In the Hellenistic period, Asia is a term for the Seleucid Empire (Map 11; e.g., 1 Macc. 11.13; 13.32). In the Roman period, Asia means the province of that name, in the western part of what is now Turkey (Map 14:E3; see, e.g., 2 Esd. 16.1; Acts 19.6; 1 Cor. 16.19; 1 Pet. 1.1). It was an important province, containing within its boundaries a number of wealthy cities, including Ephesus, its capital. The seven churches of the opening chapters of the book of Revelation are all in the province of Asia (Rev. 1.4), as is Colossae, to whose church the letter to the Colossians was sent.

Michael D. Coogan