Turkey · 10 Days · 37 Moments · February 2016

Walking the Text in a New Testament World

3 March 2016

Waiting to board my flight to head back to the US! It's been an awesome trip and a massive blessing of an experience. Glad many of you could share in it a little from a distance. Can't wait to tell you all about it! Time to click those heels...

2 March 2016

Hagia Sophia baptistery.
Some of the golden mosaics in Hagia Sophia.
It is claimed in the ancient sources that these pillars were taken from the Artemis temple in Ephesus and that these doors came from a 1st century pagan temple in Tarsus. If true, Paul would have seen these very doors in his home town.
That dome is 182 ft high and 115 ft across... Modern architects have no idea how to do this today (that big, that high).
Hagia Sophia. This place is mind blowing. The central location for Christianity for over 900 years until Constantinople fell in the 15th century—after which it became a mosque.
In the hippodrome. Constantine's son had this obelisk brought here from Egypt in the 4th century. While erecting it, the giant single piece of granite was dropped and broke. This is actually only the top 1/3… Must've been massive!
Back in Istanbul. This is the 400 year old Blue Mosque…

1 March 2016

Temple of Apollo in Didyma where people came for hundreds of years to receive guidance from the oracle. These columns are massive!

29 February 2016

This theater, which seats more than 20,000 people is the setting for Acts 19:21-41. Just imagine the ground shaking with the chants of thousands of people furious at Paul, "Great is Artemis!"
Beautiful library built in the 2nd century.
Who knew that ancient Ephesus had a Starbucks…
Making our way into Ephesus.
Keeping it real… fake.

28 February 2016

Breathtaking theater just down the hill from the emperor's temple. Come here (and to the temple next to it) to glorify Dionysius with entertainment, drunkenness and *ahem* wild parties.
Climb to the top of the mountain in Pergamum to worship the emperors Trajan and Hadrian.
Welcome to Pergamum… "where Satan's throne is" (Rev. 2:13)

27 February 2016

Artemis temple. Those columns are 65 feet high and, before an earthquake brought them down, there were 78 of them and a roof on top.
Sardis gymnasium.
Inside the massive synagogue in Sardis. Contains imperial symbols along with Jewish... Also it's right next to the huge Roman gymnasium where constant nude sports were taking place. Light in the darkness or compromise? No way to know.
On top of Sardis, most of which is still under ground.

26 February 2016

Ran in the best preserved ancient stadium in the world. "…since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith…" (Heb12:1-2)
Also in Aphrodisias. A favorite city of Julius Caesar.
Aphrodisias… known for their incredibly detailed marble sculptures.

25 February 2016

Sunset at Laodicea…
Laodicea. A real power house of the ancient world. Known for their status, wealth, eye medicine, and fashion design… Jesus said to the church there, "For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked." Rev. 3:17
Hierapolis was known for the therapeutic hot springs that were full of minerals and and left these white deposits. This area is now called Pamukkale which means "cotton castle". We got to experience the water first hand (or foot, I guess).
Another cool Roman theater in Hierapolis.
The tomb of the apostle Philip in Hierapolis. This was just recently discovered.

24 February 2016

Perga. A thoroughly Roman city and the place where John Mark abandoned Paul and Barnabas to return home…
2000 year old Roman theatre in Aspendos. Incredible. Pictures just don't do it justice.
Phenomenal Greco-Roman marble statues recovered from Perga on display at the Antalya museum.
Paul and Barnabas sailed in and out of this harbor in Attalia to get to and from Perga (Acts 14:25-26). Today a big boat kept sailing around in circles blasting "My Heart Will Go On". #worldscollide #notagoodsongonaboat
Good morning from Antalya! Off on an adventure...

23 February 2016

On the ground in Istanbul! Great flight on this Turkish Airlines A330... Just one more connection in a few hours.

22 February 2016

Checked in at TUL… Getting ready for the next 20 hours or so of travel. This time tomorrow I'll be in Turkey!