Paul’s Second Missionary Journey, with Silas returning to Asia Minor and on into Europe c AD49-52

Taken from Acts 15:40-18:23a – ….. Paul chose Silas and set out on his journey (from Syrian Antioch [1]) ….. He travelled through Syria [2] and Cilicia [3] and strengthened the churches.

He also went to Derbe [4] and Lystra [5]. At Lystra there was a disciple by the name of Timothy….. (who) was held in high regard by the brothers at Lystra and Iconium, and Paul wanted to take him on as his companion. ….. As they went on their way through the cities they passed on to them for their observance the decisions which had been reached by the apostles and elders in (the Council at) Jerusalem. …

They made their way through Phyrgia [6] and Galatia [7], but the Holy Spirit prevented them from speaking God’s message in Asia. When they came to Mysia [8] they tried to enter Bithynia, but again the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them. So they passed by Mysia and came down to Troas [9], where one night Paul had a vision of a Macedonian man standing and appealing to him in the words: “Come over to Macedonia and help us!”

…. So we set sail from Troas and ran a straight course to (the island of) Samothrace [10], and on the following day to Neapolis [11]. From there we went to Philippi [12], a Roman garrison-town and the chief city in that part of Macedonia. We spent some days in Philippi ….

Philippi - The ruins of Philippi are near modern Kavalla in northern Greece. It was then a city of Macedonia founded by Philip, the father of Alexander the Great. A Roman colony and military centre, governed directly from Rome, Philippi was situated on the Via Egnatian, the highway running east and west linking Rome to Byzantium (Istanbul):

(Here Paul and Silas, Timothy and sometimes Luke bring the Gospel to Lydia from Thyatira, are in conflict over a girl with a spirit of clairvoyance, are beaten and imprisoned, survive a destructive earthquake and convert their gaoler. The magistrates release them, but on learning that Paul is a Roman citizen, apologize to them and …..) after taking them outside the prison, requested them to leave the city (of Philippi) …..

Next day they journeyed through Amphipolis [13] and Apollonia [14] and arrived at Thessalonica [15]. Here there was a synagogue of the Jews which Paul entered, following his usual custom.

Thessalonica - Modern Salonika or Thessalonika. A free city, capital of the Roman province of Macedonia in northern Greece. Thessalonica was a major port, and like Philippi, located on the east-west Egnatian highway, and thus an important centre of trade by land and by sea:

(The teaching of Paul and Silas converts a large number of the people, but also infuriates many Jews. The city is in uproar …..) Without delay the brothers despatched Paul and Silas off to Beroea (or Berea) [16] that night. On their arrival there they went to the Jewish synagogue. The Jews proved more generous-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they accepted the message most eagerly …… But when the Jews at Thessalonica found out that God’s message had been proclaimed by Paul at Beroea as well, they came there too to cause trouble and spread alarm among the people. The brothers at Beroea then sent Paul off at once to make his way to the sea-coast (near Beroea) [16], but Silas and Timothy remained there.

The men who accompanied Paul took him as far as Athens [17] and returned with instructions for Silas and Timothy (still in Berea) to rejoin Paul as soon as possible.

Paul had some days to wait at Athens for Silas and Timothy to arrive (and while there, addresses some of the many philosophers of Athens, most of whom reject his teaching …)

Before long Paul left Athens and went on to Corinth [18] where he found a Jew called Aquila, a native of Pontus. This man had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla because (the emperor) Claudius had issued a decree that all Jews should leave Rome. …. They all worked together, for their trade was tent-making. Every Sabbath Paul used to speak in the synagogue trying to persuade both Jews and Greeks. By the time Silas and Timothy arrived from Macedonia Paul was completely absorbed in preaching the message, showing the Jews as clearly as he could that Jesus is Christ. However, when they turned against him and abused him he shook his garments at them, and said, “Your blood be on your heads! From now on I go with a perfectly clear conscience to the Gentiles.”

Corinth - The original Corinth is near modern Corinth in southern Greece. An ancient Greek city, and chief town of the Roman province of Achaia, it was at this time governed by proconsul Gallio. Located near the narrow strip of land separating the Adriatic from the Aegean Seas, and through which ran the north-south highway linking the rest of Greece with the southern Peloponnesus, Corinth was a vital centre of commerce. A cosmopolitan city with the temple of Aphrodite – goddess of love and fertility – and with two nearby ports including Cenchrea, Corinth was well known for its sexual immorality –

Then he left them and went to the house of a man called Titius Justus, a man who reverenced God and whose house was next door to the synagogue. …. Paul settled down there (in Corinth) for eighteen months (his second longest recorded stay in a city during his three Missionary Journeys) and taught them God’s message.

Then, while Gallio was governor of Achaia the Jews banded together to attack Paul …. (but Gallio) flatly refuse(s) to be judge in these matters. ….. Paul stayed for some time (in Corinth) after this incident

…….. and then (Paul) took leave of the brothers and sailed for Syria, taking Priscilla and Aquila with him. At Cenchrea [19] he had his hair cut short, for he had taken a solemn vow. They all arrived at Ephesus [20] and there Paul left Aquila and Priscilla, but he himself went into the synagogue and debated with the Jews. When they asked him to stay longer he refused, bidding them farewell with the words, “If if is God’s will I will come back to you again” (which he does on his Third Missionary Journey). Then he set sail from Ephesus and went down to Caesarea [21]. Here he disembarked and after paying his respects to the Church in Jerusalem [22], he went down to Antioch [23]. He spent some time there before he left (on his Third Journey) ……

Map 20. Paul Writes his Two Letters to the Thessalonians (during his Second Journey)

Map 21. Paul’s Third Missionary Journey, returning to Asia Minor and Greece c AD53-58

Taken from Acts 18:23b-20:3a - (After spending some time in Syrian Antioch [1], Paul starts on his Third Missionary Journey, and ….) proceeded to visit systematically throughout Galatia [2] and Phyrgia [3] putting new heart into all the disciples as he went.

Now a Jew called Apollos, a native of Alexandria and a gifted speaker, well-versed in the scriptures, arrived at Ephesus. …. This man began to speak with great boldness in the synagogue. but when Priscilla and Aquila heard him they took him aside and explained the Way of God to him more accurately.

Then as he wanted to cross into Achaia, the brothers gave him every encouragement and wrote a letter to the disciples there, asking them to make him welcome. …..

Ephesus - South of modern Izmir or Smyrna in Western Turkey, and at that time capital of the Roman province of Asia. One of the three greatest cities of the eastern Mediterranean with a population of perhaps 250,000 – the other two being Alexandria in Egypt and Syrian Antioch, Ephesus was an important port with good access to the interior of Asia Minor. As a centre for the worship of Artemis or Diana – the Asian goddess of fertility, her temple was one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. The great theatre could hold 25,000 people:

While Apollos was in Corinth Paul journeyed through the upper parts of the country (the high inland plateau of Asia Minor) and arrived at Ephesus [4]. There he discovered some disciples (… who he baptises in the Holy Spirit),

Then Paul made his way into the synagogue there (in Ephesus) and for three months he spoke with the utmost confidence …. But when some of them hardened in their attitude towards the message and refused to believe it ….. Paul left them, and withdrew his disciples, and held daily discussions in the lecture-hall of Tyrannus. He continued this practice for two years (… Paul’s longest recorded stay in any one location during his three Missionary Journeys), so that all who lived in Asia (not just Ephesus, but the surrounding country), both Greeks and Jews, could hear the Lord’s message. (Paul continues to preach and also to heal, and with such success that a number who previously practised magic publicly burn their highly-prized books)

(Towards the end of his 3 year stay in Ephesus, Paul probably wrote his First Letter to the church in Corinth)

After these events Paul set his heart on going to Jerusalem by way of Macedonia and Achaia, remarking, “After I have been there I must see Rome as well.” .

Then he despatched to Macedonia (the province that included the cities of Philippi and Thessalonica) two of his assistants, Timothy and Erastus, while he himself stayed for a while in Asia.

(Paul is now publicly attacked by the many craftsmen whose livelihood depends on the worship of the goddess Diana and a near-riot ensues)

…… After this disturbance had died down, Paul sent for the disciples and after speaking encouragingly said good-bye to them, and went on his way to Macedonia [5]. As he made his way through these districts (… of Macedonia, Paul probably wrote his Second Letter to the Corinthians after Titus’ return from Corinth) …. he spoke many heartening words to the people and then went on to Greece [6] (including Corinth), where he stayed for three months.

(During his stay in Corinth, Paul is believed to have written his Letter to the church in Rome. According to this Letter, either on his way from Macedonia or during his three months stay in Greece, Paul led or organised a mission to Illyricum or Dalmatia – the area of the old Yugoslavia.)

PAUL’S THIRD MISSIONARY JOURNEY CONCLUDED; THE RETURN TO JERUSALEM c AD58

Taken from Acts 20:3b-12 – 21:15 – Then (after staying in Greece [6] …) when he (Paul) was on the point of setting sail for Syria the Jews made a further plot against him and he decided to make his way back (by land) through Macedonia [7]. His companions on the journey were Sopater a Beroean … two Thessalonians … Gaius from Derbe, Timothy, and two Asians….. This party proceeded to Troas to await us there while we sailed from Philippi [8] after the days of unleavened bread. and joined them five days later at Troas [9], where we spent a week.

(At Troas, Paul’s lengthy teaching almost leads to the death of a young man Eutychus who goes to asleep and falls out of window!)

Meanwhile we had gone aboard the ship and sailed on ahead for Assos, intending to pick up Paul there ….. since he himself had planned to go overland. When he met us on our arrival at Assos [10] we took him aboard and went on to Mitylene [11]. We sailed from there and arrived off the coast of Chios [12] the next day. On the day following we crossed to Samos [13], and the day after that we reached Miletus [14]. For Paul had decided to sail past Ephesus with the idea of spending as little time as possible in Asia. He hoped, if it should prove possible, to reach Jerusalem in time for the day of Pentecost.

At Miletus he sent to Ephesus to summon the elders of the Church. On their arrival he addressed them …… What saddened them most of all was his saying that they would never see his face gain……

When we had finally said farewell to them we set sail, running a straight course to Cos [15], and the next day we went to Rhodes [16] and from there to Patara [17]. Here we found a ship bound for Phoenicia, and we went aboard her and set sail. After sighting Cyprus [18] and leaving it on our left we sailed to Syria and put in at Tyre [19], since that was where the ship was to discharge her cargo. We sought out the disciples there and stayed with them for a week (… the disciples warn Paul not to go up to Jerusalem). ….. We sailed away from Tyre and arrived at Ptolemais [20]. We greeted the brothers there and stayed with them for just one day. On the following day we left and proceeded to Caesarea [21] and there we went to stay at the house of Philip the evangelist (… again he is warned of the dangers of returning to Jerualem).

After this we made our preparations and went up to Jerusalem [22].

PAUL’S LETTERS

Map 22. Paul Writes his First Letter to the Corinthians

Map 23. Paul Writes his Second Letter to the Corinthians

Map 24. Paul Writes to the Galatians

Map 25. Paul Writes to the Romans

Map 26. Paul’s Journey under Arrest from Palestine to Rome c AD58-61

Taken from Acts 27:12 – 28:31 - ….. (two years after Paul’s original arrest in Jerusalem [1] and his journey to Caesarea [2]), Paul and some other prisoners were put in charge of a centurion named Julius…… We embarked on a ship hailing from Adramyttium, bound for the Asian ports, and set sail. …..

On the following day we put in at Sidon [3], where Julius treated Paul most considerately by allowing him to visit his friends and accept their hospitality.

From Sidon we put to sea again and sailed to leeward of Cyprus [4], since the wind was against us. Then, when we had crossed the gulf that lies off the coasts of Cilicia [5] and Pamphylia [6], we arrived at Myra [7] in Lycia. There the centurion found an Alexandrian ship bound for Italy and put us aboard her. For several days we beat slowly up to windward and only just succeeded in arriving off Cnidus [8]. Then, since the wind was still blowing against us, we sailed under the lee of Crete, and rounded Cape Salmone [9]. Coasting along with difficulty we came to a place called Fair Havens [10], near which is the city of Lasea. ………

(In spite of Paul’s warnings, the ship continued on its way) …… the majority were in favour of setting sail again in the hope of reaching Phoenix [11] and wintering there. Phoenix is a harbour in Crete, facing south-west and north-west. So, when a moderate breeze sprang up, thinking they had obtained just what they wanted, they weighed anchor, and coasted along, hugging the shores of Crete. But before long a terrific gale, which they called a north-easter, swept down upon us from the land. The ship was caught by it and since she could not be brought up into the wind we had to let her fall off and run before it. Then, running under the lee of a small island called Clauda [12], we managed with some difficulty to secure the ship’s boat. After hoisting it aboard they used cables to brace the ship. To add to the difficulties they were afraid all the time of drifting on to the Syrtis banks [13], so they shortened sail and lay to, drifting. (The writer of Acts then describes the terrible storm which finally casts them up alive on the shore of Malta) …. On the fourteenth night of the storm, as we were drifting in the Adriatic [14], about midnight the sailors sensed that we were nearing land. …..

After our escape we discovered that the island was called Melita [15].  (Paul’s stay on Malta is described) ….. … It was no less than three months later that we set sail in an Alexandrian ship which had wintered in the island …… We put in at Syracuse [16] and stayed there three days, and from there we tacked round to Rhegium [17]. A day later the south wind sprang up and we sailed to Puteoli [18], reaching it in only two days. There we found some of the brothers and they begged us to stay a week with them, and so we finally came to Rome.

The brothers there had heard about us and came out from the city to meet us, as far as the Market of Appius [19] and the Three Taverns [20]. ….

When we reached Rome [21] Paul was given permission to live alone with the soldier who was guarding him (where he stayed for at least two years after which he was either executed or released).

Map 27. Paul writes from Prison in Rome – to Colossians, Philemon, Ephesians and Philippians

Map 28. Paul Writes his First Pastoral or Teaching Letter to Timothy

Map 29. Paul Writes his Pastoral or Teaching Letter to Titus

Map 30. Paul Writes his Second Pastoral or Teaching Letter to Timothy