Antioch — (1.) In Syria, on the river Orontes, about 16 miles from the Mediterranean, and some 300 miles north of Jerusalem. It was the metropolis of Syria, and afterwards became the capital of the Roman province in Asia. It ranked third, after Rome and Alexandria, in point of importance, of the cities of the Roman empire. It was called the “first city of the East.” Christianity was early introduced into it (Acts 11:19, 21, 24), and the name “Christian” was first applied here to its professors (Acts 11:26). It is intimately connected with the early history of the gospel (Acts 6:5; 11:19, 27, 28, 30; 12:25; 15:22–35; Gal. 2:11, 12). It was the great central point whence missionaries to the Gentiles were sent forth. It was the birth-place of the famous Christian father Chrysostom, who died 407. It bears the modern name of Antakia, and is now a miserable, decaying Turkish town. Like Philippi, it was raised to the rank of a Roman colony. Such colonies were ruled by “praetors” (R.V. marg., Acts 16:20, 21).
(2.) In the extreme north of Pisidia; was visited by Paul and Barnabas on the first missionary journey (Acts 13:14). Here they found a synagogue and many proselytes. They met with great success in preaching the gospel, but the Jews stirred up a violent opposition against them, and they were obliged to leave the place. On his return, Paul again visited Antioch for the purpose of confirming the disciples (Acts 14:21). It has been identified with the modern Yalobatch, lying to the east of Ephesus.