The River of the Water of Life–Illustration from Perga

July 3, 2020

The closing chapters of the book of Revelation describe for the reader “how beautiful heaven must be.” That heavenly, holy city, new Jerusalem where God “shall wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there shall no longer be any death; there shall no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away” (Rev. 21:3-4, NASB). Moving on to the final chapter, John writes, “Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life– water as clear as crystal– pouring out from the throne of God and of the Lamb, flowing down the middle of the city’s main street. On each side of the river is the tree of life producing twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit every month of the year. Its leaves are for the healing of the nations” (Rev. 22:1-2, NET Bible).

What was lost in the beginning in the Garden of Eden, access to the Tree of Life, is regained in heaven! Oh how I want to be among that number there in that beautiful city! The Tree of Life, along with the Water of Life! This is depicting eternal life, the people of God at home with God.

In the text above, the imagery of a river of water flowing through the main street of the city brings to mind the layout of the city of Perga of Pamphylia (today southern Turkey) mentioned in the context of Paul’s First Journey (Acts 13:13-14; 14:25).

Watercourse in Perga. The water flowed down the main street of the city in Roman times. Photo © Leon Mauldin.

Our photo shows how Perga’s water supply flowed down the main street of the city, with the street on either side, to the sides of which various shops and businesses would have been located (where the standing columns can be seen). Images such as these help us to understand and visualize the description employed in our text. The two large structure at the far end are towers that stood at the gate that go back to the Hellenistic period, to the time of Alexander the Great.

To the side of the street a number of ancient columns are still standing.

Ionic column standing to the side of the street in Perga. Photo ©Leon Mauldin.

We took this photo of an Ionic column, which was one of the very popular styles in Greek and Roman architecture.  This is one of many still to be seen among the remains of Perga.

Click on images for larger view.


Shepherd with His Sheep

December 22, 2014

When visiting biblical sites I never tire of seeing sheep and their shepherds. I’m sure that is due in large measure to the frequent references in the Bible, not only to literal shepherds and sheep, but also the metaphorical usage.

Shepherd with sheep in biblical Pamphilia. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

Shepherd with sheep in biblical Pamphylia. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

Isaiah 53:6 All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.

Psalm 23:1 The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.

John 1:29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!

John 10:27 My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.

1 Peter 2:25 For you were like sheep going astray, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.

Elders of local churches are told: 1 Peter 5:2 Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly.

Revelation 7:17 for the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to living fountains of waters. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.

Turkey Travel contd: Pamphylia

May 26, 2014

On Paul’s First Journey, he and Barnabas passed through Perga in Pamphylia (Acts 13:13-14). On the return portion of the trip they came again to Pamphylia (Acts 14:24), “and when they had spoken the word in Perga, they went down to Attalia, and from there they sailed to Antioch” (vv. 24-25). Notice here the region of Pamphylia:

Region of Pamphylia. Map by

Region of Pamphylia. Map by

Now notice specifically Antalia:

Attalia, seaport for Pamphylia. Photo by

Attalia, seaport for Pamphylia. Photo by

Ferrell Jenkins and I have been in biblical Attalia, modern Antalya, and the greater Pamphylia area for the past couple of days as we have visited sites in Turkey.

Notice the topography on the first map, and see as you leave the coastal area and go northward you run into the mountains, using Attalia and Perga in your second map as reference points. The plains of Pamphylia give way to the formidable terrain of the Taurus mountain range.

Pamphylian Plain Ends at Taurus Mountains. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

Pamphylian Plain Ends at Taurus Mountains. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

We spent some time exploring this area where a Roman Road cuts through the mountain pass. Dedicated men such as Paul and Barnabas had to negotiate through this type of terrain in their travels.

We found several matters of interest while there, such as this stork

Stork in flight in Pamphylia. Photo ©Leon Mauldin.

Stork in flight in Pamphylia. Photo ©Leon Mauldin.

and this field of Barley:

Barley in Pamphylia. Photo ©Leon Mauldin.

Barley in Pamphylia. Photo ©Leon Mauldin.

Tonight we are north of biblical Hierapolis (mentioned in Colossians 4:13). En route here we saw Laodicea and Colossae. There is much to see at Hierapolis, and tomorrow we plan to explore and photograph in that area. Thanks for following along the journey. Much more to share as time permits.

Mr. Jenkins and I are both well. There’s nothing quite like on-site Bible study! It’s truly a continuing education course for us.

%d bloggers like this: