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Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible


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ASIA . In the NT this word invariably means the Roman province Asia, which embraced roughly the western third of the peninsula which we call Asia Minor. It was bounded on the N.E. by the province of Bithynia, on the E. by the province of Galatia, on the S. by the province of Lycia, and had been ceded to the Romans by the will of the Pergamenian king Attalus III. in b.c. 133. The following ethnic districts were in this province Mysia, Lydia, Western Phrygia, and Caria. The province was the richest, and, with the one exception of Africa, its equal, the most important in the Roman Empire. It was governed by a proconsul of the higher grade, with three legati under him. Ephesus, Pergamum, and Smyrna were its principal cities. St. Paul’s preaching in Ephesus was the most powerful cause of the spread of the gospel in this province, and the Epistle ‘to the Ephesians’ is probably a circular letter to all the churches in it. Seven are enumerated in Revelation 1:1-20 ; Revelation 2:1-29 ; Revelation 3:1-22 , which is post-Pauline.

A. Souter.

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Bibliography Information
Hastings, James. Entry for 'Asia'. Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible. 1909.

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