Resources — Greece and Turkey

The resources here are not just biblical. The trip to Greece and Turkey includes ancient pagan sites, Christian sites from New Testament times, Christian sites from later periods, and sites of modern significance.

We visit Delphi and Thermopylae, important to the ancient pagan world.  We visit Corinth, Ephesus, Thessalonica and Phillipi, all places directly mentioned in the New Testament.  We visit the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, Justinian’s monumental cathedral built in the sixth century. We visit Gallipoli, as well, where the national identify of modern day Turkey was forged during the events of WWI.

Recommended Travel and Site Guides

Clyde Fant and Mitchell Reddish, A Guide to Biblical Sites in Greece and Turkey (Oxford University Press, 2003).
This volume covers in detail all of the sites we’ll be visiting on this trip. While the illustrations are black and white, the information it provides is extremely useful. It is also available as an electronic text on Amazon.
Mark Wilson, Biblical Turkey: A Guide to the Jewish and Christian Sites of Asia Minor (Zero Produksiyon Ltd., 2010).
Colorfully illustrated with maps, charts and photographs, this is a comprehensive guide to sites across Turkey. The sites it treats that will be of interest on this trip are Ephesus, Patmos and Istanbul/Constantinople.

History, Classical, Pagan

Ogilvie, R. M., The Romans and Their Gods in the Age of Augustus, (Norton, 1970)
Ogilvie introduces the religious mindset of the pagan world where the gods and goddesses of Greece and Rome were worshiped. The book concentrates on Roman practice, and Rome held sway during the primary time we focus on.
Scott, Michael, Delphi: A History of the Center of the Ancient World (Princeton University Press, 2104.)

History, New Testament, Christian

The World of the New Testament, (Baker Publishing Group, 2013)
This volume paints a comprehensive background for the first century Mediterranean world with numerous articles from many different authors. The geographical chapters on Asia, Galatia, Macedonia and Achaia will be of most interest for the trip.
Philippi at the Time of Paul and after His Death, (Trinity Press International, 1998).
Jerome Murphy-O’Connor, O.P., St. Paul’s Corinth: Texts and Archaeology, (Michael Glazier, 1983).
Murphy-O’Connor pulls together excerpts from ancient documents that describe the history of Corinth before and after Paul visited. A separate section deals with the probably date Paul visited.
Jerome Murphy-O’Connor, O.P., St. Paul’s Ephesus: Texts and Archaeology, (Liturgical Press, 2008).
In addition to excerpts from ancient documents, Murphy-O’Connor also provides an orientation to the archaeological site.

Primary Sources

Acts 17:16-33
Paul’s visit to Athens
Acts 18:1-17
Paul’s visit to Corinth
Acts 18:24-19:44
Paul in Ephesus
Eusebius, History of the Church, III.23, 31, ca. 315 AD.
Eusebius relates the tradition of John’s residence in Ephesus and his ultimate burial there.
Rev. 1:9
John at Patmos
Acts 27:7-16
Paul skirts Crete en route to Rome
Acts 16:6-40
Paul visits Philippi
Acts 17:1-15
Paul visits Thessalonica and Beroea

References, Encyclopedias, Atlases

Encyclopedia of Ancient Christianity, (InterVarsity Press, 2014).
Three volumes of detailed articles on numerous topics, not just archaeology and geography. This is a translation of the Italian Nuovo dizionario patristico e di antichità christiane, © 2006-2008.
Encyclopedia of Early Christianity, (Garland Publishing, 1997).
Edited by Everett Ferguson, this two volume set has slightly less detailed articles than the Encyclopedia of Ancient Christianity, but the majority of the references it cites are English.
Michael Grant and Rachel Kitzinger, Civilization of the Ancient Mediterranean: Greece and Rome, (Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1988).
This set treats Rome and Greece together beginning with history, technology and government (Vol. 1), moving to economics and religion (Vol. 2), and concluding with literature and arts (Vol. 3).
Peter Levi, Atlas of the Greek World, (Equinox Oxford Ltd., 1982).
This heavily illustrated volume covers the area around the Aegean Sea from the Bronze Age to late Antiquity. Photographs and diagrams of archaeological sites and artifacts actually outnumber the maps.


PBS, Nova, Hagia Sophia: Istanbul’s Mystery, February, 2015

PBS, Nova, Secrets of the Parthenon, January, 2008

Rick Steves’ Europe, Athens and Side-Trips

Rick Steves’ Europe, Greek Islands

Rick Steves’ Europe, Western Turkey


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