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  • Jackie Lee

Through the Eyes of a Traveler: My Recent Biblical/Archaeological Experience in Western Turkey (Asia Minor)

Updated: Apr 11

We are always happy to receive feedback and reviews from our travelers. The comments below are copied from a recent submission. Names were removed for privacy purposes.

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I just returned from a tour of Biblical/archaeological sites in western Turkey with The Bridge: Letters and Churches of the Apostles Journey (Asia Minor).  I have four words to describe this tour: intense, exhilarating, uplifting and illuminating.  There were four principal educators/leaders: a Senior and Junior Pastor from The Bridge; a Turkish guide (who was truly bilingual) and an Israeli Biblical Hebrew scholar.

 

I have been on many educational, archaeological tours throughout the Mediterranean, Great Britain, the Middle East, Tunisia and Egypt.  This tour was one of the best organized tours I’ve ever been on.

 

Our Turkish tour guide is at the top of his field in explanations of Greek, Roman, Ottoman, and Turkish culture, history, archaeology, architecture, Christian symbolism, and religion (Islamic, Christian and Jewish). He was able to handle 33 of us with an even temper and a dry sense of humor.  His plan of organizing the suitcases was ingenious – we had no mishaps with the luggage, and there was a lot of it.  At the conclusion of the trip, he posted his email on our group WhatsApp, saying we could write him with any questions we had in looking over our photos.  I’ve written him a couple of times, and he has always responded promptly.

 

Our Israeli Biblical Hebrew scholar displayed a deep knowledge of all things Jewish and Christian. He was educated in Hebrew and read from his Hebrew Bible, translating to English as he read (an amazing feat) during each site’s “teaching time.”  At each of the sites (Istanbul, Troy, Alexandria Troas, Assos, Pergamon, Smyrna, Sardis, Philadelphia, Hierapolis, Laodicea, Colossae, Aphrodisias, the island of Patmos [Greek] and Ephesus), he would tie first/second century Jewish thinking to the newly forming Christian thinking, referring to specific Biblical quotes.  The Senior Pastor would speak, incorporating early Christian viewpoints to his analysis of the Bible.  And the Junior Pastor would give mini-lectures explaining his philosophic thoughts on what had been spoken about. I very much liked how they handled this part of the journey.

 

The bus we had on the trip was great, smooth riding.  The hotel accommodations were top notch.  The tour included superb breakfasts and excellent dinners. 


I have already inquired about future trips.

  

Jo-Ann Jahant

Winnetka, Illinois

 

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