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2MJ—Europe
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  • 2MJ Europe—Neapolis
    • Europe Neapolis—Modern Port of Kavala
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      Ancient Neapolis is modern Kavala, a bustling port city of eastern Macedonia on the Bay of Kavala opposite the island of Thasos. The ancient Roman highway system, called the Via Egnatia, cut across Macedonia through Thessalonica, Apollonia, Amphipolis, and Philippi, and landed in the seaport of Neapolis. Paul and company put in to port here after the vision at Troas finally kicked off the second missionary journey in earnest, putting Paul back on track with God’s will. The trip inland to Philippi, the first major stop of the second missionary journey, would have been a short walk from this port city.
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  • 2MJ Europe—Philippi
    • Europe Philippi—Hotel Philippeio
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      We made a wonderful discovery of the Hotel Philippeio perched on a mountainside overlooking Krinides, the modern city to which the ancient site of Philippi lies nearby. We checked in right at dusk. Spectacular view of the valley lighting up below.
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    • Europe Philippi—Roads Modern and Ancient
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      The main highway coming out of Krenides actually runs right on top of, or directly parallel to, the Via Egnatia, the ancient Roman highway connecting Philippi and Thessalonica. From the modern highway, you can see the ancient theater of Philippi carved into the mountainside.
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    • Europe Philippi—Archeological Site
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      The site of ancient Philippi spills down the mountainside from the theater. From the top of this theater, one can see the ancient Roman forum across the modern highway that cuts through the middle of the site.
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    • Europe Philippi—Underground Latrine
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      The latrine at Philippi is most unusual for it underground location. Most Roman latrines were at ground level right off a main street. The latrine at Philippi was underground. One had to travel down a flight of stairs and down a short hallway to reach the entrance to the latrine.
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    • Europe Philippi—Via Egnatia
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      The Via Egnatia was the Roman interstate of the day. This highway was the main east-west route traversing Macedonia and other provinces on the way to Constantinople. The road was built to facilitate the movement of Roman legions eastward. Thessalonica and Philippi were connected by this Via Egnatia, which went right through the middle of these two cities of Macedonia. Even today one can see remnants of the Via Egnatia in downtown Thessalonica, as well as running alongside the forum of ancient Philippi.
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    • Europe Philippi—Paul’s 2MJ Visit
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      The theater at Philippi was built by Philip II of Macedon, the father of Alexander the Great. Roman veterans were settled in this city as reward for fighting in the famous battle of Philippi (42 B.C.) that ended the second triumvirate, when forces under Mark Antony and Octavian defeated the alliance of Brutus and Cassius, conspirators who had assassinated Julius Caesar. Philippi became so Roman due to the large population of Romans that the city was grated high honor and status to be declared a free city with the right of independent rule as long as they prospered Rome and kept the peace.
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    • Europe Philippi—Lydia, the Dealer in Purple
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      Philippi was so Roman not even ten male Jews resided there to qualify for the building a Jewish synagogue. A group of women met for worship down by the riverside outside the city gate. Of these was Lydia, a dealer in the exclusive and lucrative trade of imperial purple. Lydia was a resident of Thyatira, near Pergamum in Asia Minor, so Philippi would have been her second residence. She was converted by on a sabbath after Paul and company had joined the group by the river for worship. She then offered her home as lodging to Paul and his group. This offer would have conformed to the patron-client social structure of the ancient world. Lydia, that is, would have become Paul's patron, or sponsor.
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  • 2MJ Europe—Amphipolis and Apollonia
    • Europe Amphipolis/Apollonia—Along the Way to Thessalonica
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      Luke mentions Amphipolis and Apollonia as Paul made his way from Philippi to Thessalonica on the second missionary journey. These cities were main stops along the Macedonian royal road in this region that later became part of the Roman Via Egnatia highway. The Lion of Amphipolis is a famous tomb monument, probably marking the grave of Laomedon, a general and close associate of Alexander the Great.
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  • 2MJ Europe—Thessalonica
    • Europe Thessalonica—White Tower
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      Thessalonica sits on water's edge guarding the Gulf of Thessaloniki. The White Tower, mentioned as far back as the twelfth century, is a former Byzantine structure fortified by the Ottomans to protect the harbor. Greece regained the city and tower in 1912, and has used the tower as a symbol of the city. Tourists can climb the steps to the top to get a spectacular view of the sprawling city of Thessalonica, which today is capital of Macedonia.
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    • Europe Thessalonica—Roman Forum
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      A construction project in the 1960s for a court building in the middle of downtown Thessalonica revealed the ancient Roman forum. Archeological work has uncovered the main square, which was right at the intersection of two main roads, one of them being the Via Egnatia down which Paul travelled on the second missionary journey. The principal structures uncovered to this point are the odeon (small theater), bathhouse, mint, and arcades of shops.
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    • Europe Thessalonica—Arch of Galaerius
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      Galerius was Roman emperor from 305–311 who successfully defeated the Sassanid Empire and sacked their capital city Ctesiphon in 299. The Arch of Galerius was built to commemorate this great victory. The arch actually is part of a series of structures connected by a road to a rotunda building and the emperor’s palace complex. The traditional Roman triple gate arch is built right over the old Via Egnatia highway by which Paul made his way into Thessalonica on the second missionary journey.
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    • Europe Thessalonica—Archeological Museum
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      The archeological Museum at Thessalonica is one of the premier museums in Macedonia and Greece. Holdings from the elite Macedonian tombs, as well as fabulous gold items, impressive coins, and more populate the display rooms and hallways. Video is not allowed in most areas of the museum, but still pictures without flash are.
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    • Europe Thessalonica—Derveni Krater
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      The Derveni Krater is the most elaborate of its type ever found. A krater is a mixing bowl, usually used for mixing water with wine at banquets. They could be reused as funeral equipment to hold the burned bones of the deceased. The material of the Derveni Krater is such a skillful blend of bronze and tin alloy that the gold sheen result makes the entire krater appear to be gilded gold. Discovered in a tomb in Larissa, the krater was used as a funerary urn for Astiouneios, son of Anaxagoras, a Thessalian aristocrat whose name appears on the urn.
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    • Europe Thessalonica—Paul’s 2MJ Visit
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      The ancient Roman forum provides the backdrop for an overview of Paul’s second missionary journey visit to Thessalonica. His patron is Jason, who plays a similar role to Lydia back in Philippi. Paul’s stay, however, is brief, as he runs into trouble with the public authorities. His opponents bring charges that are calculated to punch the hot buttons of the Roman authorities.
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  • 2MJ Europe—Berea (Verea)
    • Europe Berea—First Visit
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      Berea was quite the discovery on our first visit. This quaint little town nestled in the foothills is a hub of activity with lots to discover. We happened upon a Greek Orthodox mass on a Sunday held at the Saint Paul Monument, a beautiful memorial plaza commemorating the visit of the apostle to the city on the 2MJ after Thessalonica.
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    • Europe Berea—Paul’s 2MJ Visit
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      Paul's visit to this city on the 2MJ is celebrated at the Saint Paul Monument in Berea. This white marble plaza has beautiful mosaics that chronicle the story in Acts 17. Even as does Luke in his Acts narrative, the monument puts focus on the significance of the vision of the Macedonian at Troas (Acts 16:8–10) that inspired the missionary leap from one continent to another, from Asia to Europe, for the gospel coming to Berea.
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    • Europe Berea—Roman Road
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      The modern city of Verea (Berea) has preserved portions of the ancient Roman road that Paul traveled on the 2MJ on his way through Berea. Interestingly, the main avenue through downtown Verea is exactly where these remnants are preserved two millennia later.
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    • Europe Berea—Gymnasiarch Inscription
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      Gymnasiums were a vital part of Hellenistic life. The focus was not just physical. Greeks for centuries had thought one could not develop a strong mind without a strong body. Complete health was holistic. While gymnasia were the center of physical workouts in the palaestra (exercise grounds), as well as competitions and qualifying for Olympic games, they also were the site of poetry readings and orations and other types of mental stimulation. Aspiration for the job of gymnasiarch, ruler of the gymnasium, was high on the list for any of the elite of ancient society. Strict rules regulating the use of the gymnasium as laid down by the gymnasiarch of Berea are preserved in this column inscription.
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    • Europe Berea—Archeological Museum
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      The Berea Archeological Museum is one of the hidden gems of this city. This multilevel museum was redone completely in 2004 in preparation for the many visitors to Greece for the 2004 Summer Olympics. The museum boasts two extremely rare artifacts preserving the term “politarch” that Luke uses in Acts—found only in Luke in all of ancient literature—to describe city officials at Thessalonica, long thought to be an historical inaccuracy by Luke but now proven to be historically, politically, and geographically precisely correct. Another treasure is the illustrious gold jewelry of Macedonian aristocrats.
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    • Europe Berea—Polytarch Inscription
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      The Berea Archeological Museum boasts two extremely rare artifacts preserving the term “polytarch” that Luke uses in Acts—found only in Luke in all of ancient literature—to describe city officials at Thessalonica. Luke’s use of this rare term long was thought to be an historical inaccuracy by Luke, since the term was undocumented in any form from the ancient world. Recent inscriptional finds, however now show the term “polytarch” used exactly as Luke has used the term as a civic office for city officials in the province of Macedonia unlike anywhere else in the Roman empire. Even a clay letter seal with the term “polytarch” has been discovered and now is housed in the Berea museum. This evidence has proven Luke to be historically, politically, and geographically precisely correct.
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    • Europe Berea—Claudius Inscription
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      The Claudius Inscription is another wonderful artifact in the Berea Archeological Museum. This inscription documents the citizens of Berea honoring the emperor Claudius (A.D. 41–54). The date of the inscription is ca. A.D. 41–44, so would have been seen by the apostle Paul and his company on their way though the city on the 2MJ.
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  • 2MJ Europe—Vergina
    • Europe Vergina—The Palace of Philipp II
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      Philip II (359–336 B.C.) was king of Macedonia and the father of Alexander the Great. He is responsible for forging together the Macedonian city-states into the Macedonian empire that his son Alexander inherited. His powerful and rich reign was quite notable, and his name would have been well-known to the general public but for the extraordinary accomplishments of his son, Alexander the Great, who forever would overshadow his own accomplishments by transforming the entire world into the Greek empire suffused with a Hellenistic vision of cosmopolitan unity.
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    • Europe Vergina—The Tomb of Philip II
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      The tomb of Philip II of Macedon (359–336 B.C.) was not discovered until the 1980s. The style was the traditional Macedonian tumulus, or mound of earth covering and preserving the architectural façade entrance into a royal tomb chamber. The actual remains of Philip’s bones were discovered still intact in his golden burial box. The tomb finds were fabulous and evidence the great wealth of the Macedonian empire, including a stunning, ceremonial gold wreath.
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    • Europe Vergina—The Theater of Philip II
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      The theater of Philip II of Macedon (359–336 B.C.) is famous because Philip was murdered in this theater while attending the wedding ceremony of his daughter, Cleopatra. This murder catapulted Philip’s young and untested son, Alexander, to the Macedonia throne. The young and inexperienced Alexander, however, turned out a powerful force of his own, unlike the political conspirators had imagined. Alexander not only quickly dispatched his father’s murderers, he consolidated his hold on the Macedonian empire. He then proved himself to be a brilliant general on the field of battle, and from this Macedonian kingdom went on to conquer the entire world.
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  • 2MJ Europe—Mount Olympus
    • Europe Mount Olympus—Mountain of the Gods
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      Mount Olympus is not far from the valleys containing ancient Berea and Vergina. Paul would have passed by this mountain, either on his way to catch a boat to Athens or to travel the 250 miles by land to Athens. (The text at Acts 17:14 is unclear about whether Paul goes by sea or land to Athens; cf. KJV vs. modern translations.) This famous mountain figures into Greek mythology as the dwelling of the gods of Olympus. An interesting connection can be made to the antithetical image John of Patmos sets up with his imagery of New Jerusalem descending from heaven.
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  • 2MJ Europe—Delphi
    • Europe Delphi—Archeological Site
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      Delphi was an ancient Greek worship center rich with history, pageantry, and tradition and the site of the most famous oracle in the ancient world. The city was perched dramatically on a steep hillside overlooking the mountain passes that led to the Gulf of Corinth.
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    • Europe Delphi—Archeological Museum
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      The Delphi Archeological Museum holds famous artifacts from the Greek Archaic Period into the Vespasian dynasty of the Roman empire. Without doubt the most famous holding is the “Bronze Charioteer,” an exquisitely executed bronze sculpture unsurpassed in its delicate tracing of drapery and representation of the human form. The original was a traditional quadriga (four-horse chariot) that included both the chariot and four prancing horses captured in the moment of encircling the grandstands in victorious parade by the winner.
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    • Europe Delphi—Gallio Inscription
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      The Gallio Inscription housed in the Delphi Archeological Museum is famous for giving an interlocking date for the time of Paul in Corinth on the 2MJ. Gallio was the proconsul of the province of Achaia (Greece) before whom Paul appeared in court while in Corinth, which, as the capital of the province, was the residence of the proconsul. This inscription dates the time of Gallio’s governorship of Achaia, and, hence, Paul’s time in Corinth to within a 12 to 18 month period.
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  • 2MJ Europe—Athens
    • Europe Athens—Her Many Temples
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      Paul acknowledged that the Athenians were very religious “in every way” (Acts 17:22). Indeed, great temples to pagan deities had been a part of Athenian life for centuries even when Paul visited. Some of these temples survive to this day that the apostle himself probably viewed.
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    • Europe Athens—Birthplace of Western Civilization
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      The contribution of Athens to the story of Western Civilization is almost beyond calculation. From the very concept of democracy to culture, art, architecture, education, and philosophy—all find their origin in this one place. The famous acropolis, atop which sits the magnificent Parthenon temple, offers a commanding view of the modern city all the way to the sea and invites reflection on this rich history and truly incredible story.
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    • Europe Athens—Paul in the Ancient Agora
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      The agora was the ancient marketplace. Here is the commercial heartbeat of a bustling, ancient city, where shopkeepers bartered their wares and farmers sold the harvest of their land every day, and public discourse could spring up on any corner. Into this hustle and bustle Paul brought the gospel of the God who sends the seasons for farmers’ crops and overlooks the ignorance of our vain, polytheistic imaginations about the divine by sending Jesus, declared divinely appointed judge of the living and the dead by his own resurrection from the dead.
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    • Europe Athens—Paul’s Aeropagus Speech
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      Paul’s preaching about Jesus and the “resurrection” provoked the inquisitiveness of the Athenian philosophers. Stoics and Epicureans invited him to address them on the Areopagus, or “Hill of Ares,” where the Athenian tribunal met. The traditional location is an outcropping of rock across from the famous acropolis upon which is perched the beautiful Parthenon temple.
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    • Europe Athens—The Museums of Athens
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      Athens has several museums, two of which are the most well known. One of these is the Parthenon Museum on the top of the acropolis. The other is the world-famous Athens Archeological Museum.
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  • 2MJ Europe—Corinth
    • Europe Corinth—Corinthian Canal
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      The Isthmus of Corinth is a narrow strip of land only 4 miles wide at one point that divides the Aegean Sea on the east from the Corinthian Gulf on the west. A canal through this narrow piece of the isthmus would provide passage for ships and commercial traffic of huge significance, similar the the function of the Panama Canal in Panama connecting the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, or the Suez Canal in Egypt connecting the Mediterranean and Red seas. Even the ancients dreamed of cutting a canal through the Isthmus of Corinth. Reality, however, has haunted that dream even into modern times.
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    • Europe Corinth—Archeological Museum
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      The archeological work at Corinth over many years is preserved in the museum right on the ancient site. Of several significant pieces, one is the lintel that would have been over the entrance to an ancient synagogue at Corinth. Another is the absolutely gorgeous collection of mosaic floors from ancient Roman dining rooms, including a large circular geometric centered with the face of Dionysius. A grave stele of a Roman officer dates to the first century about the time of Paul's visit to Corinth.
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    • Europe Corinth—Peirene Spring
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      Corinth boasted a famous spring that even figures into ancient Geek myth. The underground water system that supplied the Peirene Spring also supplied the Acrocorinth its spring water, which made the acropolis immediately behind the city of Corinth perfect as a defensive structure for the city. The Peirene Spring was said to provide some of the most pleasant water to drink and would have been in use during the time Paul was in Corinth.
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    • Europe Corinth—Temple of Apollo
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      The Temple of Apollo in Corinth already was 500 years old when Paul visited the city on the 2MJ. The temple is notable because each of its Doric columns is cut from single pieces of stone. This structure is one of the few remains of ancient Greek Corinth preserved. When all of Greece rebelled against Rome in the Achaean League, Corinth joined in. Corinth, however, was defeated by the Roman general Mummius in 146 B.C., who put all the men of Corinth to the sword, sold the women and children into slavery, shipped the statues and works of art to Rome, and leveled the city to the ground. Rising Rome wanted to be sure Corinth would not be a commercial rival. A century later, Julius Caesar refounded the city with military veterans, making the city Paul entered around A.D. 50–51 intimating Greek thought and culture but heavily Roman in social structure and governance.
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    • Europe Corinth—Aquila and Priscilla
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      Serving the two vital ports of Cenchreae on the east and Laecheum on the west, Corinth naturally developed into a bustling commercial center with several market areas. The market for Paul’s type of trade would have been in the West Shops area. Here, he would have met the Jewish Christian leaders Aquila and Priscilla, who shared the same trade, recently arrived in Corinth from the Edict of Claudius expelling Jews from Roman synagogues in A.D. 49 (Acts 18:2).
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    • Europe Corinth—Erastus Inscription
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      Three times we meet an Erastus in the New Testament (Acts 19:22; Rom. 16:23; 2 Tim. 4:20). All three occurrences are associated with Paul. Two of the three are connected to Corinth. Further, Paul identifies Erastus as the “city treasurer” in Rom. 16:23. Interestingly, we have a dedicatory inscription on the street that leads to the theater in Corinth naming the benefactor who paid for the street “Erastus,” and he is identified as the “proaedile,” which is chief financial officer of a municipality. Is this Erastus of this inscription the Erastus who is a Pauline associate from Corinth in the New Testament? Perhaps, but not necessarily. In any case, fascinating to contemplate.
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    • Europe Corinth—Gallio, the Bema, Gallio Inscription
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      In Acts 18:12–16, Jewish synagogue leaders dragged Paul with accusations before the Roman proconsul Gallio, who was governor of Achaea (Greece). As the capital of Achaea, Corinth was the residence of the governor and the seat of his tribunal. Luke identifies the tribunal area as the “bema,” whose location we know exactly from archeological work at Corinth. Further, we have an inscription from Delphi that precisely dates Gallio’s proconsulship; this inscription allows accurately dating Paul’s time in Corinth on the 2MJ, which becomes the chronological hinge pin for all Pauline chronology. Gallio immediately threw the case against Paul out of court, which plays out Luke’s theme throughout all of Luke-Acts of the innocence of Christianity.
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    • Europe Corinth—Paul’s Letters
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      We can coordinate the information we gather from Luke in Acts with information from Paul’s letters to be able to discern that at least three of these letters were written from the city of Corinth. Two letters were written on the 2MJ around A.D. 50–51, and one was written on the 3MJ around A.D. 56–57.
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  • 2MJ Europe—Cenchreae
    • Europe Cenchreae—Corinth’s Road to Cenchreae
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      Paul departed Corinth at the end of the 2MJ on his way to Jerusalem through the port of Cenchreae. Archeologists have discovered the main road leading out of Corinth to Cenchreae in the South Stoa area of the ancient city.
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    • Europe Cenchreae—The Port of Cenchreae
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      The ancient city of Corinth served two major ports that controlled trade from west to east and east to west throughout the Mediterranean area. The port on the west serving the Gulf of Corinth was Laecheum. The port on the east serving the Aegean Sea was Cenchreae. The Corinthian Canal was cut on the four-mile wide isthmus between the two ports. Cenchreae is where Paul cut his hair in a vow (Acts 18:18) on the 2MJ, which Luke mentions to show Paul continuing to live as an observant Jew to counter the false slander that will be raised against Paul later in Jerusalem (Acts 21:24, 28; 24:14; 25:8). Cenchreae also is where the deaconess Phoebe lived, bearer of the letter of Romans (Rom. 16:1).
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