Paul's first mission was a 1,400 mile round, which took roughly two years to complete.
Paul's journey started in Antioch, Syria (just within the border of modern day Turkey).
The Christian church had been well established here by this stage. It was during the persecution of Christians in Jerusalem and Judea that many fled to Antioch and the surrounding territories.
The first stop on the travels of Paul and Barnabas (a Cypriot).
Main stops: Salamis & Paphos
The city of Salamis was a natural starting point on the island: it was the largest city and had a strong Jewish contingent.
Main encounters: Sergius Paulus, Elymas
Bar-Jesus AKA Elymas
- He was a magician and false prophet
Parallels to Philip's encounter with Simon Magus in Samaria. Elymas feels threatened by Paul and Barnabas as the Roman Proconsul is not as interested in his false signs and miracles anymore.
Paul, aided by the Holy Spirit, denounces Elymas and, through the judgement of God, he is temporarily blinded.
Why is this significant?
Who else, ironically, received the same punishment?
The venerable Bede, an early Christian writer, writes, "Remembering his [Paul] own case he knew that by the darkening of the eyes the mind's darkness might be restored to light."