In the Great Commission, Jesus said His followers would be His witnesses “in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8).
In those days, many considered the Roman Empire to reach to the ends of the earth. In that sense, the progression Jesus described is precisely what we see happen in the book of Acts as the gospel spreads from Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria to the ends of the Roman Empire. Since that time, the gospel has traveled around the globe many times over.
In terms of our present-day geography, here are some key places where the events of Acts took place:
Jerusalem: Roughly the same city as the one established during King David’s reign. As Israel’s capital city, Jerusalem is the heart of Jewish history and culture.
Judea: The southern half of present day Israel—stretching from the Jordan River and Dead Sea west to the Mediterranean Sea, and from Gaza and the Red Sea north to Tel Aviv. It became a Roman province in 6 AD.
Samaria: The northern half of present-day Israel, reaching from the Jordan River west to the Mediterranean Sea. Samaria was home to descendants of the Israelites who intermarried with their Babylonian captors during exile. These “Samaritans” were shunned by many traditional Jews.
Asia Minor: The region of Paul’s 1st Missionary Journey—modern-day Turkey and Syria. Asia Minor included the regions of Phrygia, Pisidia, Galatia, Cappadocia, and Cilicia, and the cities of Derbe, Lystra, Ephesus, Colossae, Miletus, Philadelphia, and Antioch.
Macedonia and Achaia: The regions of Paul’s 2nd and 3rd Missionary Journeys—modern-day Romania, Serbia, Bulgaria, Macedonia, and Greece. The regions of Macedonia and Achaia included the cities of Thessalonica, Philippi, Berea, Athens, and Corinth.
Rome, Sicily, and Malta: The same as today. Sicily and Malta are the two islands just off the toe of Italy’s “boot.” Rome was the power center and heart of the vast Roman Empire.