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People's Dictionary of the Bible


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Antioch (ăn'ti-ŏk), place that withstands (from Antiochus). The name of two cities in New Testament times. 1. Antioch in Syria, Acts 11:19; Acts 11:22, founded by Seleucus Nicator, about 300 b.c., and enlarged by Antiochus Epiphanes. This city was about 300 miles north of Jerusalem, on the left bank of the river Orontes, 16½ miles from the Mediterranean, in a deep pass between the Lebanon and the Taurus ranges of mountains. At Antioch the disciples were first called Christians, Acts 11:26; it was an important centre for the spread of the gospel, Acts 13:1-52; from it Paul started on his missionary journeys, Acts 15:35-36; Acts 18:22-23; important principles of Christian faith and practice were raised and settled through the church at Antioch. Acts 14:26-27; Acts 15:2-30; Galatians 2:11-14. It was made a "free" city by Pompey, was beautified by the emperors with aqueducts, baths, and public buildings; and in Paul's time it ranked third in population, wealth and commercial activity among the cities of the Roman empire. Christianity gained such strength there, that in the time of Chrysostom, who was born at Antioch, one-half of the 200,000 inhabitants of the city were Christians. The old town, which was five miles long, is now represented by a mean, shrunken-looking place of about 6000 population, called Antakieh. 2. Antioch in or near Pisidia was also founded or rebuilt by Seleucus Nicator. It was situated on a ridge—Strabo calls it a "height"—near the foot of the mountain-range, and by the northern shore of Lake Eyerdir. Paul preached there, Acts 13:14; Acts 14:21, and was persecuted by the people. 2 Timothy 3:11. There were at least sixteen cities of the name of Antioch in Syria and Asia Minor.

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Bibliography Information
Rice, Edwin Wilbur, DD. Entry for 'Antioch'. People's Dictionary of the Bible. 1893.

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