By Beatrice Major
The morning of Dec. 28, a group of 37 students and family members arrived at LAX to board a flight leaving for Istanbul, Turkey. The purpose of this trip being, “walk in the footsteps of Paul and John” and “to understand the book of Acts and the Book of Revelation,” said Dr. William Varner.
Varner, Professor or Bible and Greek at The Master’s College, will be leading this two weeklong trip for the first time, along with his wife, Helen.
“This is my first time back. That is one of the reasons why I am super excited about it,” Varner said. “I’ve been to Greece, but 99 percent of Turkey that we are visiting is going to be new to me. So, I’m excited as a first time visitor. I’m going to be learning as well.”
The tour, referred to by TMC students as TGST (Turkey and Greece Study Trip), has been offered on four other occasions at The Master’s College, ranging in time frame and season and each lead by a different professor.
The trip will be spread evenly between the countries of Turkey and Greece, touring a total of seven days in each and will mostly focus on visiting major New Testament archeological sites as well as their corresponding museums.
A professional, evangelical tour guide will escort the group around each of these locations in their country of expertise.
This trip “is unique because it zeros in on our concerns, which are biblical sites… and [focuses] on the journeys of Paul and the churches of the Revelation,” Varner said.
Some of the locations to be toured include the seven churches of Revelation, the Blue Mosque in Istanbul, the ancient city of Troy, the city of Corinth, Mars Hill and many other biblical locations and ancient archaeological sites.
“I’ve heard that Istanbul is ‘knock-your-socks-off’,” Varner said.
The tour is even being offered for credit for TMC students towards upper division bible electives, making it a very viable and exciting opportunity for students as an alternative to Winterim.
The trip concludes it’s final day in the city of Athens on Jan. 13, traveling back just in time for the beginning of the spring semester, 2015.