While no changes are anticipated; there might be occasions when certain alterations become necessary for the selected itineraries due to changes in an airline, cruise schedules, or for other reasons. All Masses are subject to final church schedules. Regarding the nature of the itineraries; all the pricing will be on a private basis and on demand. Moreover; the given itineraries are open to modification regarding the needs and requests of the client.


Seven Churches of Revelation

The Seven Churches of Revelation, also known as The Seven Churches of the Apocalypse and The Seven Churches of Asia (referring to the Roman province of Asia, not the entire continent), are seven major churches of Early Christianity, as mentioned in the New Testament Book of Revelation and written to by John the Apostle. All seven sites are in modern-day Turkey and no longer have significant Christian populations because the majority of the Greek population had been deported under the Convention Concerning the Exchange of Greek and Turkish Populations signed by Greece and Turkey. In Revelation, on the Greek island of Patmos, Jesus Christ instructs his servant John to: “Write on a scroll what you see and send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus, and to Smyrna, and to Pergamum, and to Thyatira, and to Sardis, and to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea.” “Churches” in this context refers to the community of Christians living in each city, and not merely to the building or buildings in which they gathered for worship.

The seven churches are located in:

Ephesus / Ephesus Revelation 2:1-7 – the church that had forsaken its first love (2:4).

Ephesus was an important center for Early Christianity from the AD 50s. From AD 52–54, Paul lived in Ephesus, working with the congregation and organizing missionary activity in the hinterlands. He became embroiled in a dispute with artisans, whose livelihood depended on selling the statuettes of Artemis in the Temple of Artemis (Acts 19:23–41). He wrote between 53 and 57 AD the letter 1 Corinthians from Ephesus (possibly from the “Paul tower” close to the harbor, where he was imprisoned for a short time). Later Paul wrote the Epistle to Ephesians while he was in prison in Rome (around 62 AD). Roman Asia was associated with John, one of the chief apostles, and the Gospel of John might have been written in Ephesus, c 90–100. Ephesus was one of the seven cities addressed in Revelation (Revelation 2:1–7), indicating that the church at Ephesus was strong. Two decades later, the church at Ephesus was still important enough to be addressed by a letter written by Bishop Ignatius of Antioch to the Ephesians in the early 2nd century AD, that begins with, “Ignatius, who is also called Theophorus, to the Church which is at Ephesus, in Asia, deservedly most happy, being blessed in the greatness and fullness of God the Father, and predestinated before the beginning of time, that it should be always for an enduring and unchangeable glory” (Letter to the Ephesians). The church at Ephesus had given their support for Ignatius, who was taken to Rome for execution. A legend, which was first mentioned by Epiphanies of Salamis in the 4th century AD, purported that Mary may have spent the last years of her life in Ephesus. The Ephesians derived the argument from John’s presence in the city, and Jesus’ instructions to John to take care of Mary after his death. Epiphanies, however, was keen to point out that, while the Bible says John was leaving for Asia, it specifically does not say that Mary went with him. He later stated that she was buried in Jerusalem. Since the 19th century, The House of the Virgin Mary, about 7 km (4 mi) from Selcuk is purported to have been the last home of Mary, mother of Jesus in the Roman Catholic tradition, based on the visions of Sister Anne Catherine Emmerich. It is a popular place of Catholic pilgrimage which has been visited by three recent popes. The Church of Mary close to the harbor of Ephesus was the setting for the Third Ecumenical Council in 431, which resulted in the condemnation of Nestorius. A Second Council of Ephesus was held in 449, but its controversial acts were never approved by the Catholics. It came to be called the Robber Council of Ephesus or Robber Synod of Latrocinium by its opponents.

Smyrna / Smyrna Revelation 2:8-11 – the church that would suffer persecution (2:10).

The precise year when Christianity spread in Smyrna is unknown. It was perhaps introduced by Apostle Paul or one of his companions. By the end of the 1st century, the city already hosted a small Christian community, and its first head was one named Aristion. The Church of Smyrna was also one of the Seven Churches of Asia, mentioned in the New Testament, Book of Revelation, written by John the Apostle. In ca. 110 AD, Ignatius of Antioch wrote several epistles among them to the people of Smyrna and its bishop, Polycarp. The latter was martyred during the middle of the 2nd century AD. Smyrna was also the place of martyrdom of Saint Pionius, during the reign of Decius. Already from the early Christian years, Smyrna was an autocephalous archbishopric as part of the wider Metropolis of Ephesus. During the 9th century, the local archbishopric was promoted to a metropolis. At the time of its promotion, the diocese of Smyrna held the 39th position in the Notitiae Episcopatuum, while during the reign of Emperor Leo VI (886–912), it held the 44th position. The city was also the place of exile of the monk Theodore the Studite, who played a major role in the revivals both of Byzantine monasticism and of classical literary genres in Byzantium. In the 13th century, the city thrived under the Empire of Nicaea, while several churches and monasteries were erected, the most notable of them being the Lembon monastery. Saint Ignatius of Antioch visited Smyrna and later wrote letters to its bishop, Polycarp. A mob of Jews and pagans abetted the martyrdom of Polycarp in AD 153. Saint Irenaeus, who heard Polycarp as a boy, was probably a native of Smyrna. Another famous resident of the same period was Aelius Aristides. Polycrates reports a succession of bishops including Polycarp of Smyrna, as well as others in nearby cities such as Melito of Sardis. Related to that time the German historian W. Bauer wrote:
Asian Jewish Christianity received, in turn, the knowledge that henceforth the “church” would be open without hesitation to the Jewish influence mediated by Christians, coming not only from the apocalyptic traditions but also from the synagogue with its practices concerning worship, which led to the appropriation of the Jewish Passover observance. Even the observance of the Sabbath by Christians appears to have found some favor in Asia…we find that in post-apostolic times, in the period of the formation of ecclesiastical structure, the Jewish Christians in these regions come into prominence. In the late 2nd century, Irenaeus also noted: Polycarp also was not only instructed by apostles, and conversed with many who had seen Christ, but was also, by apostles in Asia, appointed bishop of the Church in Smyrna…always taught the things which he had learned from the apostles, and which the Church has handed down, and which alone are true. To these things, all the Asiatic Churches testify, as do also those men who have succeeded Polycarp. Tertullian wrote c. 208 AD. as Anyhow the heresies are at best novelties, and have no continuity with the teaching of Christ. Perhaps some heretics may claim Apostolic antiquity: we reply: Let them publish the origins of their churches and unroll the catalog of their bishops till now from the Apostles or from some bishop appointed by the Apostles, as the Smyrnaeans count from Polycarp and John, and the Romans from Clement and Peter; let heretics invent something to match this. Hence, apparently, the church in Smyrna was one of only two that Tertullian felt could have had some type of apostolic succession. During the mid-3rd century, however, changes occurred in Asia Minor, and most there became affiliated with the Greco-Roman churches.

Pergamum / Pergamum Revelation 2:12-17 – the church that needed to repent (2:16).

The Christian community of Pergamum was one of the earliest established in Asia Minor during the 1st century AD. It also comprised one of the Seven Churches of Asia mentioned in the New Testament Book of Revelation, written by John the Apostle. According to the Christian tradition, Antipas was appointed bishop of Pergamum, by John. In the year 92 Saint Antipas was a victim of an early clash between Serapis worshipers and Christians. An angry mob is said to have burned Saint Antipas alive inside a Brazen Bull incense burner, which represents the bull god Apis. There is a tradition of oil (“manna of the saints”) being secreted from the relics of Saint Antipas. On the calendars of Eastern Christianity, the feast day of Antipas is April 11. Some Christians pray to this saint for ailments of the teeth. Pergamum became the see of a bishopric under the jurisdiction of the Metropolis of Ephesus. During the 13th century the local bishopric was promoted to a metropolis. However, it soon ceased to exist as a result of the Turkish conquest of the area in the 1310s, the subsequent decline of the local Christian population, and the later destruction of Pergamum by the hordes of Timur. Thus, during the following centuries, the region became again part of the wider Metropolis of Ephesus.

Thyatira / Thyatira Revelation 2:18-29 – the church that had a false prophetess (2:20).

The city was known as “Pelopia” (Greek language: Πελοπία), but it was named Thyateira (Θυάτειρα) by king Seleucus I Nicator in 290 BC. He was at war with Lysimachus when he learned that his wife had given birth to a daughter. According to Stephanus of Byzantium, he called this city “thuateira” from Greek “θυγατήρ”, “θυγατέρα” (theater, thugatera), meaning “daughter”, although it is likely that it is an older, Lydian name. In classical times, Thyatira stood on the border between Lydia and Mysia. It was famous for its dyeing and was a center of the indigo trade. Among the ancient ruins of the city, inscriptions have been found relating to the guild of dyers in the city. Indeed, more guilds are known in Thyatira than in any other contemporary city in the Roman province of Asia (inscriptions mention the following: wool-workers, linen-workers, makers of outer garments, dyers, leather-workers, tanners, potters, bakers, slave dealers, and bronze-smiths). In early Christian times, Thyateira was home to a significant Christian church, mentioned as one of the seven Churches of the Book of Revelation in the Book of Revelation. According to Revelation, a woman named Jezebel (who called herself a prophetess) taught and seduced the Christians of Thyateira to commit sexual immorality and to eat things sacrificed to idols. The Apostle Paul and Silas might have visited Thyateira during Paul’s second or third journey, although the evidence is entirely circumstantial. They visited several small unnamed towns in the general vicinity during the second journey. While in Philippi, Paul and Silas stayed with a woman named Lydia from Thyateira, who continued to help them even after they were jailed and released. In 366, a battle fought near Thyateira saw the army of Roman emperor Valens defeat Roman usurper Procopius.

Sardis / Sardis Revelation 3:1-6 – the church that had fallen asleep (3:2).

Sardis or Sardes (Lydian: Sfard; Greek: Σάρδεις, Sardis; Persian: سارد, Sārd) was an ancient city at the location of modern Sart in Turkey’s Manisa Province. Sardis was the capital of the ancient kingdom of Lydia, one of the important cities of the Persian Empire, the seat of a proconsul under the Roman Empire, and the metropolis of the province of Lydia in later Roman and Byzantine times. As one of the Seven churches of Asia, it was addressed by the author of the Book of Revelation in terms that seem to imply that its population was notoriously soft and fainthearted. Its importance was due, first to its military strength, secondly to its situation on an important highway leading from the interior to the Aegean coast, and thirdly to its commanding the wide and fertile plain of the Hermus.

Philadelphia / Philadelphia Revelation 3:7-13 – the church that had endured patiently (3:10).

Although several ancient cities bore the name of Philadelphia, this is definitely the one listed among the seven churches by John in the Book of Revelation. Philadelphia is the sixth church of the seven. A letter specifically addressed to the Philadelphian church is recorded in (Revelation 3:7-13). According to this letter, the Philadelphian Christians were suffering persecution at the hands of the local Jews, whom Revelation calls “the synagogue of Satan” (Revelation 3:9). The city’s history of earthquakes may lie behind the reference to making her church a temple pillar (Revelation 3:12). Permanency would have been important to the city’s residents. Philadelphia shares with Smyrna the distinction of receiving nothing but praise from Christ. This explains why modern Protestant churches sometimes use “Philadelphia” as a component in the local church’s name as a way of emphasizing its faithfulness.

Laodicea / Laodicea Revelation 3:14-22 – the church that was lukewarm and insipid (to God)(3:16).

It was probably owing to its large Jewish community, that at a very early period, it became one of the chief seats of Christianity, and the see of a bishop. Laodicea receives passing mention in the Epistle to the Colossians and is one of the Seven churches of Asia mentioned in the Book of Revelation. The Laodicean Church had probably been founded by the Colossian Epaphras, who shared the care of it with Nymphas, in whose house the faithful used to assemble. Paul asks the Colossians to communicate to the Church of Laodicea the letter which he sends to them and to read publicly that which should come to them from Laodicea, that is, no doubt, a letter which he had written, or was to write, to the Laodiceans. An apocryphal epistle purporting to be from Paul to the Laodiceans is extant in Latin and Arabic. Some of the Greek manuscripts end the First Epistle to Timothy with these words: “Written at Laodicea, the metropolis of Phrygia Pacatiana”. The first bishops attributed to the See of Laodicea are very uncertain: St. Archippus (Colossians 4:17); St. Nymphas; and Diotrephes (III John, 9). Next comes St. Sagaris, a martyr (c. 166). Sisinnius is mentioned in the Acts of the martyr St. Artemon, a priest of his Church. Nunechius assisted at the Council of Nicaea (325). Eugenius, known by an inscription, was probably his successor. The Arian Cecropius was transferred by Constantius to the See of Nicomedia. When Phrygia was divided into two parts, Laodicea became the metropolis of Phrygia Pacatiana: it figures under this title in all the Notitiae Episcopatuum. Some twenty incumbents are known besides those already enumerated; the last occupied the see in 1450. The city remains a titular see of the Roman Catholic Church, Laodicensis in Phrygia; the seat has been vacant since 1968. There are extant, in Greek, sixty canons of a Council of Laodicea. That this assembly was actually held, we have the testimony of Theodoret. There has been much discussion as to the date: some have even thought that the council must have preceded that of Nicaea (325), or at least that of Constantinople (381). It seems safer to consider it as subsequent to the latter. The canons are, undoubtedly, only a resume of an older text, and indeed appear to be derived from two distinct collections. They are of great importance in the history of discipline and liturgy; some Protestants have invoked one of them in opposition to the veneration of angels.

Regarding the letters to the Churches :

The letters follow a common pattern. For example: the Lord first addresses each church and identifies himself, then defines things that he knows about the church in question. After this a challenge or reproach is given, followed by a promise. In all seven cases the admonition is included, “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches”, although sometimes this comes before the promise and sometimes after. Although the letters differ in length in accord with the needs of each community, all conclude with an appeal to hold fast and to listen to what the Spirit is saying to the churches. Each church is promised that everyone who conquers will be rewarded by Christ. Some historicists typically interpret the seven churches as representing seven different periods in the history of the Church from the time of Paul until the return of Jesus Christ.
Chapters 2-3 of Revelation have specific messages for each of the seven churches. The message of each of the seven letters is directed to the angel of the particular church that is mentioned.
These “angels” are the so-called guardian angels of the churches. On the other hand; Epiphanies explicitly reject this view and in accordance with the imagery of the passage, explain it to the bishops.
John sees a vision of the Son of Man, who walks among seven lampstands and has seven stars in his right hand. Revelation 1:20 states “The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.” The comparison of a teacher to a star is scriptural.
Augustine of Hippo’s reason for interpreting angels of the churches as the prelates of the church is that St. John speaks of them as falling from their first charity which is not true of the angels. Others would say that the falling away relates to the churches, not to the messengers, as each of the seven letters concludes with the words “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”
In the New Testament, the Greek word for angels (aggelos) is not only used for heavenly angels but also for human messengers, such as John the Baptist (Matthew 11:10, Mark 1:2, Luke 7:27) and God’s prophets (Revelation 22:8-9)
The messages to the seven churches, while being for actual churches, can also be applied to seven distinct ages of the Church.
Ephesus – The strong church
Had patiently borne adversity, and could not stand evil.
They had left their first love. God appealed to them to remember where they had fallen.
Smyrna – The poor, rich church.
This church would face persecution.
God had nothing against them.
Pergamum – The faltering church
Had not denied God.
Had allowed false prophets into the church.
Thyatira – The apostate church
Had many good works.
Had allowed the false prophetess Jezebel to come in.
Sardis – The dying church
Asked to repent and watch.
Philadelphia – The weak church
God promised to keep them from the hour of temptation.
The synagogue of Satan, who claimed to be Jews, would know that God was with them.
Laodicea – The lukewarm church
This church thought they were fine.
God asked them to buy gold from him, so they would be rich.


The Missionary Journeys of the Apostle Paul

Paul’s First Missionary Journey with Barnabas to Cyprus and Asia Minor c AD46-48 and Its Sequel, the Council at Jerusalem c AD49 :

Taken from Acts 13:4-14:28 – So these two (Barnabas and Paul) …. went down from Syrian Antioch to Seleucia and from there sailed off to Cyprus. On their arrival at Salamis, they began to proclaim God’s message in the Jewish synagogues, having John (Mark) as their assistant. As they made their way through the island as far as Paphos they came across a man named Bar-Jesus, a Jew who was both a false prophet and a magician. This man was attached to Sergius Paulus, the proconsul (or Roman governor of the island province of Cyprus), who was himself a man of intelligence. Barnabas and Paul are summoned before Sergius, clash with Bar-Jesus, and Sergius Paulus becomes a believer. Barnabas and Paul then sail to Asia Minor and continue on to Galatia which is a large Roman province in Asia Minor, extending almost from the Black Sea to the Mediterranean through the mountains and plains of modern central Turkey. Settled by Gauls from central Asia in the 3rd century BC, Galatia included the Phrygian town of Pisidian Antioch; not to be confused with Syrian Antioch. Then Paul and his companions set sail from Paphos and went to Perga in Pamphylia. There John (Mark) left them and turned back to Jerusalem, but they continued their journey through Perga to the Antioch in Pisidia. They went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day and took their seats. (On this occasion the Gospel of Jesus is well received. A week later it is rejected and Paul and Barnabas are expelled from the district …) ….. and went on to Iconium. And the disciples continued to be full of joy and the Holy Spirit. Much the same thing happened at Iconium. ….. But when a hostile movement arose from both Gentiles and Jews in collaboration with the authorities to insult and stone them, they got to know about it, fled to the Lycaonian cities of Lystra and Derbe, and the surrounding countryside – and from there they continued to proclaim the Gospel. In Lystra, they heal a crippled man and are nearly worshipped as gods. Then some Jews arrived from Antioch and Iconium and after turning the minds of the people against Paul they stoned him and dragged him out of the city thinking he was dead. But while the disciples were gathered in a circle around him, Paul got up and walked back to the city. And the very next day he went out with Barnabas to Derbe, and when they had preached the Gospel to that city and made many disciples, they turned back to Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch. …… They then crossed Pisidia and arrived in Pamphylia. They proclaimed their message in Perga and then went down to Attalia. From there they sailed back to Antioch (in Syria)… When they arrived there they called the Church together and reported to them how greatly God had worked with them and how he had opened the door of faith for the Gentiles. And here at Antioch, they spent a considerable time with the disciples.

Paul’s Second Missionary Journey with Silas returning to Asia Minor and on into Europe c AD49-52 : 

Taken from Acts 15:40-18:23a – ….. Paul chose Silas and set out on his journey from Syrian Antioch. …. He traveled through Syria and Cilicia and strengthened the churches. He also went to Derbe and Lystra. At Lystra, there was a disciple by the name of Timothy….. (who) was held in high regard by the brothers at Lystra and Iconium, and Paul wanted to take him on as his companion. ….. As they went on their way through the cities they passed on to them for their observance the decisions which had been reached by the apostles and elders in (the Council at) Jerusalem. …
They made their way through Phyrgia and Galatia, but the Holy Spirit prevented them from speaking God’s message in Asia. When they came to Mysia they tried to enter Bithynia, but again the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them. So they passed by Mysia and came down to Troas, where one night Paul had a vision of a Macedonian man standing and appealing to him in the words: “Come over to Macedonia and help us!” …. So we set sail from Troas and ran a straight course to (the island of) Samothrace and on the following day to Neapolis. From there we went to Philippi, a Roman garrison town and the chief city in that part of Macedonia. We spent some days in Philippi …. Philippi – The ruins of Philippi are near modern Kavalla in northern Greece. It was then a city of Macedonia founded by Philip, the father of Alexander the Great. A Roman colony and military center, governed directly from Rome, Philippi was situated on the Via Egnatian, the highway running east and west linking Rome to Byzantium (Istanbul). (Here Paul and Silas, Timothy, and sometimes Luke bring the Gospel to Lydia from Thyatira, are in conflict over a girl with a spirit of clairvoyance, are beaten and imprisoned, survive a destructive earthquake, and convert their jailer. The magistrates release them, but on learning that Paul is a Roman citizen, apologize to them and …..) after taking them outside the prison, request them to leave the city (of Philippi) …..The next day they journeyed through Amphipolis and Apollonia and arrived at Thessalonica. Here there was a synagogue of the Jews which Paul entered, following his usual custom. Thessalonica – Modern Salonika or Thessalonika. A free city, capital of the Roman province of Macedonia in northern Greece. Thessalonica was a major port, and like Philippi, located on the east-west Egnatian highway, and thus an important center of trade by land and by sea: The teaching of Paul and Silas converted a large number of the people but also infuriated many Jews. The city is in uproar. Without delay, the brothers despatched Paul and Silas off to Beroea (or Berea) that night. On their arrival there they went to the Jewish synagogue. The Jews proved more generous-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they accepted the message most eagerly …… But when the Jews at Thessalonica found out that God’s message had been proclaimed by Paul at Beroea as well, they came there too to cause trouble and spread alarm among the people. The brothers at Beroea then sent Paul off at once to make his way to the sea coast (near Beroea), but Silas and Timothy remained there. The men who accompanied Paul took him as far as Athens and returned with instructions for Silas and Timothy (still in Berea) to rejoin Paul as soon as possible. Paul had some days to wait at Athens for Silas and Timothy to arrive (and while there, addressed some of the many philosophers of Athens, most of whom rejected his teaching …) Before long Paul left Athens and went on to Corinth where he found a Jew called Aquila, a native of Pontus. This man had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla because (the emperor) Claudius had issued a decree that all Jews should leave Rome. …. They all worked together, for their trade was tent-making. Every Sabbath Paul used to speak in the synagogue trying to persuade both Jews and Greeks. By the time Silas and Timothy arrived from Macedonia Paul was completely absorbed in preaching the message, showing the Jews as clearly as he could that Jesus is Christ. However, when they turned against him and abused him he shook his garments at them, and said, “Your blood be on your heads! From now on I go with a perfectly clear conscience to the Gentiles.” Corinth – The original Corinth is near modern Corinth in southern Greece. An ancient Greek city, and chief town of the Roman province of Achaia, it was at this time governed by proconsul Gallio. Located near the narrow strip of land separating the Adriatic from the Aegean Seas, and through which ran the north-south highway linking the rest of Greece with the southern Peloponnesus, Corinth was a vital center of commerce. A cosmopolitan city with the temple of Aphrodite – goddess of love and fertility – and with two nearby ports including Cenchrea, Corinth was well known for its sexual immorality. Then he left them and went to the house of a man called Titius Justus, a man who reverenced God and whose house was next door to the synagogue. …. Paul settled down there (in Corinth) for eighteen months (his second longest recorded stay in a city during his three Missionary Journeys) and taught them God’s message. Then, while Gallio was governor of Achaia the Jews banded together to attack Paul …. (but Gallio) flatly refused (s) to be judged in these matters. ….. Paul stayed for some time (in Corinth) after this incident. …….. and then (Paul) took leave of the brothers and sailed for Syria, taking Priscilla and Aquila with him. At Cenchrea he had his hair cut short, for he had taken a solemn vow. They all arrived at Ephesus and there Paul left Aquila and Priscilla, but he himself went into the synagogue and debated with the Jews. When they asked him to stay longer he refused, bidding them farewell with the words, “If it is God’s will I will come back to you again” (which he does on his Third Missionary Journey). Then he set sail from Ephesus and went down to Caesarea. Here he disembarked and after paying his respects to the Church in Jerusalem, he went down to Antioch. He spent some time there before he left (on his Third Journey).

Paul’s Third Missionary Journey, returning to Asia Minor and Greece c AD53-58 :

Taken from Acts 18:23b-20:3a – After spending some time in Syrian Antioch, Paul started on his Third Missionary Journey, and ….proceeded to visit systematically throughout Galatia and Phrygia putting new heart into all the disciples as he went. Now a Jew called Apollos, a native of Alexandria and a gifted speaker, well versed in the scriptures, arrived at Ephesus. …. This man began to speak with great boldness in the synagogue. But when Priscilla and Aquila heard him they took him aside and explained the Way of God to him more accurately. Then as he wanted to cross into Achaia, the brothers gave him every encouragement and wrote a letter to the disciples there, asking them to make him welcome. Ephesus – South of modern Izmir or Smyrna in Western Turkey, and at that time capital of the Roman province of Asia. One of the three greatest cities of the eastern Mediterranean with a population of perhaps 250,000 – the other two being Alexandria in Egypt and Syrian Antioch, Ephesus was an important port with good access to the interior of Asia Minor. As a center for the worship of Artemis or Diana – the Asian goddess of fertility, her temple was one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. The great theatre could hold 25,000 people. While Apollos was in Corinth Paul journeyed through the upper parts of the country (the high inland plateau of Asia Minor) and arrived at Ephesus. There he discovered some disciples (… whom he baptized in the Holy Spirit). Then Paul made his way into the synagogue there (in Ephesus) and for three months he spoke with the utmost confidence. But when some of them hardened in their attitude toward the message and refused to believe it. Paul left them, withdrew his disciples, and held daily discussions in the lecture hall of Tyrannus. He continued this practice for two years (… Paul’s longest recorded stay in any one location during his three Missionary Journeys), so that all who lived in Asia (not just Ephesus, but the surrounding country), both Greeks and Jews, could hear the Lord’s message. (Paul continues to preach and also to heal, and with such success that a number who previously practiced magic publicly burn their highly-prized books). (Towards the end of his 3-year stay in Ephesus, Paul probably wrote his First Letter to the church in Corinth) After these events Paul set his heart on going to Jerusalem by way of Macedonia and Achaia, remarking, “After I have been there I must see Rome as well.”. Then he dispatched to Macedonia (the province that included the cities of Philippi and Thessalonica) two of his assistants, Timothy and Erastus, while he himself stayed for a while in Asia. (Paul is now publicly attacked by the many craftsmen whose livelihood depends on the worship of the goddess Diana and a near riot ensues). After this disturbance had died down, Paul sent for the disciples and after speaking encouragingly said goodbye to them and went on his way to Macedonia. As he made his way through these districts (of Macedonia, Paul probably wrote his Second Letter to the Corinthians after Titus’ return from Corinth). He spoke many heartening words to the people and then went on to Greece (including Corinth), where he stayed for three months. During his stay in Corinth, Paul is believed to have written his Letter to the church in Rome. According to this Letter, either on his way from Macedonia or during his three-month stay in Greece, Paul led or organized a mission to Illyricum or Dalmatia – the area of the old Yugoslavia.

Paul’s Third Missionary Journey Concluded; returning to Jerusalem c AD58 :

Taken from Acts 20:3b-12 – 21:15 – Then after staying in Greece. When he (Paul) was on the point of setting sail for Syria the Jews made a further plot against him and he decided to make his way back (by land) through Macedonia. His companions on the journey were Sopater a Beroean … two Thessalonians … Gaius from Derbe, Timothy, and two Asians….. This party proceeded to Troas to await us there while we sailed from Philippi after the days of unleavened bread. and joined them five days later at Troas where we spent a week. At Troas, Paul’s lengthy teaching almost leads to the death of a young man Eutychus who goes to sleep and falls out of the window! Meanwhile, we had gone aboard the ship and sailed on ahead for Assos, intending to pick up Paul there ….. since he himself had planned to go overland. When he met us on our arrival at Assos we took him aboard and went on to Mitylene. We sailed from there and arrived off the coast of Chios the next day. On the day following we crossed to Samos and the day after that we reached Miletus. Paul had decided to sail past Ephesus with the idea of spending as little time as possible in Asia. He hoped, if it should prove possible, to reach Jerusalem in time for the day of Pentecost. At Miletus, he sent to Ephesus to summon the elders of the Church. On their arrival he addressed them …… What saddened them most of all was his saying that they would never see his face gain… When we had finally said farewell to them we set sail, running a straight course to Cos and the next day we went to Rhodes and from there to Patara. Here we found a ship bound for Phoenicia and we went aboard her and set sail. After sighting Cyprus and leaving it on our left we sailed to Syria and put in at Tyre, since that was where the ship was to discharge her cargo. We sought out the disciples there and stayed with them for a week (… the disciples warned Paul not to go up to Jerusalem). ….. We sailed away from Tyre and arrived at Ptolemais. We greeted the brothers there and stayed with them for just one day. On the following day, we left and proceeded to Caesarea and there we went to stay at the house of Philip the Evangelist (… again he is warned of the dangers of returning to Jerusalem). After this we made our preparations and went up to Jerusalem. Taken from Acts 27:12 – 28:31 – ….. (two years after Paul’s original arrest in Jerusalem and his journey to Caesarea), Paul and some other prisoners were put in charge of a centurion named Julius…… We embarked on a ship hailing from Adramyttium, bound for the Asian ports, and set sail. On the following day we put in at Sidon, where Julius treated Paul most considerately by allowing him to visit his friends and accept their hospitality. From Sidon, we put to sea again and sailed to leeward of Cyprus, since the wind was against us. Then, when we had crossed the gulf that lies off the coasts of Cilicia and Pamphylia, we arrived at Myra in Lycia. There the centurion found an Alexandrian ship bound for Italy and put us aboard her. For several days we beat slowly up to windward and only just succeeded in arriving off Cnidus. Then, since the wind was still blowing against us, we sailed under the lee of Crete and rounded Cape Salmone. Coasting along with difficulty we came to a place called Fair Havens, near which is the city of Lasea. 
(In spite of Paul’s warnings, the ship continued on its way) …… the majority were in favor of setting sail again in the hope of reaching Phoenix and wintering there. Phoenix is a harbor in Crete, facing southwest and northwest. So, when a moderate breeze sprang up, thinking they had obtained just what they wanted, they weighed anchor, and coasted along, hugging the shores of Crete. But before long a terrific gale, which they called a north easter, swept down upon us from the land. The ship was caught by it and since she could not be brought up into the wind we had to let her fall off and run before it. Then, running under the lee of a small island called Clauda, we managed with some difficulty to secure the ship’s boat. After hoisting it aboard they used cables to brace the ship. To add to the difficulties they were afraid all the time of drifting onto the Syrtis banks, so they shortened sail and lay to, drifting. (The writer of Acts then describes the terrible storm that finally casts them up alive on the shore of Malta) …. On the fourteenth night of the storm, as we were drifting in the Adriatic, about midnight the sailors sensed that we were nearing land. After our escape, we discovered that the island was called Melita. (Paul’s stay in Malta is described). It was no less than three months later that we set sail in an Alexandrian ship which had wintered in the island …… We put in at Syracuse and stayed there three days, and from there we tacked round to Rhegium. A day later the south wind sprang up and we sailed to Puteoli, reaching it in only two days. There we found some of the brothers and they begged us to stay a week with them, and so we finally came to Rome. The brothers there had heard about us and came out from the city to meet us, as far as the Market of Appius and the Three Taverns. When we reached Rome, Paul was given permission to live alone with the soldier who was guarding him (where he stayed for at least two years after which he was either executed or released). Only the First Letter of Peter and the Book of Revelation is included here. The Letter of James is generally believed to have been the first Letter of the New Testament to have been written, probably sometime before the Council at Jerusalem. The Letter to the Hebrews and the other General or Catholic Letters – the Second Letter of Peter, the First, Second, and Third Letters of John, and the Letter of Jude, although written around this time are not included. Where Hebrews, 2 Peter, and Jude were written their destinations are generally very uncertain. The three Letters of John were probably written in Ephesus probably all to addresses in the Province of Asia.