The Newsletter of IBTM
with Douglas Jacoby

19 June 2024

Greetings from Syrian Antioch!

We’re enjoying (immensely) the fellowship of the Antioch Seminar, as we retrace the route of Paul and Barnabas on the First Missionary Journey. Our group has converged here from the U.K., India, Estonia, the Philippines, the U.S., Ireland, Jordan, Jamaica, and Colombia. Our agents: Tutku Educational Travel, whom I’ve had the privilege of collaborating with for many years. My message yesterday: “The Church at Antioch: Polity, Planning & Providence.”

You may recall the terrible earthquake of February 2023—53,000 dead. As I was preparing to send this newsletter, I received an article from the Biblical Archaeology Society. The lead article just happened to be about the Antioch earthquake. To read it, click here.

In fact, this issue is all about Turkey—as is next week’s. Today you’ll find a short article plus lots of photos. And if you’re interested in visiting biblical Turkey in 2025, there are already two tours scheduled! (Details next week.)



With Levent Oral, president of Tutku Educational Travel / İstanbul / sarcophagus of Alexander the Great / Turkish Delight at Hafız Mustafa / Hagia Sophia x2 / Titus Tunnel / mourning at graves of earthquake victims



Galata Tower / Grand Bazaar / statue, Archaeological Museum / Hagia Eirene / hippodrome obelisk / inside Basilica Cistern / sunset over Mediterranean / Peter cave church, Antioch



Row 3: inside Basilica Cistern / ancient Christian sarcophagus / İstanbul photos x3 / Mosaic Museum / with local guide on Galata Bridge. If any of these terms or places are unfamiliar, a web search will probably explain our interest in this amazing country.

The Second Land of the Bible!

Asked to identify the lands of the Bible, most people readily name Israel as the primary location. Not so many are able to name the second land of the Bible. It’s Turkey!

Nearly all the biblical story takes place around or near the Mediterranean, in the (modern) countries of Cyprus, Egypt, Greece, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Lebanon, Macedonia, Malta, Syria, and Turkey.

Ancient Anatolia (corresponding roughly with the modern nation of Turkey) is ever in the background of the O.T., with a number of explicit references to the powerful Hittite Empire centered here. Two of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World were also located here: the Temple of Artemis in Ephesus, where the goddess was worshipped for 1000 years, as well as the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus. But it is in the N.T. that Turkey emerges front and center on the biblical stage… REEP READING.

Şimdilik Hoşçakal

That means “good-bye for now,” in Turkish. Thank you for all your support.

Next week’s bulletin will come from Cappadocia— more photos and more about the amazing land of Turkey.

Şimdilik Hoşçakal!