The Early Christian Church - Vol. 1

By Philip Carrington | Go to book overview

THE SOURCES
SELECTED LIST OF ANCIENT AUTHORS FREQUENTLY QUOTED, MAINLY CHRISTIAN

(1) PERIOD FROM A.D. 50 TO 60
An asterisk * is used when alternative dates are given for a New Testament book. The Authorized version is used, except where the author has made his own translation.For further information see similar list at the beginning of Volume II.
a. PAUL . The Epistles of Paul provide the oldest literary sources which have come down to us intact. They were written between about A.D. 50 and about A.D. 65. The first group consists of *Galatians in 49, Thessalonians in 50, Corinthians in 54, and Romans in 54-55 (or *Galatians in 54); the second group, which was written from Rome, consists of *Ephesians, Colossians, Philippians, and Philemon. (For the Pastorals see below.)
b. LUKE . The Journals of Luke belong to exactly the same period, and are incorporated into the Acts. They concern the evangelization of Greece by Paul and Silas in 49-50, and the foundation of the church at Corinth; the evangelization of Asia by Paul with Timothy and others in 52, and the foundation of the church at Ephesus. Then comes the pilgrimage to Jerusalem in 55 or 56, and two years' residence at Caesarea during 55-57.

This is succeeded by the voyage to Rome and two years' residence there between 58 and 61. Here the Journals come to an end; there is no sign in the Acts of any later sources, or any reference to later events or conditions.

c. EARLIER SOURCES USED IN ACTS . The Journals of Luke belonged to a class of literature which dealt with the expansion of the gospel through apostolic persons, and the foundation of important churches which became centres of further evangelization. Luke possessed written sources describing the evangelization of Palestine, 'beginning from jerusalem', through the preaching of Peter (with John); these also describe the evangelization of Samaria and the coast towns through the preaching of Philip, and the foundation of the church at Caesarea through the preaching of Peter. Another source described the evangelization of Syria, beginning with the foundation of the church at Antioch, from which the evangelization of eastern Phrygia took place through the preaching of 'Barnabas and Saul' in 47 or 48.

This material, in the form in which it appears in Acts, ends with the Jerusalem Councilin 49. It leaves James in charge of the Jerusalem church.

-xiii-

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