Reflections on the Trip of a Lifetime: Day 4 The Oracle of Delphi

The Oracle of Delphi

delphipythiafumesWe headed out from Athens, and in a two hour trip we saw an amazing landscape change from cityscape, to countryside, to dramatic mountains.


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2014-01-13 08.30.09At first, in Athens we were constantly confronted with the graffiti and the endless rows of half finished, or half destroyed unit blocks (sometimes it’s hard to tell which).

Apparently the graffiti is generally political, and the trained eye can tell which party it is supporting. Perhaps this one is the Winter Olympic Biathletes’ Party?


 

2014-01-13 10.47.22Then there was the open countryside.

Unfortunately I took few photos. It’s quite lovely, though.


 

Then we started to encounter mountains, and it was spectacular:

We drove through an amazingly quaint town, which was impossible to photograph from the bus:

…and on to Delphi.

 


Delphi

Delphi is built on a very steep hill on the side of a mountain. Not everyone went right to the top to see the Stadium. It was fantastic to go through the site and soak up the stories that our guide was sharing with us.

She pointed out what to look for in a Roman town (reminding us what we saw at Corinth), which stayed with us the whole trip: Temple, Agora, Stoa, Theatre, Odeon, Gymnasium, Stadium…

Then we went through the museum as well!

Engagement with the Text

The text for the day was 1 Corinthians 1-2. Essentially this passage is a comparison between the supposed wisdom of the world on one hand, and the confounding wisdom of God on the other.

It is well known that the staff of the Oracle would seek information from travellers, in order to prepare responses to the questions they planned to bring to the priestess. It is also well known now, that the priestesses were stoned, drugged up on a combination of gasses which eminated from the ground under the temple, and leaves that they would chew to induce a trance.

The wisdom of God, however, is a concretely visible act of self abasement and absolute sacrifice, held out as a gesture against all worldly expectation and defying human natural logic. Unlike the Oracle tradition, people who grasp the wisdom of God are not drugged, but rather they experience truly life-changing revelation and rebirth into the concept of transcendent love which is the Kingdom of God.

Importantly, Paul insists, “My speech and my proclamation were not with influential words of wisdom, but with a demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith might rest not on human wisdom but on the power of God.” ( 1 cor 2:4-5). The group was to experience this, and indeed to demonstrate it, on the tour around Turkey in the subsequent week or so…


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Reflections on the Trip of a Lifetime: Day 4 The Oracle of Delphi

Posted on Jan 13th, 2014 - By Kevin Bennett - 0 Comments

The Oracle of Delphi We headed out from Athens, and in a two hour trip we saw an amazing landscape change from cityscape, to countryside, to…

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