During the trip to Israel I got a little behind in the photo illustrations for the chapters of Acts.
When we come to Acts 13 and 14, there are so many places to consider that it could take weeks to cover them all in detail. In fact, if you use the search box you will see that we have posts on most of the places mentioned in these chapters.
It seems that Paul and Barnabas did not stop to preach in Perga on the outgoing portion of the first journey. The text says, almost casually, that “going on from Perga, they arrived at Pisidian Antioch” (Acts 13:14).
Here we have one of the longer sermons of the book of Acts — Paul’s sermon in the Jewish synagogue. While it appears that we have a vibrant Jewish community in Pisidian Antioch, we also find a receptive Gentile audience. When the Jews rejected the message of the risen Christ, Paul and Barnabas said,
“we are turning to the Gentiles.” (Acts 13:46 ESV)
Pisidian Antioch was a city of numerous idol temples. There was a sanctuary or temple dedicated to the Emperor Augustus (30 B.C. – A.D. 14) built by Tiberias (A.D. 14-37).
The foundation of the sanctuary is cut from the solid bedrock.
Peter Walker describes the temple,
Beyond the propylon was a large, semicircular courtyard, surrounded by colonnades, the eastern part of which was cut out from the hill-side’s rock. And standing in the centre, towards the back, was the sanctuary of Augustus’ temple. Though quite small – some 15 by 30 feet (4.5 x 9 m) – it was set on a high foundation of natural rock and approached by a further twelve steps. Antioch’s residents were expressing in impressive fashion their gratitude to the emperor for their city’s increased prestige under his rule. However, for Paul it demonstrated the daunting challenge ahead. What room would there be for his own message, focused on a rival world-ruler, in a city where this imperial cult was evidently growing at such a pace? (In the Steps of Paul, 87,89).
Maps. In your study of Acts you might enjoy the use of the Digital Map of the Roman Empire available here. This map, based on the Barrington Atlas, includes the road system. Because the maps show the terrain, you can get some concept of the difficulties encountered by Paul and his companions as they traveled from place to place.
Thanks to Dr. Rasmussen for the lead to this map.
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