Palestine in New Testament
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Palestine in New Testament Times Large Map

Cities in Palestine during New Testament period

ABILENE - Abila, Damascus

AURANITIS - Abila, Dion

DECAPOLIS - Gerasa, Pella

GALILEE - Cana, Capernaum, Chorazin,
Gadara, Hippos, Magadan, Nain,
Nazareth, Tiberias

IDUMEA - Beersheba

ITURAEA - Caesarea Philippi

JUDEA - Bethany, Bethlehem, Emmaus,
Ephraim, Hebron, Jericho, Jerusalem

PEREA - Philadelphia

PHOENICIA - Sidon, Tyre, Zarephath

SAMARIA - Aenon, Salim, Samaria, Scythopolis, Sychar

Palestine is strategically situated between Egypt, Syria and Arabia. This location makes the region a major crossroad for religion, culture and commerce and has lent to its tumultuous history. The area, over the years, has been controlled by empires and powers like the Egyptians, Canaanites, Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, the Crusaders, Ottomans, the British Empire and others.

Palestine under the Maccabees Map

Map showing events in early church

Where were books of the Bible written?

The Roman Empire at its peak

The seven hills of Jerusalem

Palestine under the rule of Herod the Great

Many of Jesus' miracles occurred in the Galilee region of Palestine. Close to half of his disciples lived in the area. About 60% of all the parables Jesus gave during his entire ministry were taught in Galilee. At least three-fourths or 75% of all of Christ's greatest miracles were performed in the Galilean area. Jesus also performed his very first public miracle in Cana.

Hometown of Mary Magdalene

Few who study the Bible know about the city of Magdala. It is mentioned only twice in the New Testament - in Matthew 15:39 where it is called Magdala in the KJV (or Magadan in other translations) and again in Mark 8:10 where it is referred to as Dalmanutha. The city sat on the western shore of the sea of Galilee. Magdala and the surrounding area were known for their dye works and the ability to manufacture fine woolen textures. These industries made the area quite prosperous. In fact, Magdala became so wealthy that it was one of only three cities that had to send their contributions to Jerusalem's temple in a wagon.

Though little known, Magdala played an importance role in the gospels. It is the location where Jesus miraculously fed 4,000 people with only seven loaves of bread and a few small fishes. It is also the hometown of a woman named Mary, who was healed by Jesus when he cast seven demons out of her (Mark 16:9; Luke 8:2 - 3). After being healed she became part of a small circle of people who followed Jesus during his ministry. Because she was from Magdala, she was given the last name of Magdalene.

Mary Magdalene was one of the very few people who stayed with Jesus to the very end of his ministry. She had the character and courage to personally witness Jesus' suffering on the cross when all his disciples (except John) were absent out of fear. She was also the first person to visit Jesus' tomb after his death. Additionally, she was the first human to see Jesus after his resurrection from the dead (Mark 16:9 - 11, John 20:11 - 18). Mary Magdalene was a woman of character and conviction who was willing to stand by Jesus when so many others did not.

Additional Study Materials
Map of Roman Empire during first century
Did Christ have brothers and sisters?
Why were the Samaritans so hated by the Jews?
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