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Undisputed dates are in bold type. Christian events have been inserted, some tentatively, within this framework.

Year AD




The Resurrection.



The leaders of the Jews persecute the first Christians.



Saul/Paul is converted.



Matthew composes his Hebrew gospel/ liturgy in Palestine.



Matthew’s gospel issued in Greek.



King Herod Agrippa executes the Apostle James the Great.



Peter escapes and flees to Rome.






The other apostles spread out from Palestine.

Theophilus is high priest of the Jews

Luke writes his gospel for the Gentiles

Luke writes his ACTS



Kng Herod Agrippa dies.



Jews and Christians expelled from Rome following riots.



First of Paul’s epistles; some influenced by Matthew’s gospel.



Paul imprisoned by Romans.



A copy of Matthew's Gospel taken to India.



Nero becomes emperor



The Apostle James the Less, bishop of Jerusalem, killed by stoning.



The Christians are expelled from the Temple.



Paul asks Timothy to join him on a mission to Spain.



Paul released from prison.



Peter ordains Linus, Cletus and Clement as assistant bishops.



Caesare Philipi renamed Neronius



John writes twenty chapters of his Gospel


64 July

Rome devastated by fire.


64 Oct 13th

St. Peter’s martyrdom (See this site: B 104).


 65 Spring

Nero enlarges his persecution of Christians.



Linus replaces Peter as bishop of Rome.



Jewish rebellion in Palestine.



Paul goes to Spain.


68 early

Jerusalem surrounded for first time by Romans.


68 June

Suicide of Emperor Nero followed by civil strife. This leads to the Roman troops, surrounding Jerusalem, being withdrawn.



Mark distributes larger second edition of Peter’s talks.



Paul returns from Spain and visits Asia and Crete.



Paul writes an epistle to the Hebrew Christians in Jerusalem.



The Hebrew Christians flee from Jerusalem to Pella.



Paul again imprisoned in Rome and then martyred.



Galba dies trying to become emperor.



Vitellius dies trying to become emperor.



Otho dies trying to be come emperor.



Vespasian becomes emperor



Vespasian renews war in Palestine



Romans surround Jerusalem for second time.



Clement of Rome replies to Corinthians on behalf of Linus.


 70 Aug

Jerusalem captured.



The Temple is destroyed


 81 About

Linus dies.



Cletus replaces him as bishop of Rome



Hypothetical Council of Jamnia (about 85-100).



Domitian starts persecution


92 About

Cletus dies



Clement becomes bishop of Rome.



Clement, exiled by Romans to the Crimea.


96 About

John the Apostle adds final chapter to his Gospel.



John the Apostle dies.



Trojan becomes emperor.



Clement dies and Evaristus replaces him as bishop of Rome. (about 101).



Papias (about 130) records that Mark wrote down Peter’s words.

Justin Martyr reports (161 – 165) that Apostles wrote Gospels.



Prologues use Matthew-John-Luke-Mark sequence and report Peter’s

approval of Mark’s Gospel.



Ireneaus (about 180) familiar with the Matthew-Luke-Mark sequence.



Clement of Alexandria states (about 200) that the Gospels of Matthew and Luke were the first to be written.



Tertullian (about 212) uses Luke prior to Mark three times.



Origen (about 250) uses Matthew-Mark-Luke tradition.



Eusebius writes his ‘Ecclesiastical History’.



Augustine (about 380) says Matthew-Mark-Luke order is as ‘received’.



Jerome (about 383) chooses Matthew-Mark-Luke-John sequence for his Latin New Testament (The Vulgate).



Augustine (about 420) writes that Mark used Matthew and Luke.



Ambrosiaster (about 480) refers to Matthew-Luke-Mark-John sequence.



Council of Trent confirms which books are Sacred.


18th C.

The skill of literary analysis (internal evidence) develops.


18th C.

Henry Owen proposes Matthew-Luke-Mark sequence.


19th C.

Against Christian opposition, Bismarck enforces Markan Priority in



German universities, so it triumphs in that country.







First Vatican Council endorses decree of Council of Trent.

Rome insists witness of historians, not on internal evidence.

Pontifical Biblical Commission (PBC) established.

Rome launches an anti-Modernist Crusade.

PBC bans the teaching of Markan Priority in Catholic establishments.


20th C.


Markan Priority spreads in Protestant countries.




Rome in ‘Divino Afflante Spiritu’ permits some use of internal evidence.



2nd Vatican Council (Dei Verbum) maintains the historicity of the Gospels, bugospels, but allows greater freedom of research and opinion.




Markan Priority theory spreads quickly within the Catholic Community. Greatly influences Catechetic teachings.



30 Sept.



Apostolic Constitution, ‘Verbum Domini’, reads: “As Dei Verbum reminds us, Jesus Christ commanded the Apostles to preach the Gospel…This was … carried out by those Apostles and others associated with them who committed the message of salvation in writing”.







12th September 2016

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