Dictionary of Bible Names

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Bible Meaning: Driven against
Strong's Concordance #G490, #G491

There are two cities named Antioch mentioned in the New Testament. The first, in Syria, was the capital of the Roman province of Syria. The second is located in the Pisidian region of Galatia in Asia Minor.

City in Syria

Antioch in Syria was the Roman Empire's third most populous and important city behind Rome and Alexandria.

Syrian Antioch was one of the earliest locations where Christianity, outside of Judea, took root and spread rapidly. Its growth causes the church in Jerusalem to send Barnabas in order to aid the new believers. He and the Apostle Paul, whose help he elicits, spend an entire year teaching and encouraging the new converts (Acts 11:19 - 26). The growth and impact of the church attracted derision from the pagans and the creation of the term Christians, likely by the Romans, as a negative label (verse 26).

Syrian Antioch Map
Syrian Antioch Map

It is in Syrian version of the city where Paul had his famous confrontation with Peter, publically chastising him for his hypocritical behavior regarding Gentiles in the church (Galatians 2). Paul will also serve in the city during each of his first three missionary journeys. During his long thirty-five year ministry (33 to 68 A.D.), he will stay in this major city for close to five years.

City in Pisidia

The Pisidia region was known, in the first century, as an unsafe part of the Roman Empire in which to travel. Paul, when writing of the trials and difficulties he faced, wrote that at times he was "in perils of robbers" (2Corinthians 11:26). This was almost certainly a reference, in part, to what the apostle dealt with when visiting this Antioch.

Pisidian Antioch Map
Location of Pisidian Antioch

"The lawless and marauding habits of the population of those mountains (in Asia Minor) . . . were notorious in all parts of ancient history . . .

"No population through the midst of which Apostle Paul ever traveled, abounded more in those "perils of robbers," of which he himself speaks, than the wild and lawless clans of the Pisidian Highlanders" (The Life and Epistles of Apostle Paul, Chapter 6).

Pisidian Antioch is the only major city mentioned in the New Testament where women, especially those in the upper-classes, are recorded as fully participating in the persecution of Christians (Acts 13:50). Paul, in spite of the difficulties, started the first known Christian group in the city in 45 A.D. (Acts 13:14 - 52).

Important Verses

Acts 6:5
And the saying pleased the whole multitude: and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolas a proselyte of Antioch.

Acts 11:20, 22, 26
And some of them were men of Cyprus and Cyrene, which, when they were come to Antioch, spake unto the Grecians, preaching the Lord Jesus . . .

Then tidings of these things came unto the ears of the church which was in Jerusalem: and they sent forth Barnabas . . .

And when he (Barnabas) had found him (Paul), he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people.

Acts 13:1, 14
Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers: as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul . . .

But when they departed from Perga, they came to Antioch in Pisidia, and went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and sat down.

Acts 14:19
And there came thither certain Jews from Antioch and Iconium, who persuaded the people, and, having stoned Paul, drew him out of the city, supposing he had been dead.

Acts 15:22
Then pleased it the apostles and elders, with the whole church, to send chosen men of their own company to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas: namely, Judas surnamed Barsabas, and Silas, chief men among the brethren . . .

Acts 18:22 - 23
And when he (Apostle Paul) had landed at Caesarea, and gone up, and saluted the church, he went down to Antioch. And after he had spent some time there, he departed, and went over all the country of Galatia and Phrygia in order, strengthening all the disciples.

Galatians 2:11
But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed.

2Timothy 3:11
Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra: what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me.

Additional Studies

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Series Notes
References are based on the
King James Bible translation (KJV).