Restoring the Ancient Cave Church of St. Peter

Bible and archaeology news

Then Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul, and when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. So it was that for an entire year they associated with the church and taught a great many people, and it was in Antioch that the disciples were first called ‘Christians’.

Acts 11:25-26

The cave church of St. Peter in Antakya.

The world’s oldest cave church, located in Antakya, Turkey, is set to undergo a major restoration project. Plans include repairs on the rock, construction of a service building and attempts to uncover fourth to fifth-century mosaics from the church’s earliest period. Traditionally considered the spot where Paul first preached the gospel in ancient Antioch, the cave church has served as a pilgrimage destination for centuries and now hosts a yearly religious gathering. This is not the cave church’s first restoration; crusaders expanded the church in the 11th century and Pope Pious IX and Napoleon Bonaparte funded 19th-century repairs. Paul’s missionary work and the ancient church turn ancient Antioch into a cradle of early Christianity.

Read more.

In the free eBook Paul: Jewish Law and Early Christianity, learn about the cultural contexts for the theology of Paul and how Jewish traditions and law extended into early Christianity through Paul’s dual roles as a Christian missionary and a Pharisee.


A massive, unparalleled mosaic was recently uncovered in Antakya. Find out more in Antakya Hotel to Preserve the Wonders of Ancient Antioch.

Read more about ancient Antioch in the BAS Library. Read “Polyglot Antioch” by Florent Heintz as it appeared in Archaeology Odyssey.

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  • Ignatius says

    Isn’t it interesting that there’s an altar.
    They must have been Catholic.

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