Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
September 7, 1967
NUMBER 18, PAGE 7b-8

The Jenkins-Wallace Bible Lands Tour No. 6

Wm. E. Wallace

The Sea of Galilee: Abruptly the view of these waters was before us. I suspect there was more excitement about this place, among our group, than any other on this trip.

After a few hours of sleep in Tiberius (John 6:23) I wakened in time to see the sun rise over the sea and I thought of the times Jesus and the apostles might have watched the sun arise over this lake. An early morning stroll to the seaside was wrought with considerable meditation. I found it incredible that we were here.

While some of the sites claimed for the presence of Christ around the sea are questionable, the sea itself with those sites that are certain, creates in the "pilgrim: a deep sense of being with Christ. Early Sunday morning we rode a pleasure boat on the Sea of Galilee from Tiberius to Capernaum. This was another high point of experience in pious appreciation for Bible land sites. Here we recalled the instances of Jesus on this sea (Mark 6:47-56, John 6:19 and we gazed upon the mountains surrounding this sea -- the same view seen many times by our Lord.

At Capernaum we gathered by the seashore, directly in front of ruins dating back to a second or third century synagogue. There is strong indication that the foundations contain stones of a first century synagogue. Here we conducted our Lord's Day worship. The service consisted of the Lord's Supper, prayer, appropriate Bible reading, and song. We were all filled with emotion and some wept from the impact of worshipping here where Jesus felt so much at home.

At Capernaum we were near the sites of the Sermon on the Mount and the miracle of the feeding of 5000. Exact places are pointed out for these events.

We knew we were at least in the general vicinity and this meant much to us. We drove on the Plain of Gennessaret past Magdala from whence came Mary Magdalene and then we turned away from the sea toward Nazareth. We passed by Cana, the site of the Lord's first miracle, and the healing of the Nobleman's son (John 2, John 4:46-54.) Soon we were in Nazareth. Modern Nazareth is a city, but in the days of Jesus the only factor giving it importance was the presence of the growing "son" of Joseph. In Nazareth we stopped long enough to see the only spring in town -- "Mary's Well" -- the family of Jesus drew water here.

Near Nazareth we saw Gathhepher, the home of Jonah (II Kings 14:25.) Soon we viewed the Carmel range of mountains and crossed the Kishon stream (Judges 4-5; I Kings 18:40; Psa. 83:9), which is just a trickle now -- its waters are restrained somewhere upstream by a modern dam. We were in the area of the tribe of Zebulon. Soon we entered the modern metropolis of Haifa and ascended Mt. Carmel. Here Elijah won his famous victory over the pagan priests (I Kings 18). Driving south from Mt. Carmel we saw in the distance the caves of Mugharah where excavations discovered prehistoric remains.

We surveyed Caesarea which still offers the visitor a few relics of the glorious city where Cornelius was converted, where Paul was incarcerated, and where Philip lived. Much Bible history here is seen by the Bible student as his eyes gaze over the old military and civilian harbors.

A visit to the ruins of Joppa recall Solomon's use of this port for importing cedars from up the coast in Lebanon. We had seen the cedars of Lebanon. The cedars were floated to the sea near Beirut, shipped to Joppa, and taken inland about 75 miles to Jerusalem. Here at Joppa Jonah boarded ship to flee his responsibility. It was here that Peter healed Tabitha, and received his famous vision (Acts 10.)

We bade farewell to Palestine at Tel Aviv, the largest city of modern Israel. This city established 50 years ago by 60 families has grown to be the largest city of the new nation and one of the leading metropolitan areas of the Mediterranean. We departed for Athens, Greece, enthralled and amazed that we have passed through this land Palestine as Abraham had been told to do (Genesis 13:17.) We did in a few days what Abraham could not have accomplished in less than months.


As we became airborne at Tel-Aviv, amazement once again filled my soul -- I was truly amazed at the number of countries visited and the distance travelled in these two weeks.

In Athens we first visited the Acropolis. "There is no ruin all the world over which combines so much striking beauty, so distinct a type, so vast a volume of history, so great a pageant of immortal memories ... all the Old World's culture culminated in Greece — all Greece in Athens — all Athens in its Acropolis — all the Acropolis in the Parthenon." As we toured this famous attraction and listened to the guide's lectures I at first held an appreciation for these architectural accomplishments of ancient men in the Greece of antiquity. But then I had second thoughts, I imagined what Paul thought as he went sightseeing in Athens (Acts 17:16,23.) He would have held no appreciation for these pagan temples, though he may have marveled at the beauty of construction. These pagan temples in all their glory symbolize the religious decadence of men without truth and revelation. But no one can fail to be impressed by their grandeur even yet reflected in these ruins. There is tremendous historical value in visiting this symbol of the times when Athens was the "cradle of civilization."

Below the Acropolis, and very near it, at the hill Areopagus (Mar's Hill), Paul, with discretion, told the Athenians what he thought of such idolatry as represented on the Acropolis (Acts 17.) Visits to Jerusalem and Samaria had made the book of Acts even more vivid to us, and now this visit to Athens and its Acropolis, its Areopagus, its agora, its stoa — this visit brings Acts into great focus.


Our visit to Bible sites was brought to a climatic ending by a tour of old Corinth. We bussed along the same route taken by Paul from Athens to Corinth. At the base of the Acrocorinthus lay the city where Paul worked 18 months, visited on other occasions, and where he directed at least two epistles, and wrote Romans.

The Acrocorinthus mountain was the acropolis of Corinth. On the top existed pagan temples, the source of the immorality of wicked Corinth. This mountain is surpassed by few heights for imposing and lofty impressiveness.

A tour of the museum is a visit to the homes, streets and temples of the Corinth of Paul's day, In this house of antiquities the findings of archeological research are kept. The things people used and the things Paul saw are there, including the name plate or inscription of a synagogue which Paul likely visited.

In the ruins of Corinth the agora or market place (shambles - I Cor. 10:25) are there to see. The "Berra" or judgment seat where Paul appeared before Gallia (Acts 18:12) is there, and also Lechaeum road on which Paul walked many times. The probable site of the very synagogue in which Paul taught (Acts 18:4) lies under the ruins of a later structure.

An inscription about Erastus (16:23) the city "chamberlain" has been excavated. One of the most impressive sights for the trip, so far as I am concerned, was that of archeologists working in these Corinthian ruins. This was the first time I had seen archeologists at work. Archeology is a highly specialized and refined science and is a friend to the Bible.

Near Corinth, at the Isthmus where boats were portaged from the Aegean to the Ionian in Paul's day, there is now a canal through which ships pass from one sea to the other.

Back in Athens we attended the "Son Et Lumiere," an evening event in which the history of Athens is presented in a drama of sound and light. The lighting effects on the Acropolis gave those temple ruins the appearance of being complete. We were seeing those temples as Paul saw them. This ended our visit to Bible lands and we turned our faces toward home.

From Bethany To Bethany

A few in our tour group drove from New York City to Bethany, West Virginia on the way home to Indianapolis. I had been in Bethany many times before. But the trip to Palestine had set our minds to historical sites and it was impressive to end our trip by driving through the Pennsylvania hills where the Campbells worked, past their place of baptism in Buffalo Creek, near the Brush Run Church site, by the Campbell mansion and cemetary, through the town of Bethany, W. Va. where the college is. A few days before we left Bethany near Jerusalem, and now we leave Bethany, W. Va. The ancient and modern history represented is overwhelming!


(Members of Our Tour Party: Ferrell and Elizabeth Jenkins, Akron, Ohio; Harold and Ester Byers, L. L. and Beatrice Dukes, Louisville, Ky; John and Opel Wolven, Maree Gates, Vivian Hatcher, Wm. Wallace, Larue Bennett, Indianapolis, Ind. ; Sue Lawrence, Springfield, Mo. ; Sharon Sewell, Rolla, Mo. , Glenn and Gladys Hackney, Seymour, Indiana; Kieth Burnett, Auburn, Kentucky; Steve Hudgins, Ocala, Florida; Ruby Skipworth, Elizabethtown, Ky.

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