Paul's 4th Missionary Journey

Paul’s Fourth Missionary Journey

The evidence from the ‘pastoral letters’ suggests that the outcome of Paul’s trial before Nero in 62AD was positive, and Paul was acquitted at that time (see 2 Timothy 4:16, where Paul refers to his ‘first’ trial). This is hardly surprising as over two years earlier, in Caesarea in 59AD, the Roman governor Festus and King Herod Agrippa II had agreed that “There is no reason why this man should die or be put in jail” (Acts 26:31). Indeed, Agrippa had said to Festus, “We could let this man go free, but he has asked Caesar to hear his case” (Acts 26:32).

After his aquittal in 62AD, Paul left Rome and probably embarked on a ‘fourth missionary journey’ (see 1 on Map 28).

Map showing Paul's 4th Missionary Journey

Map 28  Paul's 4th Missionary Journey

 

Paul commissioned Titus to be the leader of the local church while in Crete (which Paul had visited only briefly before, en route to Rome – see Titus 1:5 & Acts 27:8-9). He visited Miletus (and left Trophimus there because he was ill – see 2 Timothy 4:20) and then left Timothy in charge of the church at Ephesus (see 1 Timothy 1:3) (see 2 on Map 28). He may have visited Colossae (see Philemon 1:22) before he continued to Troas (where he left his coat with Carpus – see 2 Timothy 4:13) (see 3 on Map 28).

Paul then went on to Philippi in Macedonia (see 1 Timothy 1:3) where he wrote his First Letter to Timothy and his Letter to Titus between 63 and 66AD (see 4 on Map 28). He may have visited Ephesus again (see 1 Timothy 3:14 & 4:13) before travelling back via Corinth (see 2 Timothy 4:20) (see 5 on Map 28) and Nicopolis (see Titus 3:12) (see 6 on Map 28) to Rome (see 7 on Map 28) where he was imprisoned in the Mamertine Prison (see 2 Timothy 1:8,16-17 & 2:9). From Rome he wrote his Second Letter to Timothy shortly before he was beheaded (as he was a Roman citizen) in c.67AD during the intense persecution of Jews and Christians by Nero (see 2 Timothy 4:6).

Paul may also have visited Spain at some time between 63 and 67AD (see Romans 15:24 & 28) but we have no Biblical evidence of such a visit.

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