In our Simon Peter and St. Paul Tour we shall follow the the footsteps of Simon Peter and Paul of Tarsus. During our tour we will explore the relevant sites in the Holy Land where Saint Paul and Simon Peter were active or visited. We’ll retell their amazing experiences as told in the New Testament. We could actually see with our own eyes where Paul was imprisoned in Caesarea and Peter performing miracles.
Simon Peter And St Paul Tour: Old City Jaffa
Shalom! Our Christian-themed St. Peter & St. Paul Tour private tour of Israel will launch in Old Town Jaffa. First, it’s important to mention Jaffa is an ancient city mentioned multiple times in the Bible. For example: In the Book of Jonah it’s told that from its Ancient Port, Jonah the Prophet went off on his mission God had sent him, on his journey he was eaten by a whale. And we know King Solomon in order to embellish the First Jewish Temple brought to Jerusalem the Cedars of Lebanon via Jaffa Port.
Most importantly, In Acts of the Apostles, it’s told that Simon Peter stayed during his missionary activities here in Jaffa as a guest in the House of Simon the Tanner. And while he was staying there he raised Tabitha, one of Jesus’ disciples, from the dead. After checking out the view from the top of the old tel we’ll go to the main square where there is a nice Church honoring Peter.
Also, we hear that at the same time Peter is experiencing a vision. A vessel that resembles a cloth descended from heaven showing all kinds of unclean animals; in other words, not Kosher. Afterward, he heard a voice telling him he can eat unclean animals (Acts chapter ten). So we learn that it is here in Jaffa where Peter had this revolutionary idea to open the new faith to non-Jews, a pivotal moment in Christianity.
Simon Peter and St Paul Tour: Caesarea National Park
Now our story continues to unfold here in Caesarea Maritima. In the same episode (Acts chapter 10) we hear about a Roman Centurion named Cornelius. Although he’s not the first in the New Testament, many Christians consider Cornelius as the first Gentile to convert to the new faith. So the story goes, while Peter is in Jaffa, Cornelius was in Caesarea, the capital of the Roman Iudaea province.
While Peter is experiencing this vision in the house of Simon the Tanner, Cornelius, a “God-fearing man”, is having his own vision in which an angel of God tells him that his prayer has been heard; So he understands that he’s chosen for a higher alternative. So the angels then instruct Cornelius to send men of his household to Jaffa, where they will find Simon Peter, who is residing with a tanner name of Simon (Acts chapter 10:5).
When Cornelius” men arrive, Simon Peter understands that through this vision the Lord commanded the Apostle to preach the Word of God to the Gentiles. Peter accompanies Cornelius’ men to Caesarea. When Cornelius meets Simon Peter, he falls at Peter’s feet. Simon Peter raises the centurion and the two men share their visions. First Simon Peter tells of Jesus’ ministry and the Resurreccion; the Holy Spirit descends on everyone at the gathering. Thereupon Simon Peter commands that Cornelius and his followers be baptized.
Simon Peter and St Paul Tour: The Episode of The Ethiopian Eunuch
As a private tour guide In Israel, I mention to my clients that in Acts chapter eight we hear about an earlier conversion of the Ethiopian Eunuch to Christianity. We hear that it was Philip the Evangelist, who later was living in Caesarea Maritima with his four daughters who foretold, where he was visited by Paul the Apostle. The biblical account says that an angel told Philip to go to the road from Jerusalem to Gaza, and there he encountered the Ethiopian Eunuch.
So While he was sitting in his chariot reading the Book of Isaiah, he was reading Isaiah chapter 53:7-8. Then Philip asked the Ethiopian, “Do you understand what you are reading?”. Consequently, he said he did not and asked Philip to explain the text to him. Philip told him the Gospel of Jesus, and the Ethiopian asked to be baptized. Then they went down into some water and Philip baptized him.
Paul Imprisonment In Caesarea
After being arrested in Jerusalem, Paul is sent to Caesarea where he is Imprisoned for Two Years. During this time he is brought before the Roman Governor Felix who is later replaced by Porcius Festus. He appeals to Caesar and is sent to Rome. Meanwhile, Paul is under arrest, Acts mentions he was kept in the praetorium (Acts Chapter 25). Even Though it’s not entirely clear where that location is, we do know that the term was used to describe any structures with palatial rooms. So this raises the probability that he was kept in one of the rooms belonging to the Royal Palace in Caesarea where the Governor resided, previously built by Herod the Great.
Simon Peter and St Paul Tour: The Old Town of Acre
The Old Town of Acre, officially a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, has been the scene of numerous historical events. Due to its strategic location on the Mediterranean coast; this town has been inhabited by many peoples over the centuries. Paul returned from his Third Journey; after having called at Tyre and having stayed in the city for a week and meeting the disciples again. Paul, with Luke, embarked for Ptolemais (the name given to Acre by the Greeks). Here they went to greet the brothers and stayed the whole day with them. The next day they left for Caesarea Maritima where they arrived before nightfall.
Yet another glorious episode of Acre is during the Crusaders Era when the land was controlled by the Kingdom of Jerusalem. In 1187, Saladin conquered much of the country’s territory including Acre and Jerusalem, after winning the Battle of Hattin. The Third Crusade was launched in response; the Crusaders besieged and eventually recaptured Acre in 1191. Acre became the capital of the Kingdom of Jerusalem.
The religious orders made their headquarters around the city and from there made crucial military and diplomatic decisions. In 1250 the Mamluk Sultanate arose in Egypt; It was a more dangerous enemy than the Ayyubids. The Mamluk fielded heavy cavalry – a match for the Crusaders’ knights – and was much more hostile. In 1291 the Mamluk army besieged Acre and resulted in losing the Crusader-controlled city of Acre to the Mamluks. It’s considered to be one of the most important battles of the period. When Acre fell the Crusaders lost their last major stronghold of the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem.
Simon Peter and St Paul Tour: The Center of the Knights Orders
On our tour of the Old City will visit the Crusader City and what was the Center of the Knights Hospitaller: We’ll explore the Ancient Walls of the City; The Refractory, where the knights use to come together and eat; The Public Latrines; The Knights Halls; The Crypt of St. John de Arc Church and more. We would end our visit using an underground tunnel that was built by the Knights Templar to get access to the port from their quarter that was on the other side of Acre.