The Ordering and Chronology of the Ministry and Epistles of Paul, Part 2: The Prison Epistles
As I had explained in the opening presentation in this short series, I had hoped to gather into one place my interpretations of the time and place of the writing of each of the epistles of Paul of Tarsus, as well as a general chronology of the events recorded in the Book of Acts. I had also originally hoped to do that in a single presentation, but it was just not possible. So while we have discussed what I have called Paul’s “travelling epistles”, now we shall discuss the time and place, and also the circumstances, of the writing of the 6 epistles that were written while Paul was a prisoner. Once again, for much of this presentation I am drawing on information which I had already presented in our commentaries for each of the epistles of Paul and in our earlier commentary on the Book of Acts. There are also some new perspectives.
This is important to us for several reasons. First, it is an important reference tool, because in my opinion no other such reference exists which has a truly accurate chronology of the events of the ministry of Paul, the writing of his epistles, and the Book of Acts. As I had also said, there is much misinformation in many popular and supposedly authoritative academic sources concerning the ministry of Paul and the writing of his epistles, and it is convenient to have our own opinions of these things in one single article, or perhaps more accurately, one single source of reference.
But there is one further reason. Once it is realized that we can indeed know where Paul was throughout nearly his entire ministry, that it can all be accounted for in the records of his epistles and in Acts, then we also know where Paul was not. Paul of Tarsus never wrote an epistle to the Egyptians or to the Arabians, or to any other race, and he never visited or preached among them either. There is no Roman Catholic universalism in the ministry or the epistles of Paul, and taking the words “all men” out of context and twisting them into a universalist interpretation is not sufficient evidence. But on the other hand, Paul of Tarsus was never in Britain or Spain, although he had expressed a hope that he may reach western Europe, and the so-called “29th” or “Lost” chapter of Acts is a complete hoax which was perpetrated in recent centuries and used to patronize and to deceive many British Israel and American Christian Identity adherents. We do not need lies to support our assertions or the basis of our faith.