28 May. Acts 11:19-26

28 May. Barnabas brings Saul (Paul) to Antioch to teach the new believers

"Many of the believers were scattered when they were persecuted after Stephen was killed [in 35AD]. Some of them went as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus and Antioch telling the message to others, but only to Jews."

"Some of these believers were people from Cyprus and Cyrene [in Libya]. When they came to Antioch [in Syria], they spoke also to Greeks [non-Jews], telling them the Good News about the Lord Jesus. The Lord was helping the believers, and a large group of people believed and turned to the Lord."

"The church in Jerusalem heard about all of this, so they sent Barnabas to Antioch. Barnabas was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and full of faith. When he reached Antioch and saw how God had blessed the people, he was glad. He encouraged all the believers in Antioch always to obey the Lord with all their hearts, and many people became followers of the Lord."

"Then Barnabas went to the city of Tarsus to look for Saul [also called Paul], and when he found Saul, he brought him to Antioch. For a whole year Saul and Barnabas met with the church and taught many people there. In Antioch the followers were called Christians for the first time."

          (Acts 11:19-26)



After the stoning of Stephen in 35AD, some Greek-speaking Jewish believers travelled to Antioch in Syria to spread the Good News to the Jews living there (see 1 on the map).

Other believers from Cyprus and Cyrene (in modern-day Libya) also arrived in Antioch and preached to the Greek-speaking Gentiles living there (see 2 on the map).

Barnabas (who was also from Cyprus – see Acts 4:36) was sent to investigate the new Gentile believers in Antioch (see 3 on the map). He was pleased to see wonderful evidence of God’s grace poured out on the Gentiles, and he encouraged them in their new faith.

In 43AD, Barnabas went to Tarsus to bring Paul back to Antioch (see 3 & 4 on the map). They stayed here for a year, teaching the new believers how to put their new faith into practise.

The believers were called ‘Christians’ (literally, 'followers of the Christ') for the first time at Antioch. This may originally have been intended as a term of abuse for those who believed that Jesus was indeed the 'Christ' – the 'Messiah' or 'anointed one' promised in the Jewish scriptures (see the feature on 'Who was the Messiah' @ https://www.thebiblejourney.org/…/2-john-the…/johns-message/ ).

You can read more about Paul's early ministry @ https://www.thebiblejourney.org/…/the-gentile-church-at-an…/


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