Chronology contemplation


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a figment of your imagination
Here is the thesis. That as we progress through life the words and deeds we do most recently are the ones that define our current state of mind most succinctly. I'm thinking that when we were younger we had a certain level of experience and immaturatity and as we grow we develop our thoughts therefor we should truly be identified more in our later or most recent years than in our early years.

Does that make sense?

I look at Christianity and the New Testament and it largely revolves around two individuals, Jesus of course, and Paul, I think he gets an of course too.

If my first contemplation is correct, what follows to me is that rather than looking at scripture in the order that it is provided that I should read each of these folks lives, teachings, actions and words in chronological order. This will allow me to see their growth through time, identify what words were early, and what words were later. Again with the assumption that those words, actioins closer to the end were most aligned with their thinking based on their entire life of thought and contemplation and spiritual growth.

Does that make sense?

I've been searching around I've come up with these two pages as my guide for reading, does anyone have any concerns about these or know of something better?

For Jesus

For Paul

All comments contemplations welcome, of course.
I only took a moment to breeze through them. I don't have any particular objections, they are probably as good of guesses as others I have read.

A couple of things I noticed regarding Jesus, and I suspect it is in probably trying to coordinate with the death of Herod, but I have until recently usually seen the dates 3 or 4 BC given as the accepted year of Jesus' birth. I do think it atypical with Jewish tradition to suggest Jesus' circumcision to take place a year and a half after his birth when observant Jews are instructed to circumcise on the eighth day after birth.

Regarding John's beheading taking place sometime well into Jesus' ministry (rather than reading the Gospels as being more or less linear accounts), I think this coordinates well with those passages in Josephus that I stumbled on researching the transitions thread.

The timeline for Paul is considerably more involved, and I would require a great deal more effort to analyze to give a fair critique, but after a very brief overview I see nothing noteworthy to challenge.

Perhaps others might?

You're about to embark on a study I haven't done myself, but I have some possible resources and ideas for you to make this easier and perhaps more fun.

J.J. Blunt's Undesigned Scriptural Coincidences is a classic book that is now an internet resource that takes various bits from Acts and the gospels that seem like incomplete stories and aligns them with the related bits from other books. I've heard its good, and I found a copy of it online. I've also heard that Harmony of the Gospels is very helpful as a side-by-side, possibly chronological comparison of the stories in the 4 gospels. It is also a book that has gone online!

With regard to Jesus, he says very little when he's young however its recorded that he grew in favor with G!d and man. Also, there are clues about what Jesus' family life was like (cousin John the Baptist, etc), and how it impacted him. I'd spend some time for your biographical study figuring out exactly what happened at the wedding in Cana; because that marked the beginning of Jesus' mission -- the end of his youth. It is rumored that the servants who poured the water which became wine were likely Jesus' twelve disciples. What were Jewish weddings like at the time?

Josephus may have helpful information about what Paul might have been like at the beginning of his story. Josephus claimed to have training with all three major Jewish religious factions of his day: Essene, Sadducee, and Pharisee.

Assuming that Paul really did study under the Pharisee Gamaliel, there is Talmudic information about an eminent Pharisee teacher Gamaliel, although there is apparently a question about which Gamaliel Paul actually studied under.

Your chart on Paul is way too complicated unless you have a photographic memory. I'd keep it for reference but work with a simpler chart. Here's a chart somebody gave me that is simple, and tells which letters were written where and in what order. Galations is the exception, because the chart says it was written either on the 1st missionary journey or the 3rd.

1st missionary journey
  • ?Galations(Antioch)
Jerusalem Council happens in between

2nd missionary journey
  • I Thessalonians(Corinth)
  • II Thessalonians(Corinth)
3rd missionary journey (Nero is now emperor)
  • I Corinthians(Ephesus)
  • II Corinthians(Macedonia)
  • ?Galations(Antioch)
  • Romans(Corinth)
Trials happen to Paul in between

1st Roman imprisonment
  • Ephesians(Rome)
  • Colossians(Rome)
  • Philemon(Rome)
  • Philippians(Rome)
4th missionary journey
  • I Timotheus (Macedonia)
  • Titus(Macedonia)
2nd Roman imprisonment.
  • II Timotheus(Rome)
Thanks guys as for the chronology of Jesus teachings I really wasn't to wrapped on the dates for the one I provided. In comparing various sources as to the order of the sections to read this seems to be the one that agrees with more of the variances I've found. My goal is to read in chronological order, I agree the dates are debatable.

As for Paul your list indicates Galations being written prior to Thessalonians whereas the other one I'm looking at indicates after. This is where I need some help as to what others may think is the most accurate.

Right now I wanted to stay away from others commentary outside of scripture, I just wanted to read and listen to scripture in order of occurance and see what develops.
Oh I see what you mean. I don't object to the chronological orders you've mentioned. I went back and looked at them, too. This time around I noticed that the Paul Chronology page you gave has a Conclusions section that talks about the author's point of view.