Who were the first Christians in the New Testament?
Jesus, after asking his disciples their views regarding his true identity, made a profound statement regarding his church. He promised to build a community of Christian believers founded on God's truth that would never die out!
And I say also to you, that you are Peter; but upon this Rock (Jesus is speaking of himself) I will build My church, and the gates of the grave shall not prevail against it (Matthew 16:18, HBFV).
With the possible exception of eleven disciples becoming Christians soon after his resurrection (see John 20:21 - 23), Jesus began to fulfill his Matthew 16 prophecy on one of God's annual Feast days!
What took place in Jerusalem on Pentecost in 30 A.D. would prove to be a monumental life-changing event for many Jews and proselytes visiting the city. God's pouring out of his Holy Spirit upon more than 3,100 individuals (Acts 2), making them converted Christians, would also set a firm foundation from which the church would continue to expand.
Acts 2 reveals the wide variety of places represented in Jerusalem on Pentecost and the general location where the first New Testament Christians lived.
Parthians and Medes
The Parthian Empire, which included the Medes, not only existed in 30 A.D. but also retained its ability to check Roman dominance for almost another 200 years. The Magi or wise men, who traveled many miles to worship baby Jesus, were high-level priests from Parthia.
Elam, located close to the Persian Gulf just northeast of the Tigris River, started the first major war found in the Bible (Genesis 14).
Mesopotamia, found between the Euphrates and Tigris rivers, is consider the cradle of modern civilization. It is the area where Abraham grew up and the location from which the first world empires (Assyria and Babylon) sprang up.
Cappadocia, Pontus, Asia, Phrygia, Pamphylia
These were Roman provinces and regions in what today is the country of Turkey.
Egypt, which had once been a world power, was annexed by Rome after Cleopatra's death in 30 B.C. It was a place where a vast number of Jews lived in the first century A.D.
Parts of Libya near Cyrene
Christians from Cyrene, many of which were converted on Pentecost, would become some the first people to spread the gospel among the Gentiles (non-Jews, see Acts 11:19 - 21).
Jews and proselytes to Judaism, who lived in Rome, were willing to make the long and sometimes dangerous journey to Jerusalem in order to obey God.
Arabia, in the Old Testament, was a place where Nomadic tribes lived south and southeast of Israel. In the New Testament, this area plus the territory south of Damascus, where some of the first Christians lived, was sometimes considered part of Arabia (see Galatians 1:17).