The online Bible teaching ministry of John Brand
e.AD 36Travels to Jerusalem; spends 15 days with Peter and James. Because of a threat to his life, is taken by “the brothers” to    Caesarea and went on to home town of Tarsus.Galatians 1:18-20; Acts 9:26-29  
Acts 9:30
 AD 37 – 46Preaches in “regions of Syria and Cilicia”, where Tarsus was.Galatians 1:21
 cAD 46 – 47Taken by Barnabas to Antioch; spends a year discipling the    growing number of new believers.Acts 11:25-26
f.AD 47Agabus prophesies a famineActs 11:27-28
 AD 47Takes famine relief to church in Jerusalem, accompanied by Barnabas and Titus.Acts 11:29-30 Galatians 2:1-10

e. As we have said, the natural reading of Galatians 1:18 is that Paul’s first post-conversion visit to Jerusalem took place three years after his conversion, and he spent 15 days in the city visiting Peter and meeting James, but “none of the other apostles” (Galatians 1:19).      

However, that is not without its problems either, because in Acts 9 we read that Paul “attempted to join the disciples [in Jerusalem].  And they were all afraid of him…..But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles.”  (Acts 9:26-27).  

Clearly Scripture cannot and does not contradict itself, so there must be a nuanced meaning to the words of either Luke in Acts, or Paul himself in Galatians.  My own view is that Paul’s words are so unequivocal that his account must be the starting point, and that what Luke might be telling us in Acts 9 is that “the apostles” to whom Barnabas brought Paul were Peter and James specifically, and that the other apostles were either ‘out of town’ or among those “afraid of him”.   We can’t, it seems to me, be more specific than that.

f. The “great famine” that was prophesied by Agabus, occurred during the reign of the Roman emperor Claudius (AD 41-54).  Working from the writings of Josephus and others we can fairly accurately date the famine somewhere between AD 45 and 47.

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