One of the great divisions of the eastern continent, lying east of Europe. The Asia spoken of in the Bible is Asia Minor, a peninsula which lies between the Euxine or Black sea and the eastern part of the Mediterranean, and which formerly included the provinces of Phrygia, Cilicia, Pamphylia, Caria, Lycia, Lydia, Mysia, Bithynia, Paphlagonia, Cappadocia, Galatia, Lycaonia, and Pisidia. On the western coast were anciently the countries of Eolia, Ionia, and Doris, the names of which were afterwards retained, although the countries were included in the provinces of Mysia, Lydia, and Caria. Many Jews were scattered over these regions, as appears from the history in Acts, and from Josephus, the writers of the New Testament comprehend, under the name of Asia, either (1) the whole of Asia Minor, Ac 19:26-27; 20:4,16,18; or (2) only proconsular Asia, that is, the region of Ionia, of which Ephesus was the capital, and which Strabo also calls Asia, Ac 2:9; 6:9; 16:6; 19:10,22. Cicero speaks of proconsular Asia as containing the provinces of Phrygia, Mysia, Caria, and Lydia.
is used to denote Proconsular Asia, a Roman province which embraced the western parts of Asia Minor, and of which Ephesus was the capital, in Ac 2:9; 6:9; 16/6'>16:6; 19:10,22; 20:4,16,18, etc., and probably Asia Minor in Ac 19:26-27; 21:27; 24:18; 27:2. Proconsular Asia contained the seven churches of the Apocalypse (Re 1:11). The "chiefs of Asia" (Ac 19:31) were certain wealthy citizens who were annually elected to preside over the games and religious festivals of the several cities to which they belonged. Some of these "Asiarchs" were Paul's friends.
Illustration: Proconsular Asia and the Seven Churches
In the New Testament not the continent, nor Asia Minor, but the W. of Asia Minor, with Ephesus as its capital, including Mysia, Lydia, Caria. Attalus, king of Pergamus, left it to the Romans 138 B.C. It was placed by Augustus among the senatorial provinces, as distinguished from the imperial provinces. Hence it was governed by a "proconsul," as Ac 19:38 (anthupatos), with the minute propriety which marks truth, incidentally intimates. It had its "assize days" (agoraioi, margin "the court days are kept.") Here were the seven churches addressed in the Revelation. In the Old Testament "Asia" does not occur.
In the NT this word invariably means the Roman province Asia, which embraced roughly the western third of the peninsula which we call Asia Minor. It was bounded on the N.E. by the province of Bithynia, on the E. by the province of Galatia, on the S. by the province of Lycia, and had been ceded to the Romans by the will of the Pergamenian king Attalus III. in b.c. 133. The following ethnic districts were in this province
This term in the N.T. does not refer to the portion of the earth now called Asia, nor does it include the whole of Asia Minor; but applies simply to the western part of Asia Minor, which was bequeathed to Rome by Attalus III. Philometor, king of Pergamus or king of Asia, B.C. 133. The province, with Ephesus as its capital, included Caria, Lydia, and Mysia, which were anciently called Doris, Ionia, and AEolis. It was governed by a proconsul. In Ac 2:9-10 'Asia' does not include Cappadocia, Pontus, Phrygia, and Pamphylia, which are all included in Asia Minor. Again, in Ac 16:6, Phrygia and Galatia are distinct from Asia: see also 1Pe 1:1. It will be seen in a map that all the seven churches of Asia, mentioned in the Revelation, are in the above named district. As Paul laboured in other parts of Asia Minor, and there being frequent intercourse between the various places and Ephesus, it may be that a wider area is in some passages referred to as 'Asia,' as in Ac 19:10,26-27.
(orient). The passages in the New Testament where this word occurs are the following;
In all these it may be confidently stated that the word is used for a Roman province which embraced the western part of the peninsula of Asia Minor and of which Ephesus was the capital.
ASIA, one of the four grand divisions of the earth. It is also used in a more restricted sense for Asia Minor, or Anatolia. In the New Testament it always signifies the Roman Proconsular Asia, in which the seven Apocalyptic churches were situated.