Paul’s Post Council Journeys

13 Jun

Paul's Missionary JourneysBelow is a chart of Paul’s journeys from the time of the Jerusalem Council and afterward until the close of Luke’s thesis. I have noted every year based upon what seems to be Paul’s overall plan of spending three years doing the work of God in any given area.


Where was Paul?

Paul’s Work


49 AD Travels from Antioch to Jerusalem Paul presents his Gospel at the Jerusalem Council about the spring of 49 AD at the same time he brought the famine-relief from Antioch. He spends the remainder of 49 AD ministering to the churches of Antioch & Cilicia. Sabbatical year ended in autumn of 49 AD . The spring of 49 is 14 yrs. after the Damascus road vision (cf. Galatians 2:1 and Galatians 1:15-18)
50 AD  Antioch and then Galatia, Pontus, and Troas. Spring of 50 AD, Paul brings the Apostolic Decrees to the churches in Galatia, and takes Timothy with him and Silas, intending to evangelize the province of Asia, but seems to instead, preach to and establish several house churches by the request of visiting Messianics. Paul probably spent several months strengthening the churches in Galatia. Then he kept getting side-tracked from the Asian work to minister to places in Pontus and Troas, possibly wintering there. Then he received a vision to go to Macedonia.
51 AD  Philippi, Thessalonica, Beroea, Athens & Corinth In the Spring of 51 Paul began to evangelize Philippi. Later he went on to Thessalonica, then to Beroea, Athens and finally to Corinth, where he appears before Gallio in court, probably near the beginning of his service as proconsul of Achaia. The ruling goes in his favor and he remains in Corinth for a total of 18 months (cf. Acts 18:11-12. Paul probably spent late February to early spring in Philippi but was asked to leave the city after perhaps two or three months. Thessalonica and Beroea were no better, being driven out of the former and leaving the latter before the city officials got involved. He probably arrived in Athens in June of 51 AD and spent no more than two to three months there, arriving in Corinth in August or September. His appearance before Gallio probably took place in early to mid October of 51 AD.
52 AD  Corinth Paul preaching out of the home of Gaius Titus Justus, a devote Roman citizen who believed. Corinth is the capital of Achaia and the seat of Roman authority in the province.
53 AD  Corinth, then Ephesus & sails to Jerusalem in spring, then Ephesus again. In a short visit to Ephesus Paul says he must keep the feast that would come to Jerusalem (Acts 18:21).

Returned to Ephesus, cir. late spring or early summer of 53 AD, and spent at least three months preaching in the synagogue.

Paul shaved his head in Corinth because he had a vow. He had only a short time to get to Jerusalem and offer the appropriate sacrifice connected with his vow. After visiting Antioch, Paul returned to Ephesus, cir. late spring or early summer of 53 AD.
54 AD  Ephesus Preaching out of the School of Tyrannus (Acts 19). Paul separated from the synagogue, but a great door opened for him to preach the Gospel to all of Asia.
55 AD  Ephesus, Macedonia and Corinth Preaching out of the School of Tyrannus; then confirming the churches and begins taking up the collection for the poor at Jerusalem (Acts 19-20). Paul sends to the churches in Galatia, Macedonia and Achaia to put aside an offering for the poor at Jerusalem.

Sabbatical year begins in autumn of 55 AD. Paul plans to winter at Corinth.

56 AD  Corinth, Philippi, Troas, Miletus, Jerusalem and Caesarea. Paul wrote the book of Romans while wintering at Corinth (55-56 AD), and sent it via Phebe in the spring when sea travel became safer (Romans 16:1). He also avoids a murder plot against him in Corinth by leaving by land to Philippi. This delayed his journey to Jerusalem, which he probably wished to reach by Passover (56 AD), but didn’t get there until sometime before Pentecost (Acts 20).

Paul was seized in Jerusalem, gave his defense before the crowd (Acts 21), before the Sanhedrin (Acts 22), and before Felix (Acts 24), all in 56 AD.

Sabbatical year ends in autumn of 56 AD. Paul returns to Jerusalem with an offering for the poor before Pentecost. Remember, the sabbatical year was particularly difficult for the poor, since the fields lay unplowed. They could live off the land as long as they could find something that grew by itself.
57 AD  Caesarea Paul appeared a number of times before Felix and perhaps his Jewish wife, Drusilla. Jonathan, the son of Annas,  officiated the office of high priest for the 2nd time; he constantly interfered in Felix’s affairs, according to Josephus. Presumably this would have involved either a Roman execution of Paul or his being extradited to Jerusalem to appear before the Sanhedrin.
58 AD  Caesarea Felix sent for Paul repeatedly in an effort to get a bribe from him for his release. However, due to several political blunders, he left Paul imprisoned at Caesarea as a favor to the Jewish authorities, while he traveled to Rome to answer for his behavior to Caesar. Felix had Jonathan killed due to his constant meddling in his affairs. His brutality in handling a rebel uprising at Caesarea wound up backfiring on him, and he had to go to Rome to answer for his behavior. Probably, he left for Rome cir. autumn of 58 AD .
59 to 60 AD  Caesarea, Mediterranean, Rome Festus arrived in Caesarea probably in spring or early summer. He mishandled Paul’s affairs and must send him to Rome. Paul also appeared before King Agrippa, which event took place to help Festus write something of an accusation against Paul to Caesar, but it all ended in everyone noting Paul’s innocence. All in all, Paul spent over four years under guard at Caesarea—two years and a few months under Felix and about a year and a half under Festus [plus approximately five to six months between Felix and Festus]. Agrippa’s visit to Festus (Acts 25-26) seems to have been after the Feast of Tabernacles (59 AD), leaving no room for Paul to be sent to Rome in 59 AD.

Festus seems to have sent Paul to Rome in mid autumn of 60 AD, after the Feast of Tabernacles, after laboring to find an accusation against Paul to submit to Caesar. This notation of time explains the violent winter storm. Paul and company were saved through it all and ran aground at Malta, near Italy. There they waited for spring before traveling north to Rome.

61 AD  Rome Paul arrived in Rome and was placed under house arrest about spring of 61 AD. He met with a local Jewish assembly that came to him at his request to listen to what he had to say about Jesus. The event ended with some believing, while others spoke evil of the Way. The representatives of the Jews agreed to come and listen to Paul tell them about the Way. They claimed they knew the sect was not well received throughout the Diaspora, but the Jewish leaders at Jerusalem had not sent them any letter that would prevent them from listening to Paul.
61 to 63 AD  Rome Paul was able to rent his own home for at least two years (spring of 61 AD to the spring of 63 AD), while he was under house arrest. The Roman guard didn’t hinder him from preaching the Gospel there, permitting him to receive anyone and everyone who chose to come and listen to him. When the Jews officially rejected Paul’s Gospel—i.e. the majority—Paul’s Gospel went out to the gentiles. He was able to preach there for at least two years, and probably wrote at least some of his prison letters there.

Sabbatical year begins in autumn of 62 AD and ends in the autumn of 63 AD.

63 AD and beyond Rome Luke offers no record after Paul spent two years at Rome. There is no record that Paul was released by Nero. Tradition has it that he was beheaded cir.



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Posted by on June 13, 2013 in Gospel, Kingdom of God


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