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Tuesday, April 9 2013
The Aegean Connection
As shown in the photograph below, 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 generally 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's ancient name, Archipelago, now used to refer to its many islands, has also become a geographic term for any grouping of islands.
The Aegean Sea region was the home of a number of the world's most-ancient civilizations - the Minoan Civilization of Crete, and the great intellectual and military empire of Greece (see also A History Of Jerusalem: Greeks, Ptolemies, Seleucids), and Asia Minor, known today as Turkey, all of which were the scene of much of the earliest growth of Christianity. For the apostle Paul, the Aegean Sea was the sea route between Asia and Europe.
"Therefore loosing from Troas, we came with a straight course to Samothracia, and the next day to Neapolis"
Paul had apparently intended to maintain his ministry in his native Turkey (Paul was born in Tarsus, a city of Turkey near the Mediterranean Sea), however when the time came, the LORD (see The Kingdom Of The LORD God) directed Paul to sail for Europe, across the Aegean Sea (see also The Meeting Of Paul And Barnabas and The Ministry Of Paul And Barnabas).
"16:6 Now when they had gone throughout Phrygia and the region of Galatia, and were forbidden of the Holy Ghost to preach the word in Asia, 16:7 After they were come to Mysia, they assayed to go into Bithynia: but the Spirit suffered them not. 16:8 And they passing by Mysia came down to Troas. 16:9 And a vision appeared to Paul in the night; There stood a man of Macedonia, and prayed him, saying, Come over into Macedonia, and help us. 16:10 And after he had seen the vision, immediately we endeavoured to go into Macedonia, assuredly gathering that the Lord had called us for to preach the gospel unto them.
At the end of Paul's third missionary journey (see Paul's First Missionary Journey, Paul's Second Missionary Journey and Paul's Third Missionary Journey), he sailed directly from Greece through the Aegean to Jerusalem, with only a brief stop on the coast of Turkey where he was met by the Christians of Ephesus (see the map below).
"20:13 And we went before to ship, and sailed unto Assos, there intending to take in Paul: for so had he appointed, minding himself to go afoot. 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. 20:16 For Paul had determined to sail by Ephesus, because he would not spend the time in Asia: for he hasted, if it were possible for him, to be at Jerusalem the day of Pentecost. 20:17 And from Miletus he sent to Ephesus, and called the elders of the church." (Acts 20:13-17 KJV)
"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"
The Book of Revelation (which was actually a letter; see The Epistles: Revelation and the Fact Finder question below) was given to be written by the apostle John while he was being held as a prisoner of the Romans on the island of Patmos, located in the Aegean Sea just off the coast of Turkey.
"1:1 The Revelation of Jesus Christ [see also What Happened When The Messiah Arrived In Heaven? and What Happens After The Messiah Returns?], which God gave unto him, to shew 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 [see also What Does Word of God Mean To You?], 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." (Revelation 1:1-3 KJV)
Fact Finder: What was the prophetic significance of "the seven churches" for today?
This Day In History, April 9
193: Septimius Seversus was proclaimed emperor by the Roman army (see Legions Of Men And Angels and Pax Romana: The Birth Of The Roman Empire) in Illyricum (see A History Of Jerusalem: Pompey And The Caesars and A History Of Jerusalem: Constantine and Muhammad).
537: Byzantine general Belisarius began his Siege of Rome.
1241: Mongol forces fought the Poles and the Germans at the Battle of Liegnitz.
1413: Henry V was crowned King of England.
1440: Christopher of Bavaria was made King of Denmark.
1483: King Edward IV of England died.
1511: St. John's College of Cambridge, England was founded.
1626: Francis Bacon, British lawyer, courtier, statesman, philosopher and writer died at age 65.
1682: Explorer Rene-Robert Cavelier de La Salle reached the mouth of the Mississippi River and claimed Louisiana for King Louis XIV of France (i.e. Louisiana is named after a King of France).
1770: English explorer James Cook sighted Botany Bay, Australia.
1747: Simon Fraser, the 12th baron Lovat Jacobite, became the last man in England to be executed by beheading.
1799: Sir Humphrey Davy discovered the anesthetic properties of nitrous oxide, ("laughing gas").
1869: The Hudson Bay Company ceded its territory to Canada.
1917: During the First World War (listen to our Sermon The European World Wars), the German-held Vimy Ridge (France) was taken by 4 divisions of Canadian troops after one of the fiercest battles of the war.
1921: The Russian-Polish War ended with the signing of the Riga Treaty.
1940: Germany invaded Norway and Denmark during the Second World War.
1945: Dietrich Bonhoeffer, German theologian and anti-Nazi was executed in Flossenburg concentration camp. He was arrested in 1943 for his involvement in a plot to assassinate Hitler.
1948: 245 Arab men, women and children were killed by the Irgun (a "Zionist" paramilitary group; see A History Of Jerusalem: The British Mandate, A History Of Jerusalem: Zionism and A History Of Jerusalem: War And Peace) in a village close to Jerusalem called Deir Yassin. The murders resulted in tens of thousands of Arabs fleeing to the Arab-controlled West Bank, and into Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and the Egyptian Gaza Strip. In retaliation, the Arabs murdered 77 Jewish doctors and nurses in a convoy on their way to Mount Scopus.
1969: The supersonic Concorde airliner made its maiden flight, from Bristol to Fairford in England.
1991: The date of Microsoft MS-DOS 5.0
1992: President Manuel Noriega of Panama was convicted of drug charges in a Miami court. Noriega was captured as a prisoner of war when the U.S. invaded Panama, however he was thereafter prosecuted by U.S. domestic law.
2005: Britain's Prince Charles married Camilla Parker Bowles, his mistress of many years.