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Bithynia

During the early Christian era, Bithynia was a province in Asia Minor. Christian congregations came into existence in Bithynia quite early, despite the Holy Spirit having diverted the apostle Paul (see Paul's Ministry) away from the area i.e. "After they were come to Mysia, they assayed to go into Bithynia: but the Spirit suffered them not" (Acts 16:7 KJV). The reason for that wasn't actually anything about Bithynia, but rather The Lord's will that Paul leave Asia Minor and take the Gospel over to Macedonia and hence, Europe i.e. "And a vision appeared to Paul in the night; There stood a man of Macedonia, and prayed him, saying, Come over into Macedonia, and help us. And after he had seen the vision, immediately we endeavoured to go into Macedonia, assuredly gathering that the Lord had called us for to preach the gospel unto them" (Acts 16:9-10 KJV). The people of Bithynia still became Christians, as attested later by the apostle Peter, "to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit" (1 Peter 1:1-2 KJV)

Paul's Second Missionary Journey

"to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia"

Paul started preaching the Gospel throughout his native Asia Minor (Paul was born in Tarsus; see also Paul's First Missionary Journey, Paul's Second Missionary Journey and Paul's Third Missionary Journey), but the day came when The Lord decided that it was time to also take the Gospel across to Europe.

"Then came he to Derbe and Lystra: and, behold, a certain disciple was there, named Timotheus [see Timotheos], the son of a certain woman, which was a Jewess, and believed; but his father was a Greek: Which was well reported of by the brethren that were at Lystra and Iconium. Him would Paul have to go forth with him; and took and circumcised him because of the Jews which were in those quarters: for they knew all that his father was a Greek. And as they went through the cities, they delivered them the decrees for to keep, that were ordained of the apostles and elders which were at Jerusalem. And so were the churches established in the faith, and increased in number daily."

"Now when they had gone throughout Phrygia and the region of Galatia, and were forbidden of The Holy Ghost to preach the word in Asia, After they were come to Mysia, they assayed to go into Bithynia: but the Spirit suffered them not. And they passing by Mysia came down to Troas. And a vision appeared to Paul in the night; There stood a man of Macedonia, and prayed him, saying, Come over into Macedonia, and help us. And after he had seen the vision, immediately we endeavoured to go into Macedonia, assuredly gathering that the Lord had called us for to preach the gospel unto them."

"Therefore loosing from Troas, we came with a straight course to Samothracia, and the next day to Neapolis; And from thence to Philippi, which is the chief city of that part of Macedonia, and a colony: and we were in that city abiding certain days." (Acts 16:1-12 KJV)

In later years, Peter addressed the Christians of Bithynia, and throughout the area, in an epistle (see Epistles). Peter's use of the term "strangers" wasn't about that the Christians were strangers to their home towns in Bithynia and elsewhere, but that all Christians are yet strangers, Aliens, on earth while awaiting the coming of the Kingdom of God from heaven to earth in the end time i.e. "reserved in heaven for you, Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time" (see below).

"Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied."

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time [see When Will You Be Judged?]." (1 Peter 1:1-5 KJV)

Fact Finder: What personal differences would the people of Bithynia, and everywhere else, have noticed between the apostles Paul and Peter?
See Peter and Paul


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