The Christian Church At Antioch

The disciples who had been scattered by the persecution which came after

the killing of Stephen went to Phoenicia and Cyprus and Antioch, but

told about Jesus only to Jews. Some of them, citizens of Cyprus and

Cyrene, when they reached Antioch also told the good news about the

Lord Jesus to the Greeks. The power of the Lord was with them, and a

large number believed and turned to him.

When the news of thi
reached the church in Jerusalem, they sent

Barnabas to Antioch. After he saw the proofs of God's goodness, he was

very glad and urged all to remain loyal to the Lord; and many more


Then Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Paul, whose name had been Saul.

When he had found him, he brought him to Antioch, and for a whole year

they were with the church there and taught a large number of people. It

was at Antioch also that the disciples were first called Christians.

During these days some prophets came to Antioch from Jerusalem. One of

them, Agabus, under the influence of the Spirit, told that a severe

famine would come all through that part of the world, and this famine

came when Claudius was emperor. Therefore, the disciples, each as he was

able, sent something to help the brothers living in Judea. They sent

their gifts to the elders by Barnabas and Paul. After Barnabas and Paul

had done that for which they were sent, they returned from Jerusalem,

bringing with them John, who was also called Mark.

Now in the church at Antioch there were prophets and preachers:

Barnabas, Symeon (called Niger), and Lucius the Cyrenean, besides Manean

(a childhood friend of Herod the ruler), and Paul. As they were

worshipping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, "Set apart for

me Barnabas and Paul for the work to which I have called them." Then

when they had fasted and prayed, they gave them their blessing and sent

them on their way.