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3MJ—Asia
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  • 3MJ Asia—Assos
    • Asia Assos—Roman Road
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      After Paul preached the lengthy sermon at Troas that caused Eutychus to go to sleep and fall out of the window (Acts 20:6–12), Paul decided to walk the Roman road down from Troas to the harbor at Assos rather than travel by ship (Acts 20:13–14). Paul apparently traveled alone, but why he decided to go by foot on this part of the journey is unknown. Parts of the ancient Roman road from Troas to Assos are still visible today, at times running closely alongside the modern highway, so easily accessible.
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    • Asia Assos—Harbor Port
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      While Paul walked from Troas to Assos, Luke and company went by boat down the coastline to Assos. At Assos, Luke met up with Paul again, and they took him on board the boat (Acts 20:13–14). Assos is perched on a high and steep hillside that runs straight down into the sea. The modern harbor is built along the outline of the old breakwater of the ancient harbor, still faintly visible today.
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  • 3MJ Asia—Priene
    • Asia Priene—The Ancient Port of Priene
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      Today the ancient site of Priene, only a few miles from Miletus, is surrounded by land due to centuries of silting by the Maeander River. Like Miletus, one hardly would guess that the Aegean seashore, which today is many miles away, was right at the city’s edge. An important classical site perched high upon the hillside overlooking what used to be a gulf inlet, mighty Priene slowly succumbed to the Maeander River over centuries.
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    • Asia Priene—Priene Water Terminal
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      Water was crucial to ancient life, and Romans had perfected water systems to supply cities across the empire. Each system required distribution terminals to coordinate the water flow to various parts of the city. These terminals normally were hidden underground, but one of these distribution terminals that supplied Priene has been discovered.
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  • 3MJ Asia—Miletus
    • Asia Miletus—Miletus Silting
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      Today the ancient site of Miletus is surrounded by marsh and soggy land due to the centuries of silting by the Maeander River. One hardly would guess that the Aegean seashore, which today is many miles away, was right at the city’s edge, nor that this city had two famous harbors in ancient times and was one of the great harbor cities of the ancient world.
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    • Asia Miletus—Great Lion Harbor
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      Had not a shepherd guided us there himself who spoke no English but knew exactly what we were looking for—the famous harbor lions of Miletus mentioned by numerous ancient writers—we never would have found the spot. The Lion Harbor would have been where the apostle Paul landed and departed Miletus at the end of the 3MJ (20:15, 38).
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    • Asia Miletus—Miletus Markets
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      A famous port city such as Miletus would have plenty of commercial activity and busy markets. Because of the boggy conditions, which can change dramatically from year to year, we were unable to walk the market streets. Fortunately, the Pergamon Museum in Berlin has the famous Miletus Gate, which led to one of the main markets in Miletus.
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    • Asia Miletus—The Theater’s “God-fearers” Inscription
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      The theater at Miletus was one of the largest in the ancient world. In ancient times, the Aegean Sea came right up to the theater, so crowds at the theater looked out over the other great harbor of Miletus, simply known as the Theater Harbor, and could watch the ships coming in. The theater is important for preserving an inscription that reserves seating for the Jewish community and for “God-fearers,” the very term Luke uses to refer to Gentiles worshipping in the synagogue but not yet full proselytes to Judaism by undergoing circumcision. Reserved seating at the theater shows that elements of the Jewish community at Miletus were highly assimilated into Greco-Roman culture. For another excellent example of the use of “God-fearers” for Gentiles attending the synagogue, see the synagogue inscription recently discovered at Aphrodisias.
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    • Asia Miletus—The “God-fearer” Inscription at Aphrodisias
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      Aphrodisias is a classical ancient site whose ruins are about 110 miles east of Miletus. The archeological museum at Aphrodisias holds a 3rd–5th cent. AD inscription on a nine-foot tall column recording over 100 names that probably stood at the entrance to a Jewish synagogue. The inscription honoring these named individuals uses the term “God-fearers” to notate part of the list. This Aphrodisias inscription, like the one in the theater at Miletus, illustrates Luke’s usage of the term “God-fearer.”
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  • 3MJ Asia—Didyma
    • Asia Didyma—The Apollo Temple
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      Had the Apollo temple at Didyma ever been completed, this edifice would have been a monstrosity and surely one of the wonders of the ancient world. The temple never was completed, however, being too ambitious a project and too grand in scale, so beyond the financial resources even of generous individual and state donors. An Apollo oracle at Didyma, however, made the city famous, which rivaled the most famous Apollo oracle in the world at Delphi, Greece. An annual festival at Didyma drew large crowds. Celebrants made the ritual trek down the “Sacred Way” from Miletus down to Didyma.
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