Neapolis and the Apostle Paul

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Neapolis (which in Greek means "new city"), known today as the modern city of Kavala, was and still is a very important Grecian seaport located in eastern Macedonia. It is situated on the Bay of Kavala and is located less than 10 miles (16 kilometers) from Philippi, which was the first European church started by Paul.

Neapolis was founded by settlers from Thassos around the 6th century B.C. in order to take advantage of nearby gold and silver deposits, especially those located in the Pangaion mountain.

Neapolis began to make its own silver coins after its declared independence from Thassos at the end of the 6th century. It is believed the city may have also been referred to as Datum, which was famous for its gold mines.

The city-state of Neapolis was a member of both the first and second Athenian confederacy (sometimes referred to as the Athenian (Delian) League). Although besieged, in 411 B.C., by both the Thassians and the army of Sparta at the same time, the city continued its support of the Athens-led confederacy. Neapolis was commended twice by the Athenians for its loyalty.

The League's purpose, with Athens at the head, was to continue battling Persia's Empire after the Battle of Plataea. The battle, a victory for the Greeks, occurred during the Greco - Persian Wars (which ran from 499 to 449 B.C.). Neapolis was also part of the Ottoman Empire from 1387 to 1912 A.D.

Roman Aqueduct in Neapolis
Roman Aqueduct in Neapolis

The Apostle Paul went through the city at least three times during his missionary journeys. He went through the city during his second missionary journey when God, through a vision in Troas, conveyed to the apostle that he needed to preach the gospel in Europe.

They came down to Mysia and attempted to go to Bithynia; but the Spirit did not permit them to go there. Now when they had passed by Mysia, they came to Troas; And a vision appeared to Paul during the night. A certain man of Macedonia was standing, beseeching him and saying, "Come over to Macedonia and help us."

And after he had seen the vision, we immediately sought to go into Macedonia, concluding that the Lord had called us to preach the gospel to them. Therefore, after sailing from Troas, we came with a straight course to Samothracia, and on the next day to Neapolis; (Acts 16:7 - 11, HBFV)

Neapolis was the gateway God chose to bring his truth, for the first time, to the European continent. He also went through the city twice during his third missionary journey.

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