The new Photo Companion to the Bible, produced by Todd Bolen and BiblePlaces.com, is a wonderful resource for those who teach the Bible. The first set in this series of material was on the book of Ruth. Next came the Gospels. And now we have the book of Acts.
There are more than 4000 images in this set on Acts. The images for each of the 28 chapters are included in a PowerPoint presentation with annotations explaining the image selection and background.
I could say much more about the value of this collection of material, but I suggest you go immediately to the detailed information here. You will see samples of the work and ordering information. For a limited time you can get this material at a special sale price.
Posted in Archaeology, Bible Lands, Bible Places, Bible Study, Book of Acts, Book Review, Israel, Jordan, New Testament, Photography, Travel, Turkey
About noon today our group of travelers departed from the Athens International Airport for the USA and their various residences. One couple from Canada left earlier in the day. Others will be traveling to Alabama, Florida, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, Texas, Oregon, and perhaps a few other states that do not come to mind at the moment.
Yesterday morning Steve Niemeier, a minister from Indiana, spoke during our worship period. He mentioned some of the things he had learned on this tour. It was not his first time to travel to foreign lands, but his first organized tour to some of the Bible lands. He said that previously the places we visited, such as Ephesus, Colossae, Patmos, Corinth, et al. had been places on a map, but that now they were places in our mind. I thought that was a good way to express the value of tours like this for preachers, teachers, and other Bible students.
I have a few more places to visit before returning home. Perhaps we will be sharing some of those in the days to come.
The photo below is one that I took in at Corinth a couple of days ago. It is the Fountain of Peirene, Corinth’s most important reservoir with a capacity of over 81,000 gallons. The fountain was fed from subterranean springs. The fountain is no longer in use, but you can still hear the water flowing.
Fountain of Peirene at Ancient Corinth. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.
Last year I wrote here about a visit to Fair Havens on the island of Crete. I have been thinking about the rugged beauty of that place and decided to share a different photo with you. This one emphasizes the mountains surrounding the harbor of Fair Havens. The white Greek Orthodox chapel adds to the beauty of the area today.
Mountains surrounding Fair Havens in Crete. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.
Crete is associated with Paul’s voyage to Rome. The biblical account is found in Acts 27:7-15. Note verses 7 and 8.
When we had sailed slowly for a good many days, and with difficulty had arrived off Cnidus, since the wind did not permit us to go farther, we sailed under the shelter of Crete, off Salmone; and with difficulty sailing past it we came to a place called Fair Havens, near which was the city of Lasea.
The ship sailed under the shelter of Crete and came to Kali Limenes (Fair Havens) near the city of Lasea. Because Fair Havens was not a suitable harbor for wintering, the pilot and captain of the ship decided to sail on in hopes of reaching “Phoenix, a harbor of Crete, facing southwest and northwest,” and spend the winter there. Because of a severe wind, called Euraquilo, which came down from the land, they were driven by the wind and eventually wrecked on the island of Malta.
Tuesday afternoon, May 6, our group should land in Istanbul, Turkey, to begin a tour that I have called Steps of Paul and John. This area of travel has been one of my favorites for many years. My first visit here was in 1968. We will visit Istanbul, a city rich in church history. It has been called Constantinople and Byzantium.
From Istanbul we plan to fly to Izmir, the site of biblical Smyrna. There we begin a visit to the sites of the seven churches of the book of Revelation (chapters 2-3), and a few other sites (Hierapolis, Colossae, Miletus, and Aphrodisias). We will be discussing important themes from the book of Revelation during this portion of the tour.
Our group will then spend 3 days cruising the Aegean Sea in order to visit some of the islands associated with the travels of Paul and John. Our first stop will be at Patmos (Revelation 1:9). Then Rhodes (Acts 21:1) and Crete (Acts 27; Titus 1:5). There is also a stop at Santorini.
Upon arrival in Athens, Greece, we will visit the city of Athens (Acts 17). We have planned a visit to ancient Corinth also (Acts 18).
We hope you will join us for these visits. I will do my best to write a post each day of the tour.
Within the past two weeks the Olympic torch was lighted at Olympia, Greece, amid political disruption. Important games were held by the Greeks at Olympia, Delphi, Nemea, and Isthmia. Isthmia is located just a few miles from ancient Corinth, near the modern Corinth Canal.
The Isthmian Games, conducted biennially in honor of Poseidon, were second in importance to the Olympics. Discoveries at Isthmia have included starting gates for the races. Professor Oscar Broneer, who excavated at Corinth, indicates that Greek athletics had become corrupt and degraded during Paul’s lifetime [like professional sports in too many places, perhaps?]. Broneer suggested that Paul was present during one of these athletic festivals (Biblical Archaeologist, Feb., 1962; Acts 18). Here is a photo from Isthmia.
Paul made many references to athletic contests, especially in the letter to the church at Corinth. There are references to the races, and to boxing in 1 Corinthians 9:24-27. The victor’s crown at the Isthmian Games was made of wilted celery! This makes Paul’s reference to a “corruptible crown” come to life, doesn’t it (1 Corinthians 9:25)?
Note of Explanation. You may wonder how I could upload photos of Isthmia but not of those taken in the past few days. This post was already uploaded from home a couple of weeks back. Since I am still limited here I wanted to share this with you. And, the next tour is Steps of Paul and John.
The city of Corinth is located about two miles south of the narrow isthmus which forms the land bridge, and controlled access, between the main land mass of Greece and the Peloponnesus.
The isthmus is less than five miles wide. In ancient times small ships were dragged across the isthmus on a paved road called the diolkos. Small portions of the diolkos may still be seen. Larger ships unloaded their cargo which was carried across and reloaded. This avoided the long 200 mile journey around the Peloponnesus. Nero abandoned his attempts to dig a canal across the isthmus (A. D. 67).
A canal was constructed between 1881 and 1893. Here is a photo of that canal with a tug boat pulling a ship through the canal.
The apostle Paul likely came to Corinth about A.D. 51, during the reign of the Roman Emperor Claudius, and remained there for eighteen months (Acts 18). The book of Acts records the success of that work:
Crispus, the leader of the synagogue, believed in the Lord with all his household, and many of the Corinthians when they heard were believing and being baptized. (Acts 18:8).
Archaeological excavations have been conducted at the ancient city of Corinth since 1896 by the American School of Classical Studies in Athens.
Todd Bolen, of Bible Places fame, spent about 10 years teaching in Israel. In a recent blog at Todd’s Thoughts, he made this comment:
“…even really good preachers could learn something from a trip to Israel.”
How true! Occasionally I have a preacher tell me that he plans to retire in a year or two and hopes to travel with me to the Bible Lands. My thought is that a visit to the Bible Lands is a tool; not a crown!
The only thing I could add to Todd’s comment, and I think he would agree, “not only Israel, but Jordan, Egypt, Turkey, Greece, and other parts of the Bible world.”
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