Early Missions

Intro to the Early Church

Week 4

  • Acts 12:25 – 16:5

This week we look at Paul's travels to some of the more distant churches in what is now modern Turkey, over seven hundred miles from where the church began in Jerusalem. The gospel continues to spread among non-Jewish populations, and persecution continues to keep Paul and his companions on the move.

People & Places

  • Barnabas
    Also known as Joseph, he was first mentioned at the very end of chapter 4. He works closely with Paul both in funding their travel and in evangelism, healing, and teaching. He is mentioned in several letters outside of Acts.

  • Timothy
    Coming from Lystra, he was the son of a Christian Jewish mother and Greek Gentile father, giving him an ideal background to minister to both groups. He would become a partner with Paul in many future travels.

  • Iconium
    This truly ancient city was probably near three thousand years old by the time of the book of Acts. It was one of the targets of the unknown Sea Peoples, attacking during the Bronze Age collapse of 1200BC. The modern name for the city is Konya, in Turkey. It has about the same latitude as San Francisco.

  • Lystra
    This smaller city is almost 20 miles south of Iconium. It probably had a much smaller Jewish population than other cities visited by Paul. Today, there is a small village nearby but the remnants of the old city have not been archaeologically explored.

Konya, Turkey • modern-day Iconium

Historical Context

Around the years AD 48 - 50:

  • Rome defeats and disarms Briton.

  • Jews are expelled from the city of Rome.

  • Roman emperor Claudius adopts Nero.