Did Paul visit Samos?

Samos is a mountainous island in the SE part of the Aegean Sea off the coast of Asia Minor. It is 27 miles long (E-W) and about 14 miles wide. The island is separated from the mainland by a strait of one mile.

The port of Samos on the island of Samos. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.
The port of Samos on the island of Samos. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

Paul and his companions stopped at, or passed near, Samos on the return from his third journey.

Sailing from there [Mitylene], we arrived the following day opposite Chios; and the next day we crossed over to Samos; and the day following we came to Miletus. (Act 20:15 NAU)

English versions do not make it clear whether Paul stopped at Samos or came within sight of the island. These comments by Floyd Filson might be helpful.

Paul’s ship…either ‘touched at’ and anchored overnight at Samos (so RSV, though this is an unusual meaning for parebalomen) or ‘came near’ to Samos and passed by it on the E or the W to anchor for the night at Trogyllium. (Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible. IV:197)

Here is a view of the eastern end of Samos as a ship passes through the most narrow part of the strait between the island and the Turkish mainland.

View of Samos from a ship in the strait between island and mainland. Photo by F. Jenkins.
Samos from a ship in the strait between island & mainland. Photo: F. Jenkins.

Paul may not have visited Samos, but it is clear that he came very close.

One response to “Did Paul visit Samos?

  1. Pingback: The Goddess Hera and Samos | Leon's Message Board

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.