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JR—Crete
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  • JR Crete—A Fateful Decision
    • Crete Decision—Cape Salmone (Cape Sideros)
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      After passing Cnidus, the grain ship leaves the coast of Asia to strike out west toward open waters, as they must in order to go to Rome. Nothing about this voyage is easy, however, even earlier when leaving the port of Sidon on the other ship. Luke says they already had spent “several days” just trying to move along the coast of Asia, which means they are falling behind schedule quickly and significantly. A decision soon will be looming.
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    • Crete Decision—Fair Havens
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      Unfortunately, the attempt to use the south side of the island of Crete as a buffer from the constantly contrary winds did not work. They still proceeded only “with difficulty,” Luke continues to make clear. They eventually make their way to Fair Havens, a small harbor near Lasea. Even today, the small community of Fair Havens, in Greek Kaloi Limenes, has a few beaches and a small inlet, but no major harbor, and the lack of a good, deepwater harbor and decent onshore facilities and lodging was the problem for this massive Alexandrian grain ship and its two-hundred and seventy-six passengers and crew.
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    • Crete Decision—Fair Havens Paradigm
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      The reader should not rush past the Fair Havens story just to get on to the “more exciting” narrative of the storm. The story at Fair Havens is crucial narrative foundation for Luke’s whole point about the story of Paul. What happens at Fair Havens between Paul and the ship’s captain and centurion making a decision to push on despite all good advice becomes paradigmatic for Luke of what actually is happening personally in Paul’s own struggle with Jerusalem, Rome, and God’s will. Fair Havens is a paradigm of Paul and God’s will.
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    • Crete Decision—Pheonix Overview
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      A visit to the actual site of Old Phoenix Harbor shows immediately exactly what Luke meant when he described the Phoenix harbor in an unusual manner as “facing southwest and northwest,” that is, facing two directions at the same time (Acts 27:12). The topography that creates the harbor at Phoenix is a small peninsula of land sticking out from the shoreline. The peninsula creates opportunity for two harbors on either side, both having deep water access, good for large vessels such as the Alexandrian grain ship Paul was on.
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    • Crete Decision—Pheonix: The Euroquilo Storm
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      The centurion follows the ship captain’s advice about striking out for Phoenix as the wintering port. The decision is fateful. As soon as they strike anchor and billow the sails for the south wind that had arisen, giving promise of the Phoenix port, a sudden Euroquilo storm roars down from the mountains of Crete and lets loose all its fury on the ship, driving her helplessly out to sea. Luke provides a blow-by-blow account of all the efforts taken to try to stabilize the ship and survive the storm, but the storm simply is unrelenting. Luke finally writes, “at last all hope of our being saved was abandoned” (Acts 27:20).
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    • Crete Decision—Paul’s Sea Vision: The Narrative Meaning of the Storm
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      Mark this down: when Paul has a vision in Acts, he is out of God’s will. Paul’s visions in Acts are to get him back on track with God’s will. The story of the sea vision is a story of getting Paul back on track with God’s will. By appealing to Caesar, Paul had appealed to the wrong sovereign. God used the storm at sea to get Paul’s attention, but Paul is assured not one soul will be lost in the whole process.
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  • JR Crete—Other Island Sites
    • Crete—Gortyn: A Famous Inscription
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      A famous inscription can be found at the archeological site of ancient Gortyn, a prominent city of southern Crete even into Roman times. The inscription is an entire inner wall of a building, running about thirty feet long and about five feet high. The content preserves the ancient law code of Gortyn. The inscription is written in an ancient form of the Dorian dialect, so documents an important stage in the development of the Greek language before the classical age of Pericles.
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    • Crete—Knossos: A Palace and Pre-Greek Civilization
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      The Heraklion Archeological Museum displays a large scale model of the ancient Minoan palace at Knossos. The model helps visualize the remains of the palace to be viewed at the ancient site of Knossos. The Minoan civilization flourished from 2600 to 1400 BC, an entire millennium before fifth-century Classical Greece and the Age of Pericles. The Minoan dynasty gives evidence of a highly sophisticated society that functioned as a political and commercial powerhouse controlling trade across the entire Mediterranean, as well as the import and export of raw resources and goods from Crete.
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    • Crete—Knossos: “Cretans Are Liars” (Titus 1:12)
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      In Titus 1:12, Paul makes the statement, “Cretans are liars.” This statement is not racial profiling, like a superficial reading immediately might suggest to a contemporary audience trying to be politically correct. Fundamentally, the statement is not about what you first think. Actually, competing Greek legends about Zeus are the backstory. Click on into this fascinating window into Greek legends.
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    • Crete—Heraklion: A Tourist’s Perspective
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      Scenically, Crete is a beautiful island to visit. One also encounters the fabulous archeological museum in the capital city of Heraklion on the north side of the island. One immediately, however, also is thrust into modern Greek life and political turmoil upon arrival.
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