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Passage: Acts 11:19-30

Acts 11:19-30 – Believers First Called “Christians” in Antioch

Summary

After the death of Stephen many Greek-speaking believers flee Jerusalem for Antioch, where they build up a community with many new believers. Barnabas and Saul (Paul) visit this new community in which believers are first called "Christians."

Analysis

After the death of Stephen, many of the Greek-speaking believers in Jerusalem flee to other Mediterranean cities. Those who go to Antioch, called by one ancient writer the "third among the cities of the Roman world," have God-given success in drawing many people to belief in Jesus. Antioch had a large and well-established Jewish population as well as a predominantly Gentile population. Outside of Jerusalem, in this great and diverse cosmopolitan city, believers are first identified as Christians.