🔼The name Pontus: Summary
- From the noun ποντος (pontos), sea.
🔼The name Pontus in the Bible
The name Pontus belonged to a Roman province on the north coast of Anatolia (modern Turkey), pretty much straight to the north of Israel. It was once an impressive kingdom, which none of the bronze age empires managed to conquer. The Greeks settled colonies there, which in turn became overrun by the Persians. Pontus became part of the independent kingdom of Cappadocia and in 302 BC the kingdom of Pontus became autonomous again.
The kingdom of Pontus ceased to exist when the feared Roman general Pompey defeated the forces of king Mithridates VI in 64 BC (Judea followed in 63 BC). Initially Pontus became part of the Roman province named "Bithynia and Pontus" (the name Pontus as used in the New Testament refers to the eastern part of this province). Under Nero, Pontus became its own province, and under Trajan it became part of the province of Cappadocia.
Pontus is mentioned three times in the New Testament. In Acts 2:9 we learn that natives of Pontus were among those present at the outpour of the Holy Spirit in Jerusalem. Traveling from Athens and arriving in Corinth, Paul met a native of Pontus (i.e. Ποντικος, Pontikos or Pontic; Acts 18:2) named Aquila, who, together with his wife Priscilla, had been among the Jews expelled from Rome during the administration of Caesar Claudius. And Peter addressed his Letter to the Aliens to the scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia (1 Peter 1:1).
🔼Etymology of the name Pontus
The name Pontus is the same as the Greek word ποντος (pontos), meaning sea:
The noun ποντος (pontos) is a poetic word for sea or ocean (something alike "big blue" or "the great, wide open").
The name Pontus means Sea.