I thought I posted this article yesterday, but see that I left it as a draft. Anyway, here goes. After a three day cruise we are now in Athens, Greece. Due to the expensive time on board the ship, and lack of time to seek other arrangements, I was unable to post since Patmos. I will try to catch up over the next few days. Below is the post on Rhodes.
Paul and his companions stopped at Rhodes on the return portion of the third journey, but nothing is said in Luke’s historical account about any activities on the island.
When we had parted from them [the Ephesian elders at Miletus] and had set sail, we ran a straight course to Cos and the next day to Rhodes and from there to Patara; and having found a ship crossing over to Phoenicia, we went aboard and set sail. (Acts 21:1-2)
Our ship docked at the harbor of the city of Rhodes, capital of the island of Rhodes. Here, in ancient days, stood the colossus of Rhodes — one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. The statue fell during an earthquake in 226 B.C., but remains of it were seen as late as the 7th century A.D. Assuming that Paul’s ship docked here, he would have seen ruins of the famous monument. Considering the course of travel mentioned in the text (Cos, Rhodes, and Patara) this appears more likely.
Another tradition has it that Paul’s contact with the island was at Lindos, one of the three ancient cities of the island. It is located about 34 miles from the town of Rhodes. A small Greek Orthodox chapel commemorates the landing and preaching of the apostle. In this photo showing St. Paul’s harbor you can see the chapel on the right. The acropolis with ruins of the Temple of Athena are on the left. Fant and Reddish, A Guide to Biblical Sites in Greece and Turkey, say that “The harbor was once the location of the fleet of Lindos and the only natural harbor on the island of Rhodes” (114).
Rhodes is not mentioned in most English translations of the Old Testament. Ezekiel 27:15, in translating the Masoretic Text, mentions the “men of Dedan” or the Dedanites. The Greek version (LXX, Septuagint) uses words that mean “men of Rhodes.” I note that the New American Bible, the NIV, and the NRS, follow the Greek in their trasnlation. Rhodes is also mentioned in 1 Maccabees 15:23. Dedan is identified as “an important settlement located at one of the major oases in NW Arabia (Gen. 10:7; Gen. 25:3)” (Anchor Dictionary of the Bible, 123). For now, this remains a problem.
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