What was Turkey called in the bible?
The old name of Turkey in the bible is Asia Minor, and it included places like Ephesus and Antioch.
This region, Asia Minor, was super important back in biblical times because it’s where many early Christians lived and where many Christian teachings spread.
Places like Ephesus were big-time cities where the Apostle Paul would stop by to teach and write. Antioch was special because it’s where the name “Christians” first started.
Then you’ve got the Seven Churches from the Book of Revelation they’re all in what’s now Turkey. Asia Minor was like the center stage for a lot of the action in the New Testament.
What was Turkey called in the Old Testament
In the Old Testament, the land we call Turkey today wasn’t mentioned by a single name but was part of regions known as Ararat, Assyria, and others depending on the context and period.
In the Old Testament stories, when you read about places like Ararat (where Noah’s Ark landed according to the Book of Genesis) or Assyria (a powerful empire that interacted with the Israelites), some of these areas are in what we now know as Turkey. But back then, there wasn’t one name covering the whole area like we have today with “Turkey.”
Turkey in the New Testament
In the New Testament, the area we know as Turkey today wasn’t called “Turkey” but was referred to by the names of its regions and cities, like Galatia, Ephesus, and Cappadocia.
In the New Testament times, Turkey’s regions were buzzing with activity. Places like Galatia got letters from Paul (that’s the book of Galatians), Ephesus was a big city where lots of early Christians lived, and Cappadocia is mentioned as a place where Christians from there were in Jerusalem at Pentecost.
The New Testament mentions a bunch of spots across modern-day Turkey as key places where early Christianity was growing and spreading.
Modern Day turkey in the Bible
In the Bible, the regions that make up modern-day Turkey were called by different names, like Asia Minor, Galatia, and Cappadocia, rather than Turkey.
When you read the Bible, you won’t find the name “Turkey” because that’s a modern name. Instead, you’ll see references to parts of it like Asia Minor, which was a big deal in the New Testament because that’s where a lot of early Christians lived and churches were established.
Places like Ephesus and the other cities mentioned in the letters to the Seven Churches in the Book of Revelation are all in what’s now Turkey. So, in the Bible, modern-day Turkey was a collection of various regions important to the spread of Christianity.
Turkey in bible times map
Biblical cities in Turkey
The Bible mentions several places in Turkey mentioned in the bible, where significant events occurred or where early Christian communities thrived. Here’s a list of biblical cities in Turkey:
- Ephesus: A prominent city in the Roman province of Asia, receiving the Epistle to the Ephesians.
- Smyrna: Known today as İzmir, one of the Seven Churches in Revelation.
- Pergamum (Pergamon): An ancient city, now Bergama, also one of the Seven Churches.
- Thyatira: Located in western Turkey, one of the Seven Churches.
- Sardis: An ancient city near modern Sart, another of the Seven Churches.
- Philadelphia: The ancient city, not the one in the U.S., and one of the Seven Churches.
- Laodicea: Near modern Denizli, the last of the Seven Churches.
- Cappadocia: A region in eastern Anatolia, mentioned in 1 Peter.
- Tarsus: The birthplace of Paul, located in Cilicia.
- Antioch on the Orontes (Antioch): Now Antakya, an early center of Christianity.
- Galatia: A region visited by Paul, to whom he addressed the Epistle to the Galatians.
- Pisidia: Home to Antioch in Pisidia, visited by Paul and Barnabas.
- Pamphylia: Where Paul and his companions sailed to Perga.
- Cilicia: Mentioned in Acts, Paul’s home region.
- Iconium: Now Konya, visited by Paul and Barnabas.
- Derbe: A Lycaonian city visited by Paul.
- Lystra: Where Paul performed a miracle and was stoned.
- Troas (Troy): Where Paul had a vision leading him to Macedonia.
- Assos: A city Paul passed during his travels.
- Mysia: An area Paul and his companions traveled through.
- Bithynia: A region they attempted to enter but were prevented by the Holy Spirit.
- Lydia: Not a city, but a region in western Anatolia where a woman named Lydia was converted.
Turkey as a country isn’t mentioned in the Bible because the name “Turkey” came way later. But the lands that are part of today’s Turkey were definitely in the Bible, known as Asia Minor and by names of places like Ephesus and Galatia
Asia Minor in the Bible is the spot where a lot of the early Christian church action happened, and it’s the area that’s now the country of Turkey.
The Bible doesn’t talk about “Turkey” because that name came much later, but it does mention lots of places that are in modern Turkey. These biblical spots were parts of Asia Minor, like Ephesus, Antioch, and Galatia.