Thursday, November 18, 2010

Ephesus 1

 One of the two entrances for the ruins of the ancient city of Ephesus or Efes in Turkish. It was still early in the morning. The big tour buses hasn't arrived yet but when they do.... watch out, immense as the ruins are, it gets extremely crowded. Ephesus in its heyday was the center of culture and commerce, it is huge. It used To be the waterfront and when the ships come in from foreign countries, there is this sense of awe. Ephesus was immense but over the years and because of silting the coast has moved out leaving Ephesus inland. There was this huge arena, presumably lots of philosophers pass through here indulging the people with all sorts of philosophies. When St Paul came through here, he probably drew a huge crowd, everyone wants o hear something new. Except his message was different, it was about worshipping God and about the risen Christ. This drew the ire of the merchants, Ephesians have always worshipped Diana or Artemis and the silversmiths make a good trade selling images of her. When the Ephesians started converting to Christianity, they stopped buying models of Artemis and business for the silversmiths dropped drastically. There was a huge movement against St Paul and he had to leave in a hurry. The Acts of the Apostles would go on to record that St Paul spent at least 2 and 1/2 years in Ephesus expounding the scriptures to the Ephesians and made lots of converts. He would go on to write his 2 letters to the Corinthians in Ephesus.
When John wrote the book of Revelations, he addressed the seven churches in that area and Ephesus was one of them. So today lots of Christian pilgrims would make the 'seven churches (of Revelations)' a circuit for pilgrimage.
 The huge arena

 The Arcadian way, in its day stretches from the arena or theater to the harbor. The harbor over the seas because of silting has been moved a few miles.
 In its heyday was paved with marble.... another view of the Arcadian way. It is still early in the morning and there were only the few of us but wait......

 The view from the seats in the arena (theater). St Paul preached here.

 We are heading towards the Agora (market place) and again in its day, it would have been paved.

 This is the site for St Mary's church. Here are a group of Malaysian pilgrims, reading from the Bible and saying a few prayers.
The Celsius library that we will visit next.

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