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  GREECE January 2004    
 Talbot Bible Lands Tour    
Scripture NASB
Acts 16:8-12
The Macedonian Vision
8and passing by Mysia, they came down to Troas. 9A vision appeared to Paul in the night: a man of Macedonia was standing and appealing to him, and saying, "Come over to Macedonia and help us." 10When he had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go into Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them. 11So putting out to sea from Troas, we ran a straight course to Samothrace, and on the day following to  Neapolis 12and from there to Philippi, which is a leading city of the district of Macedonia, a Roman colony; and we were staying in this city for some days.

On Paul's second missionary journey, Paul and Silas were joined by Timothy at Lystra.  They preached in various cities of Phrygia, Galatia, and Mysia (modern day Turkey), and then Troad, associated with the Trojan war, Troad had been in the possession of the Romans since 189 BC.[1]Alexandria Troas, Assos and Troy are all on the Northern Aegean coast of Turkey between annakale and Izmir. It was a major sea port in NW Asia Minor and the port to cross over to Neapolis in Macedonia for the land route to Rome. Mentioned six times in the Bible.  It was at this spot, the meeting place between Greece and the East, that Paul had the vision of Acts 16:9 Cross over to Macedonia and help us.  Luke apparently also joins the mission team at this point.   Acts 16:11 We sailed from Troas and made a straight run to Samothrace, the next day to Neapolis.   We did not visit Samothrace, the ancient ruins are on the north coast of the island.  Samothrace is an exceptionally mountainous island near the coast of Thrace.  Its highest peak, Fengari on Mt. Saos is covered with snow all year round.  In antiquity the only port was Demetrion, which today is known as KamariotissaBay.[2 Samothrace is 65 miles from Kavala.[3

Kavala (Neapolis) and Dion


Neapolis, or new city, is the ancient Greek name, the city which Paul visited after Samothrace, which is now known as Kavala.  During the Byzantine period the city was known as Christoupolis.  Neapolis was a colony of Thassos, built on a hilly peninsula known as Panagia.  Originally the whole town was on this little peninsula.  The city is near the Pangaion mountain known for gold bearing.  Thassos is a large neighboring island.  The small town was important strategically and commercially because it is both a port city and is on the road that passes through connecting Thrace to Macedonia[4].

In 42 BC Brutus and Cassius used Neapolis as a base for their fleet in the battle of Philippi[5]

The regions capital, Larissa, is an important industrial center.  Mount Olympus. home of Zeus and the immortal gods and land of the Centaurs, is Greeces highest mountain, standing 9570 ft.

Macedonia stands slightly apart from the rest of the country; its scenery and climate have more in common with the adjoining Balkans, the mountains being bitterly cold in winter. This is still a beautiful part of Greece, rich in historical monuments and archaeological sites.

East along the coast, Kavala is a modern, commercial seaside port with hotels, beaches, museums, and restaurants.  Paul landed here coming into Macedonia and then traveled on the Via Egnatia road about 10 miles north east to Philippi.

Dion was a sacred city of the Macedonians.  Here the kings held games and festivals to celebrate their victories.  Alexander the Great sacrificed to Olympian Zeus here before his campaign in Asia.  Two theaters, one Greek and one Roman and a stadium were discovered outside the city walls.   The city is named after Zeus, the genitive of Zeus being Dios.

It is not stated in Scripture that Paul passed through the city of Dion, it is likely that he left from that port city to kavala, since it is the nearest port to Veria.  The ruins of Dion are about 4 miles from the sea, but it believed this is the result of the silting which occurred through the centuries. Dion lies between Mount Olympus and the Pierian Mountains.  Dion was another city taken by the Romans in 168 BC. [6]

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Before coming to Kavala we stopped at the archeological site at Dion
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Walkway at Dion
Alexander the Great in 334 B.C. offered sacrifices to the Olympian gods at Dion at the Temple of Zeus
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Mt. Olympus from Dion

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Egnatian Road going from Kavala toward Philippi
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Egnatian road coming back toward Kavala
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The old harbor of Neapolis in Kavala
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The old harbor of Neapolis in Kavala

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The aqueduct 16th century A.D. Turkish, known as the Arches or Camares built by Soulemon the Magnificent

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Lion by the arches
kavala/kavala 010.jpg Sign at St. Nicolas Church

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St. Nicolas (protector of the sailors) Church by the harbor

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Depiction of St. Paul landing in Neapolis in 49 or 50 A.D. for the first time Christianity comes to Europe through him in Macedonia region of Greece, the gate to Europe from Asia.

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Neapolis (Kavala) at sunset
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Neapolis castle
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A street in Kavala
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Kavala from our hotel
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Kavala from the Egnatian Roadad

[1]Paul the Apostle of the Gentiles, 44
[2]ibid., 49
[3]Kavala The azure town Philippi, 111[4] ibid., 16
[5]ibid., 18
[6]Paul the Apostle of the Gentiles , 86
*Some pictures by Daniel Roh

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