Archive for October 5th, 2012
The Tombs of the Kings and early Christians
Posted by simon peter sutherland in Biblical archaeology, Christianity on October 5, 2012
At Paphos, Cyprus there stands what is known as ‘The Tombs of the Kings’.
These tombs have a wide variety of historical facts connected to them, and although all of them are of interest, one point of this history stands out to me, that point being the fact that early Christians met in these tombs in ancient times.
At the Tombs of the Kings, early Christians from around the 1st – 4th centuries AD met for worship in singlar tombs around this location and also for protection from the persecution lashed out upon them by the Romans.
It is likely that the early Christians met in one tomb at a time.
Acts 11:19-20 tells us that after Stephen was martyred some Christians travelled to Cyprus and preached to Jews only. In Greco-Roman times Paphos was the island’s capital and it is likely that these Christians travelled there. However, it was not until Paul, Barnabus and Mark visited Paphos, Cyprus as written in Acts 13: 4-13 that the gospel was given to the Gentiles of which Paul, then Saul converted the Roman official.
Some believe that the Roman authorities were angry at Pauls conversion of the Proconsul Sergius Paulus and thus persecuted Christians at Paphos. Thus, it is for this reason that they went just outside the city walls and met in the ancient caves and tombs.
Evidence for this is found in the discoveries of crosses and Frescoes found in the burial chambers, which is regarded as proof that early Christians used these tombs during tribulations prior to the 4th century AD. Persecution of Christians was abolished by Roman Emperor Constantine who made Christianity the religion of Rome in 313 AD.
This short documentary which I made on the matter offers a more visual presentation of this subject of ‘The Tombs of the Kings and early Christians’.