Delphi, located on the southern slopes of Mount Parnassos, was the site of the sanctuary of Apollo, dating back to about 800 BC. As the sanctuary developed, the Pythia were instituted there. The oracle of Delphi was widely sought by Greeks, foreigners, individuals and statesmen, including King Croesus of Lydia and King Midas of Phrygia.
Delphi was situated at was thought to be the center of the earth, and was thus designated the omphalos, or “navel” of the earth.
The Temple of Apollo was an elongated Doric peripteral temple, 4th century BC.
Among the artifacts displayed inside the Delphi Museum is the Sphinx of the Naxians (dating to ca. 560 BC). It stands over two meters tall. The marble sphinx was an offering from the inhabitants of Naxos. This mythical creature with the head of a woman, the chest and wings of a bird, and the body of a lioness, symbolized earthly divinity and heavenly power. The Sphinx stood on a 12.1 meters column that featured one of the first Ionic capitals, and was erected next to the Temple of Apollo in Delphi.
One of the many benefits of traveling to the lands where biblical events occurred is that of gaining insight into just how pervasive idolatry was. It has always been necessary to make a choice of who you will serve (Joshua 24:14-15). Temples devoted to many gods abounded. The Gospel reveals the true God who claims exclusive service and worship to Him alone.
At Hierapolis one can view the ruins of the temple of Apollo.
Temple of Apollo at Hierapolis. Photo by Leon Mauldin.
Currently at Istanbul, we look forward to our flights home tomorrow.
The church at Corinth, which received two of the New Testament letters, 1 & 2 Corinthians, was situated in a world of sin and degradation. By “church,” I’m not referring to the place that they met, but rather the people who had turned from their lives of sin and had been washed, sanctified, and justified “in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God” (1 Cor. 6:9-11).
A visual example of the idolatry so prevalent at Corinth can be seen in our photo, which shows the ruins of the temple of Apollo.
Temple of Apollo at Corinth. Photo by Leon Mauldin.
Regarding this site BAS says,
The Temple of Apollo at Corinth was 700 years old by Paul’s time. On the hill directly overlooking the Roman city’s main forum, its sturdy Doric columns served as a dramatic reminder of Corinth’s ancient grandeur. But the temple was already in ruins; to Paul it would have served merely as a sermon illustration of the impotence of the Greeks’ “pagan” gods.
As noted above, the temple was in ruins in the days of Paul, but the centuries of pagan idolatrous influence was still very much there.
The Acrocorinth may be seen in the background. It was there that the temple of Aphrodite was situated in ancient times.
The Apollo temple originally had 38 columns of the Doric order. Today seven are standing.