Antioch in Syria

Acts 6:5; Acts 11:19-30; Acts 13:1; Acts 14:26; Acts 15:22-35; Acts 18:22; Galatians 2:11
This is memorable in the annals of the church as the city where the disciples were first called Christians, where an assembly of Gentiles was gathered, and from which Paul and his companions went forth on their missionary journeys, and to which they twice returned. It formed a center for their labors among the Gentiles, outside the Jewish influence which prevailed at Jerusalem; yet the church in this city maintained its fellowship with the assembly at Jerusalem and elsewhere (Acts 6:55And the saying pleased the whole multitude: and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolas a proselyte of Antioch: (Acts 6:5); Acts 11:19-3019Now they which were scattered abroad upon the persecution that arose about Stephen travelled as far as Phenice, and Cyprus, and Antioch, preaching the word to none but unto the Jews only. 20And some of them were men of Cyprus and Cyrene, which, when they were come to Antioch, spake unto the Grecians, preaching the Lord Jesus. 21And the hand of the Lord was with them: and a great number believed, and turned unto the Lord. 22Then tidings of these things came unto the ears of the church which was in Jerusalem: and they sent forth Barnabas, that he should go as far as Antioch. 23Who, when he came, and had seen the grace of God, was glad, and exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto the Lord. 24For he was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost and of faith: and much people was added unto the Lord. 25Then departed Barnabas to Tarsus, for to seek Saul: 26And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch. 27And in these days came prophets from Jerusalem unto Antioch. 28And there stood up one of them named Agabus, and signified by the Spirit that there should be great dearth throughout all the world: which came to pass in the days of Claudius Caesar. 29Then the disciples, every man according to his ability, determined to send relief unto the brethren which dwelt in Judea: 30Which also they did, and sent it to the elders by the hands of Barnabas and Saul. (Acts 11:19‑30); Acts 13:11Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. (Acts 13:1); Acts 14:2626And thence sailed to Antioch, from whence they had been recommended to the grace of God for the work which they fulfilled. (Acts 14:26); Acts 15:22-3522Then pleased it the apostles and elders, with the whole church, to send chosen men of their own company to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas; namely, Judas surnamed Barsabas, and Silas, chief men among the brethren: 23And they wrote letters by them after this manner; The apostles and elders and brethren send greeting unto the brethren which are of the Gentiles in Antioch and Syria and Cilicia: 24Forasmuch as we have heard, that certain which went out from us have troubled you with words, subverting your souls, saying, Ye must be circumcised, and keep the law: to whom we gave no such commandment: 25It seemed good unto us, being assembled with one accord, to send chosen men unto you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul, 26Men that have hazarded their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. 27We have sent therefore Judas and Silas, who shall also tell you the same things by mouth. 28For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things; 29That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well. 30So when they were dismissed, they came to Antioch: and when they had gathered the multitude together, they delivered the epistle: 31Which when they had read, they rejoiced for the consolation. 32And Judas and Silas, being prophets also themselves, exhorted the brethren with many words, and confirmed them. 33And after they had tarried there a space, they were let go in peace from the brethren unto the apostles. 34Notwithstanding it pleased Silas to abide there still. 35Paul also and Barnabas continued in Antioch, teaching and preaching the word of the Lord, with many others also. (Acts 15:22‑35); Acts 18:2222And when he had landed at Caesarea, and gone up, and saluted the church, he went down to Antioch. (Acts 18:22); Gal. 2:1111But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed. (Galatians 2:11)).
Antioch was once a flourishing and populous city, the capital of Northern Syria, founded by Seleucus Nicator (B.C. 300), in honor of his father Antiochus. It was afterward adorned by Roman emperors, and was esteemed the third city. It was eventually the seat of the Roman proconsul of Syria. It stood on a beautiful spot on the river Orontes, where it breaks through between the mountains Taurus and Lebanon. It is now called Antakia, 36° 12' N, 36° 10' E. It has suffered from wars and earthquakes, and is now a miserable place. Comparatively few antiquities of the ancient city are to be found, but parts of its wall appear on the crags of Mount Silpius.