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Timeline of New Testament Events

NOTE: this post originally appeared on another blogsite, around late 2005, but its final form became settled sometime in 2006. I'm 'importing' this post to my main blog now, in May of 2010, but its content belongs here, in the archives for 2006. Any roughness in the data or phrasing belongs to the old me, but rather than a full overhaul, I'll happily leave it as-was. For now. Enjoy!
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New Testament Timeline from 9 BC to beyond 70 AD

9 BC Zechariah sees Gabriel
8 BC Mary gets pregnant & Elizabeth gives birth to John
7 BC Mary gives birth to Jesus
6 BC Joseph, Mary & Jesus live in Egypt
5 BC
Joseph, Mary & Jesus live in Egypt

4 BC King Herod the Great dies
Quintus Varrus puts down a revolt and Herod's son Archelaus begins to rule Judea.
3 BC
2 BC
1 BC
1 AD
2 AD
3 AD
4 AD
5 AD
6 AD
Archelaus banished; Judea becomes a Roman Military Province
Judea is now ruled militarily by a procurator from Caesarea (who can sometimes visit Jerusalem)
Politically, Herod's Kingdom is still split into districts, ruled by tetrarchs.

The city of Jerusalem is still ruled by the High Preist and the Council, as it has been for centuries.

7 AD With Archelaus dead, Jesus attends his first Passover, at age 12
8 AD

9 AD Macedonia is finally declared officially "pacified". The last Roman Legion there moves north to the Danube River.
10 AD
11 AD
12 AD
13 AD
14 AD
Augustus Caesar dies in Rome, succeeded by Tiberius.

This year is the "first year" of Tiberius' rule.
15 AD
16 AD
17 AD
18 AD
19 AD Tiberius briefly banishes all Jews from Rome.
20 AD
21 AD
22 AD
23 AD Tiberius begins to let his right hand man, Sejanus, run the city.

Agrippa I (known later as “Herod”) leaves Rome at age 33
24 AD
25 AD
26 AD Tiberius retires to Campania, leaving Sejanus practically in charge of the whole Empire.

Pontius Pilate is appointed the 5th Procurator of the Province of Judea (including Samaria).
27 AD Tiberius moves to the Isle of Caprae. He is still Emperor, and reviews most of what Sejanus does.


28 AD
In the fifteenth year of Tiberius' rule, John the Baptist begins his ministry in the wilderness.
John baptizes all spring and summer, preparing the way for Jesus.
In Autumn, Jesus comes to be baptized. He is 33 years old. (Luke says "about" 30.)
Jesus spends the first half of winter alone, fasting and being temped in the wilderness.


29 AD
Jesus recovers from his testing at home in Nazareth.
John begins baptizing again in early Spring.
Jesus’ disciples begin to follow him
Passover: Jesus visits Jerusalem and clears the temple

Herod Antipas divorces his Nabatean wife (the daughter of King Aretes).
John the Baptist is imprisoned by Herod for criticizing the divorce.
(Jesus does not visit Judea again until after John dies.)
Jesus and his disciples flee Judea after John's arrest.
Briefly, they visit Samaria on their way back to Galilee.
Peter and Jesus' disciples go back to working after John's arrest.
Jesus visits Peter again, but travels alone the rest of the year.

30 AD
Spring: Jesus officially calls his disciples, some weeks before Passover.

They travel all over Galilee together, living on miracle-fish and free heads of grain.
Soon, three wealthy women begin to travel with Jesus, providing for them all financially.
Jesus stays in Galilee all year - he does not go down to Judea.

As winter approaches, Jesus sends his disciples out in pairs to many cities.

31 AD
Herod Antipas has John the Baptist beheaded early in the year.
Jesus' disciples continue to travel until Spring.
The disciples find Jesus in Capernaum just before Passover.
In Rome, Sejanus is finally killed. Tiberius continues to live at Caprae, ruling through subordinates.
The people in Judea hail John as a martyr, and condemn Herod for his death.
In Autumn, Jesus finally visits Jerusalem again, and stays through December.

32 AD Jesus travels up towards Syria, near Tyre and Sidon.
On their journey, Jesus begins to prepare his disciples for his death.
Just after Passover, Jesus leaves Galilee and begins a year-long tour around Judea.

33 AD
Feast of Passover: Jesus crucified & buried, rises and ascends.

Feast of Pentecost: the church in Jerusalem is born!
Apostles teach daily in Solomon’s porch.
5,000 believers live financially with all things in common.
Gamaliel reasons with the Sanhedrin to spare the new sect, and Jewish persecution of the new believers stops for a while.
While the number of the believers was still multiplying rapidly, some gentile believers discovered that their widows were being neglected in the distribution of food.
The apostles selected seven gentile men...
Stephen immediately began...
Feast of Tabernacles: Stephen stoned... the believers scattered...
Saul begins to persecute...
Philip preaches in Samaria but neglects to mention the Holy Spirit.
Peter and John go to Samaria and give them the Holy Spirit.
Philip met an Ethiopian man leaving Jerusalem after the Feast...
Philip went through Azotus, and settled in Caesarea...
At Chanukah, Jews from Damascus visit Jerusalem and tell the council about the christians in Damascus.
Saul (Paul) asks the Sanhedrin for a letter of authorization to persecute Jewish beleivers in Damascus.
Paul on the road to Damascus...
Paul escaped the city of Damascus and lived in Arabia, in the Nabatean desert, preaching from town to town for three years.

34 AD
Paul travels to Damascus and meets the Lord.

Paul escapes the city of Damascus and lives in the Nabatean desert, preaching from town to town.
Philip the Tetrarch (son of Herod) dies; all his lands (between Damascus and Nabatea) go to the province of Syria.
Peter visits Joppa and Caesarea (somehow without meeting Philip)...
Peter is shocked to learn that the Holy Spirit can live inside an UNCIRCUMCISED Gentile!
Peter reports to the church in Jerusalem...
The party of the circumcision tacitly accepts the fact that gentiles can be saved...
Paul is still in Nabatea (part of Arabia).

35 AD
The church in Antioch continues to grow, but news about it has not yet reached Jerusalem.

Some believers, such as Barnabas, have returned to the church in Jerusalem, after having been scattered.
Most, by far, remain where they fled to... in Judea and places all over the empire.
Peter and the apostles continue to travel around Judea, Galilee and Samaria helping the churches.
The Roman Governor of Syria takes his four legions to settle a conflict in Parthia.
Aretas, King of Nabatea, takes advantage of the Legion's travel to attack Peraea, in the trans-Jordan area.
Aretas takes Perea - part of Herod Antipas' territory - as cold revenge for Herod's earlier divorce of Aretas' daughter.
Paul is still in Nabatea.


36 AD
In Nabatea, Paul publicly criticizes Aretas for attacking Perea.
Aretas sends a lieutenant with some soldiers to arrest Paul, who flees Nabatea and returns to Damascus.
In Damascus, the Damascene Council agrees to let the Entharch guard the gates, to look for Paul.
Paul - for the second time - escapes Damascus by being lowered in a basket through a hole in the wall.

Paul comes to Jerusalem and tries to meet with the church.
Paul stays with Peter in Jerusalem for 15 days, and preaches to the Hellenists in the city. Soon, Paul has to flee Jerusalem, too.
The apostles take Paul up to Caesarea, where he gets on a boat and heads to Tarsus.
Late in the year, after Paul has gone, news finally reaches Jerusalem about the church in Antioch, which has thousands of believers and is almost completely gentile.

37 AD

Tiberius orders Vitellius (Legate of Syria) to attack Aretas in Perea.
Vitellius begins marching south, and Aretas withdraws from Perea.
Tiberius dies in March, and Vitellius quits pursuing Aretas.
Gaius (Caliligula) now becomes Emperor.
Caligula lets Herod Agrippa (I) out of prison in Rome (he was accused of threatening Tiberius).
Caligula gives Agrippa the old Tetrarchy of Philip - basically all the lands between Damascus and Nabatea.
The church in Jerusalem sends Barnabas to Antioch of Syria to investigate the new gentile church there.
While visiting and encouraging the believers in Antioch, Barnabas decides to go straight over to Tarsus and get Paul.
Barnabas and Paul spend a whole year meeting with the new church in Antioch and teaching many of the believers.
The church in Antioch added many believers during this time.
Antioch was the first place where believers in Jesus were first called "Christians".

38 AD
Paul and Barnabas finish their year of teaching in Antioch.

Paul and Barnabas continue to live in Antioch.

39 AD
Herod Antipas (who killed John the Baptist) asks Caligula for the title of King.

Herod Antipas’s nephew and brother-in-law, Herod Agrippa I, informed on Herod Antipas to Caligula.
Agrippa then inherited Antipas's tetrarchy.
Thus, Herod Agrippa I is now tetrarch of All Galilee, Peraea, and some lands further north (but NOT Judea.)
In Petra, in Nabatea, King Aretes dies of old age.
In Antioch, Agabus prophesies upcoming famine in Judea.
The church in Antioch begins setting aside aid for the church in Jerusalem.

40 AD
The church in Antioch continues setting aside money to help the church in Jerusalem when the famine comes.

41 AD
Caligula is killed in Rome and Claudius Caesar becomes Emperor.

Claudius appoints Herod Agrippa I as King of all Judea, Samaria and Galilee, with his eastern lands.
(Temporarily, there is now no more Procurator in Judea.)
The church in Antioch continues setting aside money to help the church in Jerusalem when the famine comes.

42 AD
The church in Antioch continues setting aside money to help the church in Jerusalem when the famine comes.

Claudius officially annexes Thrace - east of Philippi to the Black Sea - but the region is not considered "pacified" by far.

43 AD
The church in Antioch continues setting aside money to help the church in Jerusalem when the famine comes.

44 AD
In late March, Paul and Barnabas leave Antioch with a large financial gift for the saints in Jerusalem.

They plan to arrive and leave quickly while the city is full of people during the passover week, March 30th to April 4th.
During Passover Week, Herod Agrippa I has James son of Zebidee killed.
When he sees that the Jews are pleased by this, Herod also has Peter arrested and thrown into prison.
Peter escapes from prison and sends a message to "James and the elders", showing that James the just - the brother of Jesus - has by this time taken on an important position in the church in Jerusalem.
Paul and Barnabas get in and out of town without incident, during this brief persecution.
As they leave, they take with them Barnabas’ nephew, John Mark, who now moves to Antioch.
Later that year, Herod Agrippa I falls during a speech in the amphitheater at Caesarea and dies soon after from intestinal worms.

With Herod dead, Claudius decides to make Judea a Province once more, and sends a new Procurator to govern it.
All the lands of Herod are now known - to the Romans - as the Province of Judea.

45 AD
Early in the year, severe famine strikes Judea.

The church in Jerusalem begins rationing their supplies and resources for survival. (The famine will last for 4 years.)
One day in Antioch, Paul and Barnabas meet together with some of the other prophets and teachers from the church there.
As the men ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit told the men to send Barnabas and Paul to go out preaching the Word.
The two men spend about a year preparing for their journey.
The church spends about a year preparing to support them.

46 AD
Barnabas and Paul first sailed to Cyprus, where Barnabas was raised...They spend the summer and winter on Cyprus...

47 AD
Cyprus...Shipwreck at Perga... John mark went back to Jerusalem.Antioch-Pisidia...Iconium...

48 AD
Lystra...Derbe...Back through Lystra, Iconium and Antioch-Pisidia.

Paul and Barnabas returned to Perga and sailed from Attalia back home to Antioch.
By year's end, the famine conditions in Judea have improved.
The next year there will be no more famine.

49 AD
Paul and Barnabas continue to live in Antioch. (The church is almost 13 years old.)

Late in the year, men from James come up to Antioch and begin teaching the brothers that they must be circumcised to be saved.
Peter also visits Antioch during this time and begins eating only with the circumcision party.
Even Barnabas gets carried away by it, briefly, until Paul rebukes Peter to his face.
From that moment on, Barnabas and Paul argue strongly with the men from James.
Late in the year, the church in Jerusalem decide to send a group down to Jerusalem to meet with the apostles and elders there to settle the problem.
In Rome, Claudius Caesar banishes all Jews from Rome.
Two young believers named Aquilla and Priscilla move from Rome to Corinth.

50 AD
Early in the year, Paul, Barnabas & Titus travel to the Council of Jerusalem...

Paul writes a Letter to the Churches in Galatia from Antioch of Syria...
Titus and Luke carry Paul's letter to four churches: Derbe, Lystra, Iconium and Antioch-Pisidia
Titus and Luke head east, looking for the famous city of "Troy" where they plan to wait for Paul and Silas.
Paul and Silas visit the four churches and move on to find Titus and Luke at "Troy".
Paul, Silas, Timothy, Luke & Titus start a church in Troas; Titus stays to finish raising up that church.
Paul, Silas, Timothy and Luke start a church in Philippi; Luke stays to finish raising up that church.
Agrippa II leaves Rome, around age 23, as the appointed King of Chalcis.
(Agrippa II is the 4th man in scripture called "Herod".)

51 AD
Paul, Silas and Timothy start a church in Thessalonica

Paul and Silas start a church in Berea
Paul visits Athens.
Silas and Timothy come to Paul in Athens
Timothy (and Silas?) carry Paul’s Letter to the Thessalonian Church
Paul goes to Corinth.
Paul meets Priscilla and Aquilla, Roman exiles.
Timothy and Silas find Paul in Corinth
Silas and Timothy carry Paul's Second letter to the Thessalonian Church
The Lord tells Paul it will be safe for him to stay in Corinth for a while.

52 AD
L. Iunius Gallio, Seneca’s brother, becomes Governor of Achaia (Southern Greece)

Paul stays in Corinth until early Autumn
Paul leaves Corinth and visits Ephesus.
Priscilla and Aquilla move from Corinth to Ephesus.
Paul visits Jerusalem during the Feast of Booths.
Paul goes back to Antioch and stays over the winter.

53 AD
Paul leaves Antioch for the last time.

He is moving to Ephesus, making stops in Galatia on the way.
In Ephesus, in early spring, Priscilla and Aquilla send Apollos to Corinth.
Brothers move from other churches to Ephesus, to live with Paul and be his disciples while he raises up a church in that city.
The brothers are: Timothy, Gaius from Derbe, Aristarchus and Secundus from Thessalonica, Sopater from Berea [and maybe Titus.]
Paul arrives in Ephesus, starts a church in Ephesus and begins training six disciples.
Paul teaches his disciples daily at the school of Tyrannus.
Two Ephesian brothers join Paul’s training: Tychicus and Trophimus.
Apollos lives in Corinth for a while.
Peter visits Corinth.Barnabas visits Corinth.
Herod Agrippa II is ceded the old tetrarchy of his uncle Philip

54 AD
Under Nero, Herod Agrippa II gains control over parts of Galilee and Peraea

Paul and his disciples stay in Ephesus, but makes trips around Asia and the Agean to start new churches.
Among those founded during these years are churches in the cities of Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, and Philadelphia.
When they are not travelling around Asia, Paul and his disciples continue meeting in the hall of Tyrannus each afternoon and evening.
Paul meets two men from Colosse, named Philemon and Epaphras (short for Epaphroditus). Both men get saved in Ephesus.
Philemon returns home. Epaphras spends some time in Ephesus with Paul and the disciples.
Eventually, Epapahras also returns home.
In late summer, Timothy carries Paul's first Letter to the Corinthian Church.
In Rome, in October, Claudius Caesar dies and Nero becomes the new Roman Emperor.
In Ephesus, Paul hears about Claudius and realizes that Jews will be allowed back into Rome.
Paul sends word to all the gentile churches about Rome.
Several churches begin saving money to send a family to be part of a new church in Rome.
The church in Ephesus spends their winter trying to save and raise money for Rome.
Paul's plans to visit Corinth and Jerusalem are put on hold indefinitely.
Instead, Paul begins planning to raise up a church in Dyrrachium, an important city half-way down the road from Greece to Rome.
Paul plans for Dyrrachium to serve as a half-way home for the families who are moving to Rome.


55 AD
Epaphras, in Colosse, starts raising up a church.

Some families from the churches begin moving directly to Rome.
Paul, planning to leave Ephesus after Pentecost, lingers into summer.
(In all, Paul was in Ephesus for three months, plus two years and “a time”… that is, when he lingered from Pentecost into the Summer.)
Timothy and Erastus visit Macedonia.
Titus is still living in Troas, establishing the church.
(Much of the past five years Titus spent travelling in Asia Minor.)
Titus visits Ephesus, and agrees to go visit Corinth for Paul.
Meanwhile, in Colosse, Epaphras (who met the Lord in Ephesus) starts raising up a church.
Some families from the churches are preparing to travel to Dyrrachium with Paul - and then to head for Rome.
In late summer, there is a riot in Ephsus.
Finally, Paul leaves overland for Macedonia.
Paul failed to find Titus in Troas, but found him in Philippi.
Paul also finds Timothy in Macedonia and tells him to go back to Ephesus and stay there. (Paul has spent too much energy on his training, and not enough time raising up the church in Ephesus itself! There are brothers there who want to take over the church when he leaves, but are neither capable, nor worthy. Paul tells Timothy to complete what he did not accomplish.)
Paul spends a brief amount of time in Philippi, Thessalonica and Berea before departing for western Macedonia to start a church in Dyrrachium, on the Adriatic coast. (Dyrrachium sits in the Province of Macedonia, but the region at that time was also known as "Illyricum". There is no Provicne called "Illyricum" at this time.)

56 AD
Paul and Titus go “all over the region” of Macedonia, to the far western part,“as far as” (or “around to”) the very edge of the province of Illyricum.
That is, to the city of Dyrrachium (modern Durres, Albania) on the eastern shore of the Adriatic, across from Italy. They raise up a church there. (Dyrrachium sits in the Provicne of Macedonia, but the region at that time was also known as "Illyricum". At this time, there is no Roman Province called "Illyricum".)
The city of Dyrrachium is half-way to Rome from Ephesus, by the land route. (Not-a-coincidence!)
Paul and Titus spend most of this year raising up the church in Dyrrachium.
Some of the young apostles travel south to Nicoplis and plant a church there, before rejoining Paul.
In Autumn, Timothy sails from Ephesus to Thessalonica. Things are not going well in Ephesus, and he needs to see Paul.
Timothy waits for Paul in Thessalonica.
Paul, Titus, and the others travel back across Macedonia to Thessalonica. Finding Timothy, they all discuss Ephesus.
Paul, Timothy and Titus discuss what to do about Corinth.
Paul writes his Second Letter to the church in Corinth.
In December, Aristarchus and Secundus lead Titus down on foot through Greece to Corinth. They also bring Paul's letter.

57 AD
January: the three Macedonian workers, Aristarchus, Secdundus and Sopater, lead Paul on foot down through Greece to Corinth
Paul stays in Corinth three months (through early-april)
In Corinth, Paul writes a Letter to the new church in Rome.

In late March, Paul is about to sail, but learns of a plot against his life.
Paul travels back through Macedonia with Sopater, Aristarchus and Secundus.
Timothy, Gaius, Tychicus, Trophimus and Titus sail to Troas.
Luke leaves Philippi after 6½ years.

At time time, Paul and Luke finally appoint elders in Philippi.
Paul, Luke and the Macedonian brothers get to Troas.
Paul writes a Letter to Timothy, and personally hands it to Timothy there in Troas.
Timothy carries the letter to Ephesus, and appoints elders.
Paul (and company) sail away from Troas.
Paul meets with the new Ephesian elders on the beach outside Ephesus.
Paul (and company) arrive in Caesarea, in Palestine.
Paul meets with James and the elders in Jerusalem.
[Copies of Paul's Galatian Letter and James' Letter have each been circulating around Palestine, Greece and Asia for several years, now.]
Paul is arrested in Jerusalem.
Paul appeals to Caesar, to escape the Jews.

58 AD

Felix keeps Paul in jail, hoping for a bribe.
Luke stays in Caesarea with Philip the Evangelist
Philip and Cornelius teach Luke the history of the church in Jerusalem
Luke obtains a written copy of John Mark’s gospel, and does other research
Titus visits Crete with Aristarchus and plants churches there.
Epaphras raises up churches in Hieropolis and Laodiea, near Colosse

59 AD

Spring: Porcius Festus becomes Governor of Judea.
Agrippa II and his wife Bernice travel from Jerusalem to Caesarea
Paul stands before Festus and Agrippa together
Autumn: Paul, Luke, Titus and Aristarchus sail to Rome, with a Centurion guarding them.

In Autumn, they shelter briefly at Crete.
Titus sneaks away, while the party is on Crete.
The ship wrecks on Malta. Everyone survives.
The passengers stay all winter on Malta.

60 AD

Early Spring: Paul, Luke and Aristarchus arrive in Rome.
Paul is kept under watch in his own rented house.
Epaphras and Onesimus come to see Paul in Rome.
Paul writes a Letter to Philemon.

He also writes a Letter to the church in Colosse.
Then Paul decides to write A Circuit Letter (Ephesians) that can be passed around to all the churches.
Epaphras gets sick and has to stay in Rome.
He sends Tychicus to Colosse, Hieropolis and Laodicea with these three letters, and with Onesimus.

61 AD

Paul continues to live in Rome, under house arrest.
Epaphras recovers from his illness.
Paul writes a Letter to the church in Philippi and sends it with Epahras.

62 AD

Paul is tried, freed, and departs for Dyrrachium.
Titus sends word to Paul in Dyrrachium.
Paul writes a Letter to Titus from Dyrrachium.
Paul travels down to Nicopolis for the winter.

Sometime this year, back in Judea, the Sanhedrin has James the Elder killed.

63 AD

Paul travels around the Agean, including Miletus and Troas.
Paul is arrested in Ephesus.
Paul is shipped back to Rome as a prisoner again.

64 AD

June 19th: The Emperor Nero secretly orders men to set a fire near the Circus Maximus; when the fire is burned out, he announces plans to rebuild himself a new palace in the burned area. The property owners of Rome are furious at Nero, and to escape blame, he blames the Christians (who lived in the Aventine Hill district, just below the Circus Maximus). Since their crime is burning the city, Nero begins burning them alive. Many of the Christians Paul named in his Letter to Rome are quickly killed. Priscilla and Aquilla manage to escape, and return to Ephesus.
Paul, in prison in Rome, writes his Second Letter to Timothy.
Paul is executed by Roman beheading.
Peter is crucified in Rome, (upside down, according to tradition.)
(Last possible date for Letters of Peter.)

65 AD

Seneca, the great Roman orator and former advisor to Nero, is forced to kill himself .

66 AD

Nero orders 20,000 Jews expelled from Caesarea in a single day.
The expulsion order sparks the Jewish Revolt in Judea.

Jude (the brother of James and Jesus) dies in the fighting.
Sometime around this era, Matthew writes his gospel.
Sometime aroud this era, the “Letter to the Hebrews” is written.

67 AD

Vespasian and Titus suppress the revolt with their legions
The Jewish historian Josephus becomes friends with the Flavians
Josephus begins recording the history of the Jewish rebellions

68 AD

Nero chased by Roman armies, commits suicide in Italy
The General Vespasian and his son Titus subdue all Judea, except Jerusalem
The “Year of four Emperors” begins

69 AD

Four Caesars battle for the Empire: Galba, Otho, Vitellius and Vespasian
Vespasian is proclaimed Emperor by all the Eastern Legions
Vespasian’s son, Titus, holds the legions in Judea and Syria
Titus’ Roman Legions mass around Jerusalem.
Christians in Jerusalem begin to leave the city, fearing war.
Many of these find themselves in Gentile churches north of Judea.
John the apostle leaves Jerusalem and moves to Ephesus.

70 AD

Titus’ Legions besiege Jerusalem for five months
The city and temple of Jerusalem are destroyed by the Roman Legions of Titus

The Emperor Vespasian makes Judea an Imperial province
Judea is now ruled by an Imperial Legate (Emperor’s appointee)
The Legate rules Judea militarily AND politically
The Legate reports directly and only to the Emperor

Roman Emperors after Nero:
68-69 Galba, Otho, Vitellius
69-79 Vespasian (Titus Flavius Vespasian)
79-81 Titus (Titus Flavius Vespasius, Vespasian’s son)
81-96 Domitian (Titus’ brother)
96-98 Nerva
98-117 Trajan
117-138 Hadrian

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

After Titus’ armies razed Jerusalem and the temple to the ground, he allowed one of his legions to camp on the site.

Sixty-Five years later, after something called the Bar Kokhba Revolt, in 135 AD, the Emperor Hadrian founded a Roman Military Colony on the site of Jersualem (for retired soldiers, their heris and other Latin speaking Romans). He called it Aelia Capitolina.

The New Jerusalem, we trust, is still coming down out of Heaven... Amen. Come, Lord.