Saint Paul’s Missionary Journeys

Saint Paul’s Missionary Journeys

Saint Paul was born in the Roman city of Tarsus, situated on the eastern Mediterranean coast and now Turkey. The story about Paul’s conversion to Christianity takes very important place in the history of this religion. St. Paul travelled really a lot in Asia Minor, trying to convert population to Christianity.

Saint Paul made three missionary journeys before he was arrested in Jerusalem and taken to Rome where he was beheaded in 62 AD. The New Testament contains fourteen epistles written by Saint Paul during his missionary journeys.

Summary of Saint Paul's Missionary Journeys
Paul’s First Missionary Journey

Saint Paul’s first missionary journey done in 47-49 AD. Saint Paul travelled with Barnabas and John Mark from East to West along the Mediterranean coast line by stopping in Seleucia, Antioch, Side and Attaleia (Antalya). They also visited Antioch in Pisidia (Yalvac now days) and Iconium (Konya), Perge and Cyprus. It is being believed that as a result of this journey; many Jews in Pisidia accepted the word of God.

Saint Paul’s Second Missionary Journey

During the Second Journey Paul went much farther. After visiting some of the places from the first trip, he left for Troy and then crossed Dardanelles to go to Macedonia (northern Greece).

He travelled with Silas to Derbe and Lystra (near Konya) where a young Christian Timothy joined them. Evangelist Luc probably joined them in Alexandria Troas.

Whole there, the Lord told Paul in a vision to go to Macedonia to preach; so they went to Thessalonica. Saint Paul spent three days in Thessalonica. He managed to gain support from some citizens by speaking in the synagogue, while others protested and were forced to leave the city at night. Then they went to Barrea where they were well accepted by Jews; but once again Jews from Thessalonica managed to turn people against the preachers. Same thing happened in Athens, a city full of pagan philosophers.

Paul then went to Corinth, where he succeeded in converting the synagogue chief and his family. After spending a year and half preaching in Corinth, Saint Paul visited Ephesus for short, and after travelled back to Jerusalem then finally back to Antioch.
Saint Paul’s Third Missionary Journey

During the 3th Journey; Saint Paul revisit some of the cities and went to Ancyra (Ankara), Smyrna (Izmir), Adramyttium (Edremit) and Ephesus. He found twelve followers of John the Baptist in Ephesus and baptized them in the name of the Lord. He spent two years in this city and his preaching caused problems.

One of interesting stories is the one about the court case against Paul in the Great Theatre.

One of interesting stories is the one about the court case against Paul in the Great Theater. The more people listened to Paul, the less they believed in Artemis, and it was affecting their job, so they brought charges against Saint Paul. But at the end he was released. Although he did not have to leave the city, he realized that this was the right thing to do and went to Assos, Chios, Samos, Trogyllium and Miletus, and from there to Kos, Rhodes, Patara and Syria. A prophet named Agabus told Paul’s companions that Jews in Jerusalem would capture him, so they tried to persuade him not to go there, but he answered that he was ready to die for Jesus…

During the Final Journey between 59 – 60 AD Paul was arrested in Jerusalem and sent to Rome for trial, but a storm prevented him from reaching there…
The Final Journey

Between 59-60 AD, Saint Paul was arrested in Jerusalem, accused of injuring the uprising and then sent to Rome to stand trial. He changed ship in Myra (Demre) and set out for Knidos, at the tip of the peninsula west of Marmaris which is a port where ships usually wait for favourable winds.

So now we can understand why Turkey attracts so many tourists interested in the history of Christianity. Especially on Biblical Tours with so many places mentioned in the holy book.