Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Paul's Missionary Journeys?

In NT studies it is common to refer to Paul's three "missionary journeys", but I think this privileges the information we have in Acts and somewhat neglects the evidence of Paul's letters. I think it better to think in terms of:

1. Paul's Arabian mission centred around Damascus and Arabia.
2. Paul's Syrian mission located in Antioch.
3. Paul's Cypriot/Asian Mission.
4. Paul's Aegean Mission.
5. Paul's Journey to Rome.


Brant Pitre said...

Hey Mike,

Brant here. While I don't have anything to say about Paul's missionary journeys (except what makes you think that Paul was on mission in Arabia? I always assumed he took several years to pray and rethink all of reality; a 'Sinai experience,' so to speak), I would like your thoughts on my response to your post on the 'worship of angels'.

Hope all is well.

Barentsen said...

Glad to see this. Jacob v. Bruggen, in his now translated study on the life of Paul (Paul, Pioneer for Israel's Messiah) makes the same point, wondering if perhaps Paul first went to people related to the Jews (descendents of the Ishmaelites in Arabia) and people related to his own home ground (Syria and Cilicia), then to people related to his first known ministry partner (Cyprus, home of Barnabas) before finally striking out into 'virgin' territory.

I'm also involved in research in leadership development in the Aegean rim, based on Paul's Aegean mission, so I'm sympathetic to including Paul's 2nd and 3rd missionary journey as in Acts into one larger mission.

Jack Barentsen
Ph.D. candidate, ETF, Belgium