Posts Tagged The Apostle Paul at Rhodes

Ancient Kameiros, and the spread of early Christianity on Rhodes

Kameiros © 2019 Simon Peter Sutherland

Kameiros, Rhodes © 2019 Simon Peter Sutherland

Recently I visited the ancient City of Kameiros on the Greek island of Rhodes. This is now an archaeological site.

In ancient times Kameiros was one of the three ancient cities of Rhodes and today has some evidences of the spread of early Christianity on the island. Here the city was built upon three levels. There was a Temple of Athena, a Stoa and an Acropolis. There was even a reservoir.

Here, hundreds of people once lived in terrace type houses. On my visit I greatly admired an area where these ancient houses once stood. Here, archaeologists affirm many early Christians once lived.

This is interesting because the first and only time Rhodes is mentioned in the Bible is in Acts 21: 1 and my documentary explores that passage of Scripture. However, it must be pointed out that before the time of Paul’s visit to Rhodes in the AD 50’s, there is no evidence for Christianity on the island. We can only imagine that Christianity must have spread from either Rhodes town or Lindos, after the Apostles visit.

Here in Kameiros early Christians would have had to live amongst pagan temples and the worship of other gods. However, in 142 AD an earthquake destroyed the city. Today it lies in ruins.

Kameiros, Rhodes © 2019 Simon Peter Sutherland

Kameiros, Rhodes © 2019 Simon Peter Sutherland

Much of ancient Kameiros is yet to be excavated, some of the finds are in the British Museum.  But what I learned from this visit was that Christianity was present on Rhodes very early. This is interesting because clearly someone brought the Gospel to Rhodes in the early days of Christianity. I propose that archaeology and history affirms that Luke in Acts was correct and that he and Paul brought Christianity to Rhodes on Paul’s third missionary journey.

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A 15th century image on St. Paul’s Gate, Rhodes

St. paul's Gate © 2019 Simon Peter Sutherland

Apostle Paul on Rhodes © 2019 Simon Peter Sutherland

While on the Greek island of Rhodes, I revisited the site of Acts 21: 1. This location is Rhodes Town, the site of the Colossus of Rhodes and St. Paul’s Gate. Here Paul and Luke landed in the 50’s AD.

It is quite easy to miss but within the walls surrounding the Gate of St. Paul, there is a 15th century image of the Apostle high up on the wall.

The image itself is faded and undefined. But it represents the familiar image of the Paul we know.

Apostle Paul, Rhodes Town © 2019 Simon Peter Sutherland

St. Paul, Rhodes Town © 2019 Simon Peter Sutherland

This is Paul the elderly and powerful. His left arm is raised. His right arm is carrying a sword. Representing the sword of the Spirit. His head is leaning to the left.

The Gate of St. Paul was constructed during the 15th century and fortifies an area of the harbour known as the Kolona Harbour. The locals of Rhodes town generally accept that this was the precise location where Paul and Luke landed. This location satisfies me as the site of Acts 21: 1.

Once again, as always, it was wonderful to stand in the places written about in the Bible. The message is clear, keep our eyes fixed upon the Apostles’ doctrine (Acts 2: 42).

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