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Off the beaten track but not far from Paphos Harbour.
A truly wonderful Church and pillars of the old Basilica as well as the famed St Peters Pillar.
Site is not large and a lot of tourists miss this gem, plan to spend at least...More
Amazing ruins and mosaics and it really isn't every day you can go somewhere where one of the most famous biblical characters actually visited. The ruins are viewed from a raised walkway and there are excellent signs all the way around explaining what you can...More
Saint Paul should have been in Paphos, but the story local guides tell you about his ill-treatment on that pillar is not correct. Nevertheless the site in front of the church is unique and tells much more real stories.
It is believed that St Paul was tied to this stone pillar and lashed, so the historic and religious significance of the site and the lovely church are immense. There are ruined buildings and Roman mosaics to be seen from the raised walkways. The site...More
To some people all they see is building remains, these are nothing more than philistines who have no appreciation of History. This site is simply stunning, Pillars and Mosaics, a church, you need to put some time aside for your visit and remember to take...More
St Paul’s pillar is slightly disappointing but the ruins surrounding it are magnificent and, unlike other archaeological sites in Paphos, have some good clear information about them available. The church is also worth a visit. It does require dressing modestly but there are large scarves...More
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Barnabas and Paul’s First Missionary Journey to Cyprus
Acts 13 contains a mere nine verses (5-13) which shed light on the first stage of Barnabas and Paul’s first missionary journey across Cyprus. Yet, using Biblical text... More
Barnabas and Paul’s First Missionary Journey to Cyprus
Acts 13 contains a mere nine verses (5-13) which shed light on the first stage of Barnabas and Paul’s first missionary journey across Cyprus. Yet, using Biblical text, ancient excavated locations, archaeological evidence, and local tradition a not only plausible, but a probable sequence of events can be imagined.
The first leg of the journey gave the pair the opportunity not only to hone their missionary and preaching skills, but a chance to engage in spiritual combat against their formidable adversary, Elymas, also known as Barjesus.
Map charting the Route of Barnabas and Paul on their first Missionary Journey“We have come here to tell you the good news that the promise made to our ancestors has come about.”
During this time, Salamis was the island’s primary port, as well as its main commercial center, certainly a city with a large enough Jewish population to support multiple synagogues.
The Temple of Zeus, the most important of Salamis, dominated the city. There was an amphitheater, a bath complex, gymnasium, agora and all the principal structures of a thriving city of the Roman Empire.
The Gymnasium at SalamisThe Gymnasium of Salamis
[Acts 13:13-16] “Here they went into the synagogues on the Sabbath and took their seats. After the passages from the law and the prophets had been read the presidents of the synagogue sent them a message….‘Brothers if you would like to address some words of encouragement to the congregation please do so.’ Paul stood up, raised his hand for silence and began to speak”:
“From this man’s descendants God has brought to Israel the Savior Jesus, as he promised.” [Acts 13:23]
salamis-coastBeach and Ancient Harbor of Salamis
Then they continued from city to city along the southern coastal Roman road of Cyprus, through Amathus and Kourion, major centers of population. They also passed two of the main pagan cult centers of the eastern Mediterranean, those of Apollo at Kouion and Aphrodite at Paleapaphos and the place where pagans believed Aphrodite was ‘born’ from the foam of Uranus.
Aphrodite's Rock seen from the cliffs to the southBirthplace of Aphrodite
The Pillar where Paul was Whipped
When they finally reached Paphos, the seat of the Roman government in Cyprus, they encountered Elymas who actively tried to prevent the pair from meeting the Proconsul, the Roman governor. According to a strong local tradition on the island, Elymas had Saul dragged to the synagogue, tied to a pillar, and whipped.
“Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one.” [Corinthians 2 11:24]
It was quite common for Roman officials to retain the services of Jewish civic leaders as close personal counselors and advisers throughout the Empire. Elymas, therefore, was almost without doubt an extremely highly placed Jewish official within the local Jewish community.
Though he tried, Elymas (Barjesus) could not stop the Proconsul Sergius Paulus, appointed by the Senate of Rome, from meeting with Barnabas and Paul. The Proconsul, ‘a man of intelligence,’ granted an audience with the two to hear what they had to say. It was during this encounter in the Proconsul’s audience chambers that Saul struck Elymas blind, converted Sergius Paulus to the Faith, and received the name ‘Paul’ never to be called ‘Saul’ again.
From Paphos Paul and Barnabas sailed to Perga in Pamphylia to continue the second leg of their mission.