Intro to the Early Church
Acts 16:6 – 19:20
This week we see Paul traveling with several companions even further outside Jerusalem and Judea reaching distant Greek cities. Paul would often begin his ministry in a new city by speaking with Jews at their local synagogue but we see more and more that he is taking the gospel directly to the gentiles.
People & Places
Traveling with Paul, he helped spread the gospel and co-authored first and second Thessalonians. Silas is also imprisoned with Paul as detailed in chapter 16.
Escaped Rome with his family after emperor Claudius expelled the Jewish population. Roman historians reference this event, saying “since the Jews constantly disturbed things because of 'Chrestus', emperor Claudius expelled them from Rome.” Many scholars believe 'Chrestus' is an ancient historical typo and actually refers to Jesus Christ.
About the same latitude as New York City and about 1300 miles from Jerusalem. This city in Greece literally means 'second-capital' and it remains the second largest city in Greece to this day with a population of just over a million people.
The modern city was built after an earthquake destroyed much of the ancient city, which lies about three miles away. It was a large and diverse city of Greeks, Jews, and Roman citizens.
Modern-day Thessalonica, Greece
Around the years AD 51 - 55:
Pliny the Elder begins his valuable historical writings on Roman history.
Emperor Claudius is assassinated and Nero is declared emperor.