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Paul: A Critical Life$
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Jerome Murphy-OʼConnor

Print publication date: 1998

Print ISBN-13: 9780192853424

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780192853424.001.0001

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The Chronological Framework

The Chronological Framework

(p.1) 1 The Chronological Framework
Paul: A Critical Life

Jerome Murphy-oʼconnor

Oxford University Press

This chapter presents the chronological framework of Paul's life and ministry based on his own letters and on Luke's The Acts. In his letter to Philemon, Paul called himself a ‘presbytês’, which here is translated as an ‘elder’. Based on the Greek and Jewish tradition of the importance of the number seven, the chapter computes how old Paul may have been when he wrote to Philemon and regarded himself an elder. A computation, based on Paul's letter, was later tabulated to show when he was born, when he converted to Christianity, when he was in Arabia, Damascus, Jerusalem, Syria, and Cilicia and back in Jerusalem. Using The Acts of the Apostles by Luke, another computation shows how old Paul may have been when he was in Antioch, Galatia, Macedonia, Corinth, Jerusalem, Ephesus, Illyrcium, Jerusalem-Caesarea, Rome, Spain, the Aegean, until his death in Rome.

Keywords:   Philemon, presbytês, elder, seven, Christianity

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