Yesterday we drove over to ancient Corinth and were able to view the ruins of this city where Paul spent about 18 months of his ministry helping to establish the church there. We were able to see various structures that were left from the ancient city and learn about its storied past. On our way back to Athens, we made a stop at a sea side restaurant where we were treated to a full Greek dining experience that pushed some and delighted others. I personally enjoyed it! In the afternoon we were free to explore Athens, and a few of us visited the newly opened Acropolis Museum that was simply amazing. I also was able to enjoy a ride on the Athens subway which I have to say was pretty nice.
This morning, our last of the trip before heading home, we got an early start to beat the crowds to the famed Acropolis. The word acropolis means "highest place in the city" and most ancient Greco-Roman cities have such places, but none as famous as the Acropolis of Athens. This large hill holds the famed Parthenon, an ancient temple for the city of Athens. We were able to look out over the entire city from this high place, and it was certainly breathtaking. Just next to the Acropolis is what we often call Mars Hill, where Paul preached when he came to Athens. Seeing this hill changed my entire reading of the passage because when Paul comments about the religiosity of the Athenian people, he is saying it while standing in the shadow of the Acropolis and the mighty Parthenon.
After sometime at the Acropolis, we did a city tour by bus seeing various locations around Athens itself and learning about the history of Greece's largest city. After the tour we visited the National Archaeological museum where we were able to see historical ratification found throughout the city. In the afternoon we were free to experience the city and a small group of us enjoyed walking the streets shopping, eating Greek cuisine, and just immersing ourselves in the city.
This trip has been a great experience,and much like Israel did for me last year, I will not read the stories of the Bible the same way again. It has been special because this is my final activity with the Divinity school, and I was able to share this time with some dear friends who I will miss terribly. With that said, we are all ready to return home and share with those we love all that we have been able to experience while in Turkey and Greece. Thanks to all those who kept up with my journey and has kept the group and I in your prayers!