(1) In Iconium (in modern Konya, Turkey) Paul and Barnabas went as was their usual practice to the Jewish synagogue, where they spoke God’s word so effectively that a large number of Jews and Greeks believed. (2) But the Jews who refused to believe stirred up the non-Jews and filled their minds with hatred against them.
(3) So Paul and Barnabas spent an extended period of time in Iconium, speaking courageously for the Lord. And the Lord confirmed the message of his grace by empowering them to do miraculous signs and wonders (miracles).
(4) The people of Iconium were sharply divided; some chose the side of the Jews, while others sided with the apostles. (5) The Jews and non-Jews—together with their leaders—developed a plan to hurt them and throw rocks at them.
From Iconium to the Lycaonia Region
(6) But Paul and Barnabas found out about the plan to kill them, so they fled south around 21 miles (34 km) to the cities of Lystra and Derbe, and to the surrounding south central Lycaonian region of the Roman province of Galatia, (7) where they continued to proclaim the gospel (good news) of Jesus Christ.
(8) In Lystra (Hatunsaray), located around 22 miles/35 km southwest of Iconium, in modern Turkey) there sat a man who was born crippled and had never been able to walk. (9) As he listened to Paul, Paul looked straight at him, saw that he had faith to be healed, (10) and called out to him, “Stand up on your feet!” At Paul’s command, the man jumped up and began to walk.
(11) When the crowd of people saw this, they shouted in the Lycaonian language, “The gods have come down to us in human form!” (12) They called Barnabas by the name Zeus, and they called Paul by the name Hermes, because he was the primary speaker. (13) The priest of Zeus—whose temple was just outside the city—brought bulls and wreaths to the city gates because the people wanted to offer sacrifices to them.
(14) But when the apostles Paul and Barnabas heard what they were about to do, they tore their clothes and ran into the crowd, shouting, (15) “Our friends, why are you doing this? We are only humans like you. We are bringing you the gospel (good news) of Jesus, telling you to turn away from worthless idols to the living God, who created the heavens and the earth and the sea and everything in them. (16) In past generations, God let all nations go their own way, (17) but he has not left himself without testimony. He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; he provides you with plenty of food, and fills your hearts with joy.” (18) Even after saying this to them, they had a difficult time stopping the people from sacrificing to them.
(19) Then some Jews arrived in Lystra from Pisidian Antioch and Iconium and they turned the people against Paul and Barnabas. They threw rocks at Paul and dragged him outside the city, thinking he was dead. But after the Lystra disciples had gathered around Paul, he got up and went back into the city.
From Lystra to Derbe
(20) The next day Paul and Barnabas left Lystra and walked southeast about 81 miles (130 km) to the city of Derbe (Ekinozu). (21) There they proclaimed the gospel (good news) of Jesus, and a large number of people believed.
Elders Ordained in the Galatian Churches
(21) Then Paul and Barnabas traveled back west about 200 miles (330 km) through the cities of Lystra, Iconium, and Pisidian Antioch, (22) strengthening the disciples and encouraging them to remain true to the faith, saying, “We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God.”
(23) Paul and Barnabas ordained elders in each church and, with prayer and fasting, committed them to the Lord, in whom they had put their trust.
Paul and Barnabas Return to Antioch
Acts 14:24-28 (Spring AD 47)
(24) After Paul and Barnabas walked about 112 miles (180 km) through the Pisidian region of the Roman province of Galatia, they traveled south through the Taurus Mountains to the Roman province of Pamphylia. (25) After proclaiming God’s word in the city of Perga, they traveled about 10 miles (17 km) to the Mediterranean port city of Attalia (in modern Antalya,Turkey).
(26) From Attalia they sailed back to the city of Antioch in the Roman province of Syria, where they had been committed to God’s grace for the mission journey they had now completed.
(27) When they arrived in the city of Antioch, they gathered the church together and told them all that God had done through them and how he had opened a door of faith to the non-Jews.(28) And they stayed in Antioch for a long time with the disciples.
(It was in AD 48 that Paul wrote the letter of Galatians, probably before the Jerusalem Council of Acts 15:4-21. It was likely the same time that Peter visited Antioch and was publicly confronted by Paul for his false teaching that non-Jewish believers needed to be circumcised to be saved; see Galatians 2:11-21).