Soon after Paul’s arrival at Philippi on his second missionary journey—on the Sabbath—he “went outside the gate to a riverside, where we [Luke included] were supposing that there would be a place of prayer” (Acts 16:14). There a woman named Lydia from the city of Thyatira, a seller of purple fabrics” was converted to Christianity and was baptized (Acts 16:14–15).
The exact site of this event is not known, but its memory is preserved just north of the Krenides gate of Philippi, about 0.5 mi. [0.8 km.] west of the archaeological site.
Baptismal Church of Lydia
A highlight on a visit to the sacred Greek island of Delos (it is about a 40 minute boat ride from Mykonos) was a visit to the synagogue on the remote east side of the island (see the end of this post).
View of the “Moses Seat” located on the west wall of the synagogue
Note the marble benches on both sides of the seat
Click on all images for high resolution versions
View to the west, southwest at the various rooms of the synagogue
Note the “Moses Seat” in the upper right part of the image
In the lower left portion of the image is one of the entrances into the synagogue
View to the west of the “Moses Seat” in context
Again, note the marble benches on both side of the seat
This synagogue is said to date to the second half of the second century B.C. which would make it the oldest synagogue yet discovered.
I knew the general location of the synagogue, but thought I would ask in the Delos museum how to get there (bad mistake). The answer was, “that side of the island is closed.” Well . . . I hadn’t traveled 6,000 miles by land, air, and sea, just to see this synagogue and be “turned away,” so we set off on the dirt road just to the north of the museum.
Dirt road/path leading to the synagogue
Take the right branch (path along the wall) heading east toward the sea
It is about a 15 minute walk to the synagogue from the museum
Approaching the synagogue from the west — looking east
The synagogue is in fact right on the shore to the Aegean Sea
The remains of the synagogue are in the center of the image
Map of the synagogue (#75) and surrounding structures
Gymnasium/Palestra (#72) and Stadium (#73)