Even though Paul started his life as a Jewish born man of Tarsus and turned into a Christian hunter in his adulthood, he was confronted by Jesus, and then he became an apostle of Jesus.
Apostle Paul had three long missionary journeys during his lifetime. Paul visited several cities around Asia Minor and some of them are mentioned in the Holy Bible. Let’s have a look at the cities visited by Apostle Paul in Asia Minor.
Tarsus; the City became the capital of Cilicia province of the Roman Empire after Pompey conquered the city in 67 BC, Pompey. According to acts of Apostles, Saint Paul was born here as Saul. Paul loved his city, and we can clearly see this in Acts 21:39 as he says “I am a Jew of Tarsus in Cilicia, a citizen of no insignificant city; and I beg you, allow me to speak to the people”.
Antioch in Pisidia; City is located on the crossroad of several ancient and modern routes in Asia Minor in between Mediterranean, Aegean and Central Anatolian provinces. Today Antioch in Pisidia is called Yalvaç of Isparta city of Turkey. Paul the Apostle and Barnabas visited Antioch in Pisidia on their first missionary journey. Paul gave a speech in cities synagogue. After leaving some early Christian converts here Paul left, but he came back and visited them on his second and third journeys.
Alexandria Troas; the City was located on a strategic location in between Asia Minor and Europe. Alexandria Troas was Apostle Paul’s sailing point while going and returning to Europe for the first time. Eutychus of Troas fell down of a window while listening Paul and this is mentioned in the Acts 20:10.
Ephesus; City was the capital of Asia Minor province of the Roman Empire. Ephesus, being one of the most crowded and important cities of the Roman Empire, played an important role in early Christianity and Apostle Paul’s missions. Paul preached in Jewish synagogue of Ephesus and hall of Tyrannus in Ephesus. Demetrios the silversmith started a riot to banish Paul out of Ephesus and succeeded doing so.
Lystra; the City is in the Konya region of modern Turkey. Apostle Paul visited Lystra with Saint Barnabas and met one of his early disciples Saint Timothy here. Apostle Paul healed a handicapped man in this city by performing a miracle.
Miletus; City was mentioned in Acts 20:15–38. Paul stopped in Miletus during his third missionary journey. Apostle met the elders of Ephesus Church in the great harbor of Miletus and had his final speech in Asia Minor. He also left his disciple Trophimus in Miletus since he was sick and could not go on tiring sea travel.
Derbe: City is nearby modern Turkey’s Konya city. Apostle Paul visited Derbe during two of his three missionary journeys. Apostle had once Silas and once Barnabas with him during visiting Derbe.
Iconium; Apostle Paul visited Iconium in about 47–48 with Barnabas on his first journey and with Silas on his second journey. Preaching and ideas of Apostle Paul created a big disturbance in Iconium which resulted with stoning of Paul and his companions.
Antioch; City is Antakya of today’s Turkey. Antioch was one of the early centers of Christianity. Barnabas and Paul visited Antioch on their first out of three missionary journeys.
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I personally think there is great to learn from Apostle Paul and his journeys around Asia Minor. I also feel proud to live nearby Ephesus and spend significant time around the places Paul used to preach. Contact me to learn more about cities visited by Apostle Paul in Asia Minor and to hire a Biblical tour guide in Turkey. See you soon, Hasan Gülday.