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August 3    Scripture

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Bible Cities : Crete
Ancient Crete or Caphtor

Map of Ancient Crete

Crete in Easton's Bible Dictionary now called Candia, one of the largest islands in the Meditterranean, about 140 miles long and 35 broad. It was at one time a very prosperous and populous island, having a "hundred cities." The character of the people is described in Paul's quotation from "one of their own poets" (Epimenides) in his epistle to Titus: "The Cretans are alway liars, evil beasts, slow bellies" (Titus 1:12). Jews from Crete were in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:11). The island was visited by Paul on his voyage to Rome (Acts 27). Here Paul subsequently left Titus (1:5) "to ordain elders." Some have supposed that it was the original home of the Caphtorim (q.v.) or Philistines.

Crete in Fausset's Bible Dictionary Crete, now Candia. 158 miles long, from cape Salmone on the E. (Acts 27:7; Acts 27:12) to cape Criumetopen on the W. beyond Phoenice. Its breadth is small. (On its connection with the frontCHERETHIM.) It abounded with Jews in the apostolic age; hence, "Cretans" were among the witnesses of the effusion of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost (Acts 2:11). Paul's ship was constrained by contrary winds off Cnidus to sail under the lee of Crete "over against Salmone"; having passed which with difficulty the ship reached FAIR HAVENS, near Lasea. Thence it made for Phoenice to winter there, but was driven by a sudden gale from the N.E., sweeping down from the region of mount Ida, to the island Clauda, from whence it drifted to Melita or Malta (Acts 27:13-16). Paul visited Crete between his first and second imprisonment at Rome, and left Titus to "set in order the things wanting, and to ordain elders in every city" (Titus 1:5). (See TITUS.) In Titus 1:12 he quotes Epimenides a Cretan poet. Crete was without wild beasts; the poet's sarcasm was that beastly men supplied their place: "the Cretians are always (not merely at times, as all natural men are) liars, evil beasts, slow bellies." "To Cretanize" was proverbial for to lie, as "to Corinthianize" for to be dissolute. In Crete was the fabled birthplace of Jupiter, king of the gods. They themselves are called "bellies," since it is for their bellies they live (Philemon 3:19). Christianity won its triumphs for truth and holiness even in such an unpromising soil. In the middle ages the cathedral of Megalocastron was dedicated to Titus.

Crete in Hitchcock's Bible Names carnal; fleshly

Crete in Naves Topical Bible (An island in the Mediterranean Sea) -Visited by Paul Ac 27:7,12,13,21 -Visited by Titus Tit 1:5 -Character of the inhabitants of Ac 2:11; Tit 1:12

Crete in Smiths Bible Dictionary the modern Candia. This large island, which closes int he Greek Archipelago on the south, extends through a distance of 140 miles between its extreme points. Though exceedingly bold and mountainous, this island has very fruitful valleys, and in early times it was celebrated for its hundred cities. It seems likely that a very early acquaintances existed between the Cretans and the Jews. Cretans, Ac 2:11 were among those who were at Jerusalem at the great Pentecost. In [Acts 27:7-12 we have an account of Paul's shipwreck near this island; and it is evident from Tit 1:5 that the apostle himself was here at no long interval of time before he wrote the letter. The Cretans were proverbial liars. Tit 1:12

Crete in the Bible Encyclopedia - ISBE kret (Krete, ethnic Kretes, Acts 2:11; Tit 1:12): An island bounding the Aegean Sea on the South. It stretches from 34 degrees 50' to 35 degrees 40' North latitude and from 23 degrees 30' to 26 degrees 20' East long. With Cythera on the North and Carpathos and Rhodos on the Northeast, it forms a continuous bridge between Greece and Asia Minor. The center of the island is formed by a mountain chain rising to a height of 8,193 ft. in Mt. Ida, and fringed with low valleys beside the coast. There are no considerable rivers; the largest, the Metropole, on the South, is a tiny stream, fordable anywhere. An island of considerable extent (156 miles long, and from 7 to 30 miles broad), in several districts very fertile and possessing one or two good harbors, it seems marked out by its position for an important role in the history of the eastern Mediterranean. But never since an age which was already legendary when Greek history began has Crete occupied a dominating position among the powers of the surrounding continents. Internal dissensions, due in ancient times to the diversity of races inhabiting its soil (Eteocretans--the original inhabitants-- Pelasgians, Acheans, Cydonians and Dorians), and in modern times to the fact that a large minority of the population has accepted the Ottoman religion along with Ottoman government, have kept Crete in a position of political inferiority throughout the historical period. 1. Early History: Mt. Ida in Crete was famous in Greek legend as the birthplace of Zeus. The half-legendary, half-historical King Minos was said to be the son of Zeus, and to have derived from his father the wisdom to which, by a type of myth common in Greek lands, the constitution of the Cretan cities was ascribed. Minos was accepted as a historical personage by Thucydides and Aristotle, who say that he was the first dynast in Greece to establish dominion on the sea. One of his exploits was the suppression of piracy in Cretan waters, a feat which had to be repeated by the Roman Pompeius at a later period. Aristotle compares the Cretan institutions with those of Sparta; the island was said to have been colonized by Dorians from Peloponnesus (Politics ii.10). The most important cities in Crete were Knossos (whose palace has been excavated with fruitful results by Mr. Arthur Evans), Gortyna, near the Gulf of Messara, and Cydonia, with its river Iardanus. The excavations of Mr. Evans at Knossos and of the Italians at Phastos (near Fair Havens) prove that Crete was a center of Mediterranean civilization in an early age. In the Homeric poems, Crete is said to have contained an hundred cities; at that period the Cretans were still famed as daring sailors. In the classical age of Greek history they never held a leading position. They are mentioned chiefly as traders and mercenary soldiers, skilled especially in archery. During the Hellenistic period Crete remained free. Demetrius Nicator made the island his base of operations before his defeat at Azotus in 148. 2. The Jews in Crete: In 141, the Cretan Jews were influential...

Crete Scripture - Acts 27:12 And because the haven was not commodious to winter in, the more part advised to depart thence also, if by any means they might attain to Phenice, [and there] to winter; [which is] an haven of Crete, and lieth toward the south west and north west.

Crete Scripture - Acts 27:13 And when the south wind blew softly, supposing that they had obtained [their] purpose, loosing [thence], they sailed close by Crete.

Crete Scripture - Acts 27:21 But after long abstinence Paul stood forth in the midst of them, and said, Sirs, ye should have hearkened unto me, and not have loosed from Crete, and to have gained this harm and loss.

Crete Scripture - Acts 27:7 And when we had sailed slowly many days, and scarce were come over against Cnidus, the wind not suffering us, we sailed under Crete, over against Salmone;

Crete Scripture - Titus 1:5 For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee: