30 May. Acts 13:1-5

30 May. Paul sets off from Antioch on his 'first' missionary journey

"In the church at Antioch there were these prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon.., Lucius.., and Saul. They were all worshipping the Lord and gave up eating for a certain time. During this time the Holy Spirit said to them, 'Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul to do a special work for which I have chosen them.' So after they had given up eating and prayed, they laid their hands on Barnabas and Saul and sent them out."

"Barnabas and Saul, sent out by the Holy Spirit, went to the city of Seleucia. From there they sailed to the island of Cyprus."

"When they came to Salamis, they preached the Good News of God in the Jewish synagogues. John Mark was with them to help."

          (Acts 13:1-5)



Saul, Barnabas and John Mark (the young nephew of Barnabas – see Colossians 4:10) were commissioned by the Holy Spirit and the Christian community in Antioch, and set out on their 'first' missionary journey in 46AD.

They sailed from Seleucia to Cyprus. Seleucia Pereia, near the mouth of the River Orontes, was the port for Antioch, founded by Seleucus Nicator – one of Alexander the Great’s generals – in c.300BC.

Remains of the two breakwaters forming the Roman port can still be seen today on the beach (see the photo) near the entrance to Titus’s Tunnel, built by the Roman emperor in c.80AD to divert floodwaters from the nearby mountains away from the Roman city.

On arrival in Cyprus, Saul (from this point referred to by his Greek name, Paul) and Barnabas preached at the Jewish synagogues in Salamis.

Salamis was an important port and commercial centre with a large Jewish community. Paul, as a professional craftsman who made tents and awnings, would have been very much at home in the Roman agora (the market place). He may well have set up a temporary market stall and discussed Christianity with passers-by and customers who came to have their awnings and shelters repaired in order to protect themselves from the sun.

Modern-day travellers to the Turkish Cypriot administered region of Northern Cyprus can visit the Tomb of St Barnabas – a native of Salamis – and can see a collection of icons venerating Barnabas in the nearby chapel and museum.

At Salamis itself, there are extensive remains of the Roman city, including the agora, a well-preserved Roman gymnasium and baths, a restored theatre, a stadium and the Temple of Zeus.

The photo shows remains of the Roman port at Seleucia Pereia in Turkey.

You can see a photo of Salamis and read more about Paul's 'first' missionary journey @ https://www.thebiblejourney.org/…/paul-starts-his-1st-miss…/

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