Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Ussher: The Life and Times of the Apostle Paul

     Notes on Annals of the World (1658) by James Ussher. Numbers refer to paragraphs in Ussher’s text.
     5 BC: Saul, later known as the apostle Paul, is born in Tarsus (Anatolia) perhaps around the same time that Jesus is born in Bethlehem.
     33 AD, May 24: Day of Pentecost, birthday of the Church (6510).
     The death of Stephen—the first martyr. Those stoning him laid their cloaks at the feet of Saul. Saul was a Pharisee from Tarsus in Cilicia. He was in Jerusalem to study theology at the Synagogue of Cilicia and to learn from Gamaliel (6520).
     34: A great persecution of the church in Jerusalem begins. Saul participates enthusiastically in it (6524).
     35: Jesus confronts Saul on the road to Damascus and Saul becomes his witness instead of his persecutor (6533). Saul goes to Damascus, leaves for Arabia (6539), then returns (6540).
     37: Saul is forced to flee Damascus by night to avoid being murdered by Jews who oppose him just as he once opposed Christians (6586).
     Saul returns to Jerusalem and speaks with Peter, James, and Barnabas (6587). Because Jews in Jerusalem also planned to murder him, some Christian Jews take Saul to Caesarea and put on a ship to Tarsus (6590).
     38: Peter visits the churches in Judea, Samaria, and Galilee. In Lydda, he heals a man named Aeneas; in Joppa, he brings a woman named Tabitha back to life (6600).
     39: Pontius Pilate commits suicide (6609).
     40: Peter visits the household of Cornelius, a Gentile, and, after the Holy Spirit descends upon the whole group, baptizes them (6658).
     Greek Christian Jews from Jerusalem preach the Good News of Jesus to Gentiles in Antioch and, in response, some of these become disciples. The church in Jerusalem sends Barnabas to speak with the growing church there (6664).
     43: Barnabas travels to Tarsus to bring Saul to Antioch (6667).
     44: In response to challenges caused by a famine, the church in Antioch have Barnabas and Saul take money to the church in Jerusalem (6673).
     Herod Agrippa, King of Judea, starts to persecute Christian Jews (6674). He has James, son of Zebedee and brother of John, beheaded (6676) and has Peter jailed during the Feast of Unleavened Bread. An angel miraculously secures Peter’s release (6677). When the king is later praised as a god, an angel of the one true god strikes him and he dies (6678).
     45: Barnabas and Saul are sent by the church in Antioch on their first missionary tour. They take John Mark with them and sail to Cyprus (home of Barnabas) (6691). Following the conversion of Sergius Paulus, ruler of the island, Saul becomes known as Paul.
     When the missionaries reach Anatolia, John Mark leaves them and returns to Jerusalem (6692). In Lystra, Paul is stoned and left for dead. A little later, he is briefly taken into Heaven where he hears words to wonderful to speak (2 Corinthians 12:2-4) (6703).
     At Derbe, in response to Paul’s preaching, many become Christians, including Lois, her daughter Eunice, and her grandson Timothy (6707).
     Paul and Barnabas return to Antioch (6708).
     51: Christian Jews from Jerusalem go to Antioch and tell Gentile Christians there that they must be circumcised to be saved. Paul and Barnabas oppose them (6752).
     52: The church in Antioch sends Paul and Barnabas to Jerusalem to speak with church leaders there and settle the matter (6753). A council of leaders decide against requiring circumcision. When Paul and Barnabas return to Antioch and report the news, the church rejoices (6757).
     Peter visits the church in Antioch and enjoys full fellowship with Gentile Christians there. When representatives from James, the brother of Jesus, also come for a visit, Peter and other Christian Jewish members of the church stop eating with them. Paul rebukes Peter and the rest for their hypocrisy (6766).
     53: Paul asks Barnabas to return with him to the churches they had previously started. Barnabas refuses to go with him because Paul refuses to take John Mark, the nephew of Barnabas, with them again since he had previously abandoned them. Barnabas and John Mark then go alone to Cyprus while Paul leaves for the churches in Anatolia with Silas on a second missionary tour (6780).
     Paul, Silas, and Timothy cross the Aegean Sea and, in one of history’s most significant moments, take the Gospel to Europe (6783). Western Civilization would never be the same.
     Paul starts Europe’s first church in Philippi in the house of a wealthy woman named Lydia (6786). He then starts a church in Thessalonica (6788).
     54: Claudius expels Jews from Rome (6792).
     Paul preaches in Athens and then travels to Corinth (6798).
     From Corinth, Paul writes the First and Second Letters to the Thessalonians (6803).
     56: Paul leaves Corinth (6818) and travels to Jerusalem and then back to Antioch. Soon enough, Paul leaves again on a third missionary tour. Among others, he preaches to the Galatians (6819).
     57: Paul arrives in Ephesus and begins his work there by teaching some disciples about the baptism of the Holy Spirit (6822).
     58: From Ephesus, Paul writes his Letter to the Galatians (6830).
     59: In Ephesus, Paul receives visitors from Corinth, including Apollos who brings him a letter from the church there. In response, Paul writes his First Letter to the Corinthians (6835).
     Paul leaves Ephesus for his own safety after silversmiths profiting from the Temple of Diana accuse Paul of hurting their business and start a riot against him (6837).
     Aquila and Priscilla leave Ephesus and return to Rome (6838).
     60: Paul travels first to Troas then to the churches in Macedonia (6839). When Paul hears from Titus that the Corinthians responded well to his first letter, he writes his Second Letter to the Corinthians and sends Timothy to Corinth with it (6841).
     Paul himself returns to Corinth. While there he writes his Letter to the Romans (6843).
     Paul leaves for Jerusalem with money collected as a gift from the churches in Achaia and Macedonia (6843).
     Paul arrives in Jerusalem and delivers the donation to the church there. He is arrested shortly thereafter (6851). For his own safety, the Romans transfer him to Caesarea within a week (6854).
     61: Mark the evangelist, first to preach the Good News in Alexandria, dies there (6864).
     62: Paul appeals to Caesar (6868). He is placed aboard a ship and makes it safely as far as Crete (6873). After a violent storm lasting two weeks, all aboard make it safely to land (6874).
     63: The people of Malta treat Paul and his companions generously and send them on their way to Rome after three months (6877). After Paul arrives in Rome, he stays in his own house for two years while awaiting trial (6878).
     Anunas, the high priest, convenes the Sanhedrin to have it condemn James the brother of Jesus and leader of the church in Jerusalem. They do and James is executed (6886).
     64: Nero sings of the destruction of Troy as he watches Rome burn (6898). To deflect suspicion that he caused the fire, Nero condemns Christians. They suffer torture and death (6899).
     Epaphroditus arrives in Rome with monetary and spiritual support from the church in Philippi (6905). Paul converts Onesimus, a slave who had run away from his master in Colossae (6906). Timothy, imprisoned with Paul, is freed (6907). Paul sends Epaphroditus back with his Letter to the Philippians (6908). Paul writes his Letter to Philemon, master of Onesimus, and Letter to the Colossians and sends both with Onesimus to deliver (6909). Paul sends his Letter to the Ephesians with Tychicus who had traveled with him in and around that city (6910). Paul writes his Letter to the Hebrews (6913).
     65: Construction of the Temple of Yahweh in Jerusalem is finished (6914).
     Paul is released but not yet acquitted. He travels to the Roman province of Asia and stays with Philemon in Colossae (6915). Paul then preaches in Crete and leaves Titus there to complete the organization of churches (Titus 1:5) (6918). Paul travels to Ephesus and leaves Timothy there to lead the church as he returns to Philippi (6923). From Philippi, Paul writes his First Letter to Timothy (6924) and his Letter to Titus (6925).
     66: At the beginning of spring, Paul visits Timothy and the church in Ephesus. He then travels to Rome, presents his case to Nero, and is acquitted (2 Tim. 4:16-17) (6929). Paul remains in Rome and continues to share the Good News with all who come to him (6930).
     A Jewish rebellion against Roman rule begins with the seizure of Jerusalem by rebel leaders (6934).
     Paul and Peter, both in Rome, are warned by Jesus that they will soon die (6937).
     Paul writes his Second Letter to Timothy (6939).
     67, June 29: Paul, as a citizen of Rome, is executed by being beheaded. Peter, who was not a Roman citizen, is crucified upside down (6949).
     70, September 8: Titus, son of the Roman emperor Vespasian and commander of the Roman army in Judea, ends the Jewish rebellion after four years of fighting by taking Jerusalem and burning it to the ground (6978).
     73: The Romans take Masada and the last pocket of Jewish resistance to Roman rule ends (6992).

Copyright © 2017 by Steven Farsaci. All rights reserved.