Ancient Near East
Images & Art
Maps & Geography
Mythology & Beliefs
People in History
Timelines & Charts
Salamis of Cyprus
Brief Overview of Paul's Visit to the Salamis on the Island of Cyprus on His First Missionary Journey
Saul (now referred to as Paul), Barnabas, and Mark (their assistant) set
sail from Seleucia to the island of Cyprus (a Roman senate province). This
island was also the home of Barnabas. They always began by preaching in the
local synagogue and they spent several months there preaching the Word of God in
The Island of Cyprus is 140 miles long it is the third-largest island in the Mediterranean, next to Sicily and Sardinia. The island has two mountain ranges, one along the North Coast (about 3000 feet in elevation), and one along the south coast (about 6000 feet in elevation). The large valley between these two mountain ranges serve as the granary of the island. There are also very large forests which was served as the main natural resource for Cyprus, and the timber supplied shipbuilders with their necessary wood. Other important industries of Cyprus were copper and silver smelting. In fact the word "copper" is derived from the word "Cyprus." On the island of Cyprus there is a mild Mediterranean climate.
The Missionary team landed at Salamis, which was the main port and commercial center of the entire island. At Salamis the Roman influence was very apparent, a beautiful forum, gymnasium, public baths, a large theater, and a temple dedicated to Zeus. In fact Salamis was known for having the largest agora (marketplace) of all the colonies within the Roman Empire.
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
© Bible History Online (http://www.bible-history.com)