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Bible Encyclopedias

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature


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(Ταρσός ), the chief town of Cilicia, "no mean city" in other respects, but illustrious to all time as the birthplace and early residence of the apostle Paul (Acts 9:11; Acts 21:39; Acts 22:3). The only other passages in which the name occurs are Acts 9:30 and Acts 11:25, which give the limits of that residence in his native town which succeeded the first visit to Jerusalem after his conversion, and preceded his active ministerial work at Antioch and elsewhere (Acts 22:21 and Galatians 1:21). It was during this period, no doubt, that he planted the Gospel there, and it has never since entirely died out. There is little doubt that Paul was there also at the beginning of his second and third missionary journeys (Acts 15:41; Acts 18:23). (See PAUL).


Tarsus was situated in a wide and fertile plain on the banks of the Cydnus, the waters of which are famous' for the dangerous fever caught by Alexander when bathing, and for the meeting of Antony and Cleopatra. The river flowed through it and divided it into two parts. Hence it is sometimes by Greek writers called Ταρσοί in the plural, perhaps riot without some reference to a fancied resemblance in the form of the two divisions of the city to the wings of a bird. This part of Cilicia was intersected in Roman times by, good roads, especially one crossing the Taurus northward by the "Cilician Gates" to the neighborhood of Lystra and Iconium, the other joining Tarsus with Antioch and passing eastward by the "Aunanian" and "Syrian Gates."

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Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Tarsus'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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Sunday, October 20th, 2019
the Week of Proper 24 / Ordinary 29
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