In a previous blog post (reproduced below) I cited Mark Wilson’s article that argued that the ship that Paul was on traveling from Chios to Miletus sailed on the east side of Samos—contrary to my mapping, in my Zondervan Atlas of the Bible, where I placed the route to the west of Samos (as do many other atlases).
Acts 20:15 The next day we set sail from there and arrived off Kios. The day after that we crossed over to Samos, and on the following day arrived at Miletus.
I find it interesting that
“Archaeologists in Greece have discovered at least 58 shipwrecks, many laden with antiquities, in what they say may be the largest concentration of ancient wrecks ever found in the Aegean and possibly the whole of the Mediterranean”
(as per the article “Ancient shipwrecks found in Greek waters tell tale of trade routes“)
These 58 wrecks were found in the Greek Fournoi archipelago that is located to the southwest of Samos.
It seems to me that in light of the above that
- This route was fraught with danger—as Wilson argued in his article.
- This north–south route west of Samos was frequently used by ancient mariners—dispite the potential danger invoved.
Thus, in light of #2, it seems very possible that the ship that Paul was on, that was sailing from Chios to Miletus, may very well have used this more direct route to the west of Samos (as I mapped in my Atlas)—rather than the longer interior route suggested by Wilson.
View looking west southwest at the Strait of Mycale. On the left (east) side of the image is Mount Mycale which is in Turkey. On the right (west) is the Greek Island of Samos. The open water between them is the “Strait of Mycale”—only 1 mi. [1.6 km] wide!
The Apostle Paul probably passed this way as he sailed from Chios to Samos to Miletus—towards the end of his Third Journey.
Acts 20: 15 says: “And sailing from there [Mitylene], we [Paul and traveling companions on board a ship] arrived the following day opposite Chios; and the next day we crossed over to Samos; and the day following we came to Miletus.” (NASB)
The route that Paul’s vessel took from Chios to Miletus is carefully examined by Dr. Mark Wilson at the beginning of his important article “The Ephesian elders come to Miletus: An Annaliste reading of Acts 20:15-18a.” He argues that the vessel that Paul was on sailed through the narrow straight between Samos and Turkey—the “Mycale Strait”— and possibly landed at the chief city of Samos—Pythagoras or at Troglilum closer to the (present) Turkish mainland.
For additional images of the Strait of Mycale and Samos Click Here.
Here are the “bibliographic details” of Wilson’s article, BUT to Download Your Copy Click Here: WILSON, M.. The Ephesian elders come to Miletus: An Annaliste reading of Acts 20:15–18a. Verbum et Ecclesia, North America, 34, sep. 2013. Available at: <http://www.ve.org.za/index.php/VE/article/view/744/1751>. Date accessed: 18 Oct. 2013.