Dictionary of Bible Names

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Bible Meaning: Named for Alexander the Great
Strong's Concordance #G221, #G222

Alexandria, located in Africa in the country of Egypt, is named after its founder, Alexander the Great, who began it around 331 B.C. After Alexander's death Ptolemy took control of Egypt and built a ruling Greek dynasty that would last until the death of Cleopatra in 30 B.C.

Alexandria possessed a library of 700,000 volumes. It boasted one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, a giant lighthouse that stood between 393 (120 meters) and 450 feet (137 meters) tall. Additionally, Alexandria was the place where the Hebrew Old Testament was translated into the Greek language (called the Septuagint) in the third century B.C.

During the New Testament period this busy city was the capital of Egypt. Those from the city were some of the people who argued with and ultimately sought the death of Stephen, the first Christian martyr (Acts 6:9). Alexandria was also the birthplace of Apollos, a gifted Christian speaker and evangelist, who cooperated with the Apostle Paul in spreading the gospel (Acts 18:24).

Map showing location of Alexandria
Location of Alexandria in Ancient Egypt

According to the Wells Bible Atlas, it was John Mark who started a Christian church in Alexandria. Foxe's Book of Martyrs states he died in the city when those who worshipped the false God Serapis dragged him through the streets.

Important Verses

Acts 6:7 - 9
And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith.

And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people.

Then there arose certain of the synagogue, which is called the synagogue of the Libertines, and Cyrenians, and Alexandrians, and of them of Cilicia and of Asia, disputing with Stephen.

Acts 18:23 - 25
And after he (Paul) had spent some time there, he departed, and went over all the country of Galatia and Phrygia in order, strengthening all the disciples.

And a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man, and mighty in the scriptures, came to Ephesus. This man was instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in the spirit, he spake and taught diligently the things of the Lord, knowing only the baptism of John.

Acts 27:1 - 2, 5 - 6
And when it was determined that we should sail into Italy, they delivered Paul and certain other prisoners unto one named Julius, a centurion of Augustus' band. And entering into a ship of Adramyttium, we launched, meaning to sail by the coasts of Asia . . .

And when we had sailed over the sea of Cilicia and Pamphylia, we came to Myra, a city of Lycia. And there the centurion found a ship of Alexandria sailing into Italy; and he put us therein.

Acts 27:41 - 43, 28:1, 11 - 13
And falling into a place where two seas met, they ran the ship aground . . . And the soldiers' counsel was to kill the prisoners . . . But the centurion, willing to save Paul, kept them from their purpose; and commanded that they which could swim should cast themselves first into the sea, and get to land:

And when they were escaped, then they knew that the island was called Melita (Malta) . . .

And after three months we departed in a ship of Alexandria, which had wintered in the isle, whose sign was Castor and Pollux. And landing at Syracuse, we tarried there three days. And from thence we fetched a compass, and came to Rhegium . . .

Additional Studies

Dictionary of Biblical Names
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Series Notes
References are based on the
King James Bible translation (KJV).