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Pontus, from the Greek word (pronounced) pontos, meaning sea, was a territory of northern Asia Minor (see the map below) on the Black Sea (hence the likely reason for its name). In the time of the early Church it was a Roman province (see the Fact Finder question below). Although the apostle Paul was active throughout Asia Minor in his missionary journeys (see Paul's First Missionary Journey, Paul's Second Missionary Journey and Paul's Third Missionary Journey), Paul did not reach the northern areas of Asia Minor as much, perhaps because some of the people there were already Christians before Paul was. Some people of Pontus were at the "birthday of the church" Pentecost (see below), at the time when Paul was still a persecutor of the church, before his conversion (see Paul's Ministry), when Paul had much more to learn from them than they from him.

Paul's Third Missionary Journey

"to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father"

People from Pontus were among those at the founding of the true Christian Church:

"And when the day of Pentecost was fully come [see The Christian Pentecost], they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with The Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues [see Languages], as the Spirit gave them utterance."

"And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language. And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans? And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born? Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia, Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes, Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God" (Acts 2:1-11 KJV)

Aquila (see Priscilla and Aquila) was from Pontus:

"After these things Paul departed from Athens, and came to Corinth; And found a certain Jew named Aquila, born in Pontus, lately come from Italy, with his wife Priscilla; because that Claudius had commanded all Jews to depart from Rome: and came unto them. And because he was of the same craft, he abode with them, and wrought: for by their occupation they were tentmakers. And he reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks." (Acts 18:1-4 KJV)

Peter addressed one of his Epistles to the Christians of Pontus and elsewhere:

"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." (1 Peter 1:1-2 KJV)

Fact Finder: Pontus was a Roman province in the early Church era. How much of the world did the Roman empire cover at that time?
See Ancient Empires - Rome

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