Bible Question:

What happened on Paul's first missionary journey?

Bible Answer:

Beginning in Acts 13:1-3 the book of Acts describes three missionary journeys of the apostle Paul and Barnabas. Each journey started in the city of Jerusalem and ended in the city of Jerusalem. On the first missionary journey, the apostle and Barnabas went to the island of Cyprus and Asia Minor or modern day Turkey. They returned to Jerusalem by retracing their steps.

Paul's First Missionary Journey - 500W

Paul’s 1st Missionary Journey Started In A.D. 47

The apostle Paul’s first missionary journey started in Jerusalem (Acts 13:4). The estimated date for the start of this missionary journey is the spring of A.D. 47 as determined by William M. Ramsay who was once an atheist.[1] William Ramsay personally visited and researched the Middle East extensively in an attempt to prove the book of Acts was wrong. In the process he became a Christian. His research is considered to be extremely dependable.

Paul’s 1st Missionary Journey (Acts 13:4–14:26)

Paul’s first missionary journey started and ended in the city of Jerusalem. After leaving Jerusalem, Paul’s first stop was Seleucia, Syria (Acts 13:4). He then left for Cyprus. Then he and Barnabas sailed to Asia Minor and landed at Perga. From Perga they traveled to Pisidian Antioch and then to Derbe. That was the farthest east they traveled from Pisidian Antioch and then they back tracked to Jerusalem, bypassing the island of Cyprus.

Here is Paul’s itinerary for the first missionary journey and the approximate times.


Table - Paul’s First Missionary Journey (A.D. 47 - 49)


Paul’s first missionary journey to Asia Minor resulted in churches being planted. Paul returned to these churches during his second and third missionary journeys. Acts 16:1- 8 and Acts 18:23 reveal that Paul revisited these churches and strengthened the disciples. God used Paul greatly to plant Christianity in Asia Minor.



1.  William M. Ramsay. St. Paul The Traveller and Roman Citizen. Kergel. 2001. p. 303.

Suggested Links:

When did Paul start the churches in the region of Galatia?
What happened on Paul’s second missionary journey?
What happened on Paul’s third missionary journey?
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