Crete in Fausset's Bible Dictionary

Crete, now Candia. 158 miles long, from cape Salmone on the E. (Acts 27:7; Acts 27:12) to cape Criumetopen on the W. beyond Phoenice. Its breadth is small. (On its connection with the frontCHERETHIM.) It abounded with Jews in the apostolic age; hence, "Cretans" were among the witnesses of the effusion of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost (Acts 2:11). Paul's ship was constrained by contrary winds off Cnidus to sail under the lee of Crete "over against Salmone"; having passed which with difficulty the ship reached FAIR HAVENS, near Lasea. Thence it made for Phoenice to winter there, but was driven by a sudden gale from the N.E., sweeping down from the region of mount Ida, to the island Clauda, from whence it drifted to Melita or Malta (Acts 27:13-16). Paul visited Crete between his first and second imprisonment at Rome, and left Titus to "set in order the things wanting, and to ordain elders in every city" (Titus 1:5). (See TITUS.) In Titus 1:12 he quotes Epimenides a Cretan poet. Crete was without wild beasts; the poet's sarcasm was that beastly men supplied their place: "the Cretians are always (not merely at times, as all natural men are) liars, evil beasts, slow bellies." "To Cretanize" was proverbial for to lie, as "to Corinthianize" for to be dissolute. In Crete was the fabled birthplace of Jupiter, king of the gods. They themselves are called "bellies," since it is for their bellies they live (Philemon 3:19). Christianity won its triumphs for truth and holiness even in such an unpromising soil. In the middle ages the cathedral of Megalocastron was dedicated to Titus.

Read More about Crete in Fausset's Bible Dictionary