St Paul

holy land tour with the Holy Lnad Guru

Stones from the time of Herod the Great

 

The Amazing Roads of Rome
How many of our American Roads do you think will still be useable in 100 years?
The Romans built things to last. Places like the now 2000 year old Pantheon in Rome are standing tributes to the skill of the Roman architects and builders and the vision of their often evil dictators.
Biblical Archeology magazine now reports the discovery of a well preserved Roman road near the Old City of Jerusalem that they think may date to the 2nd or 3rd century AD. ( or as they say CE)
Seems the local Jerusalem authorities were digging to install a new drainage pipe. It is not uncommon for diggers to turn over dirt and find wonderful treasures from ages past in Israel.
Reportedly there were two main Roman roads from Jerusalem to Jaffa ( a suburb of Tel Aviv and reminiscent of Jonah’s famous whale misadventure) and this is part of the Northern road.
When I was graduating from Wheaton College with a major in history, the final senior year essay assignment was to write about the implications of a passage from the Bible about the specific timing of the coming of Jesus as the long awaited Messiah.
Galatians 4:4 states “But when the right time came God sent his Son .”( the New Living Translation) In the King James version it reads “When the fullness of time had come God sent forth His son”.
The clear implications of the Bible statement are that certain conditions needed to be in place before the Divine birth would occur in God’s planning. A remarkable statement indeed.
In striving to answer Professor Cairnes’ question, I observed the many things that Rome had wrought that prepared the way for the birth of Jesus as we Christians believe.
Conditions were put in place during the heyday of Roman dominance that made the communication of the Christian message possible across the vast stretch of the huge Roman Empire. Among many worthy of note were: the so called Pax Romana that resulted in a time of relative calm that made it safe to travel. The dominance of a common Greek culture and language enabled ease of communication of the message of the Resurrection across the Empire, etc.
Other factors also played their important part. The development of the vast system of roads built by Rome was clearly one. The fact that the Roman legions also patrolled those roads contributed to safe travel and the spreading of the Christian message.
It was more than a slogan to say that “all roads lead to Rome”. It seems to me  also quite remarkable the way the culture and environment was prepared for “the event”.
Because of these roads you could travel everywhere in the vast Roman Empire and because of the deployed Roman garrisons you could do so in relative safety. This was not true 100 years earlier.
So the roads of Rome were a significant achievement. They were also so well constructed that portions of some of them still exist and many Roman bridges are still in service today after 2000 years.
On some of my journeys to the lands of the Bible, I have taken my friends to Northern Greece, then by boat, where we disembarked at Kavala, the modern name for Biblical Neapolis. Bible students will recognize that this is the place where St Paul first landed in Europe on his 2nd missionary Journey.
It is a short distance from Neapolis to Philippi to which Paul wrote one of his famous letters that is now the book of Philippians in the New Testament part of the Bible. And there you see yet another wonderfully preserved Roman road from the time of Paul. No doubt his footsteps echoed from that same road with its large flagstones.
Yet another famous Roman Road leads into the city of Rome and is called the Appian Way and it traces its history back to the time of the New Testament. Paul was initially buried along its side.

Dr Robert Grant has been traveling to the Holy Land for over 46 years and has gone there more than 125 times taking holy land tours with his friends. He has been so designated as the holy land  guru by his friends.

Published by Dr. Robert Grant aka “The Holy land Guru” 7/3/13
Also on Facebook.com/HolyLandGuru