Front Matter The Story of a Beautiful Garden The First Baby in the World and His Brother The Great Ship That Saved Eight People The Tower That Was Never Finished The Story of a Long Journey How Abram's Choice Brought Blessing The Angel by the Well The Rain of Fire That Fell on a City The Boy Who Became an Archer How an Angel's Voice Saved a Boy's Life The Story of a Journey after a Wife How Jacob Stole His Brother's Blessing Jacob's Wonderful Dream A Midnight Wrestling Match The Rich Man's Son Who Was Sold as a Slave From the Prison to the Palace How Joseph's Dream Came True A Lost Brother Found From the Land of Famine to the Land of Plenty The Beautiful Baby Who Was Found in a River The Voice from the Burning Bush The River That Ran Blood The Night When a Nation Was Born How the Sea Became Dry Land and the Sky Rained Bre The Mountain That Smoked and Words That Were Spoke How Aaron Made a Golden Calf and What Became of It The Tent Where God Lived Among His People How They Worshipped God in the Tabernacle What Strong Drink Brought to Aaron's Sons The Scapegoat in the Wilderness The Cluster of Grapes from the Land of Canaan How the Long Journey of the Israelites Came to an What a Wise Man Learned from an Ass How Moses Looked upon the Promised Land The Story of Job The Story of a Scarlet Cord How the River Jordan Became Dry The Story of a Wedge of Gold How Joshua Conquered the Land of Canaan The Old Man Who Fought Against the Giants The Avenger of Blook and the Cities of Refuge The Story of an Altar Beside the River The Presnt That Ehud Brought to King Eglon How a Woman Won a Great Victory Gideon and His Brave Three Hundred Jephthah's Rash Promise and What Came from It The Strong Man: How He Lived and How He Died The Idol Temple at Dan and Its Priest How Ruth Gleaned in the Field of Boaz The Little Boy with a Linen Coat How the Idol Fell Down Before the Ark The Last of the Judges The Tall Man Who Was Chosen King How Saul Saved the Eyes of the Men of Jabesh The Brave Young Prince Saul's Great Sin and His Great Loss The Shepherd Boy of Bethlehem The Shepherd Boy's Fight with the Giant The Little Boy Looking for the Arrows Where David Found the Giant's Sword How David Spared Saul's Life The Last Days of King Saul The Shepherd Boy Becomes a King The Sound in the Treetops The Cripple at the King's Table The Prophet's Story of the Little Lamb David's Handsome Son and How He Stole the Kingdom Absalom in the Wood; David on the Throne The Angel with the Drawn Sword on Mount Moriah Solomon on This Father's Throne The Wise Young King The House of God on Mount Moriah The Last Days of Solomon's Reign The Breaking Up of a Great Kingdom The King Who Led Israel to Sin The Prophet Who Raised a Boy to Life The Prayer That Was Answered in Fire The Voice That Spoke to Elijah in the Mount The Wounded Prophet and His Story What Ahab Paid for His Vineyard The Arrow That Killed a King Elijah's Chariot of Fire A Spring Sweetened by Salt The Pot of Oil and the Pot of Poison The Little Boy at Shunem How a Little Girl Helped to Cure a Leper The Chariots of Fire around Elisha What the Lepers Found in the Camp Jehu, the Furious Driver of His Chariot Elisha and the Bow; Jonah and Nineveh How the Ten Tribes Were Lost The First Four Kings of Judah The Little Boy Who Was Crowned King Three Kings and a Great Prophet The Good King Hezekiah The Lost Book Found in the Temple The Last Four Kings of Judah and the Weeping Proph What Ezekiel Saw in the Valley The Jewish Captives in the Court of the King The Golden Image and the Fiery Furnace The Tree That Was Cut Down and Grew Again The Writing upon the Wall Daniel in the Den of Lions The Story of a Joyous Journey The New Temple on Mount Moriah The Beautiful Queen of Persia The Scribe Who Wrote the Old Testament The Nobleman Who Built the Wall of Jerusalem Ezra's Great Bible Class in Jerusalem The Angel by the Altar The Manger of Bethlehem The Star and the Wise Men The Boy in his Father's House The Prophet in the Wilderness Jesus in the Desert, and beside the River The Water Jars at the Wedding Feast The Stranger at the Well The Story of a Boy in Capernaum and a Riot A Net Full of Fishes The Leper and the Man Let Down through the Roof The Cripple at the Pool and the Withered Hand The Twelve Disciples and the Sermon on the Mount The Captain's Servant, the Widow's Son, and a Sinn Some Stories Jesus Told by the Sea "Peace, Be Still" The Little Girl Who Was Raised to Life A Dancing Girl and What Was Given Her The Feast beside the Sea and What Followed It The Answer to a Mother's Prayer The Glory of Jesus on the Mountain The Little Child in the Arms of Jesus At the Feast of Tabernacles The Man with Clay on His Face The Good Shepherd and the Good Samaritan Lazarus Raised to Life Some Parables in Perea The Poor Rich Man and the Rich Poor Man Jesus at Jericho Palm Sunday The Last Vistis of Jesus to the Temple The Parables on the Mount of Olives The Last Supper The Olive Orchard and the High Priests Hall The Crown of Thorns The Darkest Day of All the World The Brightest Day of All the World The Stranger on the Shore The Church of the First Days The Man at the Beautiful Gate The Right Way to Give, and the Wrong Way Stephen with the Shining Face The Man Reading in the Chariot The Voice That Spoke to Saul What Peter Saw by the Sea How the Iron Gate Was Opened The Earliest Missionaries The Song in the Prison Paul's Speech on the Hill Paul at Corinth Paul at Ephesus Paul's Last Journey to Jerusalem The Speech on the Stairs Two Years in Prison The Story That Paul Told to the King Paul in the Storm How Paul Came to Rome and How He Lived There The Throne of God The City of God

Story of the Bible Told for Young and Old - Jesse Hurlbut

The Earliest Missionaries

We Have seen how, after the death of Stephen, those who were driven out of Jerusalem went everywhere telling of Jesus. Some of these men traveled as far as to Antioch in Syria, which was a great city, far in the north, two hundred and fifty miles from Jerusalem. At first they spoke only to Jews, preaching the word of Christ; but soon many Gentiles, people who were not Jews, heard about the gospel and wished to have it preached also to them. So these men began preaching to the Gentiles, telling them about Jesus Christ and how to be saved.

Antioch in Syria


The Lord was with the gospel, and in a little time many believed in Christ, a great number, both of Jews and Gentiles. Thus at Antioch in Syria arose a church where Jews and Gentiles worshipped together and forgot that they had ever been apart. The news came to the mother-church in Jerusalem, that in Antioch Gentiles were coming to Christ. As all the followers of Christ in Jerusalem were Jews, they were not sure whether Jews and Gentiles could worship together as one people. It was decided, after a time, that some wise man should go from Jerusalem to Antioch and see this new church of Jews and Gentiles. For this errand they chose Barnabas, the good man who had given his land to be sold to help the poor, and who had brought Saul to the church when the disciples were afraid of him. So Barnabas took the long journey from Jerusalem to Antioch. When he saw these new disciples, so many, so strong in their love for Christ, so united in their spirit, and so earnest in the gospel, he was glad, and he spoke to them all, telling them to stand fast in the Lord. For Barnabas was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith.

The church at Antioch was growing so fast that it needed men for leaders and teachers. Barnabas thought of Saul, who had once been an enemy, but was now a follower of Christ. Saul was at that time in Tarsus, his early home; and to this place Barnabas went to find him. He brought Saul to Antioch, And there Barnabas and Saul stayed together for a year, preaching to the people and teaching those who believed in Christ. It was at Antioch that the disciples were first called by the name Christians.

At one time some men came from Jerusalem to Antioch, to whom God had showed things that should come to pass. These men were Prophets, speaking from God. One of them, a man named Agabus, said through the Spirit of God, that a great famine, a need of food, was soon to come upon all the lands. This came as Agabus the prophet had said, in the days when Claudius was emperor at Rome. Over all the lands food was very scarce, and many suffered from hunger. When the followers of Christ in Antioch heard that their brethren of Jerusalem and Judea were in need, they gave money, as each one was able, to help them; and they sent Barnabas and Saul with it. Barnabas and Saul carried the gifts of the church to Jerusalem, and stayed there for a time. When they went back to Antioch, they took with them the young man John Mark, the son of the Mary whose house Peter went when he was set free from prison, as we read in the last story.

Some time after they returned to Antioch, the Lord called Barnabas and Saul to go forth and preach the good news of Christ to the people in other lands. At one time, when the members of the church were praying together, the Spirit of the Lord spoke to them, saying, "Set Barnabas and Saul apart for a special work to which I have called them."

Then the leaders of the church at Antioch prayed, and laid their hands on the head of Barnabas and Saul. And Barnabas and Saul went forth, taking with them John Mark, the young man from Jerusalem as their helper. They went down to the shore of the Great Sea at Selucia, and took a ship, and sailed to the island of Cyprus, they met the Roman ruler of the island, a man named Sergius Paulus. He was a good man, and sent for Barnabas and Saul, that he might learn from them of Christ. But with the ruler was a Jew named Elymas, who claimed to be a prophet, and who opposed Barnabas and Saul in their teaching, and tried to persuade the ruler not to hear the gospel.

Then Saul, full of the Holy Spirit, fixed his eyes on this man Elymas, the false prophet, and said to him, "O thou man full of wickedness, thou child of the evil one, thou enemy of the right, wilt thou not stop to oppose the word of the Lord? The hand of the Lord is upon thee, and thou shalt be blind for a time, not able to see the sun!"

And at once a mist and a darkness fell upon Elymas, and he groped about, feeling for some one to lead him by the hand. When the ruler saw the power of the Lord in bringing this stroke of blindness upon his enemy, he was filled with wonder, and believed the gospel of Christ.

Elymas struck blind


From this time Saul ceased to bear his old name, and was called Paul. He was no longer Saul, but "Paul the Apostle," having all the power that belonged to Peter, and John, and the other apostles.

From the island of Cyprus, Paul and Barnabas and John Mark sailed over the sea to a place called Perga. At this place John Mark left them, and went back to his home in Jerusalem. But Paul and Barnabas went into the land of Asia Minor, and came to a city called Antioch. This was not Antioch in Syria, from which they had come, but another Antioch in a region called Pisidia. There they went into the synagogue, and Paul preached to both Jews and Gentiles. Not many of the Jews believed Paul's words, but a great number of the Gentiles, people who were not Jews, became followers of Christ. This made the Jews very angry, and they roused up against Paul and Barnabas all the chief men of the city and they drove Paul and Barnabas away. They went to Iconium, another city, and there they preached the gospel with such power that many of both Jews and Gentiles believed in Christ. But the Jews who would not believe stirred up the city against Paul and Barnabas. They gathered a crowd of people, intending to seize the apostles and to do them harm, and to kill them. But they knew of the coming of their enemies, and as they had now done their work in Iconium, and had planted the church, they quietly went away from the city.

The apostles Paul and Barnabas next went to the city of Lystra, in the land of Lycaonia, and there they preached the gospel. There were few Jews in that city, and they preached to the people of the land who were worshippers of idols. Among those who heard Paul speak at Lystra was a lame man, who had never been able to walk. Paul fixed his eyes on this man, and saw that he had faith to be made strong. He said to him with a loud voice, "Stand up on your feet!"

And at the words the man leaped up and walked. As the people saw how the lame man had been healed they were filled with wonder, and said, in the language of their land, "The gods from heaven have come down to us in the forms of men!"

They thought that Barnabas was Jupiter, whom they worshipped as the greatest of the gods; and because Paul was the chief speaker, they thought that he was Mercury, the messenger of the gods. In front of their city was a temple of Jupiter; and the priest of the temple brought oxen, and garlands of flowers, and was about to offer a sacrifice to Barnabas and Paul as gods. It was some time before the two apostles understood what the people were doing. But when they saw that they were about to offer sacrifice to them, Paul and Barnabas rushed out among the people, and cried out, "Men, why do you do such things as these? We are not gods, but men like yourselves. And we bring you word that you should turn from these idols, which are nothing, to the living God, who made the heaven and the earth, and the sea, and all things. It is God who has done good to you, and given you from heaven rains and fruitful seasons, filling you with food and gladness."

Paul and Barnabas refuse the sacrifice


And even with words like these they could scarcely keep the people back from offering sacrifices to them. But after a time some Jews came from Iconium. These Jews stirred up the people against Paul, so that instead of worshipping him, they stoned him, and dragged out of their city what they supposed was his dead body. Then they left him, and as the believers gathered around, weeping, Paul rose up alive, and went again into the city. On the next day he journeyed with Barnabas to Derbe. There they preached the gospel and led many as disciples to Christ. After this they went again to the cities where they had preached, to Lystra in Lycaonia, to Iconium and Antioch in Pisidia, and to Perga in Pamphylia, and visited the churches which they had founded. They encouraged the believers, telling them to continue in the faith, and saying to them that those who would enter into the kingdom of God must expect to meet with trouble, and that God would give them a full reward.