1 Thessalonians 3 – Timotheus’s Visit and Report & Travel in the Greco-Roman World

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Ten thousand miles is a lot.  From Seattle, Washington to Miami, Florida is around 3,310 miles and that is a long drive by car.  Imagine traveling 10,000 miles by foot or ship, but there is nothing Paul would not do for You.

Your Son set an example for us to follow in regards to how to live.  Paul set an example of how to please You and we should live our lives by both examples, but most of the world are interested only in themselves.

There are many people that all they want to do is fatten their pocketbook, and to reach their wicked goal they’ll even tell lies about You.  Tomorrow we’ll look at…

1 Thessalonians 3
Timotheus’s Visit and Report

2 Roman roads
Roman roads were a vital part of the development of the Roman state, from about 500 B.C. through the expansion during the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire.

Roman roads enabled the Romans to move armies and trade goods and to communicate. The Roman road system spanned more than 400,000 km of roads, including over 80,500 km of paved roads.

When Rome reached the height of its power, no fewer than 29 great military highways radiated from the city. Hills were cut through and deep ravines filled in. At one point, the Roman Empire was divided into 113 provinces traversed by 372 great road links.

In Gaul alone, no less than 21,000 km of road are said to have been improved, and in Britain at least 4,000 km. There were footpaths on each side of the road. The Romans became adept at constructing roads, which they called viae.

They were intended for carrying material from one location to another. It was permitted to walk or pass and drive cattle, vehicles, or traffic of any description along the path. The viae differed from the many other smaller or rougher roads, bridle-paths, drifts, and tracks.

To make the roads the Romans used stones, broken stones mixed with cement and sand, cement mixed with broken tiles, curving stones – so the water could drain, and on the top they used tightly packed paving stones.

1 Wherefore when we could no longer forbear, we thought it good to be left at Athens alone;

2 And sent Timotheus, our brother, and minister of God, and our fellow laborer in the gospel of Christ, to establish you, and to comfort you concerning your faith:

3 That no man should be moved by these afflictions: for yourselves know that we are appointed thereunto.

4 For verily, when we were with you, we told you before that we should suffer tribulation; even as it came to pass, and ye know.

5 For this cause, when I could no longer forbear, I sent to know your faith, lest by some means the tempter have tempted you, and our labor be in vain.

6 But now when Timotheus came from you unto us, and brought us good tidings of your faith and charity, and that ye have good remembrance of us always, desiring greatly to see us, as we also to see you:

7 Therefore, brethren, we were comforted over you in all our affliction and distress by your faith:

8 For now we live, if ye stand fast in the Lord.

9 For what thanks can we render to God again for you, for all the joy wherewith we joy for your sakes before our God;

10 Night and day praying exceedingly that we might see your face, and might perfect that which is lacking in your faith?

11 Now God himself and our Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, direct our way unto you.

12 And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you:

13 To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.

Travel in the Greco-Roman World

Travelers in the Greco-Roman world could choose to journey either by foot or by sea. Although the opportunities for travel greatly increased under the Roman Empire, journeys continued to be treacherous and slow.

The vast expanse of the empire led of necessity to the construction and improvement of an intricate network of roads in order to connect cities from east to west.

Major arteries, such as the Via Egnatia (which passed through Thessalonica), conveyed an enormous amount of traffic, and cities along these routes became prosperous and cosmopolitan.

These well-developed and maintained roads were necessary for both military operations and trade purposes. Amazingly, the quality of their construction was so high that many of them remain intact to this day.

Voyage by sea put the traveler at the risk of shipwreck and intervention by buccaneers, but the presence of Roman fleets on the seas lessened the fears of piracy.

With the exception of the dangerous winter season, running from mid-November until early March, such voyages were significantly less expensive and faster than travel by land.

3 In about 50
In about 50 A.D., a ship set sail from Cadiz in Spain carrying cargo to Italy (probably to Rome).
Having passed through the Straits of Gibraltar, the ship hugged the coastline, a course wholly different from the usual open-sea direct course that would normally be taken.

The ship sank in 25 m (82 ft) of water not far off the coast of Villajoyosa, about 15 km (9 mi) NE of Alicante in Spain, after perhaps 500 km (300 mi) of sailing. Its cargo included hundreds of amphorae of garum (the Roman version of Worcestershire sauce) and about two thousand bars of lead each weighing about 33 kg (52 lb).

When discovered in 2000, the remnants of the 36 m (120 ft) long ship were named the Bou Ferrer shipwreck.

Scholars used to think that ships in classical times hugged the shoreline and never ventured into deep water, but recent research has proved this to be false.

The mobility made possible by the Roman Empire contributed greatly to the spread of Christianity in the Greco-Roman world. Paul and his coworkers traveled extensively, both by foot and by sea, in their efforts to spread the gospel and to maintain contact with the churches they had established.

Reflecting upon his own travels, Paul mentioned three shipwrecks and other dangers that he had faced (2 Cor 11:25-26).

Scholars estimate from the journeys recorded in Acts that Paul must have covered over 10,000 miles during his missionary career.

…characteristics of false prophets.

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