Dates for New Testament books

Roman History
Name Event Date
Quirinius Governor of Syria – first time 4-1 BC
Governor of Syria – second time 6-11 AD
Tiberius Co-Regent with Augustus 12 AD
Began absolute rule when Augustus died 14 AD
Claudius Rule 41-54 AD
Nero Rule 54-68 AD
Fire in Rome 64 AD
Vespasian Rule 69-79 AD
Jerusalem destroyed 70 AD
Titus Rule 79-81 AD
Domitian Rule 81-96 AD
Jewish History
Name Event Date
Herod I Died 4 BC
Joseph Caiaphas High Priesthood begins 18AD
Pontius Pilate Governor of Judaea 26 AD – early AD 37
Joseph Caiaphas High Priesthood ends 36AD
Jonathan ben Ananus High Priest 36-37AD
Theophilus ben Ananus High Priest 37-41AD
Herod Agrippa I Died AD 41 (Acts 12)
Herod Agrippa II Rules Galilee 50-70 AD
Felix governed Judea 52-59 AD (Acts 23)
Festus governed Judea 59-61 AD (Acts 24-26)
Jewish War began 66 AD
Jerusalem was destroyed (ended Jewish War) 70 AD
Masada taken 73 AD
Christian History
Name Event Date
Paul conversion and training 33-46 AD (Gal 1-2; 2 Cor 11; Acts 9-12)
1st missionary journey 46-48 AD
Jerusalem Council 49 AD (Acts 15)
2nd missionary journey 49-52 AD
3rd missionary journey 52-57 AD
James, Jesus’ brother martyred 62 AD
Nero begins persecution 64 AD
Peter martyred ca. 65 AD
Paul martyred ca. 65 AD
Destruction of Jerusalem 70 AD
John exiled on Patmos 95 AD
Jesus’ History
Name Event Date
Jesus Birth 6 or 5 BC. (Herod died BC 4, had boys 2 years old and younger killed)
John the Baptist probably began ministry 26 AD (age 32-33, 15th year of Tiberius, counting from co-regency)
Jesus baptism 26 AD (age 32)
Jesus began ministry 26 AD (age “about 30”; Luke 3:23)
Jesus began ministry Passover 27 AD. (46 years since rebuilding of temple, which began BC 20; John 2:20)
Jesus first temple cleansing Passover 27 AD. (46 years since rebuilding of temple, which began BC 20; John 2:20)
Jesus of Nazareth Trial before Pontius Pilate Passover 27 AD. (all four gospels (Mt 27.1-26, Mk 15.1-15, Lk 23.1-25 and Jn 18.28-19.16a))
Jesus of Nazareth Year of crucifixion 30 or 33 AD are possible (Friday Passovers during Pilate’s governorship), 30 preferred
Jesus of Nazareth Date of crucifixion 3pm Friday, Nisan 14, AD 30, April 7, AD 30, If AD 33, Jesus was 35 at beginning of his public ministry, which seems too old to be “about 30.” Further, a crucifixion in AD 33 does not seem to allow enough time for the conversion and ministry of Paul in the Book of Acts.
Dates For New Testament Books
Book Date Reason
Matthew probably AD 57-64 Some date it into the 70s or later.
Mark about 55 AD Some date it into the 70s, but it most likely was before before the Jewish War, which was 66-73 – the temple was destroyed in 70
Luke probably about 59 AD Since it was addressed to Theophilus, it may have been written while he was high priest. If this is the case, Luke should be dated before 42AD.
John probably written around AD 80 (or 80-90)
Acts written about AD 60-61 Some prefer 80 or later, but due to its abrupt ending (and other factors) unlikely. Also,  since it was addressed to Theophilus, it may have been written while he was high priest. If this is the case, Acts should be dated before 42AD. But this is unlikely, given the dates of Paul’s missionary trips.
Galatians about 48 AD Before Jerusalem Council
1 Thessalonians about 50 AD During the second missionary journey
2 Thessalonians about 51 AD During the second missionary journey; a few months after 1 Thessalonians
1 Corinthians about 54 AD During the third missionary journey
2 Corinthians about 56 AD 2 years after 1 Corinthians; late in the third missionary journey
Romans about 57 AD At the end of the third missionary journey
Colossians about 60 AD early in Paul’s first Roman imprisonment
Philemon about 60 AD Same time as Colossians
Ephesians about 60 AD Shortly after Colossians and Philemon
Philippians about 61 AD late in Paul’s first Roman imprisonment
Titus about 63 AD after release from Roman imprisonment
1 Timothy about 63 AD after release from first Roman imprisonment
2 Timothy about 65 AD during second Roman imprisonment
Hebrews about 66 AD Temple probably still standing, since it is referred to in present tense in Heb 8:4-5; serious persecution suggests post 64 date
James about 45 AD No knowledge of Gentile Christianity; Jewish in form and orientation; Church structure called “synagogue” and led by elders; Probably first book of NT to be composed; James presided over Jerusalem Council Acts 15, AD 49; Tradition of his martyrdom in AD 62
1 Peter about 64 AD Serious persecution best fits Nero era; shortly before Peter’s martyrdom
2 Peter about 66 AD A few months after 1 Peter; Shortly before Peter’s death by crucifixion, and about the same time as 2 Timothy
Jude between AD 65 and AD 80
1 John about 55 AD No definite information; Probably written sometime after John’s Gospel
2 John about 90 AD About the same time as 1 John
3 John about 90 AD About the same time as 1 John
Revelation about 95 AD Near the end of the rule of Domitian, AD 81-96; A few argue for near the end of the rule of Nero, AD 58-68

Sources:
Dr. Ken Easley, Class Notes from New Testament 1 class, Union University, Spring 2007.
Dr. Ken Easley, Class Notes from New Testament 2 class, Union University, Spring 2007.
“Pontius Pilate”, available online 7/16/08, http://ecole.evansville.edu/articles/pilate.html
Schaff, P., & Schaff, D. S. (1997). History of the Christian church. Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
“List of High Priests of Israel”, available online 10/11/2008, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_High_Priests_of_Israel
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