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Derbe is an ancient city in today's Turkey. This city is mentioned in the biblical book of Acts - (Acts 14:6), (Acts 16:1) and was situated near ancient Lystra.[1]


Although still a subject of controversy, the most likely site of Derbe lies about 3 miles (4.8 km) north of the city of Karaman, Turkey.

The GPS coordinates for the nearby village of Madenşehri are (North 37’ 26’ 14.5; East 33’08’ 29.3). Ruins of what is thought to be Derbe are on the hill near this village.

Churches were built to commemorate the visit of St. Paul. (Acts 14:20-21)

A distinctive church ruin is believed to be the home of the last Bishop of Derbe, circa A.D. 1001. A few coins and inscriptions of Derbe are extant.[2]


In ancient times, Derbe was one of a few Christian cities, and was used as a refuge for traveling Christians. Its Christian church was burned and buried under a mountain of soil by the Roman Emperor Diocletian, during the Diocletian Persecution, this event took place just prior to the year 300 AD. After the destruction of Derbe, there was a mass exodus of the population. Many went to western Europe, settling in modern day France. It is during this time that the last name "Derbes" began to be expressed with the connotative meaning, "man from Derbe". The name is still expressed as a surname to this day.[citation needed]


  1. ^ "Derbe". Catholic Encyclopedia. Retrieved 2007-02-17. 
  2. ^ William Ramsay, Cities of St. Paul, 385-404.

Coordinates: 37°26′20″N 33°09′50″E / 37.4388888889°N 33.1638888889°E / 37.4388888889; 33.1638888889


Bible wiki

Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From BibleWiki

a small town on the eastern part of the upland plain of Lycaonia, about 20 miles from Lystra. Paul passed through Derbe on his route from Cilicia to Iconium, on his second missionary journey (Acts 16:1), and probably also on his third journey (18:23; 19:1). On his first journey (14:20, 21) he came to Derbe from the other side; i.e., from Iconium. It was the native place of Gaius, one of Paul's companions (20:4). He did not here suffer persecution (2 Tim 3:11).

This entry includes text from Easton's Bible Dictionary, 1897.

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