1, 9; 28:11
60 Festus Comes to Palestine (Conybeare and Howson date this at 60.) Acts 24:27
58 Paul arrested in Jerusalem; sent to Caesarea. Acts 22-24; 24:27
Winter 57-58 Three months in Greece, then to Philippi (Macedonia) after Passover (March/April) then to Jerusalem Acts 20:1-6 Acts 21:15 Romans (15:25-26; Acts 19:21; 24:17), Galatians (similar subject and Gal. 1:6)
Autumn 57 Macedonia then to Greece Acts 20:1-2
Summer 57 Macedonia 1 Corinthians 16:5-8 2 Corinthians (1:16; 7:5)
Spring 57 Leaves Ephesus 1 Corinthians 16:8 1 Corinthians
Early 54 Arrives at Ephesus; stays for 2 years 3 months Acts 19:1, 8-10
Second part of 53 Third Journey begins: From Antioch through Galatia and Phrygia to strengthen disciples Acts 18:23
First part of 53 Arrives home at Antioch Acts 18:22
Late 51 or Early 52 Arrives at Corinth; stays 1 year and 6 months Acts 18:1-18; 18:11 1 & 2 Thessalonians (Compare Acts 18:5 with 1 Thess. 3:2-6—the arrival of Timothy and Silas at Corinth; Silas was not with Paul after he left Corinth.)
50 Second Journey begins just after the conference in Jerusalem; assuming the journey takes about 2 years. Acts 15:36
44 Saul and Barnabas sent with gift for brethren in Judea; James killed; Peter in prison. Herod dies after ruling for 3 years (Josephus. Claudius gave Herod expanded rule which Herod ruled for 3 years. Claudius came to throne in 41.) Paul's First Journey begins. Acts 11:27-30; 12:25 Acts 13
43 Paul and Barnabas spend a whole year in Antioch Acts 11:26
42 Church at Antioch established Acts 11:19-29
41 Baptism of Cornelius Acts 10-11
39 Paul returns to Jerusalem after his conversion, then goes to Tarsus Galatians 1:18
36-39 Philip's preaching Acts 8
36 Paul's conversion. 14 Years after his conversion he went to Jerusalem for the conference Galatians 2:1
33 or 34 Church Established on Pentecost Acts 2