Paul Preached at Caesarea

April 2, 2011

After the third missionary journey, Paul was taken by a military escort from Jerusalem to Caesarea (Acts 23:23ff.). He would be there at Caesarea as a prisoner for two years, although provisions were made for his friends to attend to his needs (Acts 24:23). It is believed that Paul would have been confined in the palace built by Herod the Great, the ruins of which can be seen in our photo.

Governor's Palace at Caesarea. Photo by Leon Mauldin.


BAR informs us,

This ancient building, which we now call the Promontory Palace, was first excavated in 1976 by Ehud Netzer of the Institute of Archaeology of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Netzer returned to the site in 1990 and brought in a new American team led by Kathryn Gleason and Barbara Burrell under the auspices of the University of Pennsylvania. Its members are mainly student volunteers, though in 1992 they were joined by a contingent of Israeli workers, most of them new immigrants from Russia (May/June 1993).

Our previous post featured photos of the swimming pool and mosaics. Below is a more detailed shot of some of the columns.

Palace at Caesarea. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

Paul would have the occasion here to preach before Felix (Acts 24) and his successor Festus (Acts 25) as well as Herod Agrippa II (Acts 26). The audience hall in our photo is likely the site where Paul would have given his defense of the Gospel before these dignitaries.

Audience Hall at Palace at Caesarea. Likely site of Paul's preaching. Photo by Leon Mauldin.


It was here that Paul exercised his right as a Roman citizen–“I appeal to Caesar” (Acts 25:11). Festus responded, “To Caesar you have appealed; to Caesar you shall go” (v.12, ESV).

Click on images for higher resolution.

Herod’s Pool at Caesarea

March 30, 2011

Herod the Great truly left his footprint all over the land of Israel. His palace at Caesarea has been excavated. On the south side of the palace was the swimming pool, as seen in our photo.

Herod's pool at Caesarea. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

BAR says the pool “. . .  was once the centerpiece of Herod’s palace, the nearly Olympic-sized swimming pool. The rectangular pool measures 115 feet long, 59 feet wide and at least 8 feet deep. Water channels leading into the pool from the shore have led excavators to surmise that the pool, though surrounded on three sides by the Mediterranean, had been filled by fresh water. If they are correct, the pool is further indication that Herod thrived on building in the face of natural obstacles” (BAR 19:03 May/June 1993).

Earlier this month we were able to see some of the mosaics that adorned the pool.


Mosaics at Herod's Pool. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

Until recently these mosaics were covered with tarp and gravel.

Mosaics at Herod's Pool. Photo by Leon Mauldin.




Aqueduct at Caesarea

March 10, 2011

Greetings from Tiberius. Today has been a mixture of wind, rain, and sunshine. We began with a visit to Caesarea. There was lots of wave action today, but I selected a photo of the Aqueduct. In order to have a fresh water supply sufficient for the needs of the capital city, Herod the Great brought in water from eight miles away.

Caesarea Aqueduct. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

Much is said in the Bible about Caesarea.  I understand Daniel 11:45 to be a prophecy of the Roman Capital located here: “He will pitch the tents of his royal pavilion between the seas and the beautiful Holy Mountain; yet he will come to his end, and no one will help him” (NASB).

Philip the Evangelist preached here (Acts 8:40; 21:8). Cornelius the centurion was converted here, as God opened the door of the gospel to the Gentiles (Acts 10-11). Paul used the harbor here in his travels in preaching the gospel. He was taken here under military escort for his own protection, and remained here two years (Acts 23:32; 24:27).

All of our folks are well. Thanks for following the blog—we will try to post something each day as time and opportunity permits.

Click on image for higher resolution.

The Manger, a Bassinet for Jesus

August 17, 2010

The Gospel writer Luke tells of the night Jesus was born in Bethlehem:

8 Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. 10 Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. 11 “For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 “And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: 14 “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” (2:8-14).

What comes to your mind when you read of Jesus’ lying in a manger? Our photo shows a manger (located in Caesarea Maritima) which illustrates that which served as a bassinet for Jesus as an infant.

Manger (Caesarea Maritima). Photo ©Leon Mauldin.

I never cease to be amazed at the thought! Eternal Deity, Eternal God, the Word became flesh (John 1:14).  The One who created all things (John 1:1-3) came to earth, and a feeding trough was His bassinet!  Jesus always was and always is divine, but He became human, He became flesh, that He might die for our sins (Heb. 2:14-15; 1 Pet. 2:24).

On another note, while one is visiting Caesarea on the coast, you can see the ruins of Roman columns.

Roman Columns at Caesarea. Imported from Aswan Egypt. Photo ©Leon Mauldin.

Those in our photo are pink granite.  These were not quarried locally, but were imported from Aswan Egypt.  This reflects that because Caesarea was the Roman capital of Israel, there was sufficient wealth and resources to acquires such materials.  In the background of photo you can see the theater. Remember to click on images for higher resolution.

Other Matters.

Obituary. Our friend bro. Dave Bradford passed away this past Thursday. He had served as evangelist for the church of Christ at Auburn 27 years (during part of which time he also served as elder), but for the past 6+ years had been located in Cullman AL.  On numerous occasions we did radio programs together.  I always enjoyed the association.  He had been plagued with failing health for the past several years.  Funeral services were conducted Saturday at Hoover, AL, with Bill Simmons, as well as Tom Holley, Perry Hurst and John Christian speaking.  Singing was led by Doyle Bullard.

Schedule. I’m looking forward to being at Salem, IL., beginning this Sunday, for a 6-day series which will include my “Steps of Paul” series plus other lessons.  Such speaking opportunities provide occasions for usage of Bible lands photos, and reinforce the historicity of the biblical record.

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