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Explore the World of Paul’s Ministry
TheLexham Geographic Commentary on Acts through Revelationdelivers fresh insight by drawing attention to the geographical setting for the spread of Christianity in the first century AD. Geography is a central concern in Acts, but the full significance of its geographical context is easily overlooked without a familiarity with the places, the types of transportation, the relative distances, and the travel conditions around the Mediterranean in the first century AD. Luke’s account mentions places from all over the known world, and Paul’s missionary travels covered an estimated 15,000 miles by land and sea.
Jesus’ words inActs 1:8literally map the future travels of the Apostles and provide the structure for the rest of the book: The Apostles will take the gospel from Jerusalem (1:1–8:3) to Samaria and Judea (8:4–40, 9:32–11:18), and finally throughout the Roman world and beyond (13:21–28:31). Geography also provides a new depth of insight into John’s letters to the seven churches in Rev 1–3. Their locations along key Roman mail routes suggest the letters may make up a single composite message to be received in stages as the letters are passed along from one church to the other. The references in Acts and Rev 1–3cover the full geographical context for the first century Church since some of the cities Paul visits in Acts are later the locations of churches that receive his letters such as Ephesus (Acts 19;Eph 1:1;1 Tim 1:3). TheLexham Geographic Commentarygives you insight into the importance of all of these locations—both culturally and spatially—and provides a deeper understanding of the spread of early Christianity.