Derbe

Southeast of Lystra some thirty miles distance was the small town of Derbe. In the Lycaonian District, this town was at the extreme edge of cities considered Galatian. The town was small, but the work of Paul and Barnabas yielded a number of followers. Among them, Gaius was converted and much later joined Paulís team on the Third Mission Journey (cp. Acts 20:4).

Following the strengthening that no doubt resulted from the encouragement of the growth in the movement at Derbe, Paul and Barnabas journeyed back to Lystra and Iconium (45 miles northwest), in spite of their prior reception (Acts 14:21-22) and strengthened the small flock of believers in each place. Paul and Silas made their way to Derbe on the Second Journey (Acts 16:1). 

Attempts to locate the exact site of the ancient village have been attempted by M. Balance in 1956 and 1964. His identification favors a small outcropping four kilometers south east of Kerti Huyuk.

Derbe was a city in the district of Lycaonia in the Roman province of Galatia in south central Asia Minor.  It sat on a major route connecting Iconium to Laranda and was about 60 miles from Lystra.  Paul and Barnabas fled to Derbe and Lystra on his first missionary journey when city officials of Iconium plotted to stone them (Acts 14:6-21).  Paul does not mention suffering any persecution in Derbe (2 Tim 3:11).

Excavations: From 1888 through 1956, it was believed that Gudelisin was the site of Derbe, based on its proximity to Lystra.  However in 1956, an inscription was found at the site Kerti Huyuk, 30 miles east of the formerly accepted site, showing it to be the true Derbe.  A second inscription was later found, marking the grave of a bishop of Derbe.  This shows great Christian influence in Derbe centuries after Paul visited the city.

Mudbrick Houses:  Mudbrick construction is a typical building style throughout the ancient and modern Middle East.  Using this method, mudbrick walls are built on top of a stone foundation.  The roof is then constructed using wooden beams, some sort of matting such as palm fronds or straw, and some sort of sealant such as mortar or clay.  Since the roof and mudbricks are made of material that is either perishable or easily eroded, archaeologists often find only the stone foundations of ancient buildings.