Paul’s Third Missionary Journey Acts 18:21-21:16 Paul returned to Asia Minor and Greece c AD53-58, after spending some time in Syrian Antioch, he starts on his Third Missionary Journey
Paul proceeded to visit systematically throughout Galatia and Phyrgia putting new heart into all the disciples as he went.
Now a Jew called Apollos, a native of Alexandria and an eloquent speaker, well-versed in the scriptures, arrived at Ephesus. Eloquent is from the Greek logious, meaning word. The Greeks used "eloquent" not only to describe a learned person but also one skilled in words. He was also "mighty in the scriptures." One can be mighty in the scriptures and still not have sufficient knowledge, as we shall see in the case of Apollos.
Apollos, we are told, was "instructed in the way of the Lord" and with “ardent spirit, spoke and taught accurately about Jesus , although he knew only the baptism of John" (vs. 25). John's baptism was important but it was only preparatory, it looked to Jesus and his baptism (Mk. 1: 3, 4, Matt. 3: 2 ff.). Apollos was zealous in his teaching, but lacked knowledge (see I Tim. 1: 7).
Apollos was teachable. We all must be seekers of the truth (Jn. 7: 17). So many with the attainments of Apollos would have scoffed at a lowly couple teaching him, but not Apollos (vs. 26). Aquila and Priscilla "took him and explained to him the way of God more accurately” (vs. 26).
Apollos continues to preach, but now with the whole truth (vss. 27, 28, cp. Acts 20: 27). “He vigorously refuted the Jews in public, establishing from the scriptures that the Messiah is Jesus" (vs. 28). Apollos continued to be of much help to the cause of Christ (I Cor. 3: 5, 6).
Ephesus South of modern Izmir or Smyrna in Western Turkey, and at that time capital of the Roman province of Asia. One of the three greatest cities of the eastern Mediterranean with a population of perhaps 250,000 (the other two being Alexandria in Egypt and Syrian Antioch) Ephesus was an important port with good access to the interior of Asia Minor.
As a centre for the worship of Artemis or Diana - the Asian goddess of fertility, her temple was one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. The great theatre could hold 25,000 people: The daughter of Leto and Zeus, and twin sister of Apollo. She is the goddess of the wilderness, the hunt and wild animals, and fertility (she became a goddess of fertility and childbirth mainly in cities). Artemis was one of the Olympians and a virgin goddess.
While Apollos was in Corinth Paul journeyed through the upper parts of the country (the high inland plateau of Asia Minor) and arrived at Ephesus. There he discovered some disciples (who he baptizes in the Holy Spirit), Then Paul made his way into the synagogue there and for three months he spoke with the utmost confidence. But when some of them hardened in their attitude towards the message and refused to believe it Paul left them, and withdrew his disciples, and held daily discussions in the lecture-hall of Tyrannus.
Tyrannus was a Greek schoolmaster who allowed the apostle Paul to use his facility for a period of about two years. It is unknown whether it was just in the afternoons, after Tyrannus' own morning classes, or whether Paul used it at some other time, or through the entire day. Despite opposition from others it was one of the most productive and powerful times of Paul's ministry, "so that all the inhabitants of the province of Asia heard the word of the Lord, Jews and Greeks alike.” And God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul.
Paul continues to preach and also to heal, and with such success that a number who previously practiced magic publicly burn their highly-prized books.
After these events Paul set his heart on going to Jerusalem by way of Macedonia and Achaia, remarking, "After I have been there I must see Rome as well." Then he dispatched to Macedonia (the province that included the cities of Philippi and Thessalonica) two of his assistants, Timothy and Erastus, while he himself stayed for a while in Asia.
Towards the end of his 3 year stay in Ephesus, Paul probably wrote his First Letter to the church in Corinth.
As was so often the case, Paul eventually found himself in grave danger from idol worshipers, in this case that of the pagan god Artemis (also known as "Diana of the Ephesians"), and those silversmiths who were in the business of supplying them (Acts 19:24-27). He exposed their fraud, and in return they nearly killed him (Acts 19:28-41).
After this disturbance had died down, Paul sent for the disciples and after speaking encouragingly said good-bye to them, and went on his way to Macedonia. As he made his way through these districts of Macedonia, Paul probably wrote his Second Letter to the Corinthians after Titus' return from Corinth. He spoke many heartening words to the people and then went on to Greece (including Corinth), where he stayed for three months.
During his stay in Corinth, Paul is believed to have written his Letter to the church in Rome. According to this Letter, either on his way from Macedonia or during his three months stay in Greece, Paul led or organized a mission to Illyricum or Dalmatia - the area of the old Yugoslavia.
Illyricum (Dalmatia) was the Roman Province established in place of the former kingdom of Illyria. It stretched from the Drilon river in modern Albania to Istria (Slovenia/Croatia) in the north and the Sava river (Bosnia/Croatia) in the east. Its capital was located at Salonae near the modern Split in Croatia. Paul traveled through the province of Illyria. Albania was in that time part of this province. Paul and his co-workers planted the first Christian churches in the area, which belongs to Albania today."For I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has wrought through me to win obedience from the Gentiles, by word and deed, by the power of signs and wonders, by the power of the Holy Spirit, so that from Jerusalem and as far round as Illyricum I have fully preached the gospel of Christ." (Romans 15:18,19)
PAUL'S THIRD MISSIONARY JOURNEY CONCLUDED; THE RETURN TO JERUSALEM c AD58 Taken from Acts 20:3b-12 - 21:15
Then after staying in Greece when he (Paul) was on the point of setting sail for Syria the Jews made a further plot against him and he decided to make his way back (by land) through Macedonia. “And there accompanied him into Asia Sopater of Berea; and of the Thessalonians, Aristarchus and Secundus; and Gaius of Derbe, and Timotheus; and of Asia, Tychicus and Trophimus.”
Although referred to as a "kinsman" of Paul, that may have not necessarily meant a physical relative because Paul often spoke of fellow Christians in general as either his family or fellows in the work e.g. "Timotheus my workfellow, and Lucius, and Jason, and Sosipater, my kinsmen“ (Rom 16:17-24) It is not certain that Sopater is also the "Sosipater" (i.e. a slightly different spelling, which is not an uncommon occurrence) who is mentioned later, but it seems very possible because Sopater and Sosipater are both accounted for in a group of associates of Paul that both times lists Timotheus Sts Jason & Sosipater Sopater of Berea, from the Greek name pronounced so-pat-ros, meaning the father who saves or savior of the father.
Aristarchus, from two Greek words, "arist," meaning best of (the "arist" in the name Aristarchus means the same as the "arist" in the social term aristocrat) and "archus," meaning rule ("arch" is a suffix found in such words as monarchy, or mono-archy, meaning one ruler) was, despite his high-sounding name, a humble man of God (the fact that relatively so few know of him, even though his dedication to God was second to no one, is a testimony to his humility) was one of the few who had both the faith and the courage to remain with the apostle Paul during the troubles that Paul, and his loyal friends, encountered during their missionary journeys. He was with Paul in the shipwreck on Malta and was a "fellow-prisoner" with Paul at Rome. He very likely shared Paul's martyrdom there.
Gaius was baptized by Paul: • (the Greek version of the Roman name Caius, meaning fortunate) • "I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius" • (1 Corinthians 1:14) • Some are of the opinion that there was more than one man named Gaius associated with Paul, a possibility that is not clearly ruled out by the Scriptures. • One fact is certain, if there was more than one Gaius, they all were believers who were faithful and trusted friends of Paul. • A Gaius was accosted by the raving mob of idol worshippers at Ephesus after Paul's message that their "gods" were worse than just useless. A • A "Gaius of Derbe" was among those who accompanied Paul • Paul was staying with a Gaius at Corinth when Paul wrote his epistle to the Romans
This party proceeded to Troas to await us there while we sailed from Philippi  after the days of unleavened bread. and joined them five days later at Troas , where we spent a week. At Troas, Paul's lengthy teaching almost leads to the death of a young man Eutychus who goes to sleep and falls out of window!
Meanwhile we had gone aboard the ship and sailed on ahead for Assos, intending to pick up Paul there since he himself had planned to go overland (Acts 20:13). Assos (Behramkale ) Aristotle, Plato's most famous student, was invited to Assos and spent over three years living and teaching here. The acropolis of Assos is 238 meters above sea-level, and the Temple of Athena was constructed on this site in the 6th century B.C. Below lies a tiny and idyllic ancient harbor
When he met us on our arrival at Assos we took him aboard and went on to Mitylene . Mitylene was a major city of the Aegean Sea island of Lesbos. Although Mitylene is not well known, a term that originated from the island is - lesbian which was derived from the island of Lesbos. Paul later wrote of what happens when people forsake The Creator and live according to a way "which is against nature" (Romans 1:24-26). "Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonor their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the Truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature. And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet."
We sailed from there and arrived off the coast of Chios  the next day. The ancient city of Chios occupied the same site as the present capital of the island. Literary sources tell of a large, thriving walled city, with a large dockyard, magnificent temples, a theatre, gymnasium, presbytikon, baths, porticoes and other buildings. Today virtually nothing can be seen of this important Ionian center, and the site of not a single building has been identified with certainty.
On the day following we crossed to Samos , Samos was initially inhabited around 3000 B.C. by Pelasghi who worshipped the goddess Hera. Later Ionians, from Asia Minor settled on the island. Samos prospered in 532 B.C., when Polycrates ruled the island.Some of the most important philosophers came from Samos. Among them were Pythagoras who was mathematician, philosopher, physicist, Aristarchos who was astronomer and expressed the theory that earth is revolving around its axis and the sun, Konon, Kalistratos etc. Samos was occupied by Athenians in 441 B.C., and later by Macedonians of Meghas Alexandros.
and the day after that we reached Miletus . Miletus, or Miletum, was a major seaport city of western Asia Minor. The city's four natural harbors made it a busy port in the region, including serving Ephesus which was about 35 miles away. It was in earlier times a commercial center for the Myceneans and Minoans (it was among the first places where coins were minted), and was later further developed by the Ionians who made it their capital of Ionia. The Persians captured it from the Ionians in 494 BC, but it was later taken by Alexander the Great in 334 BC, and subsequently by the Romans who held it in the time of the New Testament.
Paul had decided to sail past Ephesus with the idea of spending as little time as possible in Asia. He hoped, if it should prove possible, to reach Jerusalem in time for the day of Pentecost. At Miletus he sent to Ephesus to summon the elders of the Church. On their arrival he addressed them. What saddened them most of all was his saying that they would never see his face gain.
When we had finally said farewell to them we set sail, running a straight course to Cos or Kos, Kos Island was inhabited in prehistoric times, around the 14th century BC, via arrival in the islands of the Minoans from Crete. A few centuries later, the Dorians started to arrive. Around 700 BC they built the ancient city of Kos, which together with Lindus, Cameirus, Ialysos on Rhodes, Cnidus and Halicarnassus in Asia Minor formed the so-called Dorian Hexapolis.
In the 5th century BC, Kos was taken by the Persians, and with their defeat entered the mainland Athenian League (479 BC). In 460 BC, Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine, whose name is known throughout the world, since he was the founder of the first school of medicine, was born in Kos. After his death (357 BC), the people of Kos built the famous Asklepeion, in honor of the god Asklepios, which operated as a hospital, admitting thousands of patients from all over the Mediterranean and applying the methods of therapy taught by Hippocrates. Alexander the Great took Kos in 336 BC and was succeeded on his death by the Ptolemies.
and the next day we went to Rhodes and from there to Patara. Here we found a ship bound for Phoenicia, and we went aboard her and set sail.
After sighting Cyprus and leaving it on our left we sailed to Syria and put in at Tyre, since that was where the ship was to discharge her cargo. We sought out the disciples there and stayed with them for a week (the disciples warn Paul not to go up to Jerusalem).
We sailed away from Tyre and arrived at Ptolemais . We greeted the brothers there and stayed with them for just one day.
On the following day we left and proceeded to Caesarea and there we went to stay at the house of Philip the evangelist (again he is warned of the dangers of returning to Jerualem). After this we made our preparations and went up to Jerusalem.