Illyricum

Though the book of Acts undoubtedly provides an accurate account of the apostle Paul’s journeys, a careful study of Paul’s letters suggests that Acts must not be an exhaustive account. This can be seen most clearly in Paul’s mention in Romans 15:19 of preaching the gospel “from Jerusalem all the way around to Illyricum.” Paul’s letter to the Romans was likely written at Corinth during his third missionary journey, yet Illyricum is never explicitly mentioned in Acts as one of Paul’s destinations up to that point. Acts 20:2 does, however, mention that on his way to Corinth Paul traveled “through that area,” referring to Macedonia, which borders the southern portion of Illyricum. Perhaps Luke intentionally used this vague phrase to indicate that Paul actually traveled throughout Macedonia instead of simply passing through it. The Egnatian Way would have provided efficient travel to the western coast of Macedonia, and from there Paul could have easily visited southern Illyricum. Alternatively, Paul may have organized a trip to Illyricum by ship during his three month stay in Corinth just before he wrote his letter to the Romans. Later, in Paul’s second letter to Timothy (4:10), he also mentions that Titus has gone to Dalmatia (in southern Illyricum), perhaps confirming that Paul had already established contacts there during an earlier visit.

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