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lies in dispute. On one reckoning, that of the “accepted” chronology, the recall of Felix falls into the period 59-61 A.D.; on the other, that of the “new” or “Eusebian” chronology, it is usually thrown back to 55 1 or 56. Broadly speaking, we may say that a range of four or five years is thus possible for any of the chief dates in the life of Paul which depend upon conclusions drawn from this event.
In the accompanying table the outstanding events of Paul's life are arranged according to the various schemes of several prominent authorities. Of these, the majority, it will be seen in the main, apart from questions of detail), represent the “accepted chronology” upon the whole. Harnack and McGiffert, on the other hand, base their schemes on data taken from the “Eusebian” chronicle, which practically puts the arrival of Festus in the year Oct. 55-Oct. 56 A.D. This position has been advocated by (among others) 0. Holtzmann (Neutestam. Zeitgesch. pp. 118-135), favoured by Blass (Acta Apostolorum, proleg. $ 10, pp. 21-24), and criticised more or less adversely by Batiffol (Revue biblique, vi. pp. 423-432), Ramsay (Exp.5 v. p. 201 f.), Bacon (ibid. February 1898, Nov.-Dec. 1899), and Zahn (Einl. ii. pp. 628-639).
The accepted chronology is stated 2 admirably by Schürer (HJP. I. ii. p. 182 f.; Zwth (1898), pp. 21-42), Sabatier (“Paul” (Eng. tr.), pp. 13-21), Beet (Corinthians, Dissertation iii.), or Wendt (-Meyer 8, Acts, $ 10). Mr. Turner's study (DB. i. 415 f.) is by far the most lucid and trustworthy discussion of the whole question which has yet appeared, and to it the reader is referred for the detailed evidence and arguments; although exception might be taken-as I find has been done by Professor Bacon (Exp. ii. p. 9 f.)—to the inadequate importance assigned in that article to Jewish authorities and evidence, e.g. upon the calendar.
The results upon which the tentative chronology of this volume is based, as compared with those of the earlier or Eusebian chronology, 3 start from the crucifixion of Jesus in 29 A.D. The conversion of Paul can be approximately dated a year or so later. The narrative of 1 Co 153f. certainly implies no long period between the earlier and later appearances of Jesus in the series, while upon the other hand some interval must be allowed between the death of Christ and Paul's visit to Damascus in order to admit of a sufficient development of Christianity. Hence the date of his conversion may be put roughly as 30 (31) A.D. To date it in the same year as the crucifixion is as unsatisfactory as to place it four or five year) afterwards. Later on, a fixed point is gained in the accession of Festus, c. 59 A.D., which helps to determine some of the preceding and subsequent dates in Pauline chronology. With the close of Paul's imprisonment for two years in Rome, the curtain falls upon his life. Any reconstruction of his further career depends largely
1 E.g., by Weber in his monograph, Kritische Geschichte d. Exegese d. IX. Kap. d. Römerbriefs (1889), p. 177 f. A good conspectus of the whole question is given by Votaw (Bibl. World, xi. pp. 1127., 177 f.).
2 In a recent and careful monograph, which exposes blunders in Eusebius“ Die Todestage der Apostel Paulus u. Petrus ” (TU, neue Folge, vierter Band, Heft 1, 1899)-C. Erbes fixes the arrival of Festus in Palestine and the journey of Paul to Rome, 60-61 A.D.; the apostle lost his case, and died on the 22nd of Feb. 63 A. D. Peter suffered a year later. Cp. Zahn (Einl. i. p. 435 f., ii. p. 16 f.) for a ng defence of the traditional dates of Peter's and of Paul's martyrdom.
3 Besides one or two older scholars like Bengel, the adherents of this position include a Roman Catholic critic, Kellner, who is quoted in support of the Eusebian data (article “ Felix” in Hergenröther's Kirchenlexicon, 2nd ed. iv. p. 1311 f. ; Katholik (1887), p. 146 f.; Zeitschr. f. kath. Theologie (1888), p. 640 f.).
upon conjecture and the vague inferences drawn from an inferior tradition.
As an expert does well to remind us, one of the greatest difficulties in ancient chronology is to be met in the question of Pauline chronology, namely, “the fact that in almost every case the reasoning which assigns an event to a special year would be almost, if not quite, equally well satisfied by the year next to it” (Ramsay, Exp.6 ii. pp. 88, 89). In consequence, the whole arrangement of this period is uncertain in details, and has been variously sketched. Fortunately, however, the divergence of these chronological results does not preclude an attempt to exhibit a general and relative chronology of the epistles.1 These, to some degree, are independent of absolutely accurate conclusions upon several of the points above noted; hence it is possible to draw up a further table which will represent some recent and varying lines of criticism on the literature, and prove that the records can be approximately fixed in relation to each other, if not to definite points in the history.
1 There is a monograph by Rovers (“De chronolog. volgorde der brieven van het NT”) in the Bibliotheek van Moderne Theol. en Letterkunde, xi. p. 487 f., which I have not been able to see.