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SBC seminary presidents to lead study tour of apocalyptic churches


WAKE FOREST, N.C. (BP)–The Southern Baptist Convention’s six seminary presidents and their wives will lead a 13-day Bible study tour of the original sites of the seven churches of Asia Minor July 17-29, 1999.
At the brink of a new millennium, the tour will trace the origins of biblical prophecy and eschatology under the guidance of some of the leading evangelical scholars as they visit the ancient sites of the seven churches of the Apocalypse identified in the Book of Revelation.
The Bible study tour, billed as a “Vacation With a Purpose,” is being offered through Wilcox World Travel and Tours, Asheville, N.C.
Those who register by May 31, 1998, can save $100 off package rates ranging from $3,600 to $3,800. Also, an 11-day tour of Israel and Jordan is scheduled for July 27 -Aug. 6, 1999, at a cost of $3,100.
The seven Christian churches in the cities of Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamon, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea were the recipients of an apocalyptic letter from the Lord, penned by John the apostle on the island of Patmos. Each church was commended, rebuked and/or warned to remain faithful to God through future adversity.
“We anticipate that a host of Southern Baptists will join the SBC seminary presidents as they present on-site analysis at each of the seven churches of the Book of Revelation,” said Paige Patterson, president of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, Wake Forest, N.C. “God’s message delivered through John to the first-century church has remarkable applicability for believers in the 21st century. We will also re-examine the doctrine of ‘end-time prophecy’ in teaching sessions on board the ship. Your seminary presidents are preparing diligently, seeking the most up-to-date research and information to share.”
Participants will meet in New York and board a plane headed for Athens. They will tour the great metropolis of Greece and Corinth before setting sail via chartered ship for the city of Ephesus, home to the ruins of the temple of Artemis, one of the seven wonders of the world. Visitors also will see the excavated site of a 24,000-seat amphitheater where they will assemble for a time of worship. Also included in the tour will be visit to the island of Patmos where John wrote the Book of Revelation.
Study-tour participants will visit Smyrna, modern Izmir, once the most beautiful city of Asia and center of Caesar worship. In Pergamon, modern Bergama, parchment was first used as a writing material which led to the creation of 200,000-volume library.
And Thyatira, modern Akhisar, was once the home to a female-centered religion based on a lucrative fortune-telling business. In Sardis, now called Sarte, once lived the first great Greek philosopher named Thales.
Philadelphia, modern Alasehir, was once a missionary city for Hellenistic Greek culture. And Laodicia, modern Denizli, famous for its hot mineral baths and production of a widely sought eye ointment, was also home to Philemon, slave owner of Onesimus.
As part of the tour of Israel and Jordan, participants will travel by plane from New York to Tel Aviv and then drive to Tiberias. During the 11-day tour, vacationers will visit Nazareth and Jerusalem and take a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee, Jordan River and Dead Sea. Participants in the basic study tour to Turkey and Greece have the option of joining this group in Jerusalem and Tiberias.
For more information about package rates and availability, contact Wilcox World Travel and Tours at 1-800-438-5828 or by e-mail at [email protected]

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  • Lee Weeks