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Dr. Newton Traveling In Greece, Israel, and Rome

Join Dr. Newton as he introduces you to dozens of 

historic Biblical sites with direct connections to events from both the Old Testament and New Testament. 

New videos will be added every few days. Click here to visit his YouTube channel for all videos.

Enjoy the journey and his Biblical commentaries.

 
 
 
 
 
 

Click on the location names below to see videos from each region:

Athens

Philippi

Thessalonica

Joppa (South of Tel Aviv)

Athens

Beautiful windy day with 360° view of Athens from the Acropolis, including Erechtheion, the Parthenon temple to the goddess Athena, and front entryway dedicated to Dionysius.

In Acts chapter 17 Luke recounts how Paul was in the Athens marketplace and was invited to join the Stoics and Epicureans on the Areopagus (Aries is Mars + Pagus is open hilltop rock outcropping) to discuss what they perceived as his “new thinking / new ideas”. He then focused on their altar to The Unknown God and explained who this God truly is and His Gospel. Afterward some said they would like Paul to return so they could hear more - but some were already persuaded including a man: Dionysius the Areopagus - named after the Greek god who is noted in the Parthenon on the nearby Acropolis AND noted as an “Areopagite” - so he was clearly a regular attendee for philosophical exchanges there on Mars Hill.

Philippi

Step thru the entry arches and get first view of the beautiful 4,000+/- seat outdoor venue with incredible acoustic structure.

See evidence of the network of tunnels and underground passageways that serviced the amphitheater’s performers and audiences.

See where dignitaries, politicians, and the wealthy could have VIP “court-side” seating for plays, concerts, and philosophical addresses/debates.

See what audiences saw when seated about one-quarter the way up above the stage.

View from the top-level seats high above the stage-floor and in front of the standing-room-only section behind these seats.

Panoramic overview from top corner seating with view also down to entryways and front lobby at back of stage-floor.

Basic demonstration of how well the amphitheater venue-design enhances both the volume and reverb of audio quality for simple speaking to audience.

Above the main city square Forum (Agora) and just below the Amphitheater was the municipal government hall that originally had over a dozen columns frame the “courtroom” where Paul would have been brought before Philippi’s city officials regarding the charge of having a negative

From the city hall charges and case-review, Paul and Silas were ordered to be held in this damp-dark stone cistern “city jail”. It was here they were singing hymns and praying at midnight when God supernatural he released them from their fetters and opened the jail doors. The jailer took them to his home and washed and bandaged their wounds. When the magistrate came in the morning to bring them back before the government officials they found the cistern “jail” empty

First look at the remaining foundations of homes, walkways, and other buildings located right next to center-city Philippi’s Forum (Agora) marketplace.

Just off the main Forum stood a full-circle colonnade where produce and animals were bought-sold-traded and also offered to the gods. A small “bema” was next to this with a half-circle seat for city officials to hear about the citizens’ efforts to the gods.

The Agora could easily support a few thousand people buying-selling-trading with all kinds of booths and shops. It was here that Paul engaged the locals with the message of the Gospel - even as he was hounded each time by a slave girl who had a spirit of divination.

After a few days of preaching & teaching in the Philippi Forum, the Apostle Paul finally turned to this bothersome slave girl and told her to be quiet while ordering the evil spirit out of her. This caused him to be arrested and taken up on the hill-plaza to the magistrate where he was beaten and put into the cistern prison.

Just below the main marketplace there are a dozen stalls used for animals being bought and sold up in the Forum (goats, sheep, cattle) - as well as being a livery for Roman soldiers to keep their horses.

One last overview of the Agora from the SE corner with a view of where some 120 columns would encircle the plaza with a beautiful colonnade.

Thessalonica

Overview the ruins of the ancient marketplace Forum perched within a crowded residential neighborhood in downtown modern day Thessaloniki. Archaeologists estimate that this site is just 2% of what still remains buried under the city - a small look into the Roman Agora with its bathhouses, colonnades, and small amphitheater.

This smaller 250-to-450 seat amphitheater sites just above 4 gateways that went thru the colonnade that covered the circumference of the Forum marketplace.

The Forum today has less than a dozen columns still standing - but the Agora was once rimmed on 4 sides by some 100 pillars of limestone and marble.

Similar to the much larger Agora marketplace in Philippi, this Forum also had storage chambers, tunnels, and stables to support the commerce happening up above - housing oxen, sheep, goats, and the horses used by Roman soldiers stationed there.

These 4 marble entryways into the 400-seat arena were thru the Forum colonnade at the top of the steps and included a lobby plus access to bathhouse rooms on both sides.

Joppa

(South of Tel Aviv)

Just south of modern day Tel Aviv is the ancient port of Joppa (Jaffa today) from which Jonah boarded a ship heading west to Tarshish - when he was supposed to go east overland to the Assyrian capital Nineveh. It is provocative to consider the risks involved in embarking out onto the open Mediterranean in the first millennium BC and into the 1st Century AD - with no GPS navigation, and just the stars and captain’s experience to guide a ship south to Alexandria, west to Cyprus, or northeast to Asia Minor.

Caesarea Maritime

Introduction to the city right on the Mediterranean built by Herod the Great around 9-to-6 BC as the new major port to serve Jerusalem - the Romans then made it their capital city of Judea which was within the Roman Syrian Province whose capital was Antioch.

Herod’s jetty hooked out from coast to create a breakwater calm for ships to dock without waves - and portions of the original stone walls and fortress are still standing.

About 130 yards long, the arched storage rooms continue along the coastline from the port south toward Herod’s large oblong circus. These facilities would have been busy with commercial transactions buying-selling-bartering-trading all kinds of imports and exports from across the Mediterranean Basin.

There are 3 entry gates into this Mediterranean coastal city - but it is fun to consider that just maybe, Peter entered thru this archway when the 3 men dispatched from Cornelius brought the Apostle to see the Commander of the Roman cohort.

Just north of the port a 150-yd section of the arched Roman aqueduct still stands along the beach where it once brought clean fresh water from springs inland and at higher elevation - allowing gravity to drive flow of this vital resource right into the cisterns and bath houses throughout Caesarea.

The ancient 1st Century AD Jewish synagogue is slightly north of the main port-harbor and breakwater. Again, this would have been Herod’s token allowance toward the Jews living in this thoroughly Roman capital of Judea.

Great loge-level box seats in Herod’s amphitheater with great view of the events that included a stunning backdrop of the Mediterranean Sea.

On an incredible promontory point high above the tide pools and shoals just south of Caesarea harbor-port stood the palace for the Roman ruler appointed (stationed) here. Scholars assume Felix and his successor Festus would have lived here during their terms in the 50s AD - when Saul of Tarsus was being held in Caesarea prior to his trip to Rome. The point juts out with full 360-degree views of the coastline, the Herodian ‘circus’ and north to the commercial storehouses up to the harbor-port.

This large outdoor venue rises some 80-feet to its top-tier seating with a half-dozen archways for attendees to file down the aisles from the top. This half-circle also had a Mediterranean backdrop as it is perched just above the palace point and a little south of the Herodian amphitheater.

Great view of how the audience would have looked to performers or orators standing on the stage. All the seating has been updated with fresh-cut stone and the venue hosts modern plays and concerts with amazing acoustics.

Right along the beach just south of the harbor and north of the Amphitheater and Palace is the 150-yard oblong circus (Hippodrome) built by Herod to host chariot, horse, and camel races - plus showcase all kinds of wild & exotic animals coming thru the port from Africa, Europe, and Asia Minor.

One last look at the beautiful seaside Roman capital built by Herod The Great. Paul spent 2 years here after being sent by Claudius from Jerusalem to Felix at the Mediterranean - then Festus replaced Felix and examined Paul alongside Agrippa with his wife Bernice. Paul would have been released but for his appeal to Caesar.

Nazareth

The long-standing traditional site of this “precipice” just above the village of Nazareth has incredible views of Mt. Carmel to the NE and Megiddo to the NW.

Located in between Caesarea Maritime to the W and the Sea of Galilee to the E, Nazareth sits on hills that are very rocky, I’m stark contrast to the flat farming fields in the valleys on either side.

This high cliff rocky outcropping has since Biblical times been the traditional peak where in Luke 4:29 the local villagers took Jesus to throw him from “the crest” because they were so angered by his comments about Israel’s lack of faith after he read from the Isaiah scroll in the Nazareth synagogue.

Capernaum-Galilee

Just 7km up from Tiberius on the west coastline of the Sea of Galilee was the small fishing village of Capernaum - and in this area Jesus called his first disciples like Simon bar-Jonas (son of Jonas) and his brother Andrew.

It’s amazing that today among the rough ruins of the village of Capernaum much of the synagogue still stands - including the entry, central worship area, and side room seating - all in bright limestone and polished marble. This is clearly the very site where in Mark 1 and John 6 the Gospels record that “Jesus went up to Capernaum and began to teach in the synagogue”.

More videos coming soon...