oa Scriptura : Journal for Contextual Hermeneutics in Southern Africa - The ‘upper regions’ and the route of Paul's third journey from Apamea to Ephesus

Volume 117 Number 1
  • ISSN : 0254-1807
  • E-ISSN: 2305-445X



Luke’s phrase ἀνωτερικὰ μέρη in Acts 19:1 has been an interpretative conundrum for scholars of Acts for centuries. How Paul came to Ephesus at the start of the third journey is the geographical issue. The article begins with a brief lexical discussion. It then examines each of the proposed routes and their variants. Recent archaeological and hodological research in western Asia Minor as well as new cartographic productions provide fresh insights into these routes. How contemporary Bible atlases portray the route of the journey is then discussed. The methodological tools of Least Cost Path Analysis, Network Analysis, and 3D modelling are next employed to evaluate these routes. Based on these data, the Meander valley route from Apamea to Ephesus is preferred. The article concludes with several insights about Paul’s travel and ministry programme in Acts derived from the study.

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