(most dates are approximate)
Born at Tarsus (in modern Turkey) of Jewish parents who trace their ancestry to the tribe of Benjamin and who are Roman citizens, a status also given Saul/Paul (Rom 11:1; Phil 3:5). 10?
Arrival in Jerusalem to study with the scholar Gamaliel (Acts 22:3).
He is a Pharisees (Acts 23:6; 1 Co 15:9; Gal 1:13; Phil 3:6)
Sent as an officer of the Sanhedrin to arrest Christians in Damascus
Encounter with Christ and conversion on the road to Damascus
3 year sojourn in Arabia and mission to Damascus (Gal 1:17) 34-36?
Visit to Jerusalem to meet with the Apostles (Gal 1:18) 36/37?
Return to home in Tarsus (Acts 9:30) ?
Barnabas brings Saul to the church in Antioch, Syria (Acts 11:25) 41-43?
Mission to take supplies to the church in Jerusalem and return to Antioch (Acts 11:29-30; 12:25) 44
1st Missionary journey to Cyprus and Asia Minor (S. Galatia)
Changes his Hebrew name to the Latin name "Paulus" (Acts 13-14)
-Letter to the Galatians on the way to Jerusalem
A delegate to Jerusalem for the Council of Jerusalem (Acts 15)
2nd Missionary journey (Acts 15:36-18:21)
-speaks at Athens & Corinth in Greece. Meets the Roman Gallio+
-writes the letters 1 & 2 Thessalonians
3rd Missionary journey (Acts 18:23-21:14)
-mission to Phrygia & N. Galatia
-mission to Ephesus and stays three years (Acts 20:31)
-wrote first letter to the Corinthians from Ephesus
-mission to northern Greece (Macedonia)
-wrote second letter to the Corinthians written from Macedonia
-mission to Corinth (Greece)
-wrote letter to the Roman Christians from Corinth
Winter 58
Return to Jerusalem with offerings from the Gentile Christian churches;
attacked by the Jew and rescued by Romans (Acts 21:15-23:22).
Spring 58
Imprisoned by the Romans in Caesarea for two years (Acts 24:24-27)
-Preaches the Gospel to Roman governor Felix and his wife
-Preaches the Gospel to Roman governor Festus & King Agrippa II
Spring 58
As a Roman citizen he appeals to the tribunal in Rome. Sent to Rome
-Ship wrecked off Malta (Acts 27); arrives in Rome the following spring (Acts 28:11-14)
Under Roman "house arrest" for two years and preaches to all visitors
-writes letters to Christian churches in Colossus, Ephesus, Philippi and to the Christian Philemon (Acts 28:30-31)
Released by the Romans and probably makes 2 missionary journeys: one to the East and another to the West (Romans 15:24, 28)
-wrote or gave as an address the letter to the Hebrews (?)
Arrested upon his return to Rome; martyrdom by beheading 67

M. Hunt copyright 2002, revised 2007

+Paul's life can be related to four dates fixed by external historical sources:

  1. The death of King Herod Agrippa I in 44 AD
  2. The administration of the Roman governor Gallio at Corinth in 50/51 or 51/52 AD
  3. The administration of the Roman governor Felix in Judea in 58-60 AD
  4. The administration of the Roman governor Festus in Judea in 60-61 AD

Paul recorded that three years passed from the time of his conversion until his first journey to Jerusalem (Galatians 1:17-18) and that there was a 14 year span (Galatians 2:1) between his first and his second visit to Jerusalem to consult with the Apostles at the Council of Jerusalem (the ancients counted without the concept of 0 as a place value so the first number or day or year in any series would count as #1). If the Council of Jerusalem was in 49/50 AD then Paul's first visit to Jerusalem was in 36/37 AD.

*For the period of Paul's life not covered by Biblical sources, I referred to the writings of Clement, Bishop of Rome (martyred circa 96/100AD). Clement who was baptized and later ordained by St. Peter, served as Peter's assistant and became a friend of Paul's when he was imprisoned in Rome in 61AD. He may be the Clement mentioned by Paul in Philippians 4:3. In his letter to the Church at Corinth St. Clement recorded that Paul had suffered imprisonment seven times preaching both in the East and in the West, he gained the illustrious reputation due to his faith, having taught righteousness to the whole world, and come to the extreme limit of the West, and suffered martyrdom under the prefects. Clement's reference to "the West" may be a reference to the journey to Spain to spread the Gospel, a plan Paul outlines in his letter to the Romans (Romans 15:24, 28). St. Clement is the 4th Bishop of Rome after St. Peter, counting Peter as the 1st Bishop of Rome. See The Epistles of Clement, Chapter V; The Ante-Nicene Fathers, volume 9, pages 230-231.

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