Fair Havens

From BiblePortal Wikipedia

Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament [1]

(Καλοὶ Λιμένες)

Fair Havens is a small bay in the S. coast of Crete, where St. Paul’s ship, after working slowly westward under the lee of the island, found shelter in rough weather ( Acts 27:8). It is not referred to in any other ancient writing besides Acts, but its name is still preserved in the modern dialect-Λιμεῶνας Καλούς. While exposed to the E., it was protected on the S.W. by two small islands. In this roadstead the Apostle’s ship remained ‘a considerable time’ (ἱκανοῦ χρόνου) weather-bound, strong N. W. winds apparently continuing to blow. Two leagues westward is Cape Matala, where the coast abruptly trends to the N., so that if an attempt were made to round the point the ship would certainly be exposed to the full force of the Wind. But as it was feared that Fair Havens was not commodious enough to winter in, a council was held, the account of which affords a vivid and instructive glimpse into life on an ancient government transport. While the captain and Ship-master (ὁ ναύκληρος) thought it better to make a dash for Port Phœnix ( q.v. [Note: quod vide, which see.] ), St. Paul considered it more prudent to remain where they were. The Roman centurion naturally ‘gave more heed’ to the nautical experts than to the landsman, as did the majority (οἱ πλείους); but, as Smith remarks, ‘the event justified St. Paul’s advice.’

‘It now appears … that Fair Havens is so well protected by islands, that though not equal to Lutro, it must be a very fair winter harbour; and that considering the suddenness, the frequency, and the violence with which gales of northerly wind spring up, and the certainty that, if such a gale sprang up in the passage from Fair Havens to Lutro, the ship must be driven off to sea, the prudence of the advice given by the master and owner was extremely questionable, and that the advice given by St. Paul may probably be supported even on nautical grounds’ (J. Smith, Voyage and Shipwreck of St. Paul , 1880, p. 85).

Literature.-W. M. Ramsay, St. Paul the Traveller and the Roman Citizen , 1895, p. 320 f. See also articles in Bible Dictionaries, esp. Hasting's Dictionary of the Bible (5 vols) i. 826 (W. Muir).

James Strahan.

Fausset's Bible Dictionary [2]

A harbor on the S. of Crete; connected with the city Lasea; five miles E. of cape Matala. The ship in Paul's voyage stopped short of doubling this cape, for the coast W. of it suddenly turns to the N., and so the ship would have been still exposed to the prevailing N.W. wind. But afterward on consultation the centurion and master of the ship determined against Paul's advice to leave Fair Havens as incommodious to winter in, and go on to Phoenice, induced by a deceptive S. wind which arose for a time: the result was wreck (Acts 27; compare  Ecclesiastes 9:15). The place still bears the Greek name for "Fair Havens."

People's Dictionary of the Bible [3]

Fair Havens. A harbor on the southern shore of the island of Crete.  Acts 27:8-10;  Acts 27:21. It is about midway between the eastern and western ends of the island, and is still known as Kalous Limionas, or "Fair Havens." It is a fair winter harbor, though not as good as Phœnice, or Phœnix, 40 miles westward.

Smith's Bible Dictionary [4]

Fair Havens. A harbor in the island of Crete,  Acts 27:8, though not mentioned in any other ancient writing, is still known by its own Greek name, and appears to have been the harbor of Lasaea .

Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible [5]

Fair Havens . A harbour on the south coast of Crete, near Lasea, where St. Paul’s ship took shelter on the voyage to Rome (  Acts 27:8 ). It still retains its name.

A. J. Maclean.

Morrish Bible Dictionary [6]

Harbour on the south of the island of Crete, near the city of Lasea, about five miles to the east of Cape Matala.  Acts 27:8 .

Holman Bible Dictionary [7]

 Acts 27:8-20

Easton's Bible Dictionary [8]

 Acts 27:8

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [9]

( Καλοί Διμένες ), a harbor in the island of Crete ( Acts 27:8), not mentioned in any other ancient writing. There seems no probability that it is, as most early commentators thought (see Biscoe, On The Acts, page 347, ed. 1829), the Καλὴ Ἀκτή , or Fair Beach, of Steph. Byz. (see Kuindl, Comment. in loc.); for that is said to be a city, whereas Fair Havens is described as "a place near to which was a city called Lasma." Moreover, Mar. Pashley found (Travels In Crete, 2:57) a district called Acte; and it is most; likely that Καλη Ἀκτή was situated there; but that; district is in the west of the island, whereas Fair Havens was on the south. Its position is now quite certain. Though not mentioned by classical writers, if is still known by the old Greek name, as it was in the time of Rauwolf (who calls it Calismene), Pococke (2:250), and other early travelers mentioned by Mr, Smith (Voy. And Shipwr. Of St. Paul, 2d ed. page 80-82). LASKEA, too, has recently been most explicitly discovered. In fact, Fair Havens appears to have been practically its harbor.

These places are situated four or five miles to the east of Cape Matala, which is the most conspicuous headland on the south coast of Crete, and inencediately to the west of which the coast trends suddenly to the north. This last circumstance explains why the ship which conveyed Paul was brought to anchor in Fair Havens. In consequence of violent and continuing northwest winds she had been unable to hold on her course towards Italy from Cnidus ( Acts 27:7), and had ran down, by Salmone, under the lee of Crete. It was possible to reach Fair Havensa but beyond Cape Matala the difficulty would have recurred so long as the wind remained in the same quarter. A considerable delay took place ( Acts 27:9), during which it is possible that Paul may have had: opportunities of preaching the Gospel at Lassea, or even at Gortyna where Jews resided ( 1 Maccabees 15:23), and which was not far distant; but all this is conjectural. A consultation took place, at which it was decided, against the apostle's advice, to make an attempt to reach a good harbor named Phenice ( 1 Maccabees 15:12). However, the south wind, which sprang up afterwards ( 1 Maccabees 15:13), proved delusive; and the vessel was caught by a hurricane (See Euroclydon) on her way towards Phenice, and ultimately wrecked. Smith, s.v. (See Shipwreck) (Of Paul). The name of the place is appropriate. It is shut in on the west by a bold headland, on the summit of which are the ruins of an ancient convent dedicated tose St. Paul. On the south it is sheltered by two little islands; and between these and the shore is a safe anchorage. The roadstead, however, is open to the sea, and we can thus see the truth of Luke's statement that it was " incommodious to winter in" ( Ἀνεύθετος Πρὸς Παραχειμασίαν ,  1 Maccabees 15:12; see Smith, page 256; Conybeare and Howson, Life and Epistles of St. Paul, 2:320). (See Crete).

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia [10]

fâr hā´v ' nz ( Καλοὶ Λιμένες , Kaloı́ Liménes ): A roadstead on the South coast of Crete, about 5 miles East of Cape Matala, the most southerly point of the island. The harbor is formed by a bay, open to the East, and sheltered on the Southwest by two small islands. Here Paul waited for a considerable time ( Acts 27:9 ); but while it afforded good anchorage and a shelter from North and Northwest winds, "the haven was not commodious to winter in" ( Acts 27:8 ,  Acts 27:12 ). See Crete .

Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature [11]

Fair Havens, a harbor or roadstead of Crete, the unsafeness of which to winter in, occasioned that attempt to make for Phenice, on the other side of the island, which led to the eventual loss of the vessel in which Paul sailed for Rome . As the name is still preserved, there is no difficulty in fixing the situation to a small bay a little to the north-east of Cape Leon, the present Cape Matala.