Paul’s First Missionary Journey

Acts 13-14

During their first missionary journey, Paul and Barnabas traveled to several cities in the Roman provinces of Cyprus (Barnabas’s home region; see Acts 4:36-37), Lycia, and Galatia. Over the previous centuries many Jews had been scattered to distant locations like southern Turkey, so this is why Paul and Barnabas were able to find audiences for their message about the Messiah in Jewish synagogues in these cities. Along the way, however, some of these Jews fiercely resisted their message and even persecuted them, and this may have been what led Barnabas’s cousin John Mark (see Colossians 4:10) to leave them and return to Jerusalem. Paul and Barnabas continued on and were able to preach the gospel in Antioch of Pisidia, Iconium, Lystra, and Derbe. Later, Paul, along with Silas, revisited these churches during his second and third missionary journeys to strengthen and encourage them (Acts 15:36-16:5; 18:23). He also wrote the New Testament letter of Galatians to these churches to exhort them to hold firm to the gospel and not follow those who were teaching that righteousness can be achieved by obeying the law of Moses.

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