Biblical Sites

Turkey - the forgotten Holy Land

As you move through the bible, Turkey as we know it today crops up from the very beginning to the very end.

Eden was between the rivers Euphrates and Tigris and opinion varies as to whether this was in modern day Iraq or possibly west of Urfa in Turkey. Whichever is true, we do know that the bible says that Noah's Ark came to ground on the mountains of Ararat, the border area between Armenia and Turkey and where, the Turkish government has claimed, the site has been identified. 

Abraham and his family lived in Haran, just east of Urfa where we can still see today the old 'Beehive" Houses that have been built over the centuries. Isaac's wife Rebekah came from there and it is where Jacob was tricked into marrying both Rachel and her older sister Leah. It is still easy to picture him tending his uncle Laban's flocks on the Mesopotamian plain when you look across it today.

Christians were first given that name at Antioch in Eastern Turkey, Paul came from Tarsus and his travels went across the land of Turkey with New Testament churches growing in many bible places. The seven churches in Revelation are all to be found here, Colossae and Galatia too. John probably wrote his gospel and letters from Ephesus and it is claimed that Mary, mother of Jesus lived and was buried there. You can visit these places even today and sense history calling out in this land. 

Paul's Journeys took him three times through Turkey and some still follow his route to be able to walk where he walked. Bible history in Turkey is extensive, and yet the sites are treated often quite casually and visitors can walk over ancient mosaics and touch the walls of old synagogues and churches.

We invite you to come, see the places, and to pray where the saints of old prayed and ask God to build again on the foundations of the ancient church here. Come, Lord Jesus come.

We want to point out to you that we are not Tour Guides, Travel Agents or any other official role but we are pleased to connect you to them. We are simply encouraging you to come and enjoy Turkey. We are delighted to travel with you and make arrangements on your behalf, but we travel as a group of friends, sharing the cost between your group.

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O God, will you not build again where the church of old was once so strong? Re-build your church, Lord, for the glory of your name. Amen

© Paul Hembrough 2014