Mapping The Route Of Paul’s ‘Second Missionary Journey’ From Dorylaeum To Troas -- By: Robert Jewett

Journal: Tyndale Bulletin
Volume: TYNBUL 48:1 (NA 1997)
Article: Mapping The Route Of Paul’s ‘Second Missionary Journey’ From Dorylaeum To Troas
Author: Robert Jewett

Mapping The Route Of Paul’s ‘Second Missionary Journey’ From Dorylaeum To Troas

Robert Jewett


The road ‘down to Troas’ (Acts 16:8) has never been thoroughly investigated. An overland route of 400-450 kilometers through the highlands east of Troas is proposed, linking a number of Roman cities, towns and mining sites whose locations have been identified but whose roadways have not yet been documented. Historical studies and archaeological reports in Turkish, European, and American journals are surveyed to suggest the plausibility of this route. Whether such a route in fact existed in Paul’s time needs to be investigated by an archaeological expedition specifically aimed at discovering the road network in northwestern Anatolia.

I. Introduction

The route of Paul’s travels through Galatia to Troas described in Acts 16:6-8 has never been investigated in detail by archaeologists or historians, even though several hypothetical routes have been suggested since the 1890’s.1 In 1979 W.P.

Bowers evaluated the evidence and concluded that ‘no significant east-west routes are known to have existed through this territory in the time of Paul.’2 In the same year A Chronology of Paul’s Life was published with the calculation of the approximate distance of this journey along ‘unknown’ roads.3 Even the most recent, critical study Bible4 traces the route to Troas with a vague line, disregarding the few roads that have been identified, while arbitrarily crossing mountains and rivers as if Paul traveled by heliocopter. An exhaustive survey of published material confirms the assessment that none of the recent studies or maps of Greco-Roman roads in Anatolia show a validated east-west route that matches the descripition of this journey.5 The authoritative article by David French concludes more generally that, with regard to the second

missionary journey, the ‘roads and routes taken by Paul cannot be established’ because evidence is lacking at the present time.6

An examination of the evidence in Acts and a consideration of travel conditions and urban development in the Roman period suggest the possib...

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