Paul’s missionary journeys helped spread the gospel throughout much of the ancient world. Over the course of his ministry, the Apostle Paul traveled an ext than 10,000 miles and established at the very least 14 churches.

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The publication of Acts records three different missionary journeys the took Paul with Greece, Turkey, Syria, and also numerous regions you won’t find on contemporary maps. Some scholars argue the Paul also took a 4th missionary journey, because parts the the new Testament show up to referral travels the may have actually taken place after the events in Acts.

Paul’s travels played a vital role in the formation and advance of the early on Christian church. Many of the communities he encountered on this missionary journeys were the exact same ones he wrote to in his pastoral epistles.

In this guide, we’re going to follow Paul’s footsteps together he travelled throughout the ancient world, looking in ~ the places he went and the major events that took place along the way. At times it can be an overwhelming to distinguish between old cities, provinces, and also regions (and over there are occasionally multiple name that describe the exact same area), so together we go, we’ll make few of those distinctions more clear.

Paul’s very first missionary trip (Acts 13–14)

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Paul’s second missionary journey established countless of the church he would later on write to in his pastoral epistles. Interestingly, this may have happened in part because of a “sharp disagreement” he had with Barnabas. Paul’s original setup was to basically have a rerun of their very first trip, increase the communities they’d developed in every city and also telling castle what the board of directors of Jerusalem had ruled in regards to Gentile believers.

But Barnabas want to take john Mark—who had actually left castle shortly into their previous journey. Paul was so protest to the idea that they parted ways, initiating two separate missionary journeys. Barnabas took john Mark and went with the initial plan, make their way back to the island that Cyprus. Paul took a guy named Silas and also travelled with the districts of Syria and also Cilicia.


The an initial cities that Acts mentions by name on Paul’s 2nd journey are Derbe and Lystra. At this time, Paul and also Silas picked up a new companion: Timothy. 

The locals spoke extremely of Timothy, and Paul wanted to bring him along also though he was half Greek, i beg your pardon meant neighborhood Jews would have actually a harder time accepting their message. The end of issue for these regional Jews, Paul circumcised Timothy—even though, ironically, among the things they were coming to tell christians was the Gentiles didn’t need to be circumcised. (See plot 16:3–4.)


Acts doesn’t specify wherein in Phrygia Paul and also his companions stopped, but due to the fact that he’d created a church in Iconium ~ above the first trip, that neighborhood would’ve to be on his psychic (even though critical time he to be there, civilization had plotted to stone him). Interestingly, acts notes the Paul and his companions journeyed right here after they were “kept through the holy Spirit from preaching words in the province of Asia” (Acts 16:6).


Just north of Phrygia to be the district of Galatia. Acts makes no mention of what taken place here, but this is the province Paul composed to in his letter to the Galatians. Interestingly, part of the function of Paul’s 2nd trip was to re-superstructure the news native the board of directors of Jerusalem concerning the law of Moses and also whether or not Gentiles (or christians in general) need to be meant to follow it. The council decided the Torah didn’t apply to Gentile loyalty (though they did hang on come a few rules). But by the time Paul wrote the book of Galatians, believer there to be feeling push to obey the legislation (particularly in regards to circumcision) in bespeak to it is in saved.

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From Galatia, Paul’s group traveled west, till they reached the border that Mysia—a western an ar in the province of Asia, which is now component of Turkey. Lock intended come head north to the region of Bithynia, “but the heart of Jesus would not allow them to” (Acts 16:7). For this reason they passed by Mysia and also headed come the city the Troas. Here, Paul had actually a vision of a guy in Macedonia, begging him to “Come end to Macedonia and assist us.” Paul took this vision together a sign that God to be calling them to Macedonia, i m sorry was across the Aegean Sea.