Roman Provinces
in the New Testament

Asia - Galatia - Bithynia

Submit questions  -  New Articles
Roman Provinces of Asia, Galatia and Bithynia


The province of Asia, created around 133 B.C., is mentioned directly in the KJV Bible twenty-one times (Acts 2:9, 6:9, 16:6, 19:10, Acts 20:14 - 15, etc.). It contains the Roman regions of Caria (not mentioned in Scripture), Mysia (Acts 16:7 - 8), Phrygia (a region shared with Galatia - Acts 2:10, 16:6, 18:23, 1Timothy 6:21) and Lydia (not mentioned in Scripture).

New Testament cities within this western Asia Minor provincial area include Cnidus (Acts 27:7), Miletus (Acts 20:15 - 20), Trogyllium (Acts 20:15), Assos (Acts 20:14), Troas (Acts 16:8, 11, 20:5 - 6, 2Corinthians 2:12, 2Timothy 4:13), Colosse (Colossians 1:2), Adramyttium (Acts 27:2) and Hierapolis (Colossians 4:13). It also contains the city of Mitylene (on the island of Lesbos - Acts 20:14), plus the islands of Chios (Acts 20:15), Samos (Acts 20:15), Cos (Acts 21:1), Rhodes (Acts 21:1) and Patmos (Revelation 1:9). The seven churches of Revelation (Ephesus - capital of the province, Smyrna, Pergamos (Pergamon), Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea - see Revelation 2 and 3) are also in this area.

When Mysia was incorporated into provincial Asia its name fell into general misuse. It was many times referred to as the Hellespontus. The name of Phrygia is derived from the tribe of Phryges that invaded the country and drove out many others including the Hittites. The Greeks, before Lydia's Roman provincial history, are said to have derived from the Lydians improvements and inventions for creating fine fabrics, working with various metals, and the use of silver and gold as a form of currency.

New Testament churches in Asia Minor

Paul's Second Missionary Journey Map

Was Rome the greatest empire?

Bithynia and Pontus

Bithynia and the western portion of Pontus were combined in 64 B.C. to form a double province by Roman General Pompey. Bithynia is mentioned only twice in the Bible (Acts 16:7, 1Peter 1:1) while Pontus is recorded only three times (Acts 2:9, 18:2, 1Peter 1:1). The Bible does not record any cities within this northern Asia Minor provincial area.

During his second missionary journey, the Apostle Paul was prevented, by God's spirit, from entering the combined province (Acts 16:7). No records exist of Paul ever entering the area during his ministry.

Jews from Pontus are recorded as being in Jerusalem when the New Testament church was born on Pentecost in 30 A.D. (Acts 2:9). While it is unclear how Christianity spread into the region, Peter's first epistle, written from 64 to 65 A.D., addresses believers in the area.


Galatia was established as a provincial territory of Rome in 25 B.C. by Emperor Augustus. Biblically delineated regions (districts) inside of or partially within Galatia include Phrygia (a region shared with Asia - Acts 2:10, 16:6, 18:23, 1Timothy 6:21), Pisidia (Acts 13:14, 14:24) and Lycaonia (region shared with Cappadocia - Acts 14:6, 11).

New Testament cities within the Roman province of Galatia include Antioch (Acts 13:14, 21, 16:6, 18:23, 2Timothy 3:11), Iconium (Acts 13:51, 14:1, 21, 2Timothy 3:11), Lystra (Acts 14:6, 21, 16:1, 2Timothy 3:11), and Derbe (Acts 14:6, 20 - 21, 16:1). The city of Antioch was the governing and military center of southern Galatia. This area is referenced directly in Scripture six times (Acts 16:6, 18:23, 1Corinthians 16:1, Galatians 1:2, 2Timothy 4:10 and 1Peter 1:1).

The Apostle Paul concentrated his evangelistic efforts solely in the bottom half of Galatia, visiting the region in each of his first three missionary journeys. Commenting on the most southern region in Galatia, which is Pisidia, William Ramsay states the following.

"Pisidia was the "barbarian" mountain country that lay between them (those who lived in Antioch) and Pamphylia; it was a country almost wholly destitute of Greek culture, ignorant of Greek games and arts, and barely subjugated by Roman arms" (The church in the Roman empire before A.D. 170 by W. M. Ramsay, page 27)

Additional Study Materials
Paul's road to a prison in Rome
New Testament Timeline
Rise and Fall of Rome's Empire

Roman Provinces in
the New Testament
Asia - Bithynia - Galatia
Cappadocia - Cilicia - Lycia
GreeceJudea - Syria

Series Primary Sources

A New Classical Dictionary of Greek and
Roman Biography, Mythology and Geography

Book of Acts and Paul in Roman Custody
Book of Acts in Its Graeco-Roman Setting
The church in the Roman empire before A.D. 170
Holy Bible a Faithful Version (HBFV)
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
Life and Epistles of Apostle Paul

© The Bible Study Site