Saturday, September 15, 2007

St. Paul in Ephesus

From Athens the cruise sailed to Mykonos, where I visited the island of Delos and saw the supposed birthplace of the God Apollo and his twin sister Artemis. Then we sailed to Rhodes, and then up the coast of Turkey stopping at a city called Kusadasi.

Kusadasi is a small resort town. The reason to go there is that the ancient city of Ephesus is only about a 30 minute bus ride away. Ephesus used to be a port town, but it was built at the mouths of two rivers and over the centuries the port filled up with silt. The town was moved several times to put it closer to the water, but never too far because Ephesus was also the site of the Temple of Artemis, one of the seven ancient wonders of the world. Eventually, though, the area converted to Christianity and the temple became less important so the twon moved to the present location of Kusadasi. The temple to Artemis, by the way, was destroyed although two of the pillars were transfered to Constantinople where they were incorporated into the building of the Hagia Sophia.

I took the Ephesus tour organized by the cruise. The ruins are pretty cool. In the Book of Acts (Chapters 19 and 20) were told of Paul's three years based in Ephesus. We saw the site of the synagogue where he preached, and the large amptheater which is still used for concerts, where a large public meeting was held concerning Paul's efforts to convert the people. A silversmith named Demetrius complained that Paul's preaching was ruining his business in making silver images of the goddess Artemis.

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