8. Travel Greece with a Bible in Your Suitcase | 1st Period of Church History

The first period of church history began with the early church apostles and comes to an end with the death of the Apostle John at the end of the first century AD.  He was the last apostle who died and the only one who had a natural death.

Some people might think about church history as beginning in the first century AD but then they leave a time gap and jump into 16th century church history. However, as you know, there never, ever, was, since the church was founded on the day of Pentecost, a period without the existence of the real church.

We left Volos, beginning our day of travel with a prayer and devotion. We stopped along the highway for gas and our enjoyed roadside stops.  Dave tasted strong coffee. It woke him up!

As we drove we saw Greek shrines along the side of the road.  Curiously they looked like miniature churches. Kostas explained that some years ago, forty years ago, fifty years ago, these were very rare. They were erected to mark  the way of the pilgrimage to the place where people could go to venerate at a church, a monastery. Today they are a lot of them everywhere and they have changed meaning.  Today they mean, at this very spot a car accident happened. So, most of them are memorials. Some of them are signs of gratitude from people who survived a car accident. When we see them, we don’t understand at once if they are erected to be memorials for somebody who died after a car accident or signs of gratitude for people that survived. Actually, these little miniature churches may have, inside of them, some idols, an incense burner and an olive oil candle but if you look inside and see the photo of a real person among the idols then you understand that there, we have a memorial.

We drove out of the city of Volos to catch the highway towards a monastery. Soon we would learn about the monastic movement in the Christian church, as well as the visual church arts, especially the Byzantine style which is considered to be the first modern style in the art history using, by purpose, extraction which up to that time was the main characteristic of primitive art.

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