New Testament Churches
Caesarea, Joppa

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New Testament Churches - Palestine Coastal Cities Map

Caesarea

Caesarea Maritima is located on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea. It was constructed by Herod the Great in honor of Roman Emperor Caesar Augustus. After being built, it soon became the capital of the Roman Province of Judea (Palestine) and the place where troops were headquartered.

The first century Jewish historian Josephus wrote the following about Caesarea and how beautiful it appeared.

"Now upon his (Herod's) observation of a place near the sea . . . he set about getting a plan for a magnificent city there, and erected many edifices with great diligence all over it, and this of white stone. He also adorned it with most sumptuous palaces and large edifices for containing the people . . .

It (Caesarea) was of excellent workmanship; and this was the more remarkable for its being built in a place that of itself was not suitable to such noble structures, but was to be brought to perfection by materials from other places, and at very great expenses" (Antiquities of the Jews, Book 15, Chapter 9, Section 6).

The apostle Paul visited Caesarea at least four times. He visited the churches in the coastal city of Palestine at the end of his second missionary journey (Acts 18:22) and near the end of his third journey he spent several days with Philip the evangelist who, along with his four virgin daughters, hosted a fellowship in their home (Acts 21:8 - 14). Caesarea is also the place where Peter baptized Cornelius, a Centurion in the Roman army. Cornelius is the first gentile (non-Jew) the New Testament states became a Christian (see Acts 10).

Picture of Caesarea from Paul's travels
Animated map of the fall of Rome!
Area of Paul's greatest success!

Joppa

The Palestine coastal town of Joppa's modern name is Jaffa, an area annexed by the city of Tel Aviv. The city is located at the only natural harbor on the Mediterranean between Ptolemais and Egypt and was for centuries Jerusalem's main seaport.

Called Japho in the KJV Old Testament, Joppa is first mentioned as a city given to the Israelite tribe of Dan as an inheritance in the Promised Land (Joshua 19:40 - 46). It is also the place where the prophet Jonah boarded a ship to flee from God after he was told to condemn the ancient city of Nineveh (Jonah 1:1 - 3).

Christians in this Palestine coastal city summon the apostle Peter when a generous fellow-believer named Dorcas dies. Upon his arrival, through the power of God's spirit, he miraculously raises her from the dead. He is the first disciple of Christ recorded as performing such a supernatural act (Acts 9:36 - 41). Joppa is also the place where Peter sees a vision from the Eternal that symbolically informs him that gentiles (non-Jews) are an acceptable audience for hearing the gospel (Acts 10).

Additional Study Materials
Did Peter really die in ROME?
How long was Paul in prison?
Palestine in the New Testament Map
New Testament Churches
 
Seven Churches of Revelation
(Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamos, Thyatira,
Sardis, Philadelphia, Laodicea)

Series Primary Sources

1911 Encyclopedia Britannica
1913 Catholic Encyclopedia
Complete Book of When and Where in the Bible
Easton's Illustrated Bible Dictionary
Holman Bible Dictionary
Holy Bible a Faithful Version (HBFV)
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
Life and Epistles of Apostle Paul
Parsons Bible Maps
Parsons Bible Atlas
Wikipedia


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