Monday, December 31, 2018

European Trip

I wish I could be more decisive. I have been planning for a European trip for ages. My paper on Malachi was accepted for presentation at the IOSOT's 2007 Congress in Slovenia. My full paper was due for publication if I had presented it at the Congress. It remains unpublished until today and the forthcoming triennial IOSOT's Congress will be held in Aberdeen next Summer. Planning a European trip involves two main things - budget and places to visit. My primary aim is to visit sites of historical significance. One itinerary is to fly to Berlin and then a short trip to Magdeburg where Martin Luther went to school and later preached an impactful sermon that converted the town to Protestantism. From Berlin to Copenhagen if I have the time to visit the birthplace of Soren Kierkegaard, my favourite Christian philosopher. Then fly to Edinburgh to visit Antonine Wall built by the Roman Emperor, Antoninus Pius (my name's sake), being the northern most Roman fortress.
If I attend the Aberdeen's IOSOT Congress it will be about 2 hours' train ride from Edinburgh. I would love to visit either Cambridge or Oxford. My external PhD examiner was a Cambridge don, but Oxford's Bodleian library is tempting to say the least. The British Museum in London holds a few of the oldest Greek manuscripts of the Bible (Codices Sinaiticus and Alexandrinus) and that will be a must see as well.

Then from London to Lyon, France sounds romantic as the French city was the birthplace of Irenaeus, one of the earliest church fathers who wrote Against Heresies in the 2nd century. From Lyon a short train ride to Geneva, the place where John Calving spent his whole life in the service of the Church and the city during Reformation.

From Geneva to Milan, Italy where Bishop Ambrose (4th century) gave the famous rebuke to Emperor Theodosius when the king slaughtered a few hundred people in rage. From Milan I could pop over to Bologna to visit one of the oldest Universities in the world and then onto Rome. I would probably skip the famous Florence with all the arts and culture. Rome's Colosseum, the Forum and Arch of Titus are a must see. If I have time I will make a day trip to Naples to see the ruins of Pompeii or Herculaneum, cities destroyed by a volcanic eruption in 79AD but many Roman houses, plazas, frescoes and artifacts remain intact.

Then I will fly to Thessaloniki from Rome and visit places where Paul preached. A two-hour bus will take me to Kavala, near the Philippi site and then train ride into Athens (and nearby Corinth) where Paul preached as recorded in Acts 17-18. That's my bucket list but only God knows whether I will make it to Europe next year or anytime in the future.

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