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A large, prosperous commercial city located on the Cydnus River about ten miles from the Mediterranean Sea on the southeastern coast of Asia Minor. The author of Acts understood Paul to be a citizen and native of Tarsus (Acts 9:11; Acts 21:39; Acts 22:3) and thus a Jew of the Dispersion (i.e., who lived outside Palestine). As a Jew of Tarsus, Paul would have been reared in a non-Jewish environment and would have spoken the common language of the Roman Empire, Greek.

  • Powell, Mark Allan, ed. HarperCollins Bible Dictionary. Abridged Edition. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2009.