New Testament Churches
Crete, Babylon

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Crete

The New Testament mentions only four locations by name on the Mediterranean island of Crete. The places mentioned are the harbor of Fair Havens (Acts 27:8) and the towns of Salmone (verse 7), Lasea (verse 8) and Phoenix (verse 12).

Those who resided on the island of Crete, while visiting Jerusalem to keep the Day of Pentecost, were some of the first people who heard Jesus' disciples preach the gospel (Acts 2:1 - 11).

Lasea was a city on the island of Crete near a harbor called Fair Havens (Acts 27:8). Ships harbored at Fair Havens were protected only from Mediterranean winds coming from the north or northwest. Ships at the port city of Phoenix (Phenice in the KJV), however, were secured against all winds and was a place a vessel could dock during winter in order to avoid the tumultuous weather on the Mediterranean Sea (Acts 27:8 - 12). Salmone, a port city on the far eastern side of Crete, was known for its temple to the pagan goddess Athena.

During Paul's fourth missionary journey, while a prisoner bound for Rome, the ship he was on harbored for a time at Mediterranean port of Fair Havens (Acts 27:8 - 9). He next visited Crete right after his first imprisonment in Rome ended in early 63 A.D.

After leaving Crete he wrote an epistle to Titus (Titus 1:4), the first overseer of the Cretan church (3:15), offering instructions on how to properly shepherd island believers and commanded him to appoint local church leadership in every city (verse 5).

How should churches be led?
New Testament Timeline
Should Christians observe Pentecost?

Babylon

The apostle Peter references the famed city of Babylon in his first epistle.

13. The church in Babylon, chosen together with you, greets you, as does Mark, my son (1Peter 5:13, HBFV translation)

In spite of what some may believe, there is no reason to think that Peter was symbolically referring to Rome and its believers when he wrote about "the church in Babylon." According to the Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Peter was referencing the former capital city of the Babylonian Empire which was inhabited by many Jews and Jewish converts when he wrote his epistle around 64 A.D. This view is also supported by other Bible commentaries such as Matthew Henry's, Jamieson Fausset and Brown's, Adam Clarke's and others.

Additional Study Materials
Was Peter the first Pope?
Aegean and Mediterranean Sea Map
How did the Apostle Peter die?
New Testament Churches
 
Seven Churches of Revelation
(Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamos, Thyatira,
Sardis, Philadelphia, Laodicea)

Series Primary Sources

1911 Encyclopedia Britannica
1913 Catholic Encyclopedia
Complete Book of When and Where in the Bible
Easton's Illustrated Bible Dictionary
Holman Bible Dictionary
Holy Bible a Faithful Version (HBFV)
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
Life and Epistles of Apostle Paul
Parsons Bible Maps
Parsons Bible Atlas
Wikipedia


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