Today we visit one of the most important archaeological sites in the world ancient Ephesus. Ephesus was once the most important commercial city in Asia Minor. The apostle Paul spent nearly 3 years in Ephesus, before he was driven out of the city by a riot stirred up by Demetrius the silversmith (Acts 19:23-34). It is from this city that Paul wrote his letters to the Corinthians. In addition to walking the streets of this ancient city and visiting the theater, we will also visit the famous Terrace Houses, the place were the most important people of Ephesus lived. We will also visit the Church of St. John where, according to tradition, the apostle John was buried. Our visit to Ephesus will conclude with a visit to the Ephesus Museum, and what remains of the Temple of Artemis. Dinner and overnight in Kusadasi.
The apostle Paul visited Miletus at least twice during his missionary travels (Acts 20:17-35; 2 Tim. 4:20). The first visit occurred at the end of his third missionary journey. In a hurry to arrive at Jerusalem, Paul bypassed Ephesus and sailed straight to Miletus from Alexandria Troas. The elders of Ephesus traveled to Miletus to visit with Paul. Acts 20:17-35 records Paul's lengthy and moving farewell speech to them. In Miletus we will visit the remains of the ancient harbor, theater, and Roman baths. Near by Miletus is Didyma, home of one of the most important temples to Apollo in the ancient world. Although the city has no direct Biblical significance, it is interesting to note that the oracle at Didyma advised the Roman emperor Diocletian to initiate his persecution of the Christians in A.D. 303. Dinner and overnight in Izmir.
Today we visit Pergamum, one of the Seven Churches in Revelation. Revelation refers to Pergamum as the place "where Satan's throne is" (Rev. 2:13). John's description of Pergamum is not surprising since it was well known in John's day for its many temples, and as the city that became the site of the first cult of a living Roman emperor. At the time John wrote Revelation, Christians were suffering persecution for refusing to worship the emperor Domitian. We will visit the acropolis with its many temples, and the Asklepion, one of the famous healing sanctuaries in the ancient world. Our next stop is Alexandria Troas. This is the city were Paul received his vision to come to Macedonia, and where Eutychus fell out of a window when Paul was preaching. We will see the remains from the latest archaeological excavations at this site and walk to the remains of the ancient harbor from which Paul set sail to Macedonia. Dinner and overnight in Canakkale.