Second Missionary Journey of Paul, The Expansion of the Church into Europe, A History of the Christian Church, Lesson 14, 9-13

Paul, Silas and Timothy left Phillipi and went down to Thessalonika, but other Jews raised so much persecution that the brethren sent Paul on to Berea, and after marked success even in the Synagogue, Paul went on to Athens.

Paul’s sojourn in Athens was rather disappointing and is memorable chiefly because of his address to the philosophers on Mars Hill. Athens was known over the entire world as a seat of learning and philosophy. The two main philosophies in importance at this time were Stoicism and Epicureans. And instead of berating Paul, these philosophers invited him to expound his views and that is what Paul did in an address to them on Mars Hill. In this address, Paul mentions the idol he had seen in the city to “an unknown god.”

From Athens, Paul moved on to Corinth where he remained 18 months. Here he made the acquaintance of Aquilla and Priscilla and made his home with them. At first, he preached in the synagogue, but because of much opposition from them, he moved to the house of a Gentile who lived next to the synagogue. Paul worked hard here in Corinth, because he was having much success. At the same time, he was mindful of the enormous job remaining to be done, and especially did he remember the Thessalonians. From here, he wrote the first and second letters to the Thessalonians. Paul was persecuted here by the Jews, too, and with the coming of a new proconsul, the Jews made accusations to him about Paul’s teachings. However, the law at this time protected the Christians because it still considered them a sect of the Jews. The proconsul wisely decided that this was a dispute within the synagogue itself and that the apostle had broken no laws.

Finally, Paul decided to leave Corinth after his most rewarding visit and went to Ephesus. He did not remain here long, but promising to return, Paul went on to Eaesarea, apparently made a hasty visit to Jerusalem and having saluted the church there, went on to Antioch where he had originally started from. And so, this ended the second missionary journey of Paul.

Paul still followed the same routine in this missionary journey as the first. he went first to the synagogue where he preached and tried to show the Jews that the coming of Jesus, and his death and resurrection, were just as prophesied in the scriptures. When they rejected him, he went outside the synagogue to the Gentiles. It was during this journey that Paul founded the churches that occasioned the writing of his many letters, which gives us the basis of much of our church doctrine today. We should note that by spreading Christianity into Greece, he was spreading it into the most fertile field where Greece was the cultural and economic center of the world. This was also where new ideas were able to move speedily over the entire known world. And of course, Paul’s entire journey was guided by the Holy Sprit which caused him to leave Asia and journey into Europe.

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