The Colossus of Rhodes
Rhodes is a major island off the southwestern coast of Asia Minor (Turkey), approximately 46 miles / 75 kilometers long and 18 miles / 29 kilometers wide. Populated by Dorians (an early-history Greek people) before 1000 BC, the island's location made it a major point on the ancient trade route through The Mediterranean Sea and The Aegean Sea. Its importance continued for many centuries, with both the Greeks (see Ancient Empires - Greece) and Romans (see Ancient Empires - Rome) capitalizing on its strategic location. Rhodes was famous for the "Colossus of Rhodes," one of the "Seven Wonders" of the ancient world - a 100 foot brass statue of the pagan sun god "Helios" which stood at the harbor entrance. Constructed about 290 BC, the idol was toppled by an earthquake about 225 BC.
Rhodes In The New Testament Era
In the time of the New Testament, the apostle Paul (see Paul's Ministry) visited Rhodes during at least 2 of his missionary journeys (see Paul's First Missionary Journey,
Paul's Second Missionary Journey and
Paul's Third Missionary Journey):
"And it came to pass, that after we were gotten from them, and had launched, we came with a straight course unto Coos, and the day following unto Rhodes, and from thence unto Patara: And finding a ship sailing over unto Phenicia, we went aboard, and set forth."
"Now when we had discovered Cyprus, we left it on the left hand, and sailed into Syria, and landed at Tyre: for there the ship was to unlade her burden. And finding disciples, we tarried there seven days: who said to Paul through the Spirit, that he should not go up to Jerusalem."
"And when we had accomplished those days, we departed and went our way; and they all brought us on our way, with wives and children, till we were out of the city: and we kneeled down on the shore, and prayed. And when we had taken our leave one of another, we took ship; and they returned home again."
"And when we had finished our course from Tyre, we came to Ptolemais, and saluted the brethren, and abode with them one day. And the next day we that were of Paul's company departed, and came unto Caesarea: and we entered into the house of Philip The Evangelist, which was one of the seven; and abode with him." (Acts 21:1-8 KJV)
Fact Finder: What small island northwest of Rhodes was the place where the Book of Revelation was written?
See The Island Of Patmos