of Paul’s Epistles
To view a companion time line,
To view a companion chart showing Paul's epistles in the contest of the
Book of Acts, click here.
on Paul’s 2nd
missionary journey [Corresponding to Acts 18:1-5].
to the Thessalonians and having left Silas and timothy at Berea,
Paul had gone to Athens
and had sent some
brethren from Athens
to get Silas and Timothy. They
caught-up to Paul after he had left Athens
had gone to Corinth.
1st Thessalonians was written after they had
been in Thessalonica
(2:1-14) and had been taken from them for a short time (2:17). Silas
Timothy were with Paul again (1:1) when he wrote the epistle, requiring
be written from Corinth. Paul continued there in Corinth
a year and six months, ministering
the word of God.
written from Corinth,
one year and six months stay [Corresponding to Acts 18:11-18].
epistle was prompted by the messenger’s return from Thessalonica and
report, causing Paul to thank God for their exceeding growth in faith
1:3). The second epistle can be assigned to a time about one year after
first epistle, again having the names of Paul, Silas, and Timothy in
salutation. They were present with Paul at the writing of both the
second letters and the prevailing conditions were very near the same at
When Paul took his
leave of the brethren and sailed into Syria,
he took with him Priscilla and Aquila.
left them there. After reasoning with the Jews he did not tarry long,
he must by all means keep the feast in Jerusalem (Acts 18:21).
written from Ephesus
[Corresponding to Acts 19:1-41].
Paul began the 3rd
journey from Antioch of Syria and at the first went over all the
country of Galatia
in order, strengthening all the disciples (Acts 18:23). For three
ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears (Acts 20:31). Paul said he would tarry in Ephesus until Pentecost (1 Cor.
16:8); indicating his
presence in Ephesus.
Aq’ui-la and Pris-cil’a sent their salutation and also the church that
their house (16:19). The record of Paul’s three year stay in Ephesus
was also verified in Acts 20:31 and
further detailed in Acts 19:1-41.
most likely written from Ephesus,
near the same
time as 1 Corintians,
before or after, but not
than the subsequent time spent in Macedonia
during Paul’s third journey [Corresponding to Acts 19:1-41 or soon
Paul had toured Galatia
his 2nd journey (Acts 16:6) and again, his
second tour of Galatia
was in the first part of the 3rd journey (Acts 18:23). Leaving Galatia, Paul traveled
where he remained for the following
We are able to
establish very nearly when and from where each epistle was written with
relative accuracy. This can be determined from the information revealed
the text of the epistles, themselves, and by correlating it with the
corresponding history of Paul’s journeys of the same time frame found
book of Acts. It is important to observe the progressive revelation of
and to know which epistles were written prior to Paul’s imprisonment in
to rightly divide the word of truth (2 Tim. 2:15). Paul’s writing of
and Colossians, revealed for the first time that the middle wall of
between the Jews and the Gentiles had been broken down. During that
time of the
church age, the believing Jews (including Paul) continued to observe
but the Gentiles were told to observe no such things (Acts 21:25).
were admonished to “give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the
Gentiles, nor to the church of God.
speaks of having preached the gospel (Gal. 4:13) unto them
the first, apparently, eluding to his travels throughout
Galatia on his 2nd
journey (Acts 16:6) which was followed by a later journey into Galatia
on his 3rd
journey (Acts 18:23).
Paul wrote them saying that he marveled that they
so soon removed from
the Lord, who had
called them into the grace of Christ, unto another gospel (Gal. 1:6).
indicated his writing of Galatians was soon after his most
recent tour of
Paul addressed the error of the Jews in imposing
such as circumcision upon the Galatian (Gentile) believers (Gal.
extended the peace and mercy of God upon believing Gentiles who walked
truth and upon believing Jews, “the Israel
of God” (Gal.
6:16). This term addressed the distinction of believing Jews, in
believing Gentiles, and the
church of God during
transition period. This is an important note, relating to rightly
word of truth (1 Cor. 10:32-33). The above texts confirm this epistle
time of Paul’s 3rd journey and before his
imprisonment in Rome.
was written from Macedonia,
during Paul’s 3rd
to Acts 20:1]. Leaving Ephesus,
had traveled westward, expecting to find Titus and not finding him at
Cor. 2:13), Paul pressed on into Macedonia where their flesh had no
having trouble on every side, but was comforted by the coming of Titus
the good report from Corinth (2 Cor. 7:5-7).
was apparently written from Corinth near
the end of
Paul’s 3rd journey [Corresponding
to Acts 20:3].
Obviously written during the three month’s stay in Achaia (Greece) and shortly
before he departed from Corinth. Romans
was delivered to Rome by Phe’be,
a resident of Cen’chrea
of Greece. And when the Jews laid wait for Paul as he was about to sail
he purposed (by change of plans) to
return through Macedonia
(Acts 20:3), having Luke with him. Apparently to conceal Paul’s
seven of the brethren boarded a ship and sailed to Troas and tarried
and those with him (Acts 20:4-5), while Paul escaped, going through Macedonia and from
Philippi to Troas
(Acts 20:6). In the book of Romans,
said he was preparing to go to Jerusalem
minister to them a certain contribution for the poor saints at Jerusalem
commended Phe’be to the Roman believers in this epistle as a
servant of the church at Cen’chrea, which was near to Corinth
to the southeast. He admonished the
Romans to receive her and assist her
she had need of them,
mentioning her care of himself and others (Rom.
sent greetings to Priscilla and Aquila (Rom. 16:3-5), who had
returned to Rome
from Ephesus, after
Paul had written 1 Corinthians from Ephesus
(1 Cor. 16:19).
Paul’s company journeyed on to Jerusalem,
arriving in time for the feast of Pentecost which was 50 days after the
of unleavened bread. While observing the days of purification
the feast of Pentecost, Paul was apprehended and was held as a
event was the beginning of his years of imprisonment in Judea and also
Jewish Christians were walking according to their Jewish law and
economy, from the time of Christ’s ministry on earth until a
after Paul was imprisoned in Rome.
Gentiles walked without the law during
this same time, as they were instructed that they were to observe no
things (Acts 21:25).
were two walks of the believers for the Jews and for the
Gentiles, yet they associated together and were one in Christ and were
in the one body, the church.
All three categories must be properly recognized and considered to
fulfill Paul’s admonition, saying,
none offence, neither to the Jews, nor the Gentiles, nor to the
(1 Cor. 10:32).
Paul wrote Timothy,
saying, “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman
that needeth not
to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” To
rightly divide the
word of truth, we must properly
apply the truth
belonging to the Jews, to
the Jews - that belonging to the Gentiles, to the Gentiles- and that
to the church
to the church
was written from Rome,
during Paul’s imprisonment (13:24; 10:34; 13:23) after
arriving in Rome
to Acts 28:25-31]. It
was the first epistle written after his imprisonment and it expressed
his being restored to the saints again at some future time (Heb.
13:19). It was
most likely written about the time in which he had reasoned with the
chief Jews of Rome and had said, “Be it
known therefore unto you that the salvation of God is sent unto the
and that they will hear it” (Acts 28:27-28) In Hebrews the 8th
chapter, Paul spoke of the future covenant which the Lord would make
house of Israel and the house of Judah; then he made the comment, “In
saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old.
that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.”
the book of Hebrews was written prior to the books of Ephesians and
which revealed for the first time that the
middle wall of partition between the Jews and Gentiles was broken down
ordnances of the Law were “nailed to the cross” (Eph. 2 and Col. 2).
was written from Rome,
during Paul’s imprisonment
4:1; 6:20). [Corresponding
to a time after the book of Acts] It
was delivered by Tych’i-cus, having
the run-away slave, O-nes’i-mus,
with him as he escorts him back to his master, Philemon (6:21-22). It was written after the book of
Hebrews and is like Colossians which also revealed for the first time
middle wall of partition between the Jews and Gentiles was broken down,
abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments
ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making
that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having
the enmity thereby:” (Eph. 2 and Col. 2).
was written from Rome, [during
This book was delivered
by Tych’i-cus, having the
run-away slave, O-nes’i-mus, with
him as he escorts him back to his master, Philemon (4:7-9). It was
after the book of Hebrews and is like Ephesians which also revealed for
first time that they were quickened together with Christ, “blotting out
handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to
took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross” (Eph. 2 and Col. 2).
was written from Rome,
[during Paul’s imprisonment
(v-1; 9-10)]. Timothy
was with Paul
(v-1), This book
was written in the latter part of
this first imprisonment and was delivered
by Tych’i-cus, (Col. 4:7-9) as Paul wrote to Philemon and
wife and to Ar-chip’pus, their son and fellow soldier, and to the
church in his
house (v-1-2). Ephesians, Colossians, and Philemon, were written in the
time frame and, apparently, all three epistles were delivered
by Tych’i-cus. Apparently, they were delivered together
by Tych’i-cus, having the run-away slave, O-nes’i-mus,
with him as he escorts him back to his master, Philemon, not as a
above a servant, a brother beloved, (v-10-12). Paul
admonished them to prepare him a lodging, trusting to be
to them through their prayers (v-22).
was written from Rome, [during
(1:13)]. Timothy was with Paul (1:25-26). The book was
written in the latter part of his
first imprisonment. Paul’s epistle
by E-paph-ro-di’us (2:25). Paul expressed confidence
of being released and coming to them (1:25-26). Paul
trusted in the Lord to send Timothy
shortly to them to comfort them and to know their state
trusted in the Lord that he also would
come to them shortly (2:24).
First Timothy was written from Macedonia,
[after Paul was released from
Apparently, after Paul had been
prison, he had toured in Asia, and had
left Timothy at Ephesus
and journeyed to Macedonia
(1:3). From there, Paul wrote Timothy, instructing him about the
and work of elders and deacons, hoping
to return to Timothy shortly, but if he tarried long, Timothy
how he ought to behave himself in the house of God, which is the church
living God (3:14-15). Paul admonished Timothy, saying, “Till
I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to
Paul was released from prison and near the same time as 1st
after Paul had
been released from prison, he had toured
in Asia, and had left Timothy at Ephesus
he journeyed to other areas (including Macedonia)
(1 Tim. 1:3). At
some point, Paul had also left Titus in Crete
to set in order the things that were wanting (1:5). Paul writes Titus,
“When I shall send Ar’te-mas unto thee, or Tych’i-cus, be diligent to
me to Ni-cop’o-lis: for I have determined there to winter (3:12).
Paul was going to send a fellow laborer to relieve Titus and to let him
Paul at Ni-cop’o-lis which was on the western coast of Achaia.
Timothy was written from Rome,
[during Paul’s 2nd
imprisonment (1:8 &
All they in Asia
were turned away from Paul, but On-e-siph’o-rus was not ashamed of his
and when he came to Rome,
he sought him out very diligently and found him (1:16-17). Only Luke
Paul at that time (4:11). Paul had sent Tych’i-cus to Ephesus
(4:12). Apparently, Timothy was in Asia;
therefore, Paul asked him to bring his cloke, which
he had left at Tro’as, and some books and parchments (4:13).
this final epistle, written by the apostle Paul, he said, “For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of
my departure is at
hand.” (4:6) In speaking of Timothy to the Philippians,
Paul said, “For I have no man
likeminded, who will naturally care for your state, for all seek their
the things which are Jesus Christ’s. But ye know the proof of him,
that, as a
son with the father, he hath served with me in the gospel.” As
about to depart his earthly life, he wanted to see Timothy and John
last time, saying, “Do thy diligence to
come shortly unto me.” (4:9).