Thursday, 4 November 2010

Letter from Lindos...

"Every autumn I spend some weeks in Lindos, on the Greek island of Rhodes.

It is believed locally that the Apostle Paul landed here in 43AD to preach Christianity. The almost landlocked cove below the village is named St Paul's Bay in his honour, and on his Saint's Day the villagers dance in his honour.

Concerning St Paul's final missionary journey Tyndale translates:
'And it chanced that as soon as we had launched forth, and were departed from them, we came with a straight course unto Coos (Cos), and the day following unto the Rhodes...'
( Acts 21, 1534 translation )

Paul was never shy of preaching in a pagan holy place, as shown by the riot he caused at Ephesus, and his great sermon in Athens on 'Mars street' (Tyndale's phrase). Lindos then was as old as London is today, and surely would have had a Jewish community, probably Paul came with introductions from friends.

Today Rhodes is both the name of the capital and of the island, but in ancient times the older city of Lindos was the artistic, religious and intellectual centre. The Horses at St Mark's in Venice were fashioned in the School of Sculpture. The Temple on the Lindos Acropolis was second only to the Parthenon in its dedication to Athena. The School of Oratory educated young men from all over the Roman world - Mark Anthony improved his Greek here, later to woo Cleopatra.

Romance is an enduring theme here in Lindos: during WWII a pious mother vowed that if her sons survived she would restore the old church above the beach. They all lived and she fulfilled her vow, rebuilding the tiny 'St. Paul's chapel' - now a mecca for British couples who meet here on holiday and return to marry in this beautiful spot.

Brides in billowing dresses traverse the steep path down the cliff, watched by amused swimmers and sunbathers.

I wonder - what does St. Paul make of it?"

May Clow, Chairman of The Tyndale Society

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