Mary the Mother of Jesus
Second  Period
St Paul's first two missionary journeys
First PeriodActs
1 - 7

First Period III - IV
Acts of the Apostles Second Period
(13-15)second mission
Acts Second Period Second Journey
Acts of the Apostles Third Period
Acts  Romans
Acts Paul Arrest Trial  Acts 21 - 28
'Sicari' (Assassins)

The storm and shipwreck
  276 persons on board  
Viper Bites Paul on Malta Paul Cures on Malta Publius
and others
The procurator, Antonius Felix, (see Chronology Of The Acts)

Saint Pauls Journeys  3 maps  Complete
Mission of Paul
to Gentiles
From establishment of the Church
 in Antioch Persecution under Nero 44-64 AD
The First Journey The Second Journey
II.  St Paul's Letters during 2nd missionary Journey:
1 & 2  Thessalonians
III. St Paul's Third missionary journey
IV. Letters written:
1 & 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Romans
V.Arrest of St Paul
trials in Jerusalem, to Caesarea and Rome
VI.  St Paul's Letters written during captivity in Rome:
Philippians, Colossians, Ephesians, Philemon
1 Prologue
19 Martyrdom of Stephen
2 Ascension
of Jesus
3 Matthias
elected  Apostle
4 Pentecost
5 Peter's speech 6 First Christian community 7 The cure of a cripple 8 Peter's speech
in the Temple
9 Peter and John at the Sanhedrim
10  prayer of the persecuted community 11 Brotherly love of the first Christians 12  Ananias and Sapphira deceit 13 Growth of the Christian community
14 The Apostles are arrested and brought before the Sanhedrim
15 Intervention by Gamaliel
16 Election of the seven deacons 17 Stephen on trial before the Sanhedri 18 Stephen's speech
III. Philip and Peter in Judea / Samaria  20 Jerusalem Churchpersecutio 21 Philip's Samaria mission
22 Simon Magus 23 Baptism of the Ethiopian
24 Conversion of Saul
25 Saul'sDamascus preaching  26 Saul's visit to Jerusalem 27 Peter's Lydda/Joppa 28 calling of Cornelius Centurion               29 Interlude: Peter's vision 30Peterbaptizes Cornelius
31  Peter justifies Cornelius' baptism 32 Church In Antioch help for  Jerusalem 33 JamesMartyed of  Peter's release 34 Death of
Herod Agrippa
35 BarnabasSaul again at Antioch The word 'simony' Answer 
Name a fundamental important event in the early Church!  Answer
who wrote the 1st Gospel Answer Who was Tabitha  and where? Answer
who wrote the 3rd Gospel and Acts  Answer When was  Acts
written Answer
How many letters
  of St Paul Answer

Disciples 1st called Christians - where when? answer
Who were Jesus'  3 special friends
Symeon who was called?  Answer
Symeon related how God first visited Who?

36 Paul and Barnabas receive their commission 37 Barnabas and Saul  at Cyprus 38 Antioch in Pisidia 39 Iconium, Lystra and Derbe 40 Return to Antioch 41 Difficulties raised Judaizing Christians
42 The Council of Jerusalem 43 The Apostolic Decree

I. St Paul's first two missionary journeys
      The rapid expansion of Christianity among the pagans at Antioch and the special revelation that he personally received brought home to Paul the vastness of the field of labor presented by the pagan world. In this, his first missionary activity of wide range, Paul was not satisfied with limiting his efforts to pagans who lived in the area of Jewish influence, but went directly to seek them out. The wonderful results which he achieved among them again brought to a head the problem of the way in which they were to be received into the new Christian community (see No. 41). That problem was to be finally resolved by the Council of Jerusalem, which, in the plan of the Acts, represents the conclusion of Paul's first missionary journey (see No. 42).

St Paul's first missionary journey.
Setting out from Antioch in Syria and embarking at Seleucia, he called at Salamis and Paphos on the island of Cyprus.  Then he disembarked at Attalia and went to Antioch in Pisidia, whenced he visited Iconium, Derbe and Lystra.  He returned from Antioch through Perga and embarked for Syria at Attalia. 
36 Paul and Barnabas receive their commission
        (Acts 13, 1-3)
   1 Now in the church at Antioch there were prophets and teachers, Barnabas, Symeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen a member of the court of Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. 2 While they were worshipping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, "Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them." 3 Then after fasting and praying they laid their hands on them and sent them off.
37 Barnabas and Saul  at Cyprus
  (Acts 13, 4-12)
4 So, being sent out by the Holy Spirit, they went down to Seleucia; and from there they sailed to Cyprus.
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  5 When they arrived at Salamis, they proclaimed the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews. And they had John to assist them. 6 When they had gone through the whole island as far as Paphos, they came upon a certain magician, a Jewish false prophet, named Bar-Jesus.
7 He was with the proconsul, Sergius Paulus, a man of intelligence, who summoned Barnabas and Saul and sought to hear the word of God.
8 But Elymas the magician (for that is the meaning of his name) withstood them, seeking to turn away the proconsul from the faith.
But Saul, who is also called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked intently at him 10 and said, “You son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, full of all deceit and villainy, will you not stop making crooked the straight paths of the Lord? 11 And now, behold, the hand of the Lord is upon you, and you shall be blind and unable to see the sun for a time."  Immediately mist and darkness fell upon him and he went about seeking people to lead him by the hand. 12 Then the proconsul believed, when he saw what had occurred, for he was astonished at the teaching of the Lord.

38 Antioch in Pisidia
     (Acts 13, 13-52)
  13 Now Paul and his company set sail from Paphos, and came to Perga in Pamphylia. And John left them and returned to Jerusalem; 14 but they passed on from Perga and came to Antioch of Pisidia. And on the Sabbath day they went into the synagogue and sat down. 15 After the reading of the law and the prophets, the rulers of the synagogue sent{?} to them, saying,  "Brethren, if you have any word of exhortation for the people, say it." 16 So Paul stood up, and motioning with his hand said:
   "Men of Israel, and you that fear God, listen. 17 The God of this people Israel chose our fathers and made the people great during their stay in the land of Egypt, and with uplifted arm he led them out of it. (1) 18 And for about forty years he bore with them in the wilderness. 19 And when he had destroyed seven nations in the land of Canaan, he gave them their land as an inheritance, (2) for about four hundred and fifty years. 20 And after that he gave them judges until Samuel the prophet.
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Attalia, now Antalya, the port of Perga where St Paul disembarked on his way from Cyprus and whence he set sail to return to Antioch in Pisidia at the end of his first missionary journey (see Acts 14, 25).

21 Then they asked for a king; and God gave them Saul the son of Kish, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, for forty years. 22 And when he had removed him, he raised up David to be their king; of whom he testified and said, 'I have found in David the son of Jesse a man after my heart, who will do all my will.'
(3) 23 Of this man's posterity God has brought to Israel a Savior, Jesus, as he promised. 24 Before his coming John had preached a baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel. 25 And as John was finishing his course, he said, 'What do you suppose that I am?  I am not he.  No, but after me one is coming, the sandals of whose feet I am not worthy to untie.'
    26 "Brethren, sons of the family of Abraham, and those among you that fear God, to us has been sent the message of this salvation.
For those who live in Jerusalem and their rulers, because they did not recognize him nor understand the utterances of the prophets that are read every Sabbath, fulfilled these by condemning him.
Though they could charge him with nothing deserving death, yet they asked Pilate to have him killed. 29 And when they had fulfilled all that was written of him, they took him down from the tree, and laid him in a tomb. 30 But God raised him from the dead; 31 and for many days he appeared to those who came up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are now his witnesses to the people. 32 And we bring you the good news that what God promised to the fathers, 33 this he has fulfilled to us their children by raising Jesus; as also it is written in the second psalm,
     'Thou art my Son,
      today I have begotten thee.' (4)
    34 And as for the fact that he raised him from the dead, no more to return to corruption, he spoke in this way,
'I will give you the holy and sure blessing of David.' (5)
35 Therefore he says also in another psalm,
     'Thou wilt not let thy' Holy One see corruption.' (6)
36 For David, after he had served the counsel of God in his own generation, fell asleep, and was laid with his fathers, and saw corruption; 37 but he whom God raised up saw no corruption. 38 Let it be known to you therefore, brethren, that through this man forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you, 39 and by him every one that believes is freed from everything from which you could not be freed by the law of Moses. 40 Beware, therefore, lest there come upon you what is said in the prophets:
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41 'Behold, you scoffers, and wonder, and perish;
      for I do a deed in your days,
      a deed you will never believe, if one declares it to you.'" (7)
    42 As they went out, the people begged that these things might be told them the next Sabbath. 43 And when the meeting of the synagogue broke up, many Jews and devout converts to Judaism followed Paul and Barnabas, who spoke to them and urged them to continue in the grace of God.
   44 The next Sabbath almost the whole city gathered together to hear the word of God. 45 But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with jealousy, and contradicted what Paul spoke, and reviled him. 46 And Paul and Barnabas spoke out boldly, saying, "It was necessary that the word of God should be spoken first to you. Since you thrust it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of eternal life, behold, we turn to the Gentiles. 47 For so the Lord has commanded us, saying,
   'I have set you to be a light for the Gentiles,
       that you may bring salvation to the uttermost parts of the earth."'
    48 And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and glorified the word of God; and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed. 49 And the word of the Lord spread throughout all the region. 50 But the Jews incited the devout women of high standing and the leading men of the city, and stirred up persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and drove them out of their district. 51 But they shook off the dust from their feet against them, and went to Iconium. 52 And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.
(1)        Exodus 6, 6. (2) Deuteronomy 7, 1. (3) 1 Samuel 13, 14. (4) Psalm 2. 7. (5) Isaiah 55,3. (6) Psalm 16,10. (7) Habbakuk 1,5. (8) Isaiah 49,6,

39 Iconium, Lystra and Derbe
       (Acts 14, 1-20)
   1 Now at Iconium they entered together into the Jewish synagogue, and so spoke that a great company believed, both of Jews and of Greeks. 2 But the unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles and poisoned their minds against the brethren.
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3 So they remained for a long time, speaking boldly for the Lord, who bore witness to the word of his grace, granting signs and wonders to be done by their hands. 4 But the people of the city were divided; some sided with the Jews, and some with the apostles.

Site of the ancient city of Lystra in Lyconia, near the present day Hakinsaray.  It was the home of Timothy, Saint Paul's disciple and collaborator  (see Acts 16, 1-3)

5 When an attempt was made by both Gentiles and Jews, with their rulers, to molest them and to stone them, 6 they learned of it and fled to Lystra and Derbe, cities of Lycaonia, 7 and to the surrounding country land there they preached the gospel.
      8 Now at Lystra there was a man sitting, who could not use his feet; he was a cripple from birth, who had never walked. 9 He listened to Paul speaking and Paul, looking intently at him and seeing that he had faith to be made well, 10 said in a loud voice, "Stand upright on your feet." And he sprang up and walked. 11 And when the crowds saw what Paul had done, they lifted up their voices, saying in Lycaonian, "The gods have come down to us in the likeness of men!" 12 Barnabas they called Zeus, and Paul, because he was the chief speaker, they called Hermes. 13 And the priest of Zeus, whose temple was in front of the city, brought oxen and garlands to the gates and wanted to offer sacrifice with the people. 14 But when the apostles Barnabas Paul heard of it, they tore their garments and rushed out among the multitude, crying, 15 Men, why are you doing this?
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Another view of Lystra in Lycaonia where Saint Paul and Barnabas were mistaken for Zeus and Hermes.  "Barnabas they called Zeus and Paul, because he was the chief speaker, they called Hermes'  (Acts 14, 12).^

“We also are men, of like nature with you, and bring you good news, that you should turn from these vain things to a living God who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and all that is in them. 16 In past generations he allowed all the nations to walk in their own ways; 17 yet he did not leave himself without witness, for he did good and gave you from heaven rains and fruitful seasons satisfying your hearts with food and gladness." (1)  18 With these words they scarcely restrained the people from offering sacrifice to them.
    19 But Jews came there from Antioch and Iconium; and having persuaded the people they stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, supposing that he was dead. 20 But when the disciples gathered around him he rose up and entered the city; and on the next day he went on with Barnabas to Derbe.

(1)    From this speech of St Paul we can gather the sort of arguments he used with the pagans. The central problems of popular philosophy at that time were God and the revelation of the divine in the world. Starting from this current idea, the Apostle announced the historical revelation of God in Jesus Christ.

40 Return to Antioch
     (Acts 14, 21-28)
    21 When they had preached the gospel to that city and had made many disciples: they returned to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch, 22 strengthening the souls of the disciples, exhorting them to continue in the faith, 23 and saying that through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God. 24 And when they had appointed elders for them in every church, with prayer and fasting, they committed them to the Lord in whom they believed.
  25 Then they passed through Pisidia, and came to Pamphylia. And when they had spoken the word in Perga, they went down to Attalia; 26 and from there they sailed to Antioch, where they had been commended to the grace of God for the work that they had fulfilled.
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   27 And when they arrived, they gathered the church together and declared all that God had done with them, and how he had opened a door of faith to the Gentiles. 28 And they remained no little time with the disciples.

41 Difficulties raised by Judaizing Christians
     (Acts 15, 1-5)
    1 But some men came down from Judea and were teaching the brethren, "Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved." 2 And when Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and debate with them, Paul and Barnabas and some of the others were appointed to go up to Jerusalem to the apostles and the elders about this question. 3 So, being sent on their way by the church, they passed through both Phoenicia and Samaria, reporting the conversion of the Gentiles, and they gave great joy to all the brethren.  4 When they came to Jerusalem, the church and the apostles and the elders welcomed them, and they declared all that God had done with them. 5 But some believers who belonged to the party of the Pharisees rose up, and said, "It is necessary to circumcise them, and to charge them to keep the law of Moses."
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42 The Council of Jerusalem
   (Acts 15, 6-21)
      The apostles and the elders were gathered together to consider this matter. 7 And after there had been much debate, Peter rose and said to them, "Brethren, you know that in the early days God made choice among you, that by my mouth the Gentiles should hear the word of the gospel and believe. 8 And God who knows the heart bore witness to them, giving them the Holy Spirit just as he did to us;
and he made no distinction between us and them, but cleansed their hearts by faith. 10 Now therefore why do you make trial of God by putting a yoke upon the neck of the disciples which neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear? 11 But we believe that we shall be saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, just as they will."
12 And all the assembly kept silence; and they listened to Barnabas and Paul as they related what signs and wonders God had done through them among the Gentiles. 13 After they finished speaking, James replied, "Brethren, listen to me. 14 Symeon has related how God first visited the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name. 15 And with this the words of the prophets agree, as it is written,
      16 After this I will return,
           and I will rebuild the dwelling of David, which has fallen;
    I will rebuild its ruins,

          and I will set it up,
17 that the rest of men may seek the Lord,
    and all the Gentiles who are called by my name,
18 says the Lord, who has made these things known from of old. (1)
  19 Therefore my judgment is that we should not trouble those of the Gentiles who turn to God, 20 but should write to them to abstain from the pollutions of idols and from unchastity and from what is strangled and from blood. 21 For from early generations Moses has had in every city those who preach him, for he is read every Sabbath in the synagogues."

     (1)    See Amos 9,11-12.  James's proposal followed the same line of principle as that of Peter and Paul. The suggestions he made were simply to facilitate the solution of the problem on practical grounds. (See also the practical attitude of Paul in No. 45 and No. 101). 
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The mention of strangled animals and of blood refers to the ban on blood in the Mosaic Law, motivated by the idea that blood was the seal and symbol of life and therefore holy, reserved to God.

     Concerning the problem of the way of accepting pagans into the new community, that is to say, whether it was necessary to pass through Judaism or not, the Council of Jerusalem did no more than give official confirmation of an already accepted fact.
The question had been put by some converted Jews who still thought of the new community as a sect of official Judaism.
     The doctrinal preparation for this decision was Peter's vision at Joppa (see No. 29). The historical preparation was Paul's conversion (see No. 24) and the movement of the centre of the propagation of Christianity from Jerusalem to Antioch. The apostolic decree broke the ties of Christianity with Judaism in an official and definitive form and acknowledged its universal messianic significance.
     The problem was to be raised again on other occasions but only from the point of view of questions of a practical nature (see also No. 45 and No. 101).
     In the plan of the book of the Acts, the Council of Jerusalem sanctions Paul's apostolate on his first journey and then allows him to act in complete independence and freedom on the two following journeys.

43 The Apostolic Decree
   (Acts 15, 22-35)
   22 Then it seemed good to the apostles and the elders, with the whole church, to choose men from among them and send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas.  They sent Judas called Barsabbas, and Silas, leading men among the brethren, 23 with the following letter:
"The brethren, both the apostles and the elders, to the brethren who are of the Gentiles in Antioch and Syria and Cilicia, greeting.
24Since we have heard that some persons from us have troubled you with words, unsettling your minds, although we gave them no instructions, 25 it has seemed good to us in assembly to choose men and send them to you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul, 26 men who have risked their lives for the sake of our Lord Jesus Christ. 27 We have therefore sent Judas and Silas, who themselves will tell you the same things by word of mouth. 28 For it has seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us (1) to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things:
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29 That you abstain from what has been sacrificed to idols and from blood and from what is strangled and from unchastity. If you keep yourselves from these, you will do well.  Farewell."
30 So when they were sent off, they went down to Antioch; and having gathered the congregation together, they delivered the letter. 31 And when they read it, they rejoiced at the exhortation. 32 And Judas and Silas, who were themselves prophets, exhorted the brethren with many words and strengthened them.
33 And after they had spent some time,they were sent off in peace by the brethren to those who had sent them.[34] 35 But Paul and Barnabas remained in Antioch, teaching and preaching the word of the Lord, with many others also.
(1)    The phrase ‘... It has seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us…' became from that time the classical expression of Ecumenical Councils when expressing the definition of a dogma de fide.
[34] This verse is omitted in the best codices.