Saint Paul’s Second Missionary Journey; The Apostle Paul Extends His Evangelism to Jews and Gentiles to the Core of the Hellenistic World:
In late A.D. 49 the Apostle Paul and Barnabas returned from the Great Council of Jerusalem via the road through Damascus. The prosperous Christian church in Antioch led by the Apostle Peter, then the Bishop of Antioch had again raised financial support for Barnabas, John Mark and Paul. The church sent the evangelists out from Antioch on second missionary journeys (Acts 15:36-39). Barnabas wanted to take John Mark with them again, but Paul did not like the idea because John Mark had chosen to leave them on their 1st trip (Acts15:37-38). Barnabas and John Mark depart Antioch and sailed back to the island of Cyprus (see A.D. 37).
Late in A.D. 49 Paul and Silas departed Antioch and traveled north through the Amanus Mountains via the Syrian Gates (the Belen Pass) into Cilicia, in south eastern Anatolia (modern day Turkey) to the town of Tarsus (Paul’s home town). From there they went through the Cilician Gates (a.k.a. the Gülek Pass which is a pass in the Tarsus Mountains), into Galatia and back through the towns of Derbe, and Lystra (see 1st journey in A.D. 48). In Lystra Paul met and recruited Timothy to join them (A.D. 50). They then continue on to the towns of Iconium and Antioch of Pisidia which were also visited on Paul’s 1st journey. They then headed north across Phrygia in the central Anatolian plateau and then further north through Mysia along the coast of the Marmara Sea past the Hellespont to the western Anatolian port city of Troas (the ancient city of Troy in Homer‘s stories of the Iliad and the Odyssey) where Paul had a vision of a Macedonian man that encouraged him to travel into Macedonia (Acts 16:6-10).
Paul, Timothy and Silas then sailed from Troas to Neapolis (Acts 16:11), the main port in Macedonia. Luke the Apostle (the author of the Gospel of Luke and of the Acts of the Apostles) joined Paul either in Troas or in Neapolis. From Neapolis they traveled westward on the Via Egnatia (the Roman road from Rome to Istanbul, built in 200 B.C. which was the main corridor for commercial traffic through the area). Paul established churches in the cities of Philippi, Thessalonica and Berea. In Philippi Paul and Silas delivered a young slave women from a Pythian spirit (the Pythia was the name given to the prophetess of the oracle of Delphi; a Pythian spirit, means a prophetess) and they were arrested and thrown in jail, however an earthquake opened the gate of the prison (Acts 16:25-34). From Philippi they passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia on their way to Thessalonica. In Thessalonica Paul’s preaching incited a mob reaction and Paul and Silas fled to Berea (Acts 17:10-14).
Paul left Silas and Timothy behind in Berea, journeyed by sea to Athens where Paul preached in the synagogue and debated Epicurean and Stoic philosophers in the marketplace. Here Paul converted Dionysius (a member of the Aeropagus). From Athens he traveled onto Corinth where he met fellow tent-makers Aquila and Priscilla (see A.D. 51). Paul stayed in Corinth for 18 months, and while he was there he was rejoined by Timothy and Silas (Acts 18:1-17). He also wrote the Epistles of First Thessalonians and the Epistle of Second Thessalonians while he was in Corinth. Around A.D. 52 Paul traveled from Corinth to Cenchreae (the port adjacent to Corinth) and he then sailed across the Aegean to the port city of Ephesus (on the south western shore of Anatolia).
From Ephesus Paul sailed to the Palestinian port of Caesarea Maritima. Paul went to Jerusalem (his 4th post-conversion visit) & then back up to Antioch.