Today we visited Alexandria on the Mediterranean coast. The drive from our hotel in Giza takes about 3 hours along the high desert road. The weather was fine, and the light and sky was good for photography.
Alexandria was founded by Alexander the Great. The library of ancient Alexandria was the most famous in the world at the time. Originally it was established in the 4th century B.C. by Ptolemy Soter I, or a few years later by his son. About 220 languages are presented on the granite wall that surrounds the library.
The new library, the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, opened in 2003. It may not be the best library of the world today, but it is likely one of the most beautiful. A statue of Ptolemy stands outside the entrance to the modern Library.
The reading room is impressive.
The Hebrew scriptures were translated into Greek under the Ptolemaic rulers, beginning about 280 B.C. There are four references to Alexandria or the Alexandrians in the New Testament.
- Alexandrians were among those who disputed with Stephen (Acts 6:9).
- Apollos was an Alexandrian by birth (Acts 18:24).
- The ship Paul sailed on from Myra toward Rome was an Alexandrian ship. Eventually the ship was wrecked off the island of Malta (Acts 27:5ff.).
- The ship used for the final leg of Paul’s voyage to Rome was an Alexandrian ship (Acts 28:11).