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Timeline of first-century events

Here’s a very rough sketch version of my own timeline of New Testament era events, blending Scripture with related Jewish and Roman history. Everything you see here is under construction and therefore subject to change. Feel free to comment, critique, and question whatever you like. If my own attempts to reconstruct the first-century story have taught me anything thus far, it’s how little I really know the New Testament. Nevertheless I’m enjoying the discovery, and I hope you will too!

(NOTE: Though nearly all the dates given are approximate, events highlighted in CAPS signify landmark dates that are for the most part undisputed by historians. Major portions of the timeline are built around these dates.)

19 B.C.

  • HEROD THE GREAT BEGINS REBUILDING TEMPLE (?)

9 B.C.

  • ARETUS IV BECOMES RULER OF NABATEA

6 B.C.

  • Jesus is born in Bethlehem (Luke 2:1-20; Matt. 1:18-25) and circumcised eight days later, according to custom (Luke 2:21)
  • Jesus’ parents bring him to Jerusalem for ritual purification 40 days after birth (Luke 2:22-38), then return to Bethlehem to live, probably with family

5 B.C.

  • wise men from east arrive in Jerualem, go to Bethlehem in search of Jesus (Matt. 2:1-12)
  • Joseph flees to Egypt with family (Matt. 2:13-15)
  • Herod orders the slaughter of all boys 2 and under in Bethlehem (Matt. 2:16-18)

4 B.C.

  • HEROD THE GREAT DIES (late March); ARCHELAUS APPOINTED RULER OVER JUDEA & SAMARIA AT PASSOVER CELEBRATION IN APRIL, ANTIPAS OVER GALILEE & PEREA, PHILIP OVER GAULANITIS
  • Joseph returns to Judea with family, resorts to Nazareth for fear of Archelaus (Matt. 2:19-23)

A.D. 6

  • ARCHELAUS DEPOSED BY CAESAR AUGUSTUS AND EXILED TO GAUL; PALESTINE BEGINS TO BE GOVERNED BY ROMAN PROCURATORS

A.D. 7

  • Jesus attends (first?) Passover in Jerusalem with family at age 12 (Luke 2:41-51)

A.D. 14

  • AUGUSTUS DIES IN ROME; TIBERIUS BEGINS FIRST YEAR AS EMPEROR

A.D. 19

  • TIBERIUS BRIEFLY BANISHES ALL JEWS FROM ROME

A.D. 26

  • PONTIUS PILATE APPOINTED AS FIFTH PROCURATOR OVER JUDEA & SAMARIA

A.D. 28

  • TIBERIUS BEGINS 15TH YEAR OF REIGN (Luke 3:1)
  • John the Baptist begins ministry in Judean wilderness, baptizes all spring and summer preparing the way for Jesus

A.D. 29

  • APRIL: Jesus goes to Jerusalem for Passover, clears temple (John 2:13-22)

A.D. 30

A.D. 31

A.D. 32

A.D. 33

A.D. 34

  • PHILIP THE TETRARCH DIES

A.D. 35

A.D. 36

  • PONTIUS PILATE RECALLED TO ROME FOR MISCONDUCT

A.D. 37

A.D. 38

A.D. 39

  • HEROD ANTIPAS BANISHED; GALILEE GIVEN TO HEROD AGRIPPA I

A.D. 40

  • KING ARETUS IV DIES

A.D. 41

A.D. 42

A.D. 43

A.D. 44

A.D. 45

A.D. 46

  • SERGIUS PAULUS BECOMES PROCONSUL IN CYPRUS

A.D. 47

A.D. 48

A.D. 49

  • CLAUDIUS CAESAR EXPELS JEWS FROM ROME (Acts 18:2)

A.D. 50

A.D. 51

  • GALLIO BECOMES PROCONSUL IN ACHAIA

A.D. 52

A.D. 53

A.D. 54

  • CLAUDIUS CAESAR DIES

A.D. 55

A.D. 56

A.D. 57

A.D. 58

  • during Paul’s imprisonment Luke corresponds with Philip, Cornelius, Mary, and other saints, learning the history surrounding Jesus’ life and the church at Jerusalem

A.D. 59

A.D. 60

A.D. 61

A.D. 62

  • Luke finishes his gospel and the book of Acts
  • PORCIUS FESTUS DIES, NERO SENDS ALBINUS TO REPLACE HIM
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