Back to all Armchair Traveler’s Guides

Explore the archaeology and history of Turkey! Delve into the fascinating archaeological sites of Turkey from the comfort of your home. Includes lengthy articles on Ephesus and books about the Seven Churches hand-picked by Dr. Mark Wilson, who leads our tours to Turkey.

Our next tour to Turkey departs on September 14, 2013. Reserve your spot today.

Fully Illustrated Feature Articles on Turkey

Ephesus Uncovered
by Peter Scherrer
Archaeology Odyssey Mar/Apr 2001
Unlike other great Hellenistic/Roman cities—Alexandria, Antioch, Rome, Constantinople—Ephesus was abandoned in antiquity. These other cities continue to thrive today, which, unfortunately for archaeologists, means that they cannot be excavated, at least not completely. The principal remains we have from ancient Alexandria, for example, are catacombs and debris from the harbor floor; archaeologists digging at Antioch in the 1930s discovered that most of that splendid ancient city is buried under the sprawling modern one. We can view these sites only in the imagination, with the help of literary sources. Not so Ephesus. Read more.

Ephesus: Key to a Vision in Revelation
by Steven Friesen
BAR May/Jun 1993
The last book of the New Testament canon, Revelation records the fantastic heavenly revelations received by a certain John. Known as the Revelation of John or the Revelation to John, the book is also called the Apocalypse, which is simply the Greek word for revelation. A careful study of the archaeology of Ephesus will deepen our understanding of one of the visions in the Revelation of John, perhaps the most difficult book of the New Testament. Read more.

Recommended DVDs

Honor and Shame

Honor and Shame: Core Values of the Biblical World

The concepts of honor and shame are both ancient and pervasive in the Middle East, and have had a profound effect on the shaping of human history, from the Biblical age up to the present. In this riveting lecture, Dr. Richard Rohrbaugh examines this ancient value system and how it influenced the culture of the Biblical world, and illuminates how it plays a crucial role in today's socio-political climate.

Recommended Books

The Letters to Seven Churches: Updated Edition
by W. M. Ramsay

This edited and updated edition of Ramsay's classic work has, except for the omission of a lengthy poem in chapter 14, left the original material intact. The language and style were updated for the modern reader, modern place names were used, and a modern translation is the source of scripture citations.

A Guide to Biblical Sites in Greece and Turkey
by Clyde E. Fant and Mitchell Reddish

In A Guide to Biblical Sites in Greece and Turkey, two well-known, well-traveled biblical scholars offer a fascinating historical and archaeological guide to these sites. The authors reveal countless new insights into the biblical text while reliably guiding the traveler through every significant location mentioned in the Bible. The book completely traces the journeys of the Apostle Paul across Turkey (ancient Asia Minor), Greece, Cyprus, and all the islands of the Mediterranean.

The HarperCollins Visual Guide to the New Testament: What Archaeology Reveals about the First Christians
by Jonathan Reed

This one-of-a-kind presentation of the New Testament world and its archaeological treasures provides a new, more complete understanding of the world in which Christianity was born. Through lavish photographs, architectural plans, extensive maps, and detailed charts, you can explore the landscape of Nazareth where Jesus grew up; sit at the shores of Galilee where he preached; and enter the streets and temple of Jerusalem where his ministry was fulfilled.

Ephesos, Metropolis of Asia: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Its Archaeology, Religion, and Culture (Harvard Theological Studies)
by Helmut Koester, ed.

This volume brings together studies of Ephesos--a major city in the Greco-Roman period and a primary center for the spread of Christianity into the Western world--by an international array of scholars from the fields of classics, fine arts, history of religion, New Testament, ancient Christianity, and archaeology.

Jewish Communities in Asia Minor (Society for New Testament Studies Monograph Series)
by Paul Trebilco

Scholarly assessment of Jewish communities in the Hellenistic and Graeco-Roman Diaspora has, in the past, been dominated by our knowledge of the large and influential communities in Rome and Alexandria. This book brings together the evidence for significant Jewish communities in another part of the Diaspora, namely Asia Minor. By collating archaeological, epigraphic, classical, New Testament and patristic sources, the book provides an invaluable and coherent description of the life of Jewish communities in Asia Minor, and so gives a more complete picture than was previously available of Jewish life at the time.

In Search of Paul: How Jesus' Apostle Opposed Rome's Empire with God's Kingdom
by John Dominic Crossan and Jonathan Reed

Crossan and Reed make a compelling case for the idea that culture, politics and quest for empire played as large a part in the formation of the Apostle Paul as did theology and religious training. It is an approach that will leave some wondering just how much of a role spirituality played in the Paul story.

Classical Turkey (Architectural Guides for Travelers)
by John Freely

You don’t need to be a student of architecture to find this book useful for planning what ancient sites you want to see while in Turkey. If you’re planning to visit Ephesus (Efes) without a tour guide, then the maps, site details and site history in this book are invaluable. For other sites, sketches and photos help you envision what the lumps of dirt you’re looking at once were! For architecture novices, there is a handy glossary of common terms.

Pisidian Antioch
by Stephen Mitchell

Pisidian Antioch was the most important colony in the eastern Roman Empire. This study, based on a two-season survey, traces the monumental development of the city from the 2nd century BC to Byzantine times against a backdrop of political history and forms a sequence to the same author's Cremna in Pisidia.

Art and Judaism in the Greco-Roman World: Toward a New Jewish Archaeology
by Steven Fine

Art and Judaism During the Greco-Roman Period explores the Jewish experience with art during the Greco-Roman period-from the Hellenistic period through the rise of Islam. It starts from with the premise that Jewish art in antiquity was a "minority" or "ethnic" art and surveys ways that Jews fully participated in, transformed, and at times rejected the art of their general environment.

Imperial Cults and the Apocalypse of John: Reading Revelation in the Ruins
by Steven Friesen

After more than a century of debate about the significance of imperial cults for the interpretation of Revelation, this is the first study to examine both the archaeological evidence and the Biblical text in depth. Friesen argues that a detailed analysis of imperial cults as they were practiced in the first century CE in the region where John was active allows us to understand John's criticism of his society's dominant values.