Timeline Before Life of Jesus Palestine from 750 Years Before Jesus

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Timeline Before Life of Jesus - Palestine from 750 Years Before Jesus

Notable Aspects

  • Jesus lived in a territory, Palestine, with a long-standing history of power struggle (see map of 1st century Palestine)

  • Palestine is currently part of modern day Israel (see map of Palestine with modern-day Israel)

  • Jesus' own people group, the Jews, were subject to enslavement and captivity of various empires

  • Other than 80 years of self-rule that ended a half-century before Jesus' birth, the Jews had not ruled themselves for three-quarters of a millennium

  • By the time of Jesus' birth, Roman rule had become entrenched in Palestine


Dates (BCE)

Event / Stage



Assyrian Empire


Babylonian Empire


Persian Empire


Greek Empire

Alexander the Great

331-198 BCE Ptolemaic Rule: Alexander's generals divided the empire with general Ptolemy 1 taking Palestine & Egypt and general Selecus taking Syria, Babylon and a large part of Asia Minor (see map)

198-143 BCE Selucid Rule: Syria's Selucid's captured Palestine (see map)


Jewish (Maccabean) Rule

Jewish revolt for independence lead by Hasmonean family, later called the Maccabees (see map)


Roman Empire

Under Julius Caesar, Romans general Pompey occupies Palestine in 63 BCE (see map)


Neighbouring Parthian's invade Palestine installing a local Jewish king, Antigonus


Herod the Great as King (under Roman authority)

Herod gets Mark Anthony & Octavian's (future Augustus Caesar) support to have Roman Senate make Herod king of Jews in Palestine

37 BCE: Herod recaptures Palestine by force with Roman support

20 BCE: To win loyalty of the Jews, Herod begins reconstruction of the Jewish Temple

6 BCE: Jesus is born and Herod tries to find and kill Jesus. Jesus' family escapes to Egypt until Herod dies

4 BCE: Herod dies

4 BCE-39 CE

Three sons of Herod divide up rule of Palestine (under Roman Authority)

* Herod Phillip (4 BCE-34 CE) - ruler of territories east of Galiliee
* Herod Antipas (4 BCE-39 CE) - ruler of Galilee and Perea: He beheaded Jesus' cousin (John the Baptist) and participated in condemning Jesus to death
* Archelaus (4 BCE-6 CE) - ruler of Samaria, Judea and Idumea

Time Line During Life of Jesus - Lifetime Overview

Notable Aspects

  • Most of his life was spent as a carpenter in northern Israel (see map of modern day Israel); ( see map of 1st century Palestine)

  • Jesus taught publicly for three years

  • Jesus made radical claims and attracted a following of thousands.

  • Jesus was killed at the request of Jewish religious leaders charging Jesus with "blasphemy" or claiming to be God

  • Jesus' followers reported and recorded his live appearances throughout forty days after his execution



Event / Stage



Birth (recent historians push back date to coincide with simultaneous historical events)

Israel: Bethlehem

6-4 BCE



4 BCE-26 CE


Israel: Nazareth

27 CE

Beginning of Jesus' public ministry

Israel: Jordan/Jericho/Samaria

27 CE

Rejection by his own people in Nazareth

Israel: Nazareth

27-29 CE

Ministry in Galilee

Israel: Capernaum, Sea of Galilee

29 CE

Ministry in Judea /Jerusalem

Israel: Judea, Jerusalem

29 CE-winter

Ministry in Perea

Jordan: Perea

30 CE

Back to Judea/Jerusalem

Israel: Judea, Jerusalem

April 30 CE

Final Week in Jerusalem (Trial/Arrest/Execution)

Israel: Judea, Jerusalem

April-May 30 CE

Reported Return from the Dead and Final Appearances

Israel: Judea (South), Galilee (North)

Timeline After Jesus - Through 325 Years After

Notable Aspects

  • Jesus' followers lived in relative obscurity for several decades after Jesus

  • Paul was primarily responsible for expanding the message of Jesus outside of the Jewish community

  • Followers of Jesus were persecuted and martyred from immediately after Jesus

  • "Christianity" did not become a legally recognized religion until a quarter millennium after Jesus' birth

  • 300 years after the Romans executed Jesus, the Roman Emperor Constantine became a follower of Jesus


Date (CE)

Event / Stage


Jesus Executed on the Cross


Jesus' followers imprisoned and ordered not to speak regarding Jesus' death and Jesus' resurrection from the dead.


Paul begins missionary journeys


Jews expelled from Rome


Paul executed in Rome


Emperor Nero starts persecuting followers of Jesus


Jews begin revolt against Rome


Roman commander Titus captures Jerusalem and destroys Jewish Temple


Jews revolt against Rome again


Rome squashes revolt and makes Jerusalem a Roman city


Persecution of Jesus' followers intensified and continued by Roman Emperors Marcus Aurelius, Decious, Gallus, Valerian


Emperor Gallienus's edict makes Christianity a legal religion


Emperor Constantine embraces and supports Christianity - making the church an institution of wealth and power

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