Acts of Paul and the Pastoral Epistles

Evidence that they both drew on the same oral story of Paul

Commentary can be found at the Vridar Blog

Prepared from Dennis MacDonald's The Legend and the Apostle (1983) – Neil Godfrey (2007)

The Acts of Paul (numbers reference the online text)

The Pastorals (See 2 Timothy online)

2.1-2, 4-5, 17


Paul travels with Demas and Hermogenes

Paul's companions had been Phygelus and Hermogenes (the coppersmith)

To Iconium

In Asia

Where he is welcomed by Onesiphorus and his family who remained faithful to Paul

Where Onesiphorus welcomed Paul and helped him

Even though he was imprisoned

Even though he was imprisoned

2.1, 11-12


Demas and Hermogenes desert Paul for a bribe

Demas deserted Paul for love of this world



Demas and Hermogenes undermine the faith of Thamyris telling him the resurrection is a past event

Hymenaeus and Philetus undermine others by teaching that the resurrection is a past event

2.1, 3, 26


Paul and Thecla leave Iconium, travel on to Lystra and arrive at Antioch where he suffers persecution. (Nothing in common about the circumstances of these persecutions with those in our canonical Acts.)

Paul suffered persecutions at Antioch, Iconium, Lystra. (The pastoral epistle contradicts the canonical Acts by saying Timothy observed them, but in canonical Acts Timothy did not join Paul till after these persecutions.)


4:14-15 (c.f. 1 Tim 1:19-20)

Alexander (the coppersmith) opposes Paul and tries to kill Thecla.

Alexander opposes Paul and appears to threaten his mission in Asia, so Timothy is warned to watch out for him in Ephesus

Paul in Ephesus (Hennecke Vol.2)


Paul stays with Priscilla and Aquilla . . .

Paul's friends include Priscilla and Aquilla . . .

. . . in Ephesus

. . . in Ephesus

When “all the house in Ammia turned against Paul” that he might die

c.f. 1:15

Alone, Paul boldly witnessed before the governor and the crowd

Paul gives his defence alone before a crowd of gentiles

The governor ordered him eaten by a lion, but the lion refused to eat him and both escaped unharmed

Paul is saved from a lion



At Rome Luke from Gaul and Titus from Dalmatia were waiting for Paul

Luke and Titus accompany Paul in Rome; Titus is associated with Dalmatia; and if we read with some texts “Gaul” in place of “Galatia” then one of Paul's companions is a missionary from Gaul.