New Testament timeline by Marisa Egerstrom

for Intro to NT midterm


Maccabean revolt

Approx. 167 BCE - Approx. 160 BCE

Jewish War

Approx. 68 CE - 70 CE

Destruction of the Temple


Bar Kokhba

132 CE - 136 CE

Tisha b'Av

135 CE

Traditional date


Essene Community

Approx. 140 BCE - Approx. 68 CE

The community at Qumran discussed by Philo and Josephus. Developed out of the Hasidim, and were a protest community against the Hellenization of Jerusalem. (Koester, v. I, 223) A “true believer” purity sect with apocalyptic eschatology (Koester, 224; lecture, 17 Feb). “I have discussed the Essenes, who persistently pursued the active life and excelled in all or, to put it more moderately, in most of its departments” (Philo, The Contemplative Life)
(Dates from Koester, I, 224)


Approx. 20 BCE - Approx. 40 CE
  • along with Josephus, Philo wrote prime literary material about 1st century Jews & Christians
  • wrote the Vita contemplativa Hellenistic philosopher, Platonist tendencies. Platonizing interpretation. Stoic thought too. Especially after his trip to Rome with the Jewish embassy to Gaius. Philo’s nephew was a government functionary; dude was an establishment guy (from Feb 17 lecture) Born 20 BCE (Koester, 266)


Approx. 37 CE - Approx. 100 CE

Jewish historian whose writings provide one of best attestations of biblical materials as well as wealth of material of 1st century history.
born 37/38 CE, priestly nobility of Jerusalem, died shortly after 100 ce
Wrote Jewish War but this text is lost (and in Aramaic).
“Uncritical use of source materials” (Koester, I, 334).
in 64 went to Rome to negotiate with Roman authorities.



Approx. 300 BCE - Approx. 164 BCE

“The oldest fully preserved and most influential apocalypse of the Hellenistic period” (Koester, I, 246). Partly in Hebrew, partly in Aramaic, Daniel is a work of consolation to Jews facing persecution under Antiochus. Much controversy around the one “like a son of man” Stories originated in 3rd and 4th century BCE, but likely completed by the time of the desecration of the temple in 167 BCE (HarperCollins, 1168).


Approx. 150 BCE

Containing the Sectarian Manifesto, only this work "directly challenges the position of another religious group" (Wise, et al, 454) with its various legal proscriptions against mixing the sacred and profane. It lists a series of bans, for instance, one against touching both a carcass and ritually clean food:
[Concerning the hi]de from the carcass of a clean [animal, the] one who carries this carcass [must not to]uch the [sacred] pure food.

1 Thessalonians

Approx. 51 CE

Paul to church in Thessaloniki. Scholarly consensus: this a Paul letter, but with doubt about passage regarding persecution of Christians (HarperCollins, 2005). 1 Thess 4 is what many current American Christians use as a proof text for Rapture theology, but this is, according to NT Wright, a reading that misses the intended allusions to Moses and the theology of a new creation (NT Wright, Farewell to the Rapture).

Gospel of Matthew

Approx. 80 ce - Approx. 90 ce

(5 March lecture; image from Wikipedia)
Derived, most likely, from Mark and Q source, which puts date 80-90 (HarperCollins, 1666).
• Relies on Mark and Q
• Dates to after 66 or 70 CE (can’t be prior)
• Probably 85
• Greco-Roman biography
• contains famous teachings of Jesus
• Other sources: earlier edition of Mark than we had.
• Contains birth narrative that we don’t find elsewhere (Special Matthew).
(from 10 March lecture)

Apocalypse of John

Approx. 81 CE - Approx. 96 CE

Dates are that of those who believe most of the Apocalypse was composed under Domitian’s reign (HarperCollins, 2086; 26 Feb lecture). References to Ezekiel and Daniel suggest author’s strong Jewish identity. Declares itself a prophecy: “The revelation of Jesus Christ…he made it known by sending his angel to his servant John…Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of the prophecy” (1:1-3)