Trip to Turkey 15. Selime Katedrali – The cave cathedral

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This church is the biggest collection of caves and can be seen from the road.

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This really looks other-world and very not like any other religious meeting places you will see.

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Looking from the top sections of the church back to the road.

Its incredible to think that these incredible looking rock formations has a serious role, as a meeting place, where baptisms happened, and people were to taught how to preach the gospel to the local areas and beyond.

Its worth seeing this place and the other significant places with a tour guide.   Mine only cost me £25 for the day which included lunch and all admission fees.

This church dates from 313AD, more here:- http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/cappadocias-cathedral-attracts-visitors-.aspx?pageID=238&nID=72462&NewsCatID=375

Previous 14. The caves have eyes
Next 16. Cappadocia from a hill

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Trip to Turkey 9. Derinkuyu underground city

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Some caves had absolutely vast numbers of people dwelling in them.  The Derinkuyu underground city is a place you can visit a short bus ride away from Goereme where a Christian community lived underground.   This place had 30,000 people living there!!!   The entrance just has a place to buy your ticket, a mosque with miniret and a souvenir and snack shop.  Our guide, a friendly local Turk gave a “Salam Al Akoum” (similar to Hebrew Shalom Alechem) greeting to the staff on the gate, an Arabic greeting (peace with you) that’s probably common among all other non Arabic speaking Muslim countries.

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This place had a ventilation shaft/well with winch system to bring water and other supplies.

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Inside one part of a corridor was a short passageway with a shorter cross section, yes a church, carved out room in a cross!   Other parts of the complex were where people were trained in the gospels.  These would of been Greek speaking believers.

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This door works with a sliding rounded stone, similar to the one thought to be the tomb of Jesus in Jerusalem, and like some other tombs of similar design.   This can only slid from the inside providing a very secure means of the people in the underground city protecting from hostile attackers.

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This is where part of the teaching would of been preached.   I’d love to know what the shelf bit with the steps would be for.

You can read more about the underground city of Derinkuyu here http://www.goreme.com/derinkuyu-underground-city.php

This was a really fascinating place to see, and makes me thankful that I can worship in my church without risk of imprisonment or worse.  I don’t remember anything about the age of this place or how long it was used as an a dwelling.   We only spent an hour in there, and only fraction of it can be actually seen.

Previous 8. On this rock I will build my church
Next 10. Varying uses of caves and the camel man

 

Trip to Turkey 5. Spirit filled believers from Cappadocia

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My phone isn’t readable in bright sunlight, I’m glad I brought a real bible 🙂

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Acts 2 : 2 When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2 Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.

5 Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. 6 When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken. 7 Utterly amazed, they asked: “Aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans? 8 Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language? 9 Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome 11 (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs—we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!” 12 Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, “What does this mean?”

Me myself, I’m still trying to learn about tongues and spiritual gifts, its great to know there were so many believers of such different backgrounds in the middle east and beyond, which might sound completely unthinkable today.   I believe we will see true peace when Jesus returns soon.

I put the different ethnic groups of people into Google Maps to see how the body of Christ were all over the Levant.

Previous 4. The cave town in Goereme
Next 6. Hot Air Ballooning

5th century Church discovered in Turkey has paintings of Jesus


Couldn’t find any good Google Streetmap of Nevşehir. The national park sections aren’t mapped, and the nearby city looks cloudy and a bit dull.

I’ve just booked to go to Keysuri in central Turkey.   I’ve been meaning to go to Cappadocia national park for the last year or so.

Today after I’ve bought my tickets, I was amazed to see this!

Historic church discovered in Turkey’s Nevşehir ‘could change history of Orthodoxy’

(source is a secular Turkish news site)

 

The Kinneret lake

The Kinneret, or the Sea of Galilee, or even Lake Tiberias are the names of the body of water where Jesus spent probably the majority of his ministry.

Its 214 metres below sea level, not as low of course as the Dead Sea, and has a radius of 53km or 33 miles.

Either name, its a peaceful and relaxing place to spend a few days off work.  When I came here last year in a rented car its actually very pleasant to drive around the bendy road that heads along the west edge of the sea.

I went into the Jesus boat museum previously whilst waiting to get a boat ride.   This pleasant path with trees and iron modern art is a path that heads towards the jetty onto the Kinneret.

Like the previous times I have been here, the sea seems like a peaceful and great place to relax, by the side or in a boat.

However the bible tells us of great storms that happened here, and of course Jesus commanded a storm to stop in Matthew 8 : 23-27

It would be interesting to witness a storm here I think, thunderstorms are good fun as long as you are safe indoors 🙂

There is a lot of gadgetry on this boat.  There are 3 cellphones, an iPod nano with Christian worship music playing during the trip, a Motorola CB radio and a music mixing desk and tannoy system, oh and a rudder for steering, a throttle and other typical nautical controls.

The Arab chap who was the man in charge of tour boats who came onboard has an iPad as well which contains the schedules of the boats, I thought maybe there could be some kind of nautical navigation and weather conditions apps as well, but I can’t really see anyone getting lost!

There is a party of Christian visitors from Bratislava, Slovak republic but as they booked the trip themselves and there isn’t a tour guide with them they were happy for me and my friend Arnold to share with them 🙂

Next: I investigate this mysterious beacon that shines over the Galilee…

A day in my work in the GalileeThe Jesus boat in GinosarThe Kinneret LakeTiberias evening light showPreaching and miracles of Jesus in CapernaumTiberias city centre and Muriels and Maimonidies

Nazareth – 4. Where Jesus first preached

In the old city of Nazareth, after going around a maze of streets, I came across this exciting building, here is the synagogue church, the site of where Jesus first started preaching.  Its owned by the Greek Catholic church built by crusaders in 12th century.

Luke 4: 14-19 Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread through the whole countryside.  He was teaching in their synagogues, and everyone praised him.  He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. He stood up to read, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written: “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor.  He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

I can make out the latter part of this sign in Arabic, Hebrew and French that says no photographs.   Oops. 🙂

Matthew 13 : 53 When Jesus had finished these parables, he moved on from there.  Coming to his hometown, he began teaching the people in their synagogue, and they were amazed. “Where did this man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers?” they asked.  “Isn’t this the carpenter’s son? Isn’t his mother’s name Mary, and aren’t his brothers James, Joseph, Simon and Judas?  Aren’t all his sisters with us? Where then did this man get all these things?”  And they took offence at him.    But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own town and in his own home.”

Its only when reading this now I can see why Jesus chose to leave Nazareth.

Outside of the iron gates of the Synagogue Church is a labyrinth of narrow alleys mostly without thoroughfare for cars, here there is plenty of tourist souvenirs here of of course!

After some people in the synagogue got upset with Jesus’s teaching they tried to push him off a hill.   I will show this place shortly.

1. Arrival at the city2. Staying in the old city3. The modern day Nazarene carpenter4. Where Jesus first preached5. Religious vehicles in Nazareth6. Mary’s Well and the Bath house7. The precipice8. On top of the Precipice hill9. More old city streets and market10. The spice shop11. Churches from A to Z or Alpha to Omega12. The Basilica church13. Easter service at the Basilica


Early Christian book with metal pages found in Jordan

An ancient book with metal pages, possibly an ancient artifacts of early Christianity has been found in Jordan:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-12888421

Wonder if Google could document this and put in the web along with the Dead Sea Scrolls they are planning to publish this year?