Island of Santorini

September 3, 2010

Last March our group tour included the Mediterranean islands of Patmos, Rhodes and Crete, and we have made posts of photos w/info for each of these.  Additionally, the island of Santorini, also know as Thira,  was included.

Santorini is grouped with the Cyclades islands in the Aegean which are essentially the mountain peaks of the sunken continent of Aegeis. The word “Cyclades” is derived from the word Delos, the sacred island of the ancient Greeks.

Approach to Santorini, one of the Greek Islands. Photo ©Leon Mauldin.

The Cyclades are geographically positioned as a bridge between East and West, and accordingly played an important role in the history of the Greek World.  Civilization is traced back to the Bronze Age, the most important of which was located at Akrotiri on Santorini. Ruins in excellent condition have been preserved, due to the eruption of the volcano of Thera (ca. 1500 BC), which covered the site with a thick layer of ash.  Evidence abounds of an advanced culture, assimilating that of the Minoans of Crete.

Santorini is a unique sight. Its cliffs tower out of the sea, capped off by whitewashed buildings.  At center of photo you can see towers for the sky-lift; also the zig-zag road for walking, or riding donkeys.

Santorini of the Cyclades. Photo ©Leon Mauldin.

This is the view at sunset:

Sunset at Santorini. Photo ©Leon Mauldin.

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Lindos, Rhodes

September 1, 2010

At the highest point of the acropolis at Lindos, Rhodes, there are the remains of a temple devoted to the worship of the goddess Athena.  It is said that architectural remains belong to a temple built in the late 4th century B.C.

Temple of Athena at Lindos, Rhodes. Photo ©Leon Mauldin.

Often the worship of Athena is associated with the city of Athens, and its Parthenon, but the worship of this goddess was geographically widespread.  There was an important temple located at Pergamum, as well as Smyrna (two of the cities of the Seven Churches of Rev.2-3). There was a very visible temple devoted to Athena at the island of Assos (Acts 20:13).

One of the more striking impressions one receives in visiting the Bible lands is just how pervasive idolatry was.  Even today, evidences of such are seen everywhere.

When the Gospel was preached in the 1st century, there were many, such as the Thessalonians, who “turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God” (1 Thes. 1:9). There can be no fellowship with, no agreement of “the temple of God with idols” (2 Cor. 6:16).  Wherever such temples as depicted in our photo existed, the charge was,

Come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord.  Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you.  I will be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters, says the LORD Almighty (2 Cor. 6:17-18).

Natural beauty abounds at Rhodes.  Below is a photo of the harbor at Lindos.

Harbor at Lindos, Rhodes. Photo ©Leon Mauldin.

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