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In Old Testament times the Mediterranean island of Crete was known as Caphtor. It was at one time the homeland of a people who, in the early days of the Old Testament story, sailed east and settled on Canaan’s Mediterranean coast, where they became known as the Philistines (Deuteronomy 2:23; 1 Samuel 30:14; Jeremiah 47:4; Amos 9:7; see PHILISTIA; CHERETHITES).

The New Testament mentions Crete in the account of Paul’s eventful voyage to Rome. While the ship was moving from one Cretan harbour to another, a fierce storm came up and blew the ship out to sea (Acts 27:7-21).

Possibly the first people to take the gospel to Crete were Jews who were converted on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:11). Churches were established in Crete, but they later became troubled by various disorders. A national characteristic of the Cretans was that they readily accepted anything that made life easier and more enjoyable, and this created problems in their churches. The people accepted false teaching very readily (Titus 1:10-16).

When Paul visited Crete towards the end of his life, he had to deal with this problem. There were serious disorders in the churches, but Paul was not able to stay long. Therefore, when he moved on to other parts, he left Titus behind to continue the work of guiding and strengthening the churches (Titus 1:5; see TITUS, LETTER TO).

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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Fleming, Don. Entry for 'Crete'. Bridgeway Bible Dictionary. 2004.

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