New Testament History

Just as ancient Anatolia plays a role in the Old Testament, it figures more in the New Testament. This region is sigificant for both Judaism and Christianity and is an important location regarding historical events.

Even the ancient language Aramaic, which Jesus spoke and is rooted in Old Testament times, is spoken in Turkey today.

Ancient regions that bleed over into New Testament times and found in Turkey are: Cilicia, Lycaonia, Cappadocia, Pontus, Pisidia, Galatia, Pamphylia, Phrygia, Bithynia, Lydia, Lycia, Mysia, and Thrace.

The Apostle Paul traveled zealously through these regions. He was a native of Anatolia in Tarsus and frequently visited Antioch, Iconium, Lystra, Derbe, Perge, Alexandria Troas, Ephesus, Miletus, Antioch of Pisidia, Attalia, and Assos. And these are only the major centers mentioned.

Tradition says that the Apostle John and Mary both lived in Ephesus and that John’s tomb is situated there now among the old church ruins. Although this cannot be proven, John’s address to the seven church congregations of Revelation (Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea) indicates he had first hand knowledge of this area.

Tradition also has it that many of Jesus’ early followers were dispersed throughout the Anatolia region. Barnabas was from

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