Turkey 2016–Part 21– The Miletus Museum

Somehow, some way, I have always managed to get to Miletus when the museum was closed. Not this time! Let's start with the new stuff in the courtyard outside of the museum.... here's something I've never seen before, a memorial depicting the cages that the animals would be transported in, for them to participate in the gladiatorial games..... amazing! Here are some other animal monuments found outside the museum....Miletus was a very important city in antiquity, a religious pilgrimage … [Read more...]

Turkey 2016–Part 20– The Ephesus Meeting

Visting Ephesus is always special, and Levent Oral has somehow figured out a way for us to meet there after hours for some lectures and some singing every May....We meet on the steps of the spectacular Celsus library which dates to the second century A.D. Here's me with my guide Meltem....In this case it was a perfect 70 degree night with a light breeze, and two west coast and one Australian university groups in attendance. Here's what the library would have looked like in antiquity on … [Read more...]

Turkey 2016–Part 19– The New Izmir Museum

The 'new' (not really that new) Izmir museum is in a large park complex that has several museums in it, but our interest is strictly in the one that has the antiquities in it. There are some remarkable pieces here, not least the almost entirely intact statue of Kaistros the river god whose water brought fertility.... There are also ancient winged chairs of note, but don't try to sit in them..... One of the more hilarious artifacts is the small head of the god Eros, who in this case looks like … [Read more...]

Turkey 2016–Part 18– Old Smyrna

Whenever you explore ancient sites in Turkey, you realize what a role earthquakes play in the way towns rise and fall, and move and develop. This was certainly part of the picture in what today is called Beyrakli, or old Smyrna, the one, according to the story that Alexander had the dream about and told the people to move. What there is to see at Beyrakli are several things, the remains of some columns, the remains of the ancient temple of Athena, the city walls, and the main city gates, a … [Read more...]

Turkey 2016– Part 17– The Agora at Izmir (Smyrna)

There is a lot to tell when it comes to the ongoing dig at the agora at Izmir. There have been whole sessions on some of the findings, especially in regard to the graffiti, and there is no doubt at all that there is Christian graffiti at the lower level of the basilica in this agora. What is debated is the date of this graffiti with the head Turkish archaeologist saying its probably third century, but Roger Bagnall, at least originally thought it could be considerably earlier. In any case, it … [Read more...]

Kool for Kids— Dory and the Dogs

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UGWv91YZua4https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UZJVc_JTI_wWith summer comes more movies for out of school, and bored out of their minds, children. There promise to be at least three good ones this summer (the third is the final chapter of Ice Age, which comes later this month). The first two have opened to good reviews, and in some cases rave reviews. Finding Dory (Disney/Pixar) came out mid-June and is the sequel to Finding Nemo--- a very hard act to … [Read more...]

Larry Hurtado on— Early Emergent Canon Consciousness

The following post is by colleague Larry Hurtado. I agree with the conclusions of the article he is previewing, see my What's in a Word? and The Living Word of God.In researching for my current project (an analysis of NT papyrus P45 as an early Christian artefact), I've come across Charles Hill's doughty case that the artefactual data reflects "the presence of a 'canonical consciousness' among Christian scribes from at least the late second century": "A Four-Gospel Canon the Second Century? … [Read more...]

Turkey 2016– Part 16— The Theater at Izmir(Smyrna)

Sunset over the ocean at Izmir (Smyrna). It is a beautiful seaport town with a lot of history, including a lot of Christian history. Besides the reference to the city in Revelation, there is the residence in this city of Polycarp, a martyr in the second century. Today, efforts are ongoing to unearth the ancient theater, as well as the agora dig which has been going on for years (see the next post). But the theater dig is in its very early days. Like with so many of these hilly cities, the … [Read more...]

Turkey 2016–Part 15 The Hellenistic Fortress at Lydai

Guarding the coast of the mainland of Asia Minor could not have been easy. Too many peninsula's sticking out into the water, too many coves for pirates or invaders to hide in, but it's clear that from the Hellenistic era on, if not before, the effort was made to protect the land from invasion. On the Gulet boat ride to the island of Kos we stopped in a cove over which hovered the remains of a Hellenistic fortress at Lydai, not accessible by land these days. Of course we climbed up to the top … [Read more...]