I received the following question:

If you could write about which Book is/was the last one written, that would be interesting.  You may be aware of (a man) who contends that Galatians was the last book…

We teach it was II Timothy.

Since Galatians is quite clearly written to Israel and is an Acts period book, I wonder why anyone who has knowledge of the Acts 28:28 dispensational dividing line would think that it was the last written? I think that Galatians was the first of Paul’s books written, though that is somewhat less clear than the fact that it is an Acts period book.

The last book would be II Timothy. I believe this for several reasons. In II Timothy 4:6, Paul says “the time of my departure is at hand.” The word for “departure” is the Greek apoluo, which signifies an unloosing from something. It could be literal, like unloosing a boat from a dock, but it can also signify the unloosing of one from a commission or responsibility once he has completed it. That this is what Paul means is made clear in the next sentence, where he says that “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” The race the Lord had set before him to run at the start of his ministry was now completed. I believe that II Timothy was the last task he had to do, and once he put down his pen from writing it, his work for God was completed.

The only way I can see that one could argue that this was not the last book, therefore, is if one argued that it was the last book written in the Acts period, before Paul received his new, post-Acts ministry. To argue this, however, one would either have to be largely ignorant of the conditions that prevailed in the Acts period versus the conditions that prevail today, or else would have to be largely ignorant of the contents of II Timothy, if not both. This book clearly is not an Acts period book, so the only place for it is at the very end of Paul’s ministry. Galatians, on the other hand, belongs squarely in the Acts period.

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