Chronology of the New Testament Milieu

This chronology is based on the one provided by Raymond E. Brown in his book: An Introduction to the New Testament. New-Haven-London: Yale University Press, 1997.

Romans EmperorsImportant Jewish High PriestsJewish and Roman Rulers in PalestineEvents
Christian events italicized
(30 BC - 14 AD)
 Herod the Great (37 - 4 BC)  -Jesus born ca. 6 BC
-Revolts at the death of Herod the Great; Augustus divides Herod's kingdom among Herod's three sons.
Annas (Ananus I)
(AD 6 - 15)
JudeaGalileeE-N/E of Galilee-Judea made a Roman province when Archelaus is deposed (AD 6); census of Quirinius; revolt of Judas the Galilean.
 Archelaus, ethnarch of Judeae
(4 BC - AD 6)
Herod Antipas tetrarch of Galilee and Transjordan
(4 BC - AD 39)
(Herod) Philip, tetrarch of Ituraea and Trachonitis (4 BC - AD 34)
 Beginning of First Period of Roman Prefecture
(AD 6 - 9)
-No record of major violent revolts in Judea from AD 7 to 36. Rebuilding of Jerusalem Temple, begun by Herod the Great, continues.
(AD 14 - 37)
(son-in-law of Annas)
(AD 18 - 36)
Valerius Gratus
(AD 15 - 26)
Pontius Pilate
(AD 26 - 36)
-Early incidents under Pilate show him as imprudent but not vicious or dishonest.
-Jesus begins his public ministry and John the Baptist is executed ca. AD 28
-Jesus is crucified in 30 or 33
-Pilate's repression of the Samaritans in 36 causes Vitelius, prefect of Syria, to send him to Rome (36/37)
-Death of Stephen and conversion of Saul (Paul) ca. 36.
(son of Annas)

(son of Annas)

Transferal of this region to Herod Agrippa I (39)Transferal of this region to Herod Agrippa I (39)-Agrippa I comes from Rome to Palestine, visits Alexandria - antiJewish outburst (38)

-Paul escapes from Damascus and goes to Jerusalem (39); then on to Tarsus.
-Caligula orders his statue to be set up in the Jerusalem Temple. Syrian legate Petronius stalls till Caligula's assassination.
 End of First Period of Roman Prefecture.

Transferal of Judea to Herod Agrippa I (41)
From 41 to 44 Herod Agrippa I rules the area once rules by Herod the Great.-Execution of James, brother of John; Peter arrestd under Agrippa I but escapes.
-Paul in Tarsus (41-44)
Second period of direct Roman prefecture or procuratorial rule (44-66) - at first over all Palestine. 
 Galilee and JudeaE-N/E ofGalilee 
 Fadus (44-46)
Tiberius Alexander (46-48)



Cumanus (48-52)

 -Fadus beheads "the prophet" Theudas (45)
-Famine under Claudius (45-48)
-Tiberius Alexander crucifies two sons of Judas the Galilean
-Paul comes to Antioch in Syria; "First Missionary Journey"(46-49)
-Under Cumanus uprisings in Jerusalem and Samaria
-Meeting of James, Peter, an Paul in Jerusalem (49). Paul's "Second Journey" (50-52); he writes 1 Thess (51)
-Agrippa II intercedes with Claudius and Cumanus is removed.
Ananias (47-59)




Ananius II
(son of Annas)
Felix (52-60)




Festus (60-62)




Albinus (62-64)




Florus (64-66)
In 53 Herod Agrippa II given the realm of Ituraea and Trachonitis.-Paul's "Third Missionary Journey" (54-58); he writes principal letters.
-In Palestine under Felix hostile uprisings, including bandits (lestai), knife-wielding terrorists (Sicarii), and an Egyptian "prophet." Imprisonment of Paul in Caesarea (58-60). High priest Ananias prosecutes him. The next procurator Festus brings Paul before Herod Agrippa II; Paul is sent to Rome (60).
-After the death of Festus, a Sanhedrin convoked by the high priest Ananus II condemns James, the "brother of the Lord," who is stoned to death. Ananius is removed under the next procurator. Jesus son of Ananias is seized by the Jerusalem Jewish authorities (early 60s) for warning that God would destroy the city and the Temple; he is handed over to the Romans to be put to death; but after maltreating him, Albinus releases him. Albinus and Florus are corrupt and tyrannical governors, setting the stage for revolt
-Rome burns (64);
Nero persecutes Christians there; Peter and Paul put to death.
Galba, Otho, Vitelius
Accession of the Flavian family of Emperors
 Roman armies led by Vespasian and (after 69) by Titus strruggle against revolutionaries in the First Jewish Revolt (66-70)Herod Agrippa II remains faithful to the Romans during the Revolt-In May 66 Florus is forced by street battles to leave Jerusalem; mobs take over the city. Revolution throughout Galilee and Judea. Groups of Zealots (for the Law) kill Jews opposed to revolt. Supposedly Christians leave Jerusalem for Pella in the Transjordan. Josephus goes over to the Romans.
 Destruction of the Jerusalem Temple by the Romans (August 10, 70).
Roman rule
Herod Agrippa keeps his territory till death ca. 100-Yohanan ben Zakkai, a teacher of the Law who escaped Jerusalem, founds the rabbinical school of Jamnia (Yavneh).


Emperors after AD 70Palestine and Judaism after AD 70Christianity after AD 70
Vespasian reigned till 79.
(Titus' Triumph celebrated in Rome in 71).
Domitian (81-96)

Roman rule in Palestine.

-Eleazar, grandson of Judas the Galilean, overcome at Masada in 74. In Rome Josephus writes the Jewish War.
-Rabbinical teachers replace the high priests as leaders of Palestinian Judaism. Rabbi Gamaliel II (90-110) is a major figure.
-In Rome Josephus writes the Jewish Antiquities
-Many NT writings (Gospels, deuteroPaulines, Heb (?), 1 Pet, Jas, Jude, Rev, I-II-III John); 1 Clement (from Rome, ca. 96?)
-Supposedly relatives of Jesus dominate Palestinian churches.
-Under Domitian grandsons of Jude (Jesus' brother) supposedly interrogated; perhaps other local harassments of Christians.
Nerva (96-98)
Trajan (98-117)
-Jewish apocalyptic (IV Ezra, II Baruch: ca. 95-120)
-Jewish revolts in Egypt, Cyrene, Cyprus, Mesopotamia (115-119).
-Didache (after 100); Letters of Ignatius (110); Letter of Polycarp
-Ignatius martyred in Rome (110); Polycarp bishop of Smyrna
Hadrian (117-138)-Jerusalem rebuilt as Aelia Capitolina (ca. 130 on)
-Second Jewish Revolt under Simon ben Kosibah (Bar Cochba - approval of Rabbi Akiba: 132-135)
-After defeat Jews driven out of Jerusalem; temple to Jupiter built on Temple site.
-II Pet, Shepherd of Hermas (130?), Secret Gospel of Mark, Gospel of Peter, Protevangelium of James.
-Supposedly ca. 130 end of Jewish Christian leadership in Jerusalem, ceding to Gentile bishops.
-Polycarp lives on in Smyrna.