And was unknown by face - I was not personally acquainted with any of the Churches of Judea; I was converted in another place, and had not preached the Gospel in any Christian congregation in that country; I knew only those at Jerusalem.
And was unknown by face - Paul had visited Jerusalem only, and he had formed no acquaintance with any of the churches in the other parts of Judea. He regarded himself at the first as called to preach particularly to the Gentiles, and he did not remain even to form an acquaintance with the Christians in Judea.
The churches of Judea - Those which were out of Jerusalem. Even at the early period of the conversion of Paul there were doubtless many churches in various parts of the land,
Which were in Christ - United to Christ; or which were Christian churches. The design of mentioning this is, to show that he had not derived his views of the gospel from any of them. He had neither been instructed by the apostles, nor was he indebted to the Christians in Judea for his knowledge of the Christian religion.
The gospel was publicly taught in Antioch by certain disciples from Cyprus and Cyrene, who came “preaching the Lord Jesus.” “The hand of the Lord was with them,” and their earnest labors were productive of fruit. “A great number believed, and turned unto the Lord.” AA 156.1
“Tidings of these things came unto the ears of the church which was in Jerusalem: and they sent forth Barnabas, that he should go as far as Antioch.” Upon arrival in his new field of labor, Barnabas saw the work that had already been accomplished by divine grace, and he “was glad, and exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto the Lord.” AA 156.2
The labors of Barnabas in Antioch were richly blessed, and many were added to the number of believers there. As the work developed, Barnabas felt the need of suitable help in order to advance in the opening providences of God, and he went to Tarsus to seek for Paul, who, after his departure from Jerusalem some time before, had been laboring in “the regions of Syria and Cilicia,” proclaiming “the faith which once he destroyed.” Galatians 1:21, 23. Barnabas was successful in finding Paul and in persuading him to return with him as a companion in ministry. AA 156.3Read in context »