Daily Archives: May 12, 2008

We begin a cruise on the Aegean

After breakfast this morning we will be boarding M/V Aquamarine, a ship of the Louis Cruise Lines, for a four day/three night cruise of the Greek Islands. Our first stop this afternoon will be Patmos, a small island in the Dodecanes group (12 islands), where John was exiled prior to writing the book of Revelation.

I, John, your brother and fellow partaker in the tribulation and kingdom and perseverance which are in Jesus, was on the island called Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus. (Revelation 1:9).

During the cruise portion of our tour my posts may be limited and/or brief. I understand that the ship has Internet service, but I am not sure of the arrangements.

Several others members of our tour group are blogging. If you would like to read a good blog of much more human interest, please take a look at journeyswithjane.

Norm teaches Bible at Athens Bible School. He is writing for this students, and is including some good photos of the places we are visiting. N.O.R.M. is the name of his blog. He says its means Not Out Roaming Mindlessly. I like that! Click here to visit his blog.

Our hotel at Kusadasi (near Ephesus), Turkey, is built on a cliff overlooking the Aegean Sea. Here is a sunset view if caught last evening from the hotel pool deck.

Sunset on the Aegean. Made a Kusadasi, Turkey, by Ferrell Jenkins.

Ephesus and Miletus

This morning we visited the city of Ephesus, one of the most spectacular excavated sites to be seen anywhere. Austrian archaeologists have worked here for the past 115 years. The city has taken on what Blaiklock calls, an “edited look.” And the work continues.

Items of interest at Ephesus include the single standing column of the Temple of Diana (Artemis), the harbor which is now silted up, the great theater which seated nearly 25,000 (Acts 19:29), the Marble street, the Library of Celsus, the Agora, the Temple of Hadrian, the Temple of Domitian (or the Flavian Emperors), and much more.

We had a group photo made in front of the Library of Celsus at Ephesus. Here is a small copy of the photo. If you know some of the folks on the tour and would like to see a larger photo, just click on the small one.

Group photo in front of the library of Celsus at Ephesus.

The first instance of believers baptized into Christ at Ephesus is recorded in Acts 19. Many changes took place in the church between the time when Paul spent nearly three years in the city, and the time when John lived there. There are two letters in the New Testament addressed to the church at Ephesus. The first is the letter of Paul to the Ephesians. The other is the letter included in the book of Revelation (Revelation 2:1-7).

The Archaeological Museum in Seljuk contains many items from Ephesus. There are two statues of Diana.

After lunch at a carpet shop we went to Miletus where Paul preached to the Ephesian elders (Acts 20). Construction of the theater began in the fourth century B.C. The Lion harbor was built in 63 B.C. Our photo shows the remnants of the Lion harbor. The entire harbor has silted up over the centuries, but a small amount of water stands in the inner harbor. I think this is likely where Paul docked, and the place from which he departed for Jerusalem.

The biblical account of Paul’s departure is touching. Luke records,

When he had said these things, he knelt down and prayed with them all. And they began to weep aloud and embraced Paul, and repeatedly kissed him, grieving especially over the word which he had spoken, that they would not see his face again. (Acts 20:36-38).

Note especially these final words about the event:

And they were accompanying him to the ship.

Try to envision this scene as you look at the photo.