From HUGer Shanielle:
Today we began our tour of the Peloponnese Peninsula headed to Corinth. After picking up James, our very knowledgeable and fantastic tour guide, our first stop was to look over the Isthmus Canal that connects the Aegean and Ionian Seas. While this project was started by Emperor Nero during Paul's time, the project was abandoned and not completed until 1893. Maybe a group of us will go back to bungee jump here before the end of our time in Greece!
The ruins of Corinth were our next stop. Before arriving at the ruins James contextualized the content that Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians to the culture of that time. As worship to several Greek gods, cults in Corinth would prostitute themselves and women who were a part of this would have shaven heads. So, in 1 Corinthians 11:5-6 Paul tells new female believers - who are still labeled or perceived to be prostitutes by their shaven heads - "every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head - it is the same as having her head shaved. For if a woman does not cover her head, she might as well have her hair cut off; but if it is a disgrace for a woman to have her hair cut off or her head shaved, then she should cover her head." Learning today that Corinthian female prostitutes shaved their heads helped me to understand this passage much better. Paul was not saying that all women must always have their heads covered to worship God, but that head coverings for new believers who had shaven heads should be worn to proclaim their change of person - no longer a slave to the gods but a child of The God.
Also today we saw a stone inscription bearing the name "Erastus" which further supports biblical events and times. I love that we have tangible evidence for many things mentioned in the Bible. Even though we should not have to rely on seeing to believe, we humans sometimes need edification. We also know through an archeological find that procounsel Gallio was in power in 52 A.D. so Paul stood in front of him at the bema where we stood today in Corinth in 52 A.D. How cool is that?! Traveling in Greece has contextualized so much from Paul's journeys and there is so much more to learn.
Most of us braved the hike up the Acrocorinth, an infrastructure that housed 15,000 people high above the city of Corinth. The marble was slick and the climb was not easy, but the reward was seeing the beautiful blue sea below, surrounded by red terra-cotta roofed houses and mountains behind.
We rode to Epidauros and visited the ruins of the medical center there (one of the four major Askleipions of the ancient times). Just like the medical center in Pergamum, a theater was built inside the complex to incorporate holistic healing. A unique aspect about the theater in Epidauros is that it has the best acoustics that allow for all 12,300 audience members to hear all that is happening. Concerts and performances are still held at this theater.
We arrived at our hotel for the night and immediately walked to the "backyard" where the ocean was calling. Several swam and others got a sand pedicure in the soft sand. Greece is great and we all are loving our time here together. Thank you to all who have supported and are supporting us in being here!
P.S. Moms and Dads, Bungee jumping is NOT a HUG-sponsored event!