Antioch is about 15 miles inland from the Medeterranean sea, in what today is Turkey, just north of Syria. This city became home to the first Christian church outside of the land of Israel and was the first place in which followers of Jesus were referred to as Christians.
The city was founded by Seleucus 1 in 300 BC, and its port, which was called Selecus, was founded at about the same time. Antioch had a population of Greeks from Athens and Macedonia, and also a sizeable Jewish population.
The Romans took it in as part of their empire, and next to Rome and Alexander, it became the third great city of the empire.
After Stephen's martyrdom in Jerusalem, some of the disciples scattered to Antioch and started preaching to the Greeks. When the Christians in Jerusalem heard that many people in Antioch were becoming believers in Christ, they sent Barnabas there, who in turn brought Paul, to help the new converts (Acts 11:19-26).
Paul and Barnabas stayed there for one year, and Paul began and ended his second missionary journey from there. When the prophet Agabus predicted a famine for Israel, the church in Antioch generously sent financial aid to Jerusalem to aid their brethern. Peter also visited Antioch (Galatians 2:11).
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