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Derbe was a small town in southern Turkey ("Asia Minor") that the apostle Paul (see Paul's Ministry) was well familiar with. Not only was Derbe in the area of Paul's home town (see the Fact Finder question below), he passed through or near Derbe on all three of his major missionary journeys (see the links below for each of the 3 missionary journeys for detailed maps).

"They were ware of it, and fled unto Lystra and Derbe, cities of Lycaonia, and unto the region that lieth round about: And there they preached the Gospel"

Derbe was visited by Paul on his first missionary journey (see Paul's First Missionary Journey), which actually began as the newly converted Paul (he was still known as Saul) being the second to Barnabas. Paul's strengthening abilities became evident in how they were referred to as the mission progressed however. It went from "Barnabas and Saul" (Acts 13:2 KJV) to "the apostles, Barnabas and Paul" (Acts 14:14 KJV) to "Paul and Barnabas" (Acts 15:2 KJV). Through it all however, along with the success, there were always those who opposed them.

Journey Through Asia Minor

"And it came to pass in Iconium, that they went both together into the synagogue of the Jews, and so spake, that a great multitude both of the Jews and also of the Greeks believed. But the unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles, and made their minds evil affected against the brethren."

"Long time therefore abode they speaking boldly in the Lord, which gave testimony unto the word of his grace, and granted signs and wonders to be done by their hands. But the multitude of the city was divided: and part held with the Jews, and part with the apostles. And when there was an assault made both of the Gentiles, and also of the Jews with their rulers, to use them despitefully, and to stone them [see also Stoning], They were ware of it, and fled unto Lystra and Derbe, cities of Lycaonia, and unto the region that lieth round about: And there they preached The Gospel." (Acts 14:1-7 KJV)

Paul also visited Derbe on his second major missionary journey (see Paul's Second Missionary Journey):

"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: 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." (Acts 16:1-5 KJV)

And so also on his third major missionary journey did Paul have contact with Derbe (see Paul's Third Missionary Journey).

"And after the uproar was ceased, Paul called unto him the disciples, and embraced them, and departed for to go into Macedonia. And when he had gone over those parts, and had given them much exhortation, he came into Greece, And there abode three months. And when the Jews laid wait for him [keep in mind that Paul himself was a Jew and a Pharisee - see Saul The Benjamite, Paul The Christian Jew and Pharisees], as he was about to sail into Syria, he purposed to return through Macedonia. And there accompanied him into Asia Sopater of Berea; and of the Thessalonians, Aristarchus and Secundus; and Gaius of Derbe, and Timotheus; and of Asia, Tychicus and Trophimus. These going before tarried for us at Troas." (Acts 20:105 KJV)

Fact Finder: What was the name of Paul's home town, which was located not far from Derbe?
See Tarsus

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