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).
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.