Kusadasi Ephesus

Trip Start May 14, 2012
Trip End May 28, 2012

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Flag of Turkey  , Turkish Aegean Coast,
Monday, May 21, 2012

Our journey to Ephesus started at the port city Kusadasi where we exited our ferry and went through Turkey's customs.   We stayed one night in the city got on a tour bus and headed away from the Aegean Sea into the ancient ruins of Ephesus.

Ephesus became one of the most prominent cities for Christianity in the second century. Ephesus was extremely important in early Christianity because of its central location along the coast of Asia Minor and, the belief that Ephesus attracted so many Christian leaders, such as John, Paul, Timothy, even the Virgin Mary. (Ephesus also claims to be the finial place where Mary, mother of Jesus, lived.) Ephesus is located in a valley. It is protected by hills on the side.  The hills in ancient times would have helped protect the city from attacks. Ancient Ephesus is located in a valley between three hills. Near the beginning of the tour there was a stack of what looked like clay pipe that we learned was the city’s plumbing.   The pipes were once part of the water system so Ephesus could have fresh water. The Library of Celsus my favorite ruins in the city were one of the largest library’s in the ancient world. The library was built in AD 135.  The library as it stands today consists of a rebuilt facade it has no rooms it just shows what the ancient world was capable of building. The Library once held thousands of scrolls just like a modern day library will house thousands of books.  Another site in Ephesus that seemed to catch the class’s attention was the toilets; these toilets were found along Curetes Street. Men sit side by side socializing as they used the bathroom. Slaves would take buckets of water and dump the water in a designated spot on the floor so it would flow, and the people using the toilets could dip their sponge in clean water so they could wipe with the sponge. The main biblical significance according to our text book (A guide to biblical sites in Greece and Turkey by Clyde E. Fant and Mitchell G. Reddish) is that out of all the cities mentioned in the New Testament that were visited by Paul, Ephesus is the only that was also mentioned in the book of Revelations.

Paul's letter to the Ephesians is unlike most of the his letters to other cities. In this particular letter, Paul writes to praise the Ephesians for how far they have come in their faith. He is basically telling them to keep up the good work and that they are a model city of faith for other cities to strive to become like. However, Paul also tells them not to stray from their current path because he worked so hard to send them in the right direction. So, it seems that Paul is legitimately pleased with the Ephesians but at the same time he doesn't want them to mess things up and make him look bad. Paul also tells the Ephesians that it is not simply enough to just worship God and have faith. They must spread their faith and the word of God across the lands and be soldiers in faith for the Lord.  In closing, Paul tells them "Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth and having put on the breast plate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace: in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
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