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October 20    Scripture



Bible Cities: Lystra
Ancient Lystra

Map of Ancient Lystra


Lystra in Easton's Bible Dictionary a town of Lycaonia, in Asia Minor, in a wild district and among a rude population. Here Paul preached the gospel after he had been driven by persecution from Iconium (Acts 14:2- 7). Here also he healed a lame man (8), and thus so impressed the ignorant and superstitious people that they took him for Mercury, because he was the "chief speaker," and his companion Barnabas for Jupiter, probably in consequence of his stately, venerable appearance; and were proceeding to offer sacrifices to them (13), when Paul earnestly addressed them and turned their attention to the true source of all blessings. But soon after, through the influence of the Jews from Antioch in Pisidia and Iconium, they stoned Paul and left him for dead (14:19). On recovering, Paul left for Derbe; but soon returned again, through Lystra, encouraging the disciples there to steadfastness. He in all likelihood visited this city again on his third missionary tour (Acts 18:23). Timothy, who was probably born here (2 Tim. 3:10, 11), was no doubt one of those who were on this occasion witnesses of Paul's persecution and his courage in Lystra.

Lystra in Fausset's Bible Dictionary (See Acts 14; Acts 16.) A town of Lycaonia, Timothy's birthplace. He doubtless heard of Paul's miraculous healing of the cripple, followed by the people's and priests' offer of sacrifices to Paul as Mercury and to Barnabas as Jupiter before the city (its tutelary god whose statue stood there), which worship the apostles, rending their clothes in horror, rejected, and told them they were men like themselves, and that they preached the duty of "turning from these vanities unto the living God, who made all things," and who heretofore bore with their ignorance, though even then He "did not leave Himself without witness in giving rain, and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness." Then, with a mob's characteristic fickleness, from adoration they passed to persecution, stoning Paul at the instigation of Jews from Antioch and Iconium. But though left as dead outside the city, while the disciples stood round him he rose up and came into the city, and next day went to Derbe; then back to Lystra to "confirm the souls of the disciples" gathered in there, "exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God." Paul's holy courage under suffering, when he might have had adoration instead by compromise of principle, doubtless in part influenced Timothy (2 Timothy 3:10-11) in embracing Christianity, whether he actually witnessed the apostle's afflictions (as Paul's epistle to Timothy implies), or only heard of them. The incidental allusion to Timothy's knowledge of his sufferings is an undesigned coincidence between the epistle and the history, indicating genuineness. A forger of epistles from Acts would never allude to Timothy's knowledge of persecutions, when that knowledge is not recorded in Acts but is only arrived at by indirect inference. Moreover, "Derbe" is omitted in the list of the scenes of Paul's persecutions (2 Timothy 3:11), though usually joined with Lystra, in minute agreement with the history, which mentions no persecution at Derbe. In Acts 16:1 Timothy appears as already a Christian. Paul then circumcised him, to conciliate the Jews there (Acts 16:3). Hamilton (Res. in Asia Min., 2:313) identifies Lystra with the ruins Bin bir Kilisseh, at the base of the conical volcanic-formed hill Karadagh.

Lystra in Hitchcock's Bible Names that dissolves or disperses

Lystra in Naves Topical Bible One of two cities of Lycaonia, to which Paul and Barnabas fled from persecutions in Iconium Ac 14:6-23; 2Ti 3:11 -Congregation of, elders ordained for, by Paul and Barnabas Ac 14:23 -Timothy a resident of Ac 16:1-4

Lystra in Smiths Bible Dictionary This place has two points of interest in connection respectively with St. Paul's first and second missionary Journeys: (1) as the place where divine honors were offered to him, and where he was presently stoned, Ac 14:1 ... (2) as the home of his chosen companion and fellow missionary Timotheus. Ac 16:1 Lystra was in the eastern part of the great plain of Lycaonia, and its site may be identified with the ruins called Bin-bir-Kilisseh, at the base of a conical mountain of volcanic structure, named the Karadagh.

Lystra in the Bible Encyclopedia - ISBE lis'-tra: The forms Lustran, and Lustrois, occur. Such variation in the gender of Anatolian city-names is common (see Harnack, Apostelgeschichte, 86; Ramsay, Paul the Traveler, 128). Lystra was visited by Paul 4 times (Acts 14:6,21; 16:1; 18:23--the last according to the "South Galatian" theory), and is mentioned in 2 Tim 3:10 f as one of the places where Paul suffered persecution. Timothy resided in Lystra (Acts 16:1). 1. Character and Site: Lystra owed its importance, and the attention which Paul paid to it, to the fact that it had been made a Roman colonia by Augustus (see ANTIOCH), and was therefore, in the time of Paul, a center of education and enlightenment. Nothing is known of its earlier, and little of its later, history. The site of Lystra was placed by Leake (1820) at a hill near Khatyn Serai, 18 miles South-Southwest from Iconium; this identification was proved correct by an inscription found by Sterrett in 1885. The boundary between Phrygia and Lycaonia passed between Iconium and Lystra. (Acts 14:6) (see ICONIUM). The population of Lystra consisted of the local aristocracy of Roman soldiers who formed the garrison of the colonia, of Greeks and Jews (Acts 16:1,3), and of native Lycaonians (Acts 14:11). 2. Worship of Paul and Barnabas: After Paul had healed a life-long cripple at Lystra, the native population (the "multitude" of Acts 14:11) regarded him and Barnabas as pagan gods come down to them in likeness of men, and called Barnabas "Zeus" and Paul "Hermes." Commentators on this incident usually point out that the same pair of divinities appeared to Baucis and Philemon in Ovid's well-known story, which he locates in the neighboring Phrygia. The accuracy in detail of this part of the narrative in Acts has been strikingly confirmed by recent epigraphic discovery. Two inscriptions found in the neighborhood of Lystra in 1909 run as follows: (1) "Kakkan and Maramoas and Iman Licinius priests of Zeus"; (2) "Toues Macrinus also called Abascantus and Batasis son of Bretasis having made in accordance with a vow at their own expense (a statue of) Hermes Most Great along with a sun-dial dedicated it to Zeus the sun-god." Now it is evident from the narrative in Acts that the people who were prepared to worship Paul and Barnabas as gods were not Greeks or Romans, but native Lycaonians. This is conclusively brought out by the use of the phrase "in the speech of Lycaonia" (Acts 14:11). The language in ordinary use among the educated classes in Central Anatolian cities under the Roman Empire was Greek; in some of those cities, and...

Lystra Scripture - 2 Timothy 3:11 Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of [them] all the Lord delivered me.

Lystra Scripture - Acts 14:21 And when they had preached the gospel to that city, and had taught many, they returned again to Lystra, and [to] Iconium, and Antioch,

Lystra Scripture - Acts 14:6 They were ware of [it], and fled unto Lystra and Derbe, cities of Lycaonia, and unto the region that lieth round about:

Lystra Scripture - Acts 14:8 And there sat a certain man at Lystra, impotent in his feet, being a cripple from his mother's womb, who never had walked:

Lystra Scripture - Acts 16:1 Then came he to Derbe and Lystra: and, behold, a certain disciple was there, named Timotheus, the son of a certain woman, which was a Jewess, and believed; but his father [was] a Greek:

Lystra Scripture - Acts 16:2 Which was well reported of by the brethren that were at Lystra and Iconium.

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