Experience the Word of God in Living Color

Much of the New Testament

Most of the New Testament

happened in and around modern day Turkey (what the Bible calls “Asia Minor”).

As the Early Church faced persecution, it went out from Israel into all the world … and Turkey became a central location.

For example:

  • Paul spent considerable time in Turkey during his missionary journeys, especially the three years he spent in Ephesus
  • Two-thirds of New Testament’s books were written either to or from churches in Turkey
  • Paul, Peter, and John all either ministered to or lived in Turkey
  • The seven churches mentioned in Revelation 2–3 are all located in Southern Turkey
  • Turkey, specifically Istanbul/Constantinople, was central in much of early Christianity

Just imagine …

Stepping off the plane in Turkey with your Bible in hand, suddenly transported into the pages of Scripture.

The sites, stories, and struggles come alive before your eyes.

There is something life-changing about traveling the locations of Scripture—not as a tourist, but as a Christian who longs to know God and His Word more.

Sure, you can read commentaries, study an atlas, or listen to sermons … but when you walk the land with Bible in hand, suddenly the Bible appears in living color and those commentaries, maps, and sermons have a greater depth and meaning.

Scripture makes more sense when you see it in its geographical and historical settings—when you walk its streets, climb its mountains, and swim its waters.

The Word truly becomes alive and in living color right before your eyes.

I invite you to join me in our first ever Early Church Bible Study Tour in Turkey.

Get a sneak peak 

This video was produced by GTI (the Christian tour company we use to manage logistics). 

Far More Than a Tourist Trip!

More than a Tourist Trip

If you simply want to be a tourist and check the amazing sites of Turkey off your list, this ISN’T the trip for you.  

This opportunity is more than a fun vacation to a foreign land or an adventure of epic proportions … sure, it’s those things but far much more … this is a life-changing encounter with the Living God that will deepen your intimacy with Jesus Christ as you study God’s Word on location.

My desire is that you actually experience the Word on this trip—both the Living Word (Jesus) and the Written Word (Bible).  

Yes, we will see many of the popular sites … but this isn’t a tourist trip … this is an on-location study tour. We are going to take time at each site to study God’s Word and allow the Truth to transform our lives.  

The Early Church Bible Study Tour is an opportunity for you to seek and yearn after the Lord in many of the locations where the New Testament took place, grow in intimacy with Jesus Christ, deepen your understanding of God’s Word, and have a lot of fun, fellowship, and laughter with like-minded believers in the process.  

Join Nathan Johnson and the ministry of deeperChristian (in partnership with Ellerslie Discipleship Training) on a study tour that will radically change how you see and understand the Bible.

See the Biblical Drama of the Early Church unfold

… as you open God’s Word and walk the ancient paths of Paul … and Peter, John, and countless others.


… the Bible’s original context as we study Scripture on-location

Visit the ancient cities

… of Ephesus, Colossae, Philadelphia, Sardis, Pergamum, Hierapolis, Laodicea, and many more.

Take a sunrise hot air balloon ride

… see the land from above (weather permitting).

Grow Spiritually

… with Christ-Centered Bible teaching and discipleship from Nathan Johnson


Mon Nov 18 / Tues Nov 19

  • Chicago O’Hare to Istanbul (departs 8:30pm)
  • Istanbul to Antalya (departs  6:10pm)
  • Stay night at Ramada Plaza by Wyndham Antalya

Wed Nov 20 (Southern Coast)

  • Antalya Harbor, Antalya Museum, Roman Road
  • Stay night at Ramada Plaza by Wyndham Antalya

Thurs Nov 21 (Southern Coast)

  • Aspendos, Perga
  • Stay night at Ramada by Wyndham Isparta

Fri Nov 22 (Central Turkey)

  • Pisidian Antioch
  • Stay night at Doga Thermal Hotel

Sat Nov 23 (West Central Turkey)

  • Hierapolis, Laodicea, Colossae
  • Stay night at Doga Thermal Hotel

Sun Nov 24 (West Central Turkey)

  • Aphrodisias, Philadelphia
  • Stay night at Lidya Sardes Thermal

Mon Nov 25 (West Central Turkey)

  • Sardis, Pergamum
  • Stay night at Ramada Hotel Soma

Tues Nov 26 (Western Coast)

  • Pergamum, Weaving Center
  • Stay night at Charisma Deluxe Hotel

Wed Nov 27 (Western Coast)

  • Ephesus, Ephesus Museum, Free Time
  • Stay night at Charisma Deluxe Hotel

Thurs Nov 28 (Western Coast)

  • Miletus, Didyma, Priene
  • Stay night at Charisma Deluxe Hotel

Fri Nov 29

  • Izmir to Istanbul (depart at 11:00am)
  • Istanbul to Chicago O’Hare (depart at 3:20pm )

Plus …

  • Evening bonus times of fellowship, worship, teaching, and reflection with like-minded Christians

Trip Details

November 18–29, 2024

Registration is through GTI (our tour company that handles logistics and payments for us)

All-inclusive price: $4690
  • $100.00 discount if you book prior to May 27, 2024

  • An incredible 12-day all-inclusive study tour of Turkey
  • Round-trip flights from Chicago on Turkish Air
  • All hotel accommodations
  • Daily breakfast and dinner buffet
  • Lunches on site
  • Christ-centered Bible teaching from Nathan Johnson at each location
  • Evening times as a group for bonus teaching, fellowship, worship, and debriefing the day
  • Sunrise hot air balloon ride (weather permitting)
  • Local guide and bus driver
  • Deluxe touring motor coach 
  • All entrance fees, tips, and taxes
  • A high-end hiking/water backpack
  • Bottled water on tour
  • Study guide and journal
  • Pre-trip curriculum to get you ready for the study tour
  • An experience of a lifetime!


(ie: you are responsible for…)

  • Flights, luggage fees, and/or transportation to get to Chicago (O’Hare International Airport)
  • Extra drinks (besides water) at meals
  • Souvenirs
  • Travel Insurance (if desired)
  • Passport fees (if you don’t already have a valid passport)


  • Everyone will be paired with another individual of the same gender in a “double” hotel room (i.e., 2 people with separate beds per room), unless you attend with your spouse (then we obviously want you to room together, haha).
  • If you’d prefer to stay in a private room without a roommate, you can signup for a “single-occupancy” room an additional charge of $1000.


Payment Schedule

  • $500 deposit is due at the time of registration to reserve your spot
  • $2,095 due July 1, 2024
  • Total balance due September 27, 2024
  • NOTE: for cancelation policy, see the FAQ at the bottom of the page.


Group Size: 35

We purposefully keep the group size around 35 so that we can know everyone, have great fellowship, yet big enough to help keep the trip costs lower.

Sign up is on a first-come, first-served basis … so once the group is full, you’ll have to wait till the next trip.

Registration is through GTI (our tour company that handles logistics and payments for us)


Will you do another Early Church tour to Turkey in the future?

I’m not sure. Typically I take groups to Israel each year, but due to the current conflict, we changed to this study tour in Turkey. While there is a chance we may schedule another trip to Turkey in the future, it likely won’t be for several years. If you are interested in going, I’d encourage you to sign up for this one.

When is your next study tour to Israel?

We have a Bible Study Tour scheduled for Israel in November 2025. Learn more.

Is it safe to travel to Turkey?

Although it is impossible to guarantee 100% safety, travel in Turkey is very safe—and GTI (our Christian travel company) has taken several groups this year without any problems. We always travel with a Turkish guide who is aware of what’s going on in the country, and if there’s even a hint of potential danger, we will simply avoid the area. We do not take chances! Overall, the likelihood of any kind of danger is very, very slim. In fact, everyone who returns from these trips often remarks, “I never once felt unsafe.” And personally, if there wasn’t an enormously high degree of safety, I would not be leading the trip.

What does a typical day look like?

While every day is unique, a typical day begins with a wake up call at 6:00am, a buffet breakfast at 6:30, and usually on our way by 7:00/7:30. We travel to our various sites by bus, and it is at these sites where God’s Word is studied in its historical, cultural, geographical, and biblical contexts. Lunch is served on location typically between 12:30-1:30pm. The majority of our days involve moderate hiking/walking and it is encouraged that you bring snacks with you (such as trail mix, granola bars, nuts, dried fruit, crackers, or protein/energy bars—preferably without chocolate as it tends to melt. Note, it is best to buy snacks at home and pack them in your luggage, which gives you that space for souvenirs on the way home). We arrive back at the hotel each evening in time for the dinner buffet. Each evening, we will either gather together as a group for fellowship, reflection, worship, and additional Bible study … or the evening will be available for rest, fellowship, and extra sleep. It is important you get enough sleep as each day is full of travel, site seeing, learning, and adventure. Generally speaking, you should be able to get at least 8 hours of sleep at night.

Are there discounts or scholarships?

While we are unable to offer scholarships, we have done everything possible to keep the trip cost-effective (i.e., as cheap as possible) for everyone. Our goal is not to make money from the trip but to facilitate an opportunity for Christians to experience and study the Bible on location. Everything in the Middle East tends to be expensive (a bottle of water typically costs $3-5), so this is actually a great price for an all-inclusive trip.

There is a $100 discount off the cost if you register before May 27th.

What’s the cancelation policy?

We use GTI Tours to help us with logistics—they are by far the best travel company in Israel for studying the Bible (if you know the name Ray VanderLaan, the company was started to help him run his teaching trips to Israel).

That said, because GTI reserves airline tickets, hotels, etc. when you register for the trip, they give us the following cancelation policy, which by registering through the link on this page, you agree to follow:

  • Full refund less $200 for cancellations after deposit.
  • Full refund less $500 for cancellations after May 27, 2024
  • Full refund less $2000 for cancellations after July 1, 2024
  • No refunds for cancellations after September 27, 2024

Check out GTI’s Tour Preparation Guide

GTI is the amazing company we use to help arrange logistics and travel … here are their preparation suggestions (as the trip approaches, you will receive more specific details from Nathan pertaining to our trip).

What if I have additional questions?

You can email Nathan any questions.