FIRST MISSIONARY JOURNEY
FIRST MISSIONARY JOURNEY Act 13-14
48 A.D.From Antioch Paul, Barnabas
and John Mark begin their first journey.
They travel to Cypress (Cyprus) and Perga.
They took John Mark to assist them
THE ISLAND OF CYPRUS
IN THE SYNAGOGUES AT SALAMIS... Ac 13:5
Barnabas and Paul preached the word of God
The encounter with a false prophet Bar-Jesus Elymas and conversion
of Sergius Paulus the ProConsul - Ac 13:6-11
From now on Luke uses the name Paul instead of Saul
THE REGIONS OF PAMPHYLIA, PISIDIA, AND LYCAONIA (46-47
AT PERGA of Pamphylia
John Mark leaves Paul and Barnabas at Perga and returns to
Jerusalem (see Acts 13:13).
After Perga Paul and Barnabas journey to Antioch in Pisidia,
Iconium, Lystra and Derbe.
AT ANTIOCH OF PISIDIA...
Paul's sermon in the synagogue - Ac 13:14-41
Rejection by the Jews and reception by the Gentiles - Ac 13:42-49
Expulsion by the Jews - Ac 13:50-52
Paul and his companions stayed "a long
The city eventually became divided between the Jews and the
apostles, and an attempt to stone them forced Paul and his
companions to flee to Lystra and Derbe - Ac 14:4-7
Paul heals a lame man - Ac 14:8-18
Jews from Antioch and Iconium persuade the multitude to stone Paul
- Ac 14:19-20; 2Co 11:25
AT DERBE Ac 14:21a
Agrippa II made king of Chaleis.
RESIDING IN ANTIOCH OF SYRIA (48-49 A.D.)
Paul and Barnabas go back and return to Antioch.
Cumanus made procurator of Judaea
Paul and Barnabas Ordained for the Mission among
the Gentiles at Antioch by the representatives of the Churches in
Act 13:4 So they, being sent forth by the Holy
Spirit, went down to Seleucia.
sailing to Cyprus (Act 13:4).
MARK THE EVANGELIST
joined Paul and Barnabas in Salamis
John Mark was born in the Pentapolis or Qairawan
(Now Tunisia or Libya according to other sources) approximately 15
years after the birth of Jesus. His mother Mary (Act 12:12) moved to
Jerusalem where she had a home which became the meeting place of
Christians during the persecution soon after the resurrection of
Jesus. We should therefore expect him to be closely involved with
the ministry of Jesus and his passion. Most probably taking into the
traditions of the authors of the period, Mark was the young man who
"fled from them naked" at Gethsemane during the arrest of Jesus
(Mark 14:51-52). Traditionally, Mark is said to be the man who
carried water to the house where the Last Supper took place (Mark
14:13). Coptic Church tradition additionally states that Mark is the
one who hosted the disciples in his house after the death of Jesus,
into whose house the resurrected Jesus Christ came (John 20), and
into whose house the Holy Spirit descended on the disciples at
Pentecost. Mark is also believed to be one of the
servants at the Marriage at Canaa who poured out the water that
Jesus turned to wine (John 2:1-11), and was one of the Seventy
Apostles sent out by Christ (Luke 10:1).
He is the author of the earliest Gospel to be
written (it was written in Greek around AD 70). His symbol is Lion
representing the Lion of Judah aspect which is portrayed in the
The Alexandrian church claims Mark as its
founder—the liturgy of that church is called the Liturgy of St.
Mark. His symbol as an evangelist is a lion. It is reported that
Mark was the secretary of Apostle Peter and hence the Gospel is
probably written from the point of view of Peter. Papias (around 100
AD) says Mark wrote down the stories Peter told, but not necessarily
in chronological order.
A further report of Mark as the amanuensis of
Peter and an earlier Secret Gospel of Mark is given in a
letter of Clement of Alexandria (died ca 211 - 216),
transcribed into a printed book in the monastery of Mar Saba, south
of Jerusalem. In it Clement states:
""As for Mark, then, during Peter's stay in Rome
he wrote an account of the Lord's doings, not, however, declaring
all of them, nor yet hinting at the secret ones, but selecting what
he thought most useful for increasing the faith of those who were
being instructed. But when Peter died a martyr, Mark came over to
Alexandria, bringing both his own notes and those of Peter, from
which he transferred to his former book the things suitable to
whatever makes for progress toward knowledge. Thus he composed a
more spiritual Gospel for the use of those who were being perfected.
Nevertheless, he yet did not divulge the things not to be uttered,
nor did he write down the hierophantic teaching of the Lord, but to
the stories already written he added yet others and, moreover,
brought in certain sayings of which he knew the interpretation
would, as a mystagogue, lead the hearers into the innermost
sanctuary of that truth hidden by seven veils. Thus, in sum, he
prepared matters, neither grudgingly nor incautiously, in my
opinion, and, dying, he left his composition to the church in
Alexandria, where it even yet is most carefully guarded, being read
only to those who are being initiated into the great mysteries."
An extensive and satisfyingly circumstantial
account of Mark's life was written by Severus, Bishop of Al-Ushmunain,
in the 10th century. It might have been a legendary account as
handed down to that period. According to this account, Mark was the
nephew of Barnabas, who was cousin to Peter's wife. Mark was one of
the servants at the wedding feast at Canaa who poured out the water
that Jesus Christ turned to wine. This was Jesus' first public
miracle. Mark was one of the Seventy Apostles sent out by Christ; he
was the servant who carried water to the house of Simon the Cyrenian,
where the Last Supper took place; and Mark was the one who hosted
the disciples in his house after the death of Jesus, and into whose
house the resurrected Jesus Christ came, although all the doors were
He evangelized Libya, Ammonicia & Pentapolis, and
then settled in Alexandria. Mark was the first to preach the Gospel
in Alexandria and he established the Church there in 48 AD. He
became the first bishop of Alexandria.
However Alexandria turned out to be first School to encourage
studies in science, philosophy, music, math and language
In 68 A.D. he was martyred and they tried to burn
his body. Afterwards, the Christians in Alexandria removed his
unburned body from the ashes, wrapped it and then buried it in the
easterly part of the church they had built. His remains were later
stolen and taken to Venice. They were not returned to Egypt until
John Mark being the nephew of Apostle Barnabas
joined the journey along with Paul and Barnabas. He left the mission
when faced with the difficulties of the journey. Later he joined
Barnabas in is further journeys. When Paul and Barnabas, who had
been in Antioch, came to Jerusalem, they brought Mark back to
Antioch with them (Act 12:5),
He was martyred in 68 AD when pagans of Serapis (the
Serapion-Abbis Greek Egyptian god) tied him to a horse's tail and
dragged him through the streets of Alexandria's district of Bokalia
for two days until his body was torn to pieces. His head is in a
church named after him in Alexandria, and parts of his relics are in
St. Mark's Cairo's Cathedral. The rest of his relics are in the San
Marco Cathedral in Venice, Italy.
Cyprus: Salamis: Acts 13:4-5
Act 13:6 -12 and when they had gone through the
whole island unto Paphos, they found a certain sorcerer, a false
prophet, a Jew, whose name was Bar-Jesus; who was with the
proconsul, Sergius Paulus, a man of understanding. The same called
unto him Barnabas and Saul, and sought to hear the word of God. But
Elymas the sorcerer (for so is his name by interpretation) withstood
them, seeking to turn aside the proconsul from the faith. But Saul,
who is also called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit,
fastened his eyes on him, and said, O full of all guile and all
villainy, thou son of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness,
wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord? And now,
behold, the hand of the Lord is upon thee, and thou shalt be blind,
not seeing the sun for a season. And immediately there fell on him a
mist and darkness; and he went about seeking some to lead him by the
hand. Then the proconsul, when he saw what was done, believed, being
astonished at the teaching of the Lord.
the Elymas – the sorcerer
Elymas means "Wise" in Arabic, while Bar-Yeshua
(Bariesous) literally means "son of Jesus" in Aramaic. Bar-Jesus was
the magician's Jewish name. Elymas is said to be the interpretation
of his name (Acts 13:8). It is the Greek transliteration of an
Aramaic or Arabic word equivalent to Greek magos. From Arabic `alama,
"to know" is derived `alim, "a wise" or "learned man." In Koran,
Sura106, Moses is called Sachir `alim, "wise magician." Elymas
therefore means "sorcerer" Simon "Magus" was a magician. Manichaean
was a magician. They were all Gnostics. It is not to be considered
as a derogatory term. In Sanskrit we have the term Gnaani – "One who
Babylonia was the home of magic, for charms are
found on the oldest tablets. "Magos" was originally applied to the
priests of the Persians. In the olden days priests were also
scientists and physicians. Magis were the scientists of their day,
the heirs of the science of Babylon and the lore of Persia. They
were Doctors of Philosophy of the period – a mixture of Science,
Philosophy and Religion. So we see why Bar-Jesus was the counselor
to Sergius Paulus.
He must have been a Jewish Essene Kabbalists with
emphasis on Ritual Power. Jewish mysticism has historically been
tinged by large doses of magic, superstition, and demonology. It was
common practice for the Roman officials to retain the powerful
personals in Jewish cults to be their counsels and advisers. They
were well known for their intelligence and cunningness, There is a
tradition in Cyprus, that Paul was taken to the entrance of the
local synagogue and tied to a special pillar, where he received 39
lashes as atonement for the ‘intentional sin’ of preaching
about the Lord Jesus Christ probably under the instruction of Elymas..
This pillar at St Paul’s church in Paphos, once the site of an
ancient synagogue, is still visited by countless pilgrims from
around the globe to this day. This might have interested the
Pro-Counsel to call for Paul to hear his message. This is probably
where the confrontation with Elymas took place which resulted in the
miracle of blinding of Elymas and the conversion of Sergius Paulus.
Like all religious Spiritualist who gives extreme
importance and power to symbols and words, the Jewish mystics –
known as Kaballists – have tended to magic and witchcraft.
Apocryphal writings to give ample testimony to the presence of magic
and witchcraft as part of the Jewish tradition. Elymas might have
been one such powerful mystic who could perform miracles. Paul
became a rival to Elymas. Hence the conflict.
We see powerful magic as done by the magicians of
Pharaoh. The Pharaoh had his magician cast down his staff and it
became a snake. Moses does the same with his staff and it too
becomes a snake, which immediately devours the Pharaohs
snake...implying that God's magic is stronger than Pharaohs. It
shows that magic is real in the universe which is brought about by
some form of Physical and Spiritual laws. These included often the
power of spoken words. It was always believed that the correct
pronunciation of YHVH was sufficient to produce miracle. It was
actually said that Jesus did his miracles because of he knew the
name of God.
Blinding of Elymas the magician (13:6-11)
Giorgio Giulio Clovio. Elymas the Prophet, Struck with Blindness
by St. Paul. 15th century
In 45 A.D. Paul the Apostle, travelling with St.
Barnabas to Cyprus, succeeded in converting the Roman proconsul in
Pafos to the Christian faith - making Cyprus the first country ever
to be governed by a Christian leader.
Sergius Paulus, Paul's first convert on Cyprus had
land holdings in the area (Acts 13:7). In 1877 this inscription was
uncovered a short distance north of Paphos bearing Sergius Paulus’s
name and title of proconsul.
Luke tells us here for the first time
that Saul is also called Paul.
This name is used from now on.
Later, according to the biblical account, St.
Lazarus was resurrected from the dead by Christ and sailed from
Bethany to Cyprus where he lived for another 30 years (apparently
not cracking a smile once in three decades!).
His sarcophagus is in the crypt of St. Lazarus Church in Larnaka.
Thirty-year-old Lazarus, who persecuted by the
Jews, boarded a ship and left his homeland and after a two-day trip,
the ship reached Cyprus. It was at that place in 45 AD, that
Apostles Paul and Barnabas met with Lazarus and ordained him First
Bishop of the ancient city of Kitio that is Larnaca today.
Lazarus lived for another thirty years since his
resurrection by Jesus. All these years he had been gloomy and
sullen. For in the underworld, where he had remained for four days,
he had seen admirable things that were unspoken of.
The only time he had faintly smiled and that was with bitterness
was at the city’s flea market, where he once saw someone steal a
clay pot. "Look over there", he said to his friends who were with
him, "one clay is stealing another!"
Outside Kitio, there was a great, big-leafed vineyard. Just
before harvest, when big, juicy, ripe bunches of grapes hang from
the vines, the saint happened to walk nearby. He had been walking
for hours and was extremely thirsty. There, a woman who was the
owner of the vineyard was working
"Please, woman", he said with much kindness, "may I have some
grapes? I am dying of thirst."
However, the cruel and heartless woman scolded him:
"Go to your work, old man. This place produces only salt, not
"I bless this place, always to have salt to
At once, the vineyard became a vast, salt marsh. It is the very
salt marsh that is located today just outside the city of Larnaca.
The workers in our days, who collect the salt, say that even today
when they dig up, they can still find roots and stems of that vine.
When the saint died, the people of Kitio, who loved him very
much, for he had helped them through hard times, buried him in a
carved coffin bearing the inscription:
"Lazarus the man of four days and friend of
The stone coffin was placed in a chapel.
Lazarus-church in Larnaka
After many years, in 890 AD, the sacred bones of
the saint were transferred to Constantinople at the command of Leo
VI the Wise. In return, the Emperor sent money and skilful builders
to Cyprus to build a magnificent church in Larnaca that bears the
Ancient walls of Pafos
Holy See of Paphos
The Apostles Paul and Barnabas founded the Church
of Paphos in 46 A.D.
It was the first Christian church that was
founded by the Apostles. Later Saint Heraclidius and Bishop Epafras
organized it, with the help of the Apostle Barnabas. Paphos, at that
time, was the capital of Cyprus, It participated in the First
Ecumenical Council, held in Nice in 325 A.D., with Bishop Cyril or
Cyriacos. Bishop of Paphos Loulios participated in the Second
Ecumenical Council that took place in Constantinople in 381AD.
Bishop of Paphos Saprikios participated in the Third Ecumenical
Council that took place in Ephesus in 431 and confirmed the
Autocephalous of the Church of Cyprus. Since 330 A.D. Cyprus was a
district of Byzantium, and Christianity was the official religion of
Still standing temple corner in Perge.
Roman Theatre in Perge
There John Mark left them and returned to Jerusalem. Because of
this, Paul considered him unreliable and would later refuse to work
with him (Acts 15:38).
Paul and Barnabas arrived here along with
Barnabas’ nephew John Mark who abandoned the team from there. This
proved to be a point of contention that eventually divided Paul and
Roman road to Antioch-Pisidia
The rough, mountainous passage caused Antioch to
be isolated since it was the only way in and out of the city. (Were
these mountains daunting to John Mark, and the reason he chose not
Travelling northward from Perga to Pisidian
Antioch, Saul and Barnabas followed the Roman road known as the Via
Sebaste. With the mountains looming in the distance, the 100-mile
journey took them about a week (travelling about 15 miles a day) and
was extremely dangerous
Antioch in Pisidia
On the west side of the city are the foundations
of the synagogue where Saul gave his first recorded sermon. In the
4th century AD the Church of St. Paul was built on the remains,
incorporating its southern wall. Although most of the walls have
disappeared, the superb mosaics and inscriptions which entirely
cover the floor are worth seeing. At the centre of the mosaic are
four Greek inscriptions giving the names of people who made the
mosaic floor and the names of priests and dedicators. One of those
mentioned is Optimus, a leader and bishop in the Antioch church
between 375-381 AD. It is significant that this is the only church
in ancient Anatolia built on the site of a synagogue.
Pisidian Antioch: View of the remains of the
temple and altar where the emperor was worshiped - always
problematic to Christians.
View of the remains of the aqueduct that brought
water to the city.
The foundations of the triple city gate built as a
monument commemorating the victory of the Roman emperor Septimus
Severus over the Parthians
The theatre was situated on a hill not far from
the city centre overlooking the city. It could accommodate 5,000
spectators and probably consisted of 26 rows of seats. The city's
main east-west street ran through a tunnel beneath the south side of
the seating area, an unusual feature that has not been observed
Act 13:50 But the Jews urged on the devout women of honourable
estate, and the chief men of the city, and stirred up a persecution
against Paul and Barnabas, and cast them out of their borders.
Act 13:51 but they shook off the dust of their feet against them,
and came unto Iconium.
People attempted to stone them.
Coin from Lystra
An inscription on a stone at the site of Lystra
(again, note the word "Lustra," in the fourth line) was a key to
determining the location of the city.
Lystra is mentioned seven times in the NT. It was
a Gentile and largely Latin speaking colony, using a dialect that
was beyond the comprehension of Paul and Barnabas. The Book of Acts
reports that Paul and Barnabas "fled to Lyaconia," to the cities of
Derbe and Lystra, Iconium, Sadettin, and Kervansaray.
Christ healed ALL who came to Him by THEIR
Peter and John healed the cripple man in the name of Jesus
The Apostle Paul healed all who came to him by THEIR "Faith"
Act 14:11 and when the multitude saw what Paul
had done, they lifted up their voice, saying in the speech of
Lycaonia, The gods are come down to us in the likeness of men.
Act 14:12 and they called Barnabas, Jupiter; and
Paul, Mercury, because he was the chief speaker.
At Lystra, Paul healed a man with crippled feet. People thought
Paul and Barnabas were the gods Zeus and Hermes. They brought oxen
and garlands to offer a sacrifice, but Paul prevented it. Later,
people turned against Paul. They stoned him and dragged him out of
Hermes was the messenger of the gods. Since Paul
did the talking, the people identified Paul with Hermes and Barnabas
with the more distant figure of Zeus.
Zeus was the highest of the gods in the Greek
Zeus is the God of the skies – the thunder God.
Act 14:19-20 but there came Jews thither from Antioch and Iconium:
and having persuaded the multitudes, they stoned Paul, and dragged
him out of the city, supposing that he was dead. But as the
disciples stood round about him, he rose up, and entered into the
city: and on the morrow he went forth with Barnabas to Derbe.
The Stoning of St Paul and St Barnabas at Lystra
Signed and dated: Barent Fabritius 1672
Act 14:21 And when they had preached the gospel to that city, and
had made many disciples.
Attalia was the chief port of the region of