Produce a chronology together with exegetical comments of the missionary journeys of Paul and his companions.

In AD 30, shortly after the death of Jesus, the Church was founded and established by the Apostles and they converted many people to Christianity on the day of Pentecost. Between the years AD 32 - 35, Saul was converted on the road to Damascus by a vision of Jesus, and was then renamed to be known as 'Paul'. Then around AD 46 or 47, Paul and Barnabas were set apart by the Holy Spirit and sent out on their first missionary journey, starting from the church in Antioch, Syria.

First Missionary Journey: AD 46/47 Acts 13 - 14 Antioch - Acts 13:4: Paul and Barnabas are sent out by the appointment and choosing of the Holy Spirit from the church of Antioch in Syria. The church fasted and prayed and the Spirit gave them direction. Seleucia - Acts 13:4: Paul and Barnabas sailed from here to Salamis, Cyprus. Nothing is said about Seleucia as a place or the people there in Acts, suggesting that Luke 'probably knew the Pauline theological principle, 'To the Jew first, and also to the Greek''1 Salamis - Acts 13:5: Here on their journey, they were joined by John Mark, a cousin of Barnabas, as an assistant. From here they preached all across the island in the synagogues until they arrived at Paphos.

1

C. K. Barrett, Acts, a shorter commentary, pp.193

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Paphos - Acts 13:6-12: On arriving at Paphos, they met a Jewish false prophet who tries to interfere with their evangelism to the Proconsul, but Paul makes him blind by the power of the Spirit which leads to the Proconsuls conversion. Perge, Pamphylia - Acts 13:13: John Mark leaves the duo here at the port town of Perge, and Paul and Barnabas continue inland to Pisidian Antioch where they preached to the Jews and Gentiles, but were then drove out of the city by jealous Jews. Iconium - Acts 14: 1-4: After escaping to Iconium from Perge, Paul and Barnabas preached to the people for a long time and performed signs, but the city was divided in their opinions of them. A mob formed and wanted to stone them, so they fled to the region of Lycadonia. Lystra and Derbe - Acts 14: 5-19: The people in this region thought that Paul and Barnabas were the Greek gods after they healed a lame man. Soon after, some Jews arrived from Iconium and turned the crowds against Paul and they stoned him and left him for dead outside the city. The Disciples of the area came to his aid and he and Barnabas left for Derbe. After preaching in Derbe, they returned back the way they had come and preached and set up elders in the churches they planted until they finally arrived back in Antioch of Syria, where they stayed for a long time. Not long after this journey, Paul wrote the letter to the Galatians to refute some bad teachings from Jewish-Christian people who had gone there after Paul.

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Second Missionary Journey: AD 48 - 51 Acts 15:36 - 18:22 Antioch - Acts 15: 36-41: Paul and Barnabas separate because of a disagreement over John Mark because he deserted them earlier and did not help. Barnabas took John Mark to Cyprus and Paul took Silas to Derbe. Derbe to Lystra to Iconium - Acts 16: 1-7: Paul and Silas travelled through Derbe to Lystra where they met Timothy who joined them on their travels. From there they went to Iconium and preached in the towns. Troas to Neapolis to Philippi - Acts 16: 8-40: In Troas, it would appear that Luke has joined them on the journey as the writing of Acts suddenly changes from "they went" to "we went". From here they sailed out to Neapolis for a day and then moved on to Philippi. In Philippi, they met a woman who converted and let them be guests in her house. A demon-possessed girl came to the group and Paul delivered her which resulted in their arrest. Somewhere around this time, Luke seems to have left them as the writing style changes yet again to a 3rd person narrative. After being released, they made their way via Amphipolis and Apollonia to Thessalonica. Thessalonica - Acts 17: 1-9: Once in Thessalonica, Paul preached three weeks in a row, but after a while the Jews got jealous and got a mob to try and attack Paul and his followers. The believers in the town got Paul out and sent him off to Berea. Berea - Acts 17: 10-15: Paul teaches in the synagogues and the people there are more willing to accept the message, but Jews from Thessalonica come to stir up trouble. The believers there escorted Paul to the coast while Silas and Timothy stayed behind.

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Athens - Acts 17: 16-34: Paul preached to the philosophers of Athens while he waited for Timothy and Silas, and some believed the message while others laughed. Afterwards Paul moved onto Corinth. Corinth - Acts 18: 1-18: Timothy and Silas rejoin Paul (18:5) After the Jews insult Paul and his teachings, he moves on to preaching just to the Gentiles at Titus Justis' home. The Jews tried to have Paul arrested but their plan failed so Paul left to go back to Syria taking Priscilla and Aquila with him. It was around this time that Paul wrote 1 Thessalonians and then a few months later he wrote 2 Thessalonians. Ephesus to Caesarea to Jerusalem to Antioch - Acts 18: 19-22: At Ephesus, Paul left the group behind and went to the synagogue. The Jews wanted him to stay but Paul left because, according to some manuscripts, he wanted to get to a festival in Jerusalem. Passing through Caesarea and Jerusalem, Paul finally arrived back in Antioch where he stayed for a while.

Third Missionary Journey: AD 53 - 58 Acts 18: 23 - 21: 16 Antioch - Acts 18:23: Paul visited Galatia and Phrygia to encourage the believers there, after being in Antioch, Syria for a while. Ephesus - Acts 19 - 20:1: After travelling through the interior provinces, Paul arrived at Ephesus and ministered for two years to Jews and Greeks. He did unusual miracles here where cloth that had touched his skin was used to heal the sick. C. K. Barrett's Acts commentary makes note of the fact that skin contact is always a common feature in healing miracles, or any miracle for that matter.2 A riot also broke out because of Paul's teaching here, of which afterwards he left for Macedonia, visiting all the towns along the way. It was
2

C. K. Barrett, Acts, a shorter commentary, pp.292

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also here in Ephesus that Paul wrote 1 Corinthians around AD 54 and then at some point around AD 56, in his travels to one of these Macedonian towns, Paul wrote the second letter to the Corinthians. Greece - Acts 20: 2-6: On arriving in Greece, Paul stayed for three months and then planned to go back to Syria. Around the year AD 57, whilst Paul was in this area, he was likely to have written the letter to the Romans. A Jewish plot against his life was made so he decided to return through Macedonia instead. Several men join the journey at this point and it appears Luke is back with Paul again as the writing has changed back to the 1st person: 'They went ahead and waited for us at Troas.' (Acts 20:5, emphasis added) They then boarded at Philippi and sailed to Troas. Troas - Acts 20: 7-16: Paul preached here for a week, and during that time, someone fell from a window and died, who Paul then raised and sent home. Paul travelled by foot to Assos and met Luke and the others again. They then sailed to Miletus via Mitylene avoiding Ephesus. Miletus - Acts 20: 17-38: Whilst in Miletus, Paul sends a message to the elders at the Ephesus church, inviting them to come and see him. When they arrive, Paul teaches and encourages them. Paul then leaves and goes to the province of Phoenicia via Cos, Rhodes and Patara. (Acts 21: 1-2) Tyre - Acts 21: 3-6: The group go ashore here and meet some other believers, many of whom prophesied not to go to Jerusalem. They then leave and go to Ptolemais for a day and then carry on to Caesarea. Caesarea - Acts 21: 7-16: Here they stayed for several days. A man named Agabus arrives to prophecy that Paul will be captured in Jerusalem if he goes. Paul is not persuaded by his friends to leave Jerusalem out of his travels and he goes there anyway - despite all the

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warnings from the Holy Spirit. So was Paul going against the will of God here, or was he actually inadvertently following God's will by continuing to Jerusalem? It would appear that by looking at Acts 23: 11, that it was God's will all along for Paul to be there as the Lord appeared to him in a dream telling Paul to be encouraged because he is now to go and evangelise in Rome. Once Paul got to Jerusalem, he was attacked by a mob and arrested. The Roman officials took hold of Paul and beat him. He was released and later the Jews planned to kill him again, which was found out about and avoided. Paul was then taken to see other Roman officials and eventually arrived at Rome where he continued to preach under guard. All these events after the third missionary journey are sometimes known as 'Paul's fourth missionary journey'. As for the rest of the Pauline Epistles in the New Testament that are not mentioned above at any time, they were all written whilst Paul was in prison at different stages. Although the exact dates for some of the epistles are unknown and debatable, like with Philippians for example because it could have been written while under house arrest in the early 60's AD, but it could also possibly have been written in Caesarea, or maybe even at a time not recorded in Acts.3

3

Lion Handbook to the Bible, pp.720

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Bibliography

Alexander, P., Alexander, D. (eds.) Lion Handbook to the Bible, The, Third Edition, (Lion Hudson Plc; 1st edn, 1973, 2nd edn. 1983, 3rd edn. Hbk. 1999, Pbk. 2002)

Barrett, C. K., Acts, A Shorter Commentary, (Scotland, T&T Clark Ltd.; 2002)

Bruce, F. F., The Pauline Circle, (Australia, Bookhouse Australia Ltd.; 1985)

McGee,

M.,

Chronology

of

Apostle

Paul's

Journeys

and

Epistles,

(http://www.matthewmcgee.org/paultime.html; 1998)

E-Sword, The American Bible Society Maps, (www.americanbible.org; 2004)

New Revised Standard Version, New Testament, (The Division of Education and Ministry; 1990)

The Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Illinois, Tyndale House Publishers, Inc; 1996)

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