Dedicated to the writings of Saint Luke.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Sailing with Castor and Pollux

At the beginning of the description of Paul’s stay in Athens, it was stated he was deeply disturbed that the city was full of idols. With this notice, the First Reader is informed that Paul and the followers of Jesus are concerned about idolatry. There were earlier clues that the anti-idol polemic was a theme in Acts of the Apostles but this is the first broadcast.

The theme reaches its conclusion in Acts 28:11 where we read: “And after three months we departed in a ship of Alexandria, which had wintered in the isle, whose sign (figurehead) was Castor and Pollux (the Twin Brothers of Zeus).” This ship transported Paul on the final section of his sea voyage from Malta to Italy. Castor and Pollux were considered the patron deities of seamen and voyagers. but the figurehead was made by human hands. It was a reminder that Paul lived in a world where idols existed but “gods made by human hands are not gods.”

Paul the prisoner on his journey to Caesar had managed to save 276 lives. “Now when the centurion saw what had taken place [at the cross], he praised God, and said, ‘Certainly this man was innocent!’” But there is no record of what the centurion escorting Paul to Rome included in his report to the emperor about his prisoner. No doubt he was speechless.

Copyrighted 2007


Post a Comment

<< Home