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Aegean Islands

The Aegean Sea is located between Greece to the west and Turkey to the east. It's actually a northern projection of The Mediterranean Sea, with Crete usually regarded as the division between the two areas. To the north, through the Dardanelles, is the Black Sea, the Sea of Marmara and the Bosporus. The Aegean Sea is about 600 kilometers (375 miles) long and 325 kilometers (200 miles) wide, with a total area of approximately 214,000 square kilometers (82,600 square miles).

The Aegean Sea region was the home of a number of the world's earliest civilizations - the Minoan Civilization of Crete, and the great intellectual and military empire of Greece (see Ancient Empires - Greece), and Asia Minor, known today as Turkey, all of which were the scene of much of the earliest growth of Christianity (see the Fact Finder question below). The Aegean's ancient name, Archipelago, now used to refer to its many islands, has also become a geographic term for any grouping of islands.

"In the isle that is called Patmos, for the Word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ"

Numerous events of Bible History occurred on islands of the Aegean Sea. One of the most infamous of them, because of how its name came to be used for the female counterpart of Sodom (see Sodomites), was Lesbos - from which the term lesbian originated. The island of Lesbos is itself not mentioned by name in the Holy Scriptures, but the major city of the island is - Mitylene. The apostle Paul encountered the island (see Paul and The Lesbians) while on a journey across the Aegean (see the Fact Finder question below for maps of all three of Paul's major missionary expeditions).

The Aegean Sea

"20:14 And when he met with us at Assos, we took him in, and came to Mitylene.

20:15 And we sailed thence, and came the next day over against Chios; and the next day we arrived at Samos, and tarried at Trogyllium; and the next day we came to Miletus." (Acts 20:14-15 KJV)

The island of Crete was the last land that Paul encountered before being caught in the storm that drove the ship south before the shipwreck on the Mediterranean Sea island of Malta.

"27:7 And when we had sailed slowly many days, and scarce were come over against Cnidus, the wind not suffering us, we sailed under Crete, over against Salmone; 27:8 And, hardly passing it, came unto a place which is called The fair havens; nigh whereunto was the city of Lasea.

27:9 Now when much time was spent, and when sailing was now dangerous, because the fast [i.e. Christ's Day Of Atonement; see our Calendar of Christ's Holy Days] was now already past, Paul admonished them, 27:10 And said unto them, Sirs, I perceive that this voyage will be with hurt and much damage, not only of the lading and ship, but also of our lives. 27:11 Nevertheless the centurion believed the master and the owner of the ship, more than those things which were spoken by Paul. 27:12 And because the haven was not commodious to winter in, the more part advised to depart thence also, if by any means they might attain to Phenice, and there to winter; which is an haven of Crete, and lieth toward the south west and north west.

27:13 And when the south wind blew softly, supposing that they had obtained their purpose, loosing thence, they sailed close by Crete. 27:14 But not long after there arose against it a tempestuous wind, called Euroclydon. 27:15 And when the ship was caught, and could not bear up into the wind, we let her drive." (Acts 27:7-15 KJV)

Perhaps the most famous Aegean island of all, in matters of the history of Prophecy, is Patmos - an island off the coast of Turkey where the apostle John was exiled by the Romans (see Ancient Empires - Rome), and where the LORD (i.e. Jesus Christ, as plainly stated below; see also Christ The Creator and 'Before Abraham Was, I AM') gave him the contents of what became known as the book of Revelation. John's writing was actually a letter (see The Old Man's Letter), written to "the seven churches" on the nearby mainland of "Asia" i.e. Turkey.

"1:1 The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to show unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John: 1:2 Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw. 1:3 Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.

1:4 John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne; 1:5 And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead [see The Firstborn of Salvation and When Will You Be Judged?], and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, 1:6 And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

1:7 Behold, he cometh with clouds [see also He That Sat On The Cloud]; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen. 1:8 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.

1:9 I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ." (Revelation 1:1-9 KJV)

Fact Finder: Where and when did the apostle Paul travel through the islands of the Aegean Sea?
Paul's First Missionary Journey: Acts 13:1 to 15:35
Paul's Second Missionary Journey: Acts 15:36 to 18:22
Paul's Third Missionary Journey: Acts 18:23 to 21:17


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