No I am not talking about over eating pumpkin pies, cranberries or turkey at Thanksgiving. I want to inform the readers of this blog that over the next two weeks I will be periodically presenting travel highlights from the countries of Turkey and Greece. I am leading a Central Baptist Theological Seminary study tour of eleven hardy individuals from October 6 to 18 in these two countries. Depending on the reliability of internet connections, I hope to have brief posts at least every other day.
Both Turkey and Greece are countries which present unique opportunities to understand the background and geography related to the New Testament and early Christianity. Most of the areas for our study will include sites related to Pauline Christianity and also Revelation. Our itinerary will include places such as Istanbul, Pergamum, Smyrna (modern Izmir), Ephesus, Patmos, Athens, Delphi, Corinth, and the islands of Rhodes, Santorini and Crete.
A quote attributed to St. Augustine states, “The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.” Our group will no doubt read many interesting chapters during these two weeks of travel. These chapters will hopefully open up for us new ways to read the biblical stories and new ways to see other people and cultures. As Mark Twain once wrote, “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime” (The Innocents Abroad, vol. 2). So our group of pilgrims will not be armchair interpreter’s of the world or the Bible, we will engage in the hands-on study of culture and context in the birth places of the New Testament and early Christianity. I hope you can join us via this blog and share in the impressions we garner from our travels.