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Asbury Bible Commentary – IV. Antioch And Jerusalem (11:19–12:25)
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IV. Antioch And Jerusalem (11:19–12:25)

Up to this point Jerusalem has been the focus of the Christian community and its outreach. Luke now shifts attention from Jerusalem to Syrian Antioch. Antioch was one of the major centers of Jewish diaspora in the Roman world. The large Jewish community there generally had very good relations with the gentile population of this wealthy and sophisticated city, which trailed only Rome and Alexandria in size. It was through the Christian community in Antioch that the outreach to Gentiles completely outside the Jewish communnity came about. The conflict between Jerusalem and Antioch over this event was the first major watershed of the Christian movement.