Sailing along the coastal islands (Acts 21:1)

“After all these things,

When we had parted

From them,

We set sail.

We came

By a straight course

To Cos.

The next day,

We went to Rhodes.

From there

We went to Patara.”

Ὡς δὲ ἐγένετο ἀναχθῆναι ἡμᾶς ἀποσπασθέντας ἀπ’ αὐτῶν, εὐθυδρομήσαντες ἤλθομεν εἰς τὴν Κῶ, τῇ δὲ ἑξῆς εἰς τὴν Ῥόδον κἀκεῖθεν εἰς Πάταρα·

The author of Acts indicated that after all these things (Ὡς δὲ ἐγένετο), when they had parted from them (ποσπασθέντας ἀπ’ αὐτῶν), they set sail (ἀναχθῆναι ἡμᾶς).  They went by a straight course (εὐθυδρομήσαντες ἤλθομεν) to Cos (εἰς τὴν Κῶ).  The next day (τῇ δὲ ἑξῆς), they went to the island of Rhodes (εἰς τὴν Ῥόδον).  From there (κἀκεῖθεν), they went to Patara (εἰς Πάταρα).  Acts was the only Greek biblical writing that used this word εὐθυδρομήσαντες, that means to run a straight course.  The concept of “we” will carry through on this journey from the time at Philippi.  The author of Acts thus accompanied Paul on this trip to Jerusalem, but after that it will end with no other mention of “we”, until the final trip to Rome in chapters 27 and 28.  Cos was a small island about 50 miles south of Miletus and about 60 miles north of the island of Rhodes.  These were two islands along the southwestern side of Asia minor or present-day Turkey.  Cos became a free island around 53 CE, about the time when Paul and his companions were there.  Rhodes was an island and municipality in the south Aegean Sea.  Rhodes is the largest of the Dodecanese islands of Greece and has been this island group’s historical capital.  Rhodes, northeast of Crete and southeast of Athens, had the famous Colossus of Rhodes, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.  Patara, later renamed Arsinoe, was a flourishing maritime and commercial city on the south-west coast of Lycia on the Mediterranean coast of Turkey, about 100 miles east of the island of Rhodes.  Patara was near the modern small town of Gelemis, in Antalya Province, the birthplace of St. Nicholas in 270 CE, who lived most of his life in the nearby town of Myra.  What do you know about the islands in the Mediterranean Sea?

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