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Opposite (northeast) of the Island of Lesvos in the Aegean, the remains of an ancient seaport have been identified in the modern village of Karatas. The name is preserved in the harbor and a nearby city of Edremit. The port has only scant excavation, but is properly identified. The city had been prominent in Hellenistic times, but was a declining and relatively unimportant city by the time of journeys of St. Paul......


After the death of Alexander the Great, Seleucus I Nicator in about 300 BCE founded this city. Choosing a site fifteen miles inland on the Orontes River, Seleucus named the site after a family name, passed from his father to his son. The site was designed to be serviced by a nearby port at the river’s mouth, and is located where the Taurus and Lebanon mountains converge......


 Assos Pictures (6 pictures)

The ruins today stand as a marker for that C4 BCE city. Excavations have uncovered a temple to Athena that appears to have been built about 520 BCE. The interesting structure combines Doric and Ionic elements but sadly has been dismantled and shipped to museums in Paris, Boston and Istanbul. The agora, gymnasium, several baths, and a theatre complex resemble the organization of Pergamum......


The port at Side was still outside the boundary of his Kingdom, Attalus II, King of Pergamum (159-138 BCE) founded the new Mediterranean port at Attalia (and apparently named it after himself). Upon his death it was passed to his son Attalus III, who willed to Rome when he died. The Roman grip on the city was from time to time challenged by pirates......


 Nicaea Pictures (6 pictures)

In 325 AD, the great Council of Nicea was called by Constantine the Great, who had converted to Christianity a decade earlier and replaced official persecution of Christianity with official support. The Council of Nicea was the first ecumenical (worldwide) council of the church and the first of Seven Ecumenical Councils recognized by most Christian denominations as having doctrinal authority. Around 300 bishops from across the Christian world attended......


During the early periods of Christianity, the first followers of Jesus and his apostles settled in the area to hide from the soldiers of Roman Empire. It is known that St. Paul was looking for a secure place after expelled from Jerusalem. He came to Cappadocia and established the first Christian colony in this region with his followers. According to Herodotus, the people of Cappadocia were called Syrians by their neighbors in Anatolia......


About 38 miles southeast of Gaziantep and 60 miles northeast of Aleppo (Syria), the ancient city of Charchemish has been located in ruins along the western bank of the Euphrates River. The strategic city guarded the main ford across the river in antiquity, and now lay close to the Turkish-Syrian border. The importance of the city as a trade center is demonstrated in that it was mentioned as far back as the C18 BCE in epigraphy ......


 Cnidus Pictures (6 pictures)

The peninsula was known in antiquity for the defeat of the Spartan navy in 394 BCE at the hands of the Athenian admiral Conon (commanding a Persian fleet). The city is mentioned in 1 Maccabees 15:23 as having a Jewish population, and was a free city. St. Paul’s struggling boat from Alexandria, Egypt (he was under custody and bound for Rome) came over against Cnidus in the journey.......


Declining in importance by the time of St. Paul’s Epistle to them, they had already been surpassed in size by the other Lycus Valley cities. Strabo lists Colossae with smaller villages, not with major cities. The city received an Epistle because of the unique and insidious errors taking hold there, not because of its size. The site is abandoned today, near the village of Honaz......


 Derbe Pictures (6 pictures)

Following the strengthening that no doubt resulted from the encouragement of the growth in the movement at Derbe , St. Paul and St. Barnabas journeyed back to Lystra and Iconium (45 miles northwest), in spite of their prior reception (Acts 14:21-22) and strengthened the small flock of believers in each place. St. Paul and Silas made their way to Derbe on the Second Journey (Acts 16:1)......


Historians use terms to describe the ancient city of Ephesus like the supreme metropolis of Asia which reflects evidence of a highly developed city. By the time of the New Testament it was a city that had become a cultural and religious memory, a yesterday romance, not unlike Paris in the modern world. Filled with the symbols of greatness, but struggling in the economics of a changing world and a troublesome silting harbor.......


 Euphrates River (6 pictures)

God tells the Israelites to go to the Promised Land: "Start out and make your way to the hill country of the Amorites and to all their neighbors in the Arabah, the hill country, the Shephelah, the Negeb, the seacoast, the land of the Canaanites, and the Lebanon, as far as the Great River, the river Euphrates" (Deuteronomy 1:7). God (through Moses) promises the Israelites the Promised Land: "Every place where you set the soles of your ......


On the death of the third king Amyntas in 25 BC, however, Galatia was incorporated by Octavian Augustus in the Roman empire, though near his capital Ancyra (modern Ankara) Pylamenes, the king's heir, rebuilt a temple of the Phrygian goddess Men to venerate Augustus (the Monumentum Ancyranum), as a sign of fidelity. It was on the walls of this temple in Galatia that the major source for the Res Gestae of Augustus......


 Harran Pictures (6 pictures)

According to the book of Genesis, Abraham passed through Haran, which some scholars identify as the locale of the modern Harran. The Hebrew Bible also identifies Haran as the place where Terah halted after leaving Ur with his family. Genesis 27:43 makes Harran the home of Laban and connects it with Isaac and Jacob. Harran was the chief home of the Mesopotamian moon-goddess Sin, whose temple was rebuilt by several kings......


With hot thermal springs ever present and cool mountain air to offer cold water constantly available, the dying guilds no doubt made use of these natural features required in adding color to cloth. The city also had an advantage in the bath complex, still seen on the northwestern part of the city’s edge, near the northern necropolis. Some scholars compare the hot water of Hierapolis, and the cold water of Colossae to the lukewarm water......


The city was connected by a roadway to Pisidian Antioch some eighty miles to the northwest and had good lines of trade and communication. It was a Greek minded community with a significant but not dominant Jewish community. As a more democratic and Greek metropolis, resistance against St. Paul and St. Barnabas was not swift and decisive as in places with dominant leadership structures......


In 330CE Emperor Constantine the Great transferred his capital from Rome to Byzantium (it was also reportedly built on seven hills) and soon afterwards gave the city its third name Constantinople. He dedicated the city to the Virgin Mary, founded St. Sophia, the Senate, the Forum Augusteum and the Great Palace. He added the Serpentine Column from Delphi to the Hippodrome, and the so called Burnt Column was brought from Rome......


Established in the C3 BCE by the Seleucid Antiochus II, the city was named after his wife Laodicea. Built on the Lycus Tributary of the Meander River, it was surnamed Laodicea on Lycus, to distinguish it from other similarly named cities. The city was apparently addressed with the nearby cities of Hierapolis and Colossae (Col. 2:1; 4:13-16) and was no doubt linked in trade and commerce with those cities......


 Lystra Pictures (6 pictures)

In contrast to the larger and more prominent cities of the mission journeys of St. Paul, Lystra was a much smaller city. After the unwanted attention of the mobs of Iconium, St. Paul was perhaps looking for a safe haven in this young Roman colony, established in only 6 BCE. Though a Gentile and largely Latin speaking colony, the dialect was beyond the comprehension of St. Paul and St. Barnabas (Acts 14:11)......


St. Paul visited the city some thirty five miles from Ephesus (a two day journey on foot), allowing some time for the Apostle to strengthen the Milesian faithful, and to prepare for a moving moment with his beloved disciples arriving from Ephesus. He loved them, but he dared not stop in Ephesus if he was going to keep to his vow to visit Jerusalem by Shavuot. His heart for them as he ended this third journey is easily spotted in the record.....


The Ararat anomaly is an interesting feature located on the northwest corner of the Western Plateau of Mount Ararat (approximately 39°42′10″N, 44°16′30″E) at about 4,724 meters (15,500 feet), some 2.2 km (1.4 miles) west of the 5,137 m (16,854 ft) summit, on the edge of what appears from the photographs to be a steep downward slope. It is claimed by a number of Biblical literalists the remains of Noah's Ark (from the Old Testament)......


 Myra Pictures (6 pictures)

St. Nicolas is remembered in the restored C 11 CE Byzantine basilica. Nicolas was a late C4 CE bishop who served the people of his region with zeal, and is remembered as a particularly selfless and giving Christian. After a gift of three small bags of gold were left as dowry payments from three young women of Patara (to aid them in escaping a life of prostitution) the fame of his selfless acts grew in historical legend......


 Patara Pictures (6 pictures)

Alexandrian texts of Acts 21:1 state that St. Paul made his way to Tyre by means of Patara, but the Western text adds the and Myra that many scholars believe was a scribal error influenced by Acts 27:5-6. It is likely that the Alexandrian text reflects the original event, as the prevailing winds made Patara a better launch site for this long journey. Emperor Hadrian and his wife Sabina visited here (circa 130’s CE), and a granary of Hadrian.......


 Perge Pictures (6 pictures)

The city rivaled Ephesus in its beauty (though a bit smaller) and celebrated its Greek culture in architecture and presentation. St. Paul and St. Barnabas arrived here along with Barnabas’ nephew John Mark, who abandoned the team from here. This proved to be a point of contention that eventually divided St. Paul and St. Barnabas......


Pergamon (also Pergamos, Pergamum) received the third letter of the seven letters of the St. John to the Churches of Asia Minor. The impressive city has been variously described as the most illustrious city of Asia (Barclay); the most spectacular Hellenistic city of Asia Minor because of its imaginative town planning (Mellink, IDB, III: 734); and a royal city (Ramsay, Letters, p. 295).....


Strabo noted the city was ever subject to quakes. After Emperor Tiberius aided in their rebuilding, it took the new name of Neocaesarea (New Caesar). Under Vespasian’s rule (69-79 CE), it changed names to Flavia. By the third century, paganism had held on in the face of a Christianizing Empire, and the city became known as little Athens for its dedication to deities. None of these names or epithets lasted, and today ......


On the First Journey, St. Paul and St. Barnabas left the area of Perga without John Mark and proceeded to Antioch, where they entered the synagogue on the Sabbath. The address given there caused the reaction that later characterized St. Paul’s mission journeys, some had a revival, others a riot! Driven from the city, St. Paul and St. Barnabas moved on to Iconium , experiencing an early moment of joy in the journey.......


 Sardis Pictures (6 pictures)

The fifth letter of St. John to the seven churches was to the ancient and historic city of Sardis. As one of the oldest cities of Asia Minor, the city lay along a highway that stretched from the Persian city of Susa, following a parallel course to the Tigris River, passing through Cappadocia to Sardis. Located in the Hermus Valley (modern R. Gediz) on the banks of a southern tributary, the Pactolus (modern Sart Cay) and north of the range......


The port was founded first, then a trade route established, and finally the planting of a major city. Located a few miles from the mouth of the Orontes River, the flow of goods made their way the fifteen miles to Antioch. There may have been about 30.000 inhabitants during the time of journeys of St. Paul St. Paul and Joses Barnabas sailed from Seleucia to Cyprus St. Paul's First Journey......


 Smyrna Pictures (6 pictures)

The second city of the seven churches of Book of Revelation to receive the message from the St. John was that of Smyrna. Established as a Roman commercial center, the city was a port located on the Aegean. Smyrna was established thirty-five miles north of Ephesus on the road that lead to Pergamum. It was built near the ruins of a Greek colony destroyed by the Lydian Kingdom in the C7 BCE......


 Tarsus Pictures (6 pictures)

The historian Strabo mentions the splendor of the event, as Cleopatra sailed her gilded barge in the Cyndus into the city. In addition, there is reason to believe that Antony and Octavian used some resources of the city in their struggle against Brutus and Cassius, who they later defeated at Philippi in Macedonia. Some have even suggested that a tent maker’s gift could have been repaid in citizenship (cp. Acts 18:3).......


Thyatira was the fourth of the seven churches of Asia Minor to receive an epistle from the St. John (Rev. 2:18-29). An important trade center particularly for the textile industry of Hellenistic and Roman times, the city lay along a low lying corridor that followed a north south river bed connecting the Caicus and Hermes River beds (Pergamum-Smyrna, Laodicea Road).Though the city existed earlier, it reached notoriety when reconstructed......


The creation story in Genesis relates the geographical location of both Eden and the garden to four major rivers (Pishon, Gihon, Hiddekel, Euphrates), as well as a number of named regions (Havilah, Cush, Asshur or Assyria) (see Genesis 2:10-14). This seems to suggest a setting in the ancient near east, specifically somewhere in or near Mesopotamia. However, because the identification of these rivers has been the subject of much controversy......


 Troy Pictures (6 pictures)

After the split with Barnabas, St. Paul and Silas proceeded to visit the churches of the First Mission Journey in Syria and Cilicia, and then on into southern Galatia (Acts 15:36-41) carrying the message of the Jerusalem Council to the churches. Eventually they headed west toward Europe. Stopping at Troas, St. Paul appeared to desire to turn north into the regions of upper Galatia, but received the vision of the Macedonian Man at Troas......

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Ephesus Tours Team