This week’s photo focuses on what is arguably the last of the “Bible Places.” If the Garden of Eden is the first Bible Place, the island of Patmos could be considered the last.
Our picture of the week comes from Volume 12 of the revised and expanded version of the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands, which focuses on the Greek Islands. The photo is entitled “Patmos, View of Island North from Acropolis Panorama” (picture ID # tb061606331). If you have this volume, the photo can be found in the Microsoft PowerPoint presentation on Patmos. This photo is one of several beautiful panoramas that are available as part of the PLBL. (Click on the photo for a higher resolution.)
Why is this the last of the Bible Places? The small island of Patmos is where John received his heavenly visions which were later written down in the last book of the Bible: the book of Revelation. In Revelation 1:9 the apostle writes, “I, John, your brother and companion in the suffering and kingdom and patient endurance that are ours in Jesus, was on the island of Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus” (ESV).
Patmos is a small island: only 7.5 miles long and 6 miles wide. To walk from one end to the other would take only a few hours. It is situated between modern Turkey and Greece, and is a volcanic island with rocky soil. The island was settled on and off throughout the centuries. During the Roman period, there is evidence that there was a temple to Artemis and a gymnasium there, so it is unlikely that John was alone during his stay. According to the notes in the PLBL, there have been over 300 churches built on the island over the last 2,000 years. With only 13 square miles of real estate, that means there has been an average of 23 churches per square mile!