Road to Damascus Begin Paul's First Journey

Antioch in Syria



Hills near Antioch

Antioch  was the place where Christians began making efforts to extend the gospel to non-Jews. Barnabas brought Paul from Tarsus to Antioch to join in the congregation's ministry. Paul and Barnabas also took a contribution from the Antioch congregation to Jerusalem, where there was a danger of famine. 

Context: Antioch was the third largest city in the Roman Empire. It was built near the Mediterranean coast in what today is southeastern Turkey. The main street was paved with marble and flanked by colonnades. Antioch's population was made up of many peoples, including Greeks and Jews. Peter may have baptized gentiles at Caesarea (Acts 10:47-48), but the first sustained efforts to bring non-Jews into the Christian community took place at Antioch. It was there that the followers of Jesus were first called "Christians."

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