Paul’s Journey

Paul was an Anatolian, born in the Roman city of Tarsus on the eastern Mediterranean coast of what is now Turkey.

He traveled extensively in “Asia” (ie, Asia Minor, or Anatolia) spreading Jesus’s teachings. 

Paul's First Journey

About 47-49 AD Paul went on his first journey, traveling from east to west along the Mediterranean coast stopping at Antioch (Antakya), Seleucia (Silifke), Side and Attaleia (Antalya).

From there he climbed into the mountains, to Antioch-in-Pisidia (Yalvaç, near Akşehir), then to Galatia and its capital of Iconium (Konya). Later he wrote to the people of Iconium, and this Letter to the Galatians became the 9th book of the New Testament.

From Iconium he walked 40 km (25 miles) south to Lystra(Hatunsaray) and Derbe before returning to Attaleia, where he boarded a ship for his return voyage to Antioch.

The Second Journey

Paul traveled much farther afield on his second trip. After visiting some of the same cities he had seen on his first trip, he went to the region called Mysia to visit Troy(Truva), then, crossing the Dardanelles, he ventured into Macedonia (northern Greece, southwestern Bulgaria).

The Third Journey

On his third trip (53-57 AD), Paul revisited some of these same cities, and also saw Ancyra (Ankara), Smyrna(İzmir), Adramyttium (Edremit) and Ephesus (Efes, Selçuk), capital of Roman Asia.

In Ephesus his preaching caused trouble. The local silversmiths made their living selling effigies of the Anatolian fertility goddess (Cybele/Artemis/Diana) to pilgrims coming to visit the gigantic marble Temple of Artemis. The more the Ephesians listened to Paul, the less they believed in Artemis—and the fewer effigies they bought.

The silversmiths brought spurious charges against Paul, but after a dramatic ‘kangaroo court’ in the Great Theater he was released, having committed no crime. He continued his journey, later visited Miletus.

The Final Journey

In 59-60 AD, Paul was arrested in Jerusalem, charged with inciting to riot, and shipped off to Rome for trial. He changed ships at Myra (Demre) and headed for Cnidos, at the tip of the peninsula west of Marmaris, a harbor where ships often waited for favorable winds, but a storm prevented him from landing there.

Seven Churches of Revelation

For the record, the Seven Churches of Revelation were the “Seven Churches of Asia” (ie, Asia Minor, Anatolia): Ephesus (Efes), Smyrna (İzmir), Pergamum (Bergama), Sardis (Sart, east of İzmir), Philadelphia (Alaşehir), Laodicea (Goncalı, between Denizli and Pamukkale) and Thyatira (Akhisar).