PAUL'S UNRECORDED JOURNEY


Romans: This is written during Paul's second journey and probably when he was at Corinth.

  1. 15:24-25 - Paul has received the gift from Macedonia to take to the saints in Jerusalem.
  2. 15:31- Paul is hoping his service to the saints in Jerusalem will be acceptable to them. This must be the first return to Jerusalem or he would know what to expect from them.
  3. 16:21- Timothy is with Paul. Timothy arrived in the second journey also (Acts 16:1).
  4. 16:3 - Aquila and Priscilla enter in the second journey.
  5. 16:23 - Gaius is the host of Tertius the writer for Paul. In 1 Cor. 1:14 he was in Corinth and was baptized by Paul. Erastus joined Paul in the third journey (Acts 20:4). He is the treasurer of the city of which Gaius is the host. Could Paul be in Corinth when this is being written?
1 Corinthians: This is written in the third journey. Paul passes Corinth when he goes back through Macedonia (Acts19-20).
  1. 1:1- Sosthenes is with Paul (second journey Acts 18:17).
  2. 1:12 - Apollos, Paul, and Cephas have already been there and taught the people.
  3. 3:5- Paul planted the word, Apollos fertilized with his teaching. This has to be after the second journey or in the third journey because we know Apollos went to Corinth at the end of Paul's second journey (Acts 18:24).
  4. 16:5-8 - Paul is passing through Macedonia now, but will hold off coming to Corinth at this time. He will tarry in Ephesus for Pentecost (Acts 19-20).
  5. 16:12 - Apollos is known by the people and will return. He came to Ephesus at the end of Paul's second journey (Acts 18:21,24) and then went to Corinth (Acts 18:27; 19:1).
2 Corinthians: We know Paul came to Corinth once in his second recorded journey (Acts 18:1). We also know he passed Corinth up in his third recorded journey. After the third trip Paul was taken prisoner. When could he make a third trip to Corinth? This may be an unrecorded journey!
  1. 1:1- Timothy is with Paul.
  2. 1:8 - Paul faced trouble in Asia (Acts 19:21-41).
  3. 1:15 - Paul intended to come to them a second time but did not (1:5; 2:1). In his third journey he came to Athens and went back to Macedonia without coming to them (Acts 20:2,3).
  4. 7:8 - Paul writes this after his first letter to them.
  5. 9:4 - Paul is planning on coming to Corinth expecting the prepared gift having maybe some Macedonians with him. He seems to be in Macedonia (9:2).
  6. 12:14; 13:1 - Paul is coming for the third time to Corinth.
  7. Paul was in Asia(1:8), planned to go to Corinth then Macedonia and back to Corinth (1:15,16). Paul ended up going to Troas (2:12) then Macedonia.
Galatians: Paul is clearly writing this letter sometime after 17 years of ministry work. It is not clear though exactly when he wrote this letter to the Galatians.
  1. 1:17-2:1 - Paul writes this letter after a minimum of seventeen years. It was three years after his encounter with the Lord on the road to Damascus before he goes to Jerusalem the first time (Acts 9:26) and then fourteen years to go back to Jerusalem after going through Syria and Cilicia. It seems he went into the desert and then back to Damascus for three years preaching the gospel (Verse 18 may fit Acts 9:26-30). This is when he probably stayed fifteen days before going to Tarsus. Paul then goes to Antioch (Acts 11:25,26) before starting his first recorded journey. This journey appears to have taken 14 years to loop through twice. He does take Barnabas, who was with him on the first recorded journey, to Jerusalem (Acts 15:2). Then they go to Antioch (Acts 15:35) before Paul sets out for his second recorded journey.
  2. 2:11 - Paul confronts Peter concerning circumcision when Peter comes to Antioch. This could fit Acts 15:1-5 when men came from Judea to teach about circumcision.
  3. Paul stays a long time in Antioch after returning from his first journey (Acts 14:28).
Ephesians: This letter reads as one of encouragement to a new foundation of believers. It is one that seeks to strengthen and establish them early on due to the tribulations facing them and also with Paul. It is written after the third journey and probably while Paul is a prisoner at Jerusalem.
  1. 3:13 - Paul's speaks of his tribulations that occurred either at Ephesus (Acts 19 - third journey) or when he was a prisoner at Jerusalem (after the return from the third journey).
  2. 6:19,20 - Paul is in chains, a prisoner.
  3. 6:21 - Paul sends Tychicus to Ephesus t o report on the affairs of Paul. He joined Paul in the third journey. In Acts 20:18 the elders in Ephesus come to Paul in Miletus.
Philippians: Paul writes this while he is a prisoner in Rome.
  1. 1:1 - Timothy is with Paul (second and third journeys).
  2. 1:13 - Paul a prisoner at the place where there is a palace guard. This could be at Caesarea (Acts 23:26-33) or Rome (one mentioned at Acts 28:16). Could there be a palace guard at Jerusalem before he is moved to Caesarea?
  3. 1:20-26 - Paul feels he will produce more fruit and return again to the Philippians. In verse 20 he sounds like there is a possibility he will die. Could this be written before Acts 23:11? In Acts 23:11 Paul is a prisoner in Jerusalem. He is told by the Lord that he is going to Rome to testify.
  4. 2:23 - Paul is waiting to see his fate. This sounds like the time he would be at Jerusalem or Caesarea. At Rome he had a rented house for two years freely preaching the word (Acts 28:30,31).
  5. 4:10-18 - It seems the Philippians now had an opportunity to help Paul by material needs to aid him in his ministry. They must have sent the gifts to Rome while Paul was able to move about freely for the two years he was there.
  6. 4:22 - The household of Caesar greets the church at Philippi. This for sure is in Rome!
Colossians: Paul writes this letter from Rome.
  1. 1:1 - Timothy is with Paul.
  2. 4:10 - Aristarchus is a fellow prisoner. He is mentioned in Acts19:29; 20:4; and 27:2. He is on the boat to Rome with Paul.
  3. Paul spends three months on the island of Malta after the shipwreck. He could have sent this letter then, but was Timothy on board the ship to Rome? Probably not. It is more reasonable to assume this letter is written after Paul arrives at Rome.
1 Thessalonians: This is written during the third journey after Timothy comes back to Paul with a report concerning the Thessalonians.
  1. 2:2 - Paul preaches to the Thessalonians after going to Philippi (Acts 17).
  2. 3:1 - Paul is in Athens and sends Timothy to report on the Thessalonians. This is probably the time in Acts 20:3 when Paul stayed three months in Greece. This was on his third journey. He passed them when coming through to Greece. He probably sent Timothy back to check on them after arriving in Greece.
2 Thessalonians: This is the third journey or later. It is the second letter to the Thessalonians. We know the first letter was written during the third journey after Timothy comes back to Athens with a report to Paul (1 Tim. 3:1-6). This letter sounds like a follow up letter to the first one.

1 Timothy: This may be an unrecorded journey.

  1. 1:3 - Paul goes into Macedonia while Timothy is to remain in Ephesus. This did not happen on the second or third journey. In Acts 19:22 Paul stays in Ephesus while Timothy goes to Macedonia (this is in the third recorded journey). In Acts 20:4 Timothy comes with Paul to Asia (Ephesus is in Asia). Paul has to be going away from Asia toward Macedonia in order for Timothy to 'remain in Ephesus.'
2 Timothy: The strongest clue to another journey for Paul is Trophimus. He joins Paul in Acts 20:4 and goes to Jerusalem with Paul. How can he be left sick in Miletus after this? Paul has to be going from Asia toward Miletus and leave Trophimus in Miletus. Otherwise Timothy would have known Trophimus was left sick in Miletus. Paul goes from Corinth to Miletus and is now a prisoner in Rome (a second time).
  1. 1:17 - Paul is in Rome a prisoner.
  2. 4:6 - Paul feels he is about to leave this earth.
  3. 4;10-11 - All have left Paul here, but in Philemon vs. 24 they are with him.
  4. 4:12 - Tychicus is sent to Ephesus. He also joined Paul in Acts 20:4 and returned with him to Jerusalem. He was with Paul at Nicopolis (Titus 3:12) but in Ephesus here.
  5. 4:14-16 - Paul is making a defense again. Who is Alexander the coppersmith? He seems to have caused great trouble for Paul. It is not recorded in Acts.
  6. 4:20 - Erastus stayed in Corinth. He was treasurer of the city (likely Corinth; see Romans 16:23). Trophimus was left in Miletus sick. In Acts 21:29 he returns to Jerusalem with Paul after the third recorded journey. He joined Paul in Acts 20:4 from Asia through Miletus to Jerusalem. In this verse it seems both men were with Paul, with Erastus staying in Corinth and Trophimus going on to Miletus before getting sick.
  7. 4:21 - These saints are not mentioned anywhere in the book of Acts.
Titus: This has to be another journey because Tychicus joined Paul in Acts 20:4 on the return of the third journey. Paul could not be wintering in Greece and call for Apollos before doubling back through Macedonia because Tychicus is already with him (and Apollos was in Corinth in the third recorded journey)! Paul could not send Tychicus to Titus in Crete unless he leaves Rome. He can not leave Titus in Crete either unless he leaves Rome and they travel together.
  1. 1:5 - Paul leaves Titus in Crete. The only recorded time Paul was in Crete was when he was a prisoner headed to Rome and then he did not stop but only passed close to it (Acts 27:12-13).
  2. 3:12 - Paul is headed to Nicopolis in Greece for the winter, a city northwest of Athens and Corinth. It seems Paul went to Crete and afterward to Greece. Tychicus is with Paul after Paul doubles back through Macedonia and comes to Jerusalem with him. Now, he seems to be with Paul. He is to be sent to Ephesus from here.
  3. 3:13 - Apollos is asked for by Paul. Apollos joined the ministry at the end of the second journey or beginning of the third (Acts 18:24). He went to Corinth while Paul went to Ephesus (Acts 19:1) in the third recorded journey. Now, he is with Titus in Crete. He would have to have gone to Crete after Paul ends the third journey. He could not have gone during it because Paul is now in Nicopolis. Paul did not go to Nicopolis in any of the recorded journeys.
Philemon: When could Paul have gone to Colossae? Did he go in one of the previous journeys and it is just not mentioned in Acts? This is probably during an unrecorded journey. Paul may have left Rome and traveled with Timothy arriving at Ephesus and leaving him there. Afterward, he left Trophimus sick in Miletus.
  1. 10 - Onesimus is the helper of Paul whom he begot while in chains in Rome. In Paul's letter to the Colossians (4:9) he is first mentioned.
  2. 23 - Epaphras is a prisoner now with Paul. In Colossians 1:7 and 4:12 he is a fervent worker in Christ. He must have been made a prisoner later.
  3. 22 - Here Paul feels he may be released and be able to come to Philemon (in Colossae). If so, is this when Paul leaves Rome and travels with Timothy who then remains in Ephesus (Colossae is in Asia). After this, Trophimus will go on to Miletus with Paul and be left there sick.
Hebrews: When was Timothy a prisoner? This must have occurred in an unrecorded journey.
  1. 10:34 - The people had compassion on the writer of Hebrews ( we believe is Paul) when he was in chains.
  2. 13:23 - Timothy is set free. When was he a prisoner?

 

SUMMARY OF PAUL'S JOURNEYS

LETTER JOURNEY PLACE WRITTEN
Romans In second journey At Corinth
1 Corinthians In third journey After leaving Greece
2 Corinthians Unrecorded journey In Macedonia (after leaving Rome)
Galatians After third journey 17 yrs. or later into Paul's ministry
Ephesians After third journey Paul a prisoner at Jerusalem
Philippians After first trip to Rome Paul a prisoner at Rome
Colossians After first trip to Rome Paul a prisoner at Rome
1 Thessalonians In third journey Athens, Greece
2 Thessalonians In or after third journey Possibly still at Athens
1 Timothy Unrecorded journey After Paul passes through Macedonia
2 Timothy Unrecorded journey Prisoner at Rome (second time)
Titus Unrecorded journey Headed to Nicopolis (NW of Athens)
Philemon After third journey Paul is prisoner (in Rome?)
Hebrews Unrecorded journey Unknown

SUMMARY BY CITY OR REGION

First Journey:
Acts 13:2-14:28
  • Seleucia
  • Cyprus: Salamis, Paphos
  • Pamphylia: Perga
  • Pisidia: Antioch
  • Iconium
  • Lycaonian: Lystra,(stoning at Lystra)
  • Derbe
  • Lystra, Iconium, Antioch
  • Pamphylia; Perga, Attalia
  • Antioch of Syria (stays a long time here)
  • Jerusalem (council on circumcision)
  • Antioch (return with letter of instruction)
Second Journey:
Acts15:16-18:22
  • Syria and Cilicia
  • Derbe
  • Lystra
  • Phrygia and Galatia
  • Mysia
  • Troas
  • Neapolis
  • Macedonia: Philippi (jailed after healing slave girl)
  • Thessalonica (run out of town from Jason's house)
  • Berea (run out when Thessalonians come down)
  • Athens
  • Corinth (meets Aquila and Priscilla; Sosthenes, the ruler of the synagogue, believes and is beaten)
  • Cenchrea
  • Ephesus (leaves Aquila and Priscilla here)
  • Caesarea
  • Antioch
Third Journey:
Acts18:23-23:22
  • Galatia and Phrygia
  • Ephesus (purposed in the Spirit to go to Rome after Macedonia , Achaia and returning to Jerusalem; two hour riot)
  • Macedonia
  • Greece
  • Macedonia
  • Troas
  • Assos
  • Mytilene
  • Trogillium
  • Miletus (calls for elders in Ephesus)
  • Cos
  • Rhodes
  • Patara
  • Tyre
  • Ptolemais
  • Caesarea (warned by a prophet about trouble in Jerusalem)
  • Jerusalem (arrested in temple)
Trip to Rome:
Acts23:23-28:31
  • Jerusalem
  • Caesarea (taken to Felix the governor; two years later Festus takes over; also King Agrippa and Bernice hear Paul)
  • Sidon (beginning of voyage to Rome)
  • Myra
  • Fair Havens
  • Malta (shipwrecked on island of Malta; Paul bit by poisonous snake; Paul heals father of Publius)
  • Syracuse
  • Rhegium
  • Puteoli
  • Rome (Paul dwells two years unforbidden preaching and teaching the kingdom of God.)

 

PAUL'S UNRECORDED JOURNEY

Hint Source Hint
Philemon 10,22
2 Corinthians 12:14; 13:1
1 Timothy 1:3
Titus 1:5; 3:12
2 Timothy 1:17; 4:13,20
Paul in Rome believing he is going to Colossae soon.
Paul is coming for the third time to Corinth.
Paul goes to Macedonia from Ephesus.
Paul is headed to Nicopolis sometime after leaving Titus in Crete.
Paul leaves Erastus in Corinth, his cloak in Troas, Trophimus in Miletus, and then becomes a prisoner again in Rome.
It is unclear how Paul traveled this last journey. The following suggested scenario would seem to work:
Paul leaves Rome and arrives at Colossae to stay with Philemon. Later, he comes to Ephesus where Timothy is asked to remain. He goes on to Macedonia where he writes the first letter to Timothy. He plans on coming back to Ephesus (1Tim. 4:13) which he does. He stops at Troas on the way to or from Macedonia and leaves his cloak with Carpus (2 Tim. 4:13). From Ephesus he goes on to Miletus where he plans on sailing to Crete. In Miletus he has to leave Trophimus who was sick. Arriving at Crete he has Titus remain there. Paul goes on to Corinth where Erastus decides to stay (2 Tim. 4:20). Paul plans to winter in Nicopolis. At this time he writes Titus hoping to have him come to Nicopolis. It is not certain he ever made it to Nicopolis. Sometime after writing to Titus he is imprisoned again at Rome.

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