Two Antiochs

Every year during the Easter season, Mother Church has us read Acts 13. The Apostle Paul has sailed to Cyprus, and now to Asia Minor. Then he traveled inland to Antioch in Pisidia.

antiochs-mapSidenote: There are two kinds of people. People who clearly understand the difference between Antioch in Syria and Pisidian Antioch, and people who can’t even spell Antioch or Pisidia or Syria.

The two New-Testament locations named Antioch were separated by the same distance that Martinsville, Va. is separated from Cincinnati, Ohio, which is a little further than the drive from Phoenix to Los Angeles.

One of the ancient Antiochs was a major commercial and cultural center, one of the great cities of the world. Namely, Syrian Antioch. The other was a small outpost, high on a plateau, a retirement village for pensioned Roman centurions. Pisidian Antioch.

No offense to anyone, but people who want to be taken seriously as readers of New Testament are required to be in Category #1, when it comes to knowing about the two Antiochs.

Because: When Paul arrived in Pisidian Antioch, it was a place where people had heard of God. A lot of them had heard of Moses and King David. Some of them had even heard of John the Baptist. But no one knew that the Christ had come. So St. Paul told them.

My point is that this is where we live. In the synagogue in Pisidian Antioch, St. Paul gave a nice straightforward speech. He explained what had come to pass–namely the life, death, and resurrection of Christ. He explained how this affected his audience, namely that now they had a chance to repent and believe. Some of them did.

We live under similar circumstances, and we have the same opportunity. St. Paul, pray for us! That we might have the same zeal for souls as you had. That the Lord might use us, like He used you, to help souls find Christ and get to heaven.

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