Missionary Journeys Of St. Paul

Missionary Journeys of St. Paul

During one of his missionary journeys St. Paul visited Ephesus in Turkey.
He stays in the city about three years (Acts 19:1-20). In Ephesus Paul discovers twelve believers who were baptized but who did'nt as yet have God's spirit. Paul baptizes them in His name and they receive God's Holy Spirit (Acts 19:1-7).

Seven Churches of Revelation

Seven Churches of Revelation

In looking at the letters to the 7 Churches, we see the Lord speaking directly to the 7 Churches
that existed in the Holy land at the time John lived. We also see the Lord's opinion of those Churches, and what they were doing
at the time: Ephesus, Pergamon, Laodicea, Sardis, Thyatira, Smyrna, Philadelphia churches.

Biblical Sites in Turkey

Biblical sites in Turkey

Turkey is called the Other Holy Land as it has more biblical sites than any other country in the Middle East.
Antioch - the place where the followers of Jesus were first called Christians; Tarsus - where Apostle Paul was born and many others..

Tarsus Acts 9:11;9:30;11:25;21:39;22:3

Tarsus was the capital of the Roman Province of Cilicia, situated between the Taurus Mountains and the Mediterranean Sea. The Province of Cilicia varied between 30 to 60 miles wide and was about 300 miles long. The city of Tarsus was about 10 miles inland of the Mediterranean on the alluvial plain, watered by the Cydnus and may have had as many as one half million inhabitants in the time of St. Paul. Ramsey described the city as about 70 feet above sea level on a level plain.
The lower Cyndus was made navigable and a port had been built to carry goods to and from the sea. A major road lead to the north where the famous mountain pass known as the Cilician Gates lay less than 29 miles inland. Sir William Ramsey described the pass as one of the most famous and important passes in history.

The origins of the city are shrouded in mystery, but it appears the city was a native Cilician town taken over by Ionian settlers of antiquity. Josephus attributes the city to the Tarshish of Genesis 10:4, but this is by no means certain. It is mentioned several places in historical record with certainty. The Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser says this city was taken by the Assyrians (mid C9 BCE). Xenophon passed through in 401 BCE, and found the ruler to be a local. Alexander found the rulership in the hands of the Persians, and he replaced the ruler (334 BCE).

Coins found in excavations of the region make no claim of autonomy until after the defeat of Antiochus the Great at the hands of the Romans (189 BCE). Syria appears to have undergone some reorganization at this time, allowing autonomy in some of the regions. Tarsus appears to have grown into autonomy at this time establishing a constitution as a free city. The city became part of the Roman Empire with the arrival of Pompey the Roman General and the defeat of the pirates that often harassed the city by about 64 BCE.
Some scholars speculate that St. Paul may be a descendant of some of those who were promised free citizenship if they moved to the Cilician city in 171 BCE. Another claim for the citizenship ancestry of St. Paul can be found in some who raise the possibility that St. Pauls father or grandfather helped Marc Antony (and thus Rome) during Cleopatras renowned visit to Tarsus in 41 BCE.

The historian Strabo mentions the splendor of the event, as Cleopatra sailed her gilded barge in the Cyndus into the city. In addition, there is reason to believe that Antony and Octavian used some resources of the city in their struggle against Brutus and Cassius, who they later defeated at Philippi in Macedonia. Some have even suggested that a tent makers gift could have been repaid in citizenship (cp. Acts 18:3), though this is mere speculation.

Autonomy meant that Tarsus was able to govern itself under its own laws, impose import taxation and a variety of other freedoms. Strabo mentions that the city was excited by education, and was home to the third largest university, after Athens and Alexandria. One teacher or note that came from Tarsus was the famous Athenodorus, a Stoic Philosopher that tutored Augustus at Apollonia, and later became his advisor from 44 to 15 BCE.
This probably accounts for Augusts favor on the city. Athenodorus returned to Tarsus and established a reform to the city in15 BCE. Along with the reforms, he established a patrician class that probably included the family of St. Paul, who boasts of his association with the city (Acts 21:39).

In addition to being the hometown of St. Paul (Acts 9:11; 21:39; 22:3), it was also the city St. Paul returned to after his escape from Jerusalem (Acts 9:30). Barnabas found St. Paul in the city and enlisted him to service at Antioch (Acts 11:25ff). St. Paul may well have visited on the Second and Third Mission Journeys (Acts 15:41; 18:22-23).


Biblical Sites in Turkey List

Adramyttium Edremit Derbe Ekinozu Miletos Milet Pisidian Antioch (Yalvac)
Assos Behramkale Ephesus Selcuk Myra Demre Sardis
Attalia Antalya Hierapolis Nicea Iznik Seleucia
Cappadocia Province Iconium Konya Patara Smyrna (Izmir)
Charchemish (Jerablus) Istanbul Perga Perge Tarsus
Cnidus Laodicea Pergamum Thyatira
Colossae Honaz Lystra Philadelphia Troas (Dalyan)
      Troy