Pentecost (Acts 2:9-11)

The birth of the early church took place when the Holy Spirit was poured out on the followers of Jesus during the feast of Pentecost in Jerusalem. This miraculous day is described in Acts 2:1-8. The apostle Peter preached to the crowd that had gathered and three thousand became new disciples of Jesus, and the first Jerusalem Christian community was birthed (Acts 2:37-41). Since many of these new believers were Jews visiting Jerusalem, they returned to their homes throughout the world.

Acts 2:9-11 tells us where these new Christians were from: “For there were Jews from Parthia (northeast Iran), Media (northwest Iran), Elam (southwest Iran), Mesopotamia (the region between the Euphrates and Tigris Rivers in southeastern Turkey, Syria, and Iraq), the Roman province of Judea, the Ro- man province of Cappadocia (central Turkey), the Roman province of Pontus (northern Turkey, by the Black Sea), the Roman province of Asia (western Turkey), the region of Phrygia (west-central Turkey), the Roman province of Pamphylia (west-southern Turkey), Egypt (north Africa), the regions of Libya near the capital city of Cyrene (the Roman African province west of Cyrene), the city of Rome—both Jews and non-Jewish converts to Judaism—the Aegean is- land of Crete, and Arabia-Nabatea (a kingdom south of Syria and east of Judea, with its capital city of Petra, and the homeland of the descendants of Ishmael).”

It was these returning Christians, many from regions and provinces in modern Turkey, that started house churches in their towns and cities.