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Paphos of Cyprus
Brief Overview of Paul's Visit to the Paphos on the Island of Cyprus on His First Missionary Journey
# 3 After ministering at Salamis, Paul journeyed from the east side of the island across to the west side preaching in the Jewish synagogues along the way. They reached Paphos, the city port on the western side of the island, and the seat of Roman government. Paphos was the worship center for the goddess Aphrodite (Venus), the Greek goddess of love, beauty, and fertility. According to a legend Aphrodite was born from the foam of the sea, and she floated in a shell on the waves, and landed on Cyprus near Paphos. Every year people came from all over the Mediterranean world to visit her temple.
When they left the city of Paphos, Paul and his companions set sail for Asia
(modern Turkey). Asia (also known as Asia minor) is a massive 3000-5000 foot
plateau with high mountain ranges all around it. The area is somewhat arid with
a few natural resources, therefore the land was used mainly for grazing and
grain. The mountains are a great source of resources, lots of timber, and
wealthy deposits of gold, silver, and copper, lead, iron, zinc, and marble.
There is fruitful rainfall along the coast producing grapes and olives which were common around the Mediterranean. The main trade route in Asia minor during the first century AD went from Ephesus to Antioch of Pisidia and then split north to the Euphrates and south to Tarsus and down into Syria.
Gal 4:4 "But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His
Son, born of a woman, born under the law"
There is no doubt in what the Word of the Lord says, that Jesus came, "in the fullness of time." Politically, intellectually, morally, and everything else in the Graeco-Roman world was ready for the message of the gospel. One note worth mentioning is that in the gentile world, it is told, there was an expectation of a great One who about this time would come from Judaea (Tacitus, History v. 13; Suetonius, Vespas. 4).
When Jesus died on a Roman cross it was not the end but the beginning. His followers would spread a message called the "gospel" meaning good news starting in Jerusalem and spreading to the farthest parts of the known world. Their message was:
Jesus, a lowly Jewish carpenter from the despised city of Nazareth, was rejected by His own Jewish nation and crucified by the Roman governor was indeed the Messiah and the Savior of mankind, who rose from the dead and anyone who would accept Him would be forgiven of all sins and would rise with Him in glory.
Those who spread the message were mostly Jews and were commanded by the Lord to go to the Jewish brethren first and then to the gentiles. When they entered Jewish synagogues they were scorned and persecuted by most of the Jews, and even the Greco-Roman cultures referred to their message as "superstitious rabble." Yet the Book of Acts reveals that the message about Jesus Christ spread to all who of those who had open hearts throughout the whole Mediterranean world and, as Jesus had promised, the Holy Spirit entered hearts and lives.
Around 48 AD, in the springtime, Paul and his companions Barnabas and Mark were called on a mission by the Holy Spirit and sent out by the church in Antioch. This would be the first of Paul's Missionary Journey's. In his missions he preaches the Word, performs many miracles, makes many disciples and raises up elders for the new Churches. He is also heavily persecuted, yet his life and ministry is one that has set an awesome example of dedication and courage for all to remember. You can look at the Map to trace the route of their first church-planting campaign.
The Story of the Bible
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