National Geographic : 1956 Dec
Jerusalem to Rome in the Path of St. Paul we had a typical Holy Land breakfast: olives, cheese, green onions, radishes, and fried eggs. As we ate, Father Ashar told me about the St. Paul Missionaries. "St. Paul, as you know, was a manual la borer," he began. "Wherever Paul went, he earned his own way as a weaver and tent maker. Nearly always he refused money of fered by his church members. "We take our cue from him. In this part of the world that so badly needs men skilled with their hands, we are trying to do our part. Here and in Juniye we employ 250 young men from Lebanon and countries around us. We teach them to be carpenters, electricians, printers, stoneworkers, makers of tile (page 728). Presently we are going to build a fine new building and expand our activities." Presses Print Books in Many Tongues Father Ashar showed me an enormous print shop where presses were turning out all man ner of publications, including books illustrated in color. A dozen workers, disdaining the lino type, were setting type by hand, for one of the primary purposes is to employ more hands. "They can set type for you in Latin let ters, or Greek, or Arabic. These boys come from many religions, and we do not press Catholicism upon them. Our church will be open as a sanctuary of prayer to everyone. St. Paul, you may remember, was a believer in unity. Even though he did so much to separate Christianity from Judaism, he always wished it could have been otherwise." Page 730 + Antioch: Here "Disciples Were Called Christians First"-Acts 11:26 When a small Christian community grew up in Antioch, the mother church at Jerusalem sent Barnabas there to preach. "Then departed Barnabas to Tarsus, for to seek Saul: And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch." The two ar rived about A.D. 45. From Antioch Paul made three great missionary journeys (see inset on supplement map, Lands of the Bible Today). Antioch at that time was the world's largest city after Rome and Alexandria. Gay, witty, and luxury loving, it covered the plain beside the Orontes River (center). A marvelous system of aqueducts carried water through marble streets to sumptuous villas, public baths, fountains, race tracks, music halls, and theaters. By night thousands of lights glinted like a moonlit sea. This Turkish town, now called Antakya, shares nothing but the river and a fraction of the site with its illustrious predecessor of the first century. The shepherd tends his flock on the side of Mount Silpius. 0 National Geographic Society St. Paul had visited the Christian congre gations of Sidon and Tyre in old Phoenicia. I followed the coastal road southward and photographed the fishermen of Sidon, the pres ent-day Saida (page 742). To Sur, Tyre's successor, I could not take my cameras. Standing close to the Israel border, it lay in a restricted military zone. Israelis Live with Gun at Hand Now, having completed my tour of Arab lands, I flew to Israel via the British Crown Colony of Cyprus. An old friend met me at Israel's busy Lydda airport, between Tel Aviv and the Jewish sector of Jerusalem. I noticed that he was carrying a gun. We waited at the airfield till daylight, for night attacks across no man's land are still not uncommon in this troubled part of the world. I could not take time to examine many of the wonders of modern Israel. But in 1956 one cannot even speed across this misshapen patch of land without whistling in surprise. King David and King Solomon, in all their glory, would stand enthralled in the lobby of an Israel luxury hotel or before the singing machinery of some impressive new industry. Simply to gaze across the green irrigated countryside is a revelation. Hun dreds of modern settlements dot the land. Forests spring up where before were barren hills. On the Israel coast I pursued St. Paul to the ruins of Caesarea. Here, after his rescue from the mob on his final visit to Jerusalem. the Apostle spent two years in the custody of the Roman governor, Felix. Finally Paul, as a Roman citizen, appealed to Caesar and was sent to Rome for trial. The lavish marble city of Caesarea was built and fawningly dedicated to Caesar Au gustus by King Herod the Great. During my visit it was undergoing excavation by the Israel Department of Antiquities. Much of Herod's marble, however, was already gone: an 18th-century Turkish pasha named Ahmed al-Jazzar had beaten the archeologists to it. In near-by Acre I saw some of the marble decorating Ahmed's mosque (page 755). It may have come from Herod's palace, where Paul lived as a prisoner. More of it lined Ahmed's extensive Turkish baths, still in use until 1947, when they were damaged by ter rorist dynamite. They now serve the city as a rather unusual museum.