The online Bible teaching ministry of John Brand
 AD 50-52Second Missionary JourneyActs 15:36 – 18:22
o.Spring AD 50PreparationActs 15:36-41
p. Derbe and ListraActs 16:1-5
q MacedoniaActs 16:6 – 17:15
r PhilippiActs 16:11-40
s. ThessalonicaActs 17:1-9
t. BereaActs 17:10-15
u. AchaiaActs 17:16 – 18:17
v. AthensActs 17:16-34
w.Late AD 50 – Spring 52CorinthActs 18:1-17
x.Spring – Late AD 52Return to Antioch, via Cenchreae, Ephesus, Caesarea and probably JerusalemActs 18:18-22

o.    Having resolved to revisit the churches established on their travels in Asia Minor, Paul and Barnabas disagree over the involvement of John (Mark) (cp Acts 13:13) and so separate, Barnabas taking John with him and heading for Cyprus, while Paul teams up with Silas and, having been commended by their home church in Antioch, travels through Syria and Celicia, no doubt passing through Paul’s home city of Tarsus.

p. Returning to Derbe and Lystra a few years after their first visit, Paul  recognises in a young believer, Timothy, qualities which will serve his mission well.  The three missionaries travel through Phrygia, Galatia and Mysia, visiting the churches and relaying the decisions of the  Jerusalem Council.  In each case where the decisions are relayed to the churches, Luke describes the result as being one of strengthening.

q. While in Troas, close to what we today call the Dardanelles, Paul receives a night-time vision of a man from Macedonia, on the other side of the Aegean Sea, urging them to go there.  Collectively, they concluded that this was the Lord’s directing them and so “immediately” set their faces towards Macedonia.  Luke appears to have joined the group at Troas because his account  changes at this point (16:10) from they to we and us.  Macedonia was a Roman province, now divided among Greece, the former Yugoslavia, and Bulgaria.  Now, for the first time, the work of the Gospel touches Europe, although in those days there would not have been the sense of moving from one continent to another, but rather from one Roman province to another.

r. The missionaries sail from Troas to Samothrace, Neapolis and then on to Philippi, which would have been a 10 mile walk along the Via Egnatia.  It is thought likely that this was Luke’s home city.

s. Paul and Silas continue along the Via Egnatia, travelling 100 miles through Amphipolis and Apollonia to Thessalonica, now Thessaloniki, in Greece, and at that time the capital of the Roman province of  Macedonia and a busy centre of commerce.  While many – Jews,    Gentiles and leading women – respond in faith, the unbelieving Jews stir up a riot against the missionaries, bringing them and their host,  Jason, before the authorities and accusing them of causing social chaos and upheaval, not to mention treason.  Jason, is bailed, probably on condition that Paul and his companions leave the city, which they do.  These events in Thessalonica provide the necessary backdrop for understanding Paul’s two recorded letters to the Thessalonians.

t. Berea, now Verria or Veroia in Greece, was fifty miles west of Thessalonica.  The Bereans famously demonstrated a great appetite for the Apostolic ministry, apparently meeting with Paul on a daily basis and searching and studying the Scriptures for themselves.  However, as   ever, there is opposition, and trouble makers come from Thessalonica and cause more problems for the missionaries.  Silas and Timothy remain in Berea but Paul sails to Athens, a distance of about 100 miles, accompanied by some of the Christians from Berea, who Paul then sends back to Berea with instructions for Silas and Timothy to re-join him as soon as possible.

u. Achaia is the peninsula south of Macedonia.

v. It is estimated that in Paul’s day Athens had a population of less than 10,000.  It was the intellectual capital of the ancient world, where Socrates, Plato and Aristotle had promoted their respective philosophies. Here, Paul is struck by the abundance of idols in the city.

w. By comparison to Athens, with its probable population of less than 10,000, Corinth (present day Korinthos, Greece), about 60 miles west of Athens, was immense, with anything up to three quarters of a million people. The city which had been built by Julius Caesar in 46 BC was the capital of the Roman province of Achaia, a commercial centre with two ports and the host of the world-famous, biennial Isthmian games.  Corinth was equally renowned for its immorality; it’s very name having become a byword for sexual corruption – to corinthianise.  Paul stays with a Christian couple, Aquilla and Priscilla, who had been expelled from Rome.

At this point Silas and Timothy re-join him (cp 17:15).  Many are converted as a result of his faithful ministry, including Crispus the synagogue ruler.  Paul remains in Corinth for 18 months.  Gallio was the proconsul at the time and we know that his term of office was mid-51 to mid-52 AD.  Paul probably arrived in Corinth sometime in late AD 50 and left 18 months later around the late Spring of AD 52, and while in Corinth wrote the letters to the Thessalonians.

x. From Corinth Paul went to Ephesus, taking Aquila and Priscilla with him.  En route, the party stops at Cenchreae where Paul has his hair cut, in fulfilment of a vow, possibly a Nazirite one.  Paul’s stay in Ephesus was fairly brief and he left Aquila and Priscilla there, promising to return “if God wills”.   He then sailed to Caesarea and while the text reads, at first, as if he visited the church there, it is, in fact, probably a reference to the church in Jerusalem, some 65 miles away, because the phrase “went up…went down” are commonly used in that context.  He returned to  Antioch, probably towards the end of AD 52.

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