Need a Ladder?

One of the compelling aspects of Acts is that it forms a ladder on which we can climb in order to get a good view of the early church’s history. Too many people see it as only a chronicle of people’s travels, forgetting that these travels are made up of people, places, and things specific to the journey. Much of the New Testament was written in the time period of Acts, and the majority of the epistles were directed at locations either mentioned or visited in Acts. So Acts is far more than the travel log of a few ancient missionaries; it’s a ladder on which we gain a superb look at the unhindered movement of the church in the New Testament.

To help you climb to this view, here’s a “ladder” I’ve put together that shows where in the Acts timeline many of the other events occurred. No doubt I’ve utilized many other resources, so props to several sites and books when it comes to dates and times. And there are a variety of opinions regarding some of these things (like the date of the writing of Galatians); if you find that you disagree on a minor point, join the line! My intent is to highlight Acts as not just another book in a sequence of letters, but as a framework of early church history on which many of the other letters hang.

This further proves that Acts is truly a book where two words best describe it — transition and continuation. And, in my opinion, the ladder helps bring those two words to the forefront.

(Hint: Read form the bottom up)

Jude, John (Gospel and epistles), and Revelation

New Testament finished

(75 to 97 AD)

Post Acts 28



(70 AD)

Post Acts 28

 Temple/Jerusalem destroyed

2 Timothy

Paul’s 2nd imprisonment at Rome and martyrdom

(65-66 AD)

Post Acts 28



(63 AD)

Post Acts 28

Hebrews, 1 Timothy, Titus, Mark                             Paul acquitted and visits various places

Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, Philemon, James, 1 Peter, Acts

Paul first imprisonment at Rome

(62 AD)

Acts 28



(59-60 AD)

Acts 23-26

 Paul at Caesarea

Paul arrested at Jerusalem

(58 AD)

Acts 21




(54 AD)

Acts 18-21

1 & 2 Corinthians, Galatians[probable], Romans, Luke
Paul’s 3rd missionary journey

1 & 2 Thessalonians

Paul’s 2nd missionary journey

(51 AD)

Acts 15-18




(50 AD)

Acts 15

 Jerusalem Council

[Possible writing of Galatians]

Paul’s 1st missionary journey

(47-48 AD)

Acts 13



(42-43 AD)

Acts 11

Matthew                    Church at Antioch founded


First Gentile convert

(40 AD)

Acts 10



(36 AD)

Acts 9

 Conversion of Saul


The Great Dispersion

(34-35 AD)

Acts 8



(34-35 AD)

Acts 4

 Initial persecution


Birth of church

(30-32 AD)

Acts 2


0 Comments on “Need a Ladder?”

  1. Thanks for putting this together. It really helps to understand where the disciples were and who they were talking to when the books were written. I know the books of the Bible was not written in the order that we read it today, but I never researched when the books were actually written.

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