Acts 14:1-7 Paul and Barnabas spend some months at Iconium in 47AD, going as usual to the Jewish synagogue to preach. Many Jews and Gentiles believe, but those who reject the Good News about Jesus hatch a plot to stone Paul for what they consider to be blasphemy. Paul and Barnabas hear about the plot and escape to Lystra in Lycaonia (see 6 on Map 23).
Shops in Downtown Konya (Iconium) (Acts 14:1)
Iconium has been an important city since its foundation by the Hittites (see Map 23). In Paul’s day it was an important Roman military base on the Via Sebaste controlling settlements on the Anatolian Plateau. The city reached its zenith in the 12th century AD when it became the capital of the Seljuk Sultanate of Rum. It was also the home of Celaleddin Rumi – usually referred to as ‘Mevlana’ – the 13th century founder of Sufism, the Muslim tradition that emphasises the need for a personal relationship with God.
Mevlana Sufi Lodge, Konya (Iconium) (Acts 14:3)
Most visitors to modern-day Konya (Iconium) in Turkey spend their time at the Mevlana Museum or inside the beautiful Alaeddin Mosque. Those in search of Christian sites should venture off the ‘tourist trail’ to the nearby village of Sille. Here they can search for several caves with Christian symbols, used by early Christian monks, and visit a restored Byzantine church built by the Empress Helena in the 4th century AD to commemorate Paul’s visit to Iconium.