Bryan College Turkey & Greece Study Tour (12/28/11 – 1/10/12)

During our Christmas 2011 break, Bryan College offered a Turkey/Greece study tour that was an enriching experience for students, alumni, and friends. Participants had the option to take BIB 224 New Testament in the areas where Paul, John, and members of the early church traveled and lived.

The pace was fast and the scenery was memorable. We practiced our oratory skills at the Areopagus where Paul preached to the Athenians in Acts 17. We also followed John’s encouragement to the seven churches of Asia Minor describing his apocalyptic visions.

Those who already had an Old Testament or New Testament class had the option to register for a Special Topics elective course. This trip was ideal for former and non-traditional students as well.

Two-weeks visiting the exotic places and experiencing the beautiful cultures of these countries was a superb way to spend part of the winter break. Students were exposed to the history, art, food, politics, geography, and culture of this area of the Mediterranean, and all under the guise of a New Testament class!

Check out this video!   

Trip Itinerary

Date

Location and Bible Reference

Activities

Dec 28, Wed Chattanooga
Atlanta
Depart from Atlanta
Dec 29, Thur Istanbul Airport Transfer to the hotel. Afternoon Boat Tour along the Bosphorus visiting both Asian and European shores of Istanbul  Dinner and overnight.
Dec 30, Fri Istanbul Full day Istanbul tour; the Roman Hippodrome Square, Blue Mosque with its beautiful blue tiles, St. Sophia Church, built by Constantine the Great and reconstructed by Justinian in the 6th century, one of the world’s greatest architectural marvels and a designated World Heritage site, Topkapi Palace, the Imperial Residential Palace of the Ottoman sultans between the 16th and 19th centuries and the oldest and largest of the remaining palaces in the world. Its displays include priceless world-class collections of jewelry, porcelain and costumes of the sultans. Then visit the Istanbul Archaeology Museum. Return to the hotel for dinner and overnight.
Dec 31, Sat Istanbul
Çanakkale
Troy
Drive to Çanakkale. Cross the Dardanelles Strait by car ferry. Proceed to Troy to see the legendary city and the replica of the Wooden Horse. Dinner and overnight in Çanakkale.
Jan 1, Sun Alexander Troas (Acts 16:8-11; 20:5-6; II Tim. 4:13;  2 Cor 2:12) 
Pergamon (Rev 1:11; 2:12)
Smyrna(Rev 1:11; 2:8)
Drive to Alexandria Troas, founded by Alexander the Great. Paul visited here at least twice. Leave for Pergamon. Visit the Acropolis with the steepest theater of the ancient world and the Temple of Trajan. Then visit the Red Basilica which was an Egyptian Temple, later converted to a church in the 1st century. It is also considered as one of the Seven Churches of the Revelation. Continue to Izmir.
Jan 2, Mon Sardis (Rev 1:11; 3:1-4)
Philadelphia (Rev 1:11; 3:7)
Pamukkale
Drive to Sardis capital of the ancient Lydia where first coin of the world is invented. See the ruins of the 1st century.  Continue to Alasehir to see the 1st century Philadelphia Church which is another one of the Seven Churches of the Revelation. Dinner and overnight at Colossae Hotel in Pamukkale.
  Laodicea(Col 2:1; 4:13-16; Rev 1:11; 3:14)
Colossae(Col 1:2)
Aphrodisias
Kusadasi
Morning tour of Pamukkale, noted ancient spa, where pure white travertines form frozen waterfalls. Visit the newly excavated Laodicea. Drive to Aphrodisias, the city of the Goddess of Love, see the well preserved stadium, the Odeon, the theater and the agora. Continue to Kusadasi for dinner and overnight.
Jan 3, Tue Ephesus (Acts 18:19-24; 19:1-35; 20:16-17; 21:29; 1 Cor 15:32; 16:8, 1 Tim. 1:3; 2 Tim. 1:18; 4:12; Rev 1:11, 2:1) -Kusadasi Visit the famous ancient city of Ephesus, the Ephesus Archaeological Museum and the Basilica of St. John. Then visit to the Terrace Houses. Bus trip to Turkey/Greece border.
Jan 4, Wed Philippi (Acts 16:12-40; 20:6) and Neapolis (Kavala; Acts 16) In Philippi, Paul preached his evangelistic sermon to women who had gathered at the river. You will visit the river where Paul baptized Lydia, a purple fabric merchant, who became the first Christian woman to be baptized on European soil (Acts 16:14, 15, 40). You will also see a crypt, dating from the Roman period, which according to the Church's tradition have been the place where Paul was flogged and imprisoned. Also at Philippi you will see, the ancient Roman Agora (Forum) built during the time of Augustus and mentioned in the Book of Acts as the place where Paul was publicly punished after he healed the demon possessed girl (Acts 16:19). You will also see the Basilicas and the Greek Theatre (4th century BC), which was converted into an arena by the Romans and used during the persecutions of the early days of the church. Paul's letter to Philippians was addressed to the local Christians, 14 years after his first visit there. You will also see Neapolis (present day Kavalla), Greece's most picturesque mainland port. Paul arrived in this city (Acts 16:11) with his coworkers Timothy (Acts 16:1-3; 17:14-15; 18:5; 20:4, 5) and Silas (Acts 15:22-35, 40, 41; 16:25-40; 17:4, 14, 15) .  On the way back to Thessaloniki you will see the remains of ancient famous road Via Egnatia. You will pass by the ancient cities of Amphipolis and Apollonia, which are mentioned in the Book of Acts (Acts 17:1). Overnight and dinner at a local hotel.
Jan 5, Thu Thessaloniki (Acts 17:1-13) Paul wrote two epistles to Thessalonians, both in the canon of the NT.  Here we will try to visit the Roman Agora (Forum), the Basilica of Saint Demetrios. You will also see the White Tower, the statue of Alexander the Great and the remains of the Palace complex of Galerius (Late 3rd century AD). The Arch of Galerius and Rotunda was later converted to the Church of Saint George. You will also see the City Walls and the Great Gate, which connects the city with Via Egnatia (Via Egnatia was the trans-continental east-west road of the Roman Empire built on the 2nd century BC). Spend night in local hotel.
Jan 6, Fri Vergina –Berea (Acts 17) Scenic Drive with stops at the burial site for the kings of Macedonia and Berea, site of Paul's visit on his way from Thessalonica to Athens and Corinth. Spend night at GrBC.
Jan 7, Sat Athens (Acts 17:1-13) The architectural splendors of this ancient city are majestic. You will visit the world-renown hill of  Acropolis. Special emphasis will be on the visit to the Areopagus (Mars Hill) where Paul's gave his famous speech to the Athenian philosophers (Acts 17:18-34). You will be visiting also, in the same area, the Ancient Agora (Forum), where Paul met the Philosophers, the Stoa of Attalus and the Temple of Hephaestus. Athens is related with the meanings of Democracy, City Assembly (Ecclesia) and Reasoning (Logos) were first conceived and practiced in this part of the world. Many of the terms used by the Athenian Democracy were incorporated in the Church's terminology. (Ecclesia, Logos). Have some time for souvenir shopping in Plaka area.  Then visit Cosmovision Center for a Greek dinner and an update of the ministry in Greece. Spend night at GrBC.
Jan 8, Sun Corinth (Acts 18:1-18) Corinth is the city where Paul stayed for one and a half years, during his first visit, the longest he stayed in any of the cities he visited except Ephesus. Paul wrote at least four letters addressed to the Church of Corinth two of which are found in the NT.  From Corinth he wrote three and possibly four epistles addressed to the first Christians in Rome, Thessaloniki and Galatia. You will be visiting the Archaeological museum, the Ancient Agora (Forum) and the Bema where Paul stood in front of Gallio (Acts 18:12-17), the Roman Pro-Consul of Achaea. You will be seeing the inscription of Erastus the treasurer of the city, mentioned in the epistle to Romans.  (Acts 19:22; Romans 16:23; 2 Timothy 4:20)/ You will also enjoy seeing the Temple of Apollo and the hill of Acrocorinth, where during the time of Classical Greece used to be the famous Temple of Aphrodite. Possible half day in Athens. Spend night at GrBC.
Jan 9, Mon Athens (Free Day) Chance to explore the city for students completing assigned tasks. Spend night in GrBC
Jan 10, Tue Atlanta
Chattanooga
Arrive in Atlanta