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2MJ—Asia
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  • 2MJ Asia—Beginnings
    • Asia Beginnings—Tarsus Blog
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      Read our journal about our visit to Tarsus and surrounding territory, including the Cilician Gates, as well as see additional pictures and a movie at the end of the blog. Click image to open another browser window to read blog, or click here.
    • Asia Beginnings—Fight with Barnabas
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      Note carefully that at the beginning of this so-called “second missionary journey,” Paul has such a serious fight with Barnabas about John Mark that he ruptures the Antiochene mission team (Acts 15:36–39). When Paul suggested that they return to “every city where we proclaimed the word of the Lord” (Acts 15:36), Barnabas knew that had to mean Cyprus, since the return trip of the first missionary journey did not include confirming the churches on the island of Cyprus; instead, they had sailed right on by Cyprus back to Antioch of Syria. For some reason not specified by Luke, John Mark left the mission team immediately after Cyprus (Acts 13:13). Paul interpreted this action as a desertion, but Barnabas apparently did not (Acts 15:37–38). When Barnabas urged rapprochement with John Mark, Paul was hard-nosed and refused to reconcile, which split the Antiochene mission team. Barnabas took John Mark and went to Cyprus, forcing Paul to choose Silas as a replacement representative of the Jerusalem church (Acts 15:40). Paul and Barnabas never worked together again, even though Barnabas had meant everything to Paul, getting him on board with the Jerusalem church from the very beginning immediately after the Damascus Road (Acts 9:27), as well as taking the initiative to bring Paul to Antioch in the first place (Acts 11:25).
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    • Asia Beginnings—Cilician Gates
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      The “Cilician Gates” is the name for the ancient pass about 27 miles from Paul’s hometown of Tarsus through the Taurus Mountains in the narrow gorge cut by the Gökoluk River. Armies and caravans have traversed this same pass for thousands of years. Today the modern E90 Turkish highway works through this same pass. By mentioning “Syria and Cilicia,” Luke implies that Paul traveled through this pass on the second missionary journey (Acts 15:41).
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    • Asia Beginnings—Timothy at Lystra
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      After the fight with Barnabas that wrecked the Antiochene mission team and derailed Paul’s mission work, the one redeeming element of the South Galatian portion of Paul’s so-called second missionary journey is picking up Timothy on the way through Lystra. Timothy would become Paul’s lifelong friend and faithful missionary associate to the end.
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  • 2MJ Asia—Troas
    • Asia Troas—Troas Blog
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      Read our journal about our visit to Troas. We barely got in a visit before the guard had left for the day and as the weather was beginning to threaten rain. Click image to open another browser window to read blog, or click here.
    • Asia Troas—Archeological Site
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      The ancient site of Troas is not well excavated. The Germans did some work in the twentieth century. The ruins, however, are not marked in English, only German. I was able to decipher the signs the first visit in 2002, but most of the site was hugely overgrown with thick bush and small trees. During our second visit, we were most fortunate to have the site guard stay overtime at the end of his workday to show us rather quickly new areas of recent work before the cold, windy rain set in from an approaching front.
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    • Asia Troas—“Aimless in Asia”
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      Luke makes clear that at the beginning of the so-called second missionary journey, Paul has derailed from God’s will. First, in stark contrast to the initiative of the Holy Spirit in instigating the first missionary journey (Acts 13:2), Luke’s silence about the Holy Spirit regarding Paul’s suggestion to retrace his previous mission steps is deafening; after Paul’s split with Barnabas, all the Antiochene church can do is commend Paul to the grace of God (Acts 16:40). Second, Paul takes along Silas to replace Barnabas, but he wanders aimlessly through regions of South Galatia where he already has been, clearly violating his explicit mission strategy as stated in Rom. 15:20. Third, the Holy Spirit resists Paul’s every move, both to Asia (Acts 16:6) and to Bithynia (Acts 16:7). Bluntly, after the fight with Barnabas, Paul has not a clue where to go, and the Holy Spirit is resisting him all the way. On this supposed “missionary” journey, Paul never goes into a synagogue; Paul never preaches; no one gets saved; no miracles are performed; no magician is blinded; no lame man is made to walk. This so-called “missionary” journey so far is no missionary journey at all! Paul simply is aimless in Asia.
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