The book of Acts is the story and history of the early church. It is easy to skip over the history in the book and simply jump to the letters of the Apostles. But when history comes to life … it’s hard to ignore.
Paul arrived by boat to Europe in this ancient port.
He arrived in Phillipi and launched the first church in Europe. He clearly loved these people. He likely was familiar with the theatre … walked the streets that are still here … spoke from the speakers chair … and amazingly all the places are here with the inscriptions in stone.
Outside the gates of the city, Paul met and baptized Lydia and her family. The church he loved started with Lydia (a wealthy merchant), a slave girl that was used by her masters, and the jailer who feared for his life after Paul and Silas were freed from their chains by a miracle. What a group to start a church with … in shadows of this place is the acropolis of Phillipi looking out over this sacred place.
In Thessalonica Paul was familiar with the place below. He was actually here … you can read it about in the story of Jason from Acts 17. This was part of the ancient forum and marketplace.
This is where it gets interesting. For centuries people questioned the authenticity of Luke’s account in Acts. Luke uses the term Politarch in reference to the rules and officials. Problem is Luke is the only one to use the term. It was found no where else in history. The belief by many was that Luke made up the word and the stories. Therefore the Bible cannot be believed. This was the story until the late 1800s when the stone below was discovered. Numerous other inscriptions verifying Luke’s account have since been found.
Imagine that …. history can verify the truth the Bible. Beware doubters … stones don’t lie!
By the way … by the descriptions of Paul this statue reveals the reality of Paul’s appearance. He certainly won people over with his words. Appearance was not in his favor
A couple of additional observations
Paul must have been fascinated by the beauty of everything. Marble was in abundance and that meant everything was built with marble — even the sewers. Value is something we give to things … sometimes we forget about the value of that which have and place to much value on that which we don’t.
Fall in Greece looks alot like Indiana