27 June. Acts 20:1-3

27 June. Paul visits Macedonia and writes to Corinth and Rome

"After he [Paul] had encouraged them [the believers in Ephesus] and said goodbye, he left [in the autumn of 56AD] and went to the country of Macedonia [northern Greece]. He said many things to strengthen the followers in the different places on his way through Macedonia [including Philippi, Amphipolis, Apollonia, Thessalonica and Berea]."

"Then he went to [Corinth in southern] Greece, where he stayed for three months."

          (Acts 20:1-3)

 

 

Sometimes, Luke's account of 'The Acts of the Apostles' is so concise that it's necessary to 'read between the lines' if we want a fuller picture of what actually happened.

This is a good example - where Luke covers five or six months of Paul's 'third missionary journey' in just 3 verses! But if we look at Paul's letters and put them into the timeframe and context in which they were written, we can discover quite a lot more about those busy six months.

After the riot led by the silversmiths in Ephesus, Paul left for Troas and sailed on to Macedonia where Timothy and Erastus were waiting for him (see 3 on the map on 23 June and 2 Corinthians 2:12-13).

While in Philippi in the autumn of 56AD, Paul wrote his Second Letter to the Corinthians. Paul explained how he had originally decided to visit Corinth both before and after his visit to Macedonia (see 2 Corinthians 1:16). But he had changed his mind, and had gone straight to Macedonia with the intention of moving on to Corinth to spend the winter there (see Acts 20:1-3).

In his letter, he reminds the believers about collecting their offering for the church in Judaea, and defends himself against further charges brought against him by ‘false prophets’.

Arriving in Macedonia, Paul set about visiting all the towns where he'd left new believers after his 'second missionary journey' five years earlier in 51AD. He encouraged the fledgling church at Philippi, then moved on through Amphipolis and Apollonia to Thessalonica (see the map of Paul's 'second missionary journey' on 21 June).

After encouraging the believers in Macedonia (northern Greece), Paul turned south and visited the believers in Achaia (southern Greece) where he stayed for three months over the winter of 56/57AD in Corinth (see 1 Corinthians 16:5-6) (see 4 on the map on 23 June).

In the early spring of 57AD, Paul wrote his Letter to the Romans. Paul had intended to visit the believers in Rome after travelling through Macedonia and Achaia (northern and southern Greece) but he had changed his plans and was about to return directly to Jerusalem with the gifts for the church from the believers in Philippi and Corinth (see Acts 19:21).

In his letter, Paul explains his change of plan, and teaches the believers in Rome how God puts people right with himself – through faith in the Lord Jesus.

If you read through Paul's Second Letter to the Corinthians (see https://www.thebiblejourney.org/…/pauls-2nd-letter-to-cori…/) and his Letter to the Romans (see https://www.thebiblejourney.org/…/14-…/pauls-letter-to-rome/), you get a real feel for what was on Paul's mind as he visited Greece during the six months that are covered in just three verses in the Acts of the Apostles!

Paul reminds the believers in Corinth of the problems he has recently endured in Ephesus, and reminds the believers that they can rely on God in times of trouble and persecution (2 Corinthians 1:4-11). And he tells the believers in Rome that, in the last days, God will judge all people. He will pour out his anger on the selfish and sinful, but will reward those who turn away from evil with eternal life (Romans 2:1-29).

The photo shows a street in Roman Corinth.

You can read more about Paul's visit to Corinth over the winter of 56/57AD @ https://www.thebiblejourney.org/…/…/paul-travels-to-corinth/.


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