Cities of the Lycus Valley: Hierapolis, Laodicea, and Colosse

The cities of Hierapolis, Laodicea, and Colosse–all of which are referenced in Colossians 4:13–were located within about 12 miles (19 km) of each other along the Lycus River in the region of Phrygia. Two main Roman roads heading east joined at Laodicea and continued on to Apamea and Iconium. Though Paul almost certainly passed through […]

Illyricum

Though the book of Acts undoubtedly provides an accurate account of the apostle Paul’s journeys, a careful study of Paul’s letters suggests that Acts must not be an exhaustive account. This can be seen most clearly in Paul’s mention in Romans 15:19 of preaching the gospel “from Jerusalem all the way around to Illyricum.” Paul’s […]

Northern Levant

With its pivotal position at the nexus of some of the greatest civilizations of ancient times, the broad plains of the northern Levant and its many important routes served as the crossroads of the ancient Near East. The region itself was home to some of the oldest civilizations in history, and it has been ruled […]

Western Europe and Africa

To the ancient Israelites, the distant regions of western Europe and Africa would have been regarded as the edge of the world, for beyond the Strait of Gibraltar and the coasts of Spain lay the vast, impassable Atlantic Ocean. Some scholars speculate that Tarshish, mentioned throughout the Old Testament as a far off land (Genesis […]

Lycia and Pamphylia

Throughout their long history, the mountainous region of Lycia and the fertile plain of Pamphylia repeatedly changed hands among the dominant powers of Anatolia. During the Trojan War, Lycia was allied with the Trojans, and Pamphylia belonged to the Hittite Empire. Later, various Greek powers held sway over Lycia and Pamphylia until Cyrus the Great […]