A basic understanding of the geography of the New Testament world can be helpful in Bible study. Below is a list of the major cities, provinces, seas and islands at the time of Jesus.
- Jerusalem – the religious capital of the Jewish world.
- Alexandria – the commercial metropolis of Egypt. The Septuagint was translated in Alexandria.
- Antioch – the military and administrative center for that part of Galatia. Paul spent much time in Antioch.
- Athens – the literary center of Greece. Paul preached a sermon in the Areopagus in Athens (Acts 17).
- Bethlehem – the city of David where Christ was born.
- Caesarea – the Roman capital of Judea. Home of Cornelius (Acts 10).
- Capernaum – the base of operations for Jesus’ early ministry.
- Corinth – the political capital of Greece. Paul spent 1.5 years in Corinth.
- Damascus – in the southern part of Syria.
- Ephesus – the metropolis of Asia Minor, in the province of Asia. Paul’s base of operation for his third missionary journey.
- Nazareth – where Jesus grew up.
- Philippi – a city in Macedonia Paul visited on his second missionary journey.
- Rome – the imperial city.
- Tarsus – the birthplace of Paul, in Cilicia.
- Thessalonica – the principal city in Macedonia; Paul visited on his second missionary journey.
Regions in Palestine
- Judea – the region where Jerusalem was located.
- Samaria – the region north of Judea
- Galilee – the region north of Samaria
- Decacoplis – the league of 10 cities east of the sea of Galilee.
- Idumea – the region south of Judea
- Macedonia – the land at the northeast corner of the Aegean Sea, in-between Thrace, Illyricum, and Greece.
- Greece – the land southwest of Macedonia, bordering 3 seas.
- Illyricum – the land north of Greece, northwest of Macedonia, and the eastern portion of the Adriatic Sea.
- Italy – the country across the Adriatic Sea from Greece and Illyricum. Rome was the capital of Italy.
- Egypt – the land at the southeast of the Mediterranean Sea.
- Asia – the land in the western region of Asia Minor (Ancient Turkey).
- Pontus and Bithynia were the areas in northern region of Asia Minor.
- Galatia – the area in the region of central Asia Minor.
- Cappadocia was the land south of Galatia in eastern Asia Minor.
- Cilicia – a province in southeast Asia Minor, below Cappadocia.
- Syria -the land north of Israel bordering the Mediterranean Sea.
Seas, Lakes & Water
- The Great Sea (Mediterranean) – borders the land of Israel on the east as far as Italy on the east.
- The Sea of Galilee, also called the Sea of Tiberias, in the Jordan valley.
- Jordan River – runs through Palestine.
- The Adriatic Sea – located between Greece and Italy.
- The Black Sea, it was just north of Asia Minor.
- The Aegean Sea, located between Asia Minor and Greece.
- Cyprus – located in the northeast corner of the Mediterranean Sea.
- Crete – located south of the Aegean Sea, between Asia Minor and Greece.
- Patmos – located in the Aegean Sea, not far from the city of Ephesus.
- Malta or Melita in NT times, located south of Sicily.
- Sicily located southwest of Italy.
Maps from Holman Bible Atlas
- The Division of Herod’s Kingdom
- Palestine under the Herods
- Palestine in the Time of Jesus (1)
- Palestine in the Time of Jesus (2)
- Qumran and the Dead Sea Scrolls
- The Kingdom of Herod Agrippa I
- The Kingdom of Agrippa II
- Pentecost and the Jewish Diaspora
- Expansion of the Early Church in Palestine
- The Roman Empire ca. 117 CE
- Palestine from 73-135 CE
- Christian Expansion in the 2nd & 3rd Century