Sunday, April 29, 2007

Let's hop on to... Patmos!

Well, it looks like there are not too many people living on Isla del Coco. I only received one friendly comment from a Dutch couple living in Costa Rica (which is highly appreciated, but not really what I was looking for). Never mind, I did enjoy the virtual visit to Cocos Island and if I still receive any comments from scuba divers, wild life rangers or hammer sharks - you will be the first to know.
But... there are more islands on this beautiful planet to explore, so let's move on to Patmos!

Right now I am studying the book of Revelations - written by John the Evangelist on the island of Patmos. So now I want to go to the beautiful Mediterranean area to find out whether there are still some fellow believers living on this small Greek island in the Aegean Sea. Maybe they even have an internet connection and who knows they will be kind enough to get in touch with us and share their visionary insights with the rest of the world by leaving a comment on one of my postings about Patmos.

Dear blog readers! If you have any questions about Patmos - please feel free to leave a comment. I will think about some questions myself and next month I will try to get in touch with somebody living on Patmos today. Please join me during the next part of my exciting virtual island hopping world tour and let me know what you think! You can read more about Patmos on Wikipedia.


Mike said...

This is great. I would love to know other believers living on Patmos. What a treat to communicate with such brothers and sisters.
Due to the nature of the island there must be a church on there, probably Greek Orthodox I would imagine.
wouldn't it be fun to visit Patmos. Seems like it is a nice slow paced community.
Let me know if you communicate with anyone from Patmos.

Carol L. Douglas said...

My mother visited both Patmos and Samos. She was struck by the similarity between the two (geographically close) islands.

Samos is the birthplace of Pythagoras, who converted Egyptian triangle tables into a universally applicable theorem and is the first western person who recognized that sound harmonics were mathematical in nature. But of course he also had this little religion problem that encompassed numerology, transmigration of souls, vegetarianism, etc. And his mathematical truths were intimately entwined with his religious falsehoods.

At any rate, my mother felt that John the Revelator and Pythagoras of Samos were both influenced by these arid, stony islands, which she found to be rather awful, in the classic sense of the word. Who knows? Just as an altar is a holy space, so also might be Patmos, and Samos might be a weak mirror image of it.

I certainly felt that St. Martin’s church in Canterbury and Canterbury Cathedral were holy spaces. This is rather a different thing than idolatry; it’s the sense that the pious have prayed here before me and I am privileged to walk on the same stones as prior saints. Perhaps my head would explode from joy if I visited Patmos.

FWIW, what we “know” about Pythagoras we get second hand so who knows what he really said beyond “the square of the hypotenuse equals the sum of the squares of the other two sides in a right triangle,” or however that reads in Greek. Apparently, Pythagoras wrote nothing down. Our major information about him comes from Aristotle, Aristoxenus and Ovid, who lived centuries after Pythagoras.

I mention that because the Gospels are often criticized for having been written down “after the fact” but they are much more contemporary to Jesus than Ovid was to Pythagoras. Yet scholars don’t dissect or criticize his teaching much. Clearly Jesus is held to a higher standard because of who He is. Pythagoras just isn’t that important.

Panda said...

Wow! I am already enjoying this! Thanks for the encouragement, Mike and thank you for all the information that you provide here, Carol. Great!

I like the fact that there are two "streams of information" on weblogs. There is this superficial stream of interesting, funny or trivial postings on the blog, and there is an undercurrent of comments from visitors below this surface. I am so grateful for your visits to my blog! Without your contributions this little spot in cyberspace would be a bit like a lonely island. Keep coming back, friends!

Oh yes, and don't forget to help me with formulating some interesting questions for the Patmos islanders. Next week I will try to send some emails to churches and individuals on Patmos that I hope to trace by doing some Google research!

I want to know whether it makes a big difference to these people that they are living on the island that is so well-known because of the book of Revelations, written by John the Evangelist. What does this fact mean to them personally?

My second question would be how they understand the book of Revelations themselves and what the message of the Bible means to them.

Vicki said...

Great choice for our on-going tour, Paul! I'm looking forward to this one.

Mike said...

I'm on board for the tour.
I have a question, "what are your fellowships like are they informal? Do you meet in homes?"


"Do any of you have a vision for the church today"?

thanks for doing this. I love this blog.

Chris Hobbs said...

Does anyone know how to become a resident of Patmos?