For the next two weeks, I am leading an Israel / Jordan tour with students from Grace Christian University on a tour of Israel and Jordan. This is trip #11 for me, and this time it is with a little smaller group (only 15). This is a diverse group, and I look forward to getting to know the whole group as we travel together. I am using Tutku Tours for the second time in Israel. Previously they have done two tours in Turkey for me. I have also traveled in Turkey, Greece, and Egypt with Tutku. If you have questions about biblical studies travel, please contact me directly via email or a direct message on Twitter @plong42
Days one and two are travel from Grace Christian University to Chicago, then a flight through Istanbul to Tel Aviv. By Wednesday, we will be in the Old City. I have included a basic itinerary of the trip here. I plan on posting each day, so check back often for updates. There is a tab near the top of this page with posts from previous trips and a few videos.
- Beginning on May 10, we will be in Jerusalem. We start the tour by walking from our hotel to the Garden Tomb, then to the Jaffa Gate and a visit to the Church of Holy Sepulcher. We will be touring the Temple Tunnel, the Western Wall, and the Davidson Archaeological Park on the Southern wall of the Temple.
- May 11. We will spend the morning at the Yad VaShem, the Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem We will spend the afternoon at the Israel National Museum to see the Dead Sea Scrolls at the Shrine of the Book, the Jerusalem Model, and the Archaeology Wing of the Museum.
- May 12. We begin on the Mount of Olives, looking across the Kidron Valley. Walking down the Mount, we will visit Domiunis Flevit (where Jesus wept over Jerusalem), the Garden of Gethsemane, and the Church of All Nations. We will walk across the Kidron Valley past Absalom’s tomb and up to the City of David and Hezekiah’s tunnel and the pool of Siloam.
- May 13. We heard north to Galilee, driving from Jerusalem to Caesarea, Megiddo, through Nazareth to the Sea of Galilee to finally arrive at Ginosar Village in the late afternoon.
- May 14. Still in Galilee, we will start the day at Mount Arbel overlooking the Sea of Galilee and then visit the synagogue at Magdal, the Mount of Beatitudes, Capernaum, and other sites Jesus.
- We cross the border to Jordan on May 15 and visit Jerash and Mount Mt. Nebo on our way to Petra. Jerash for a tour of this spectacular Roman city. May 16, we will spend the day at Petra, walking the Suq to the famous Al Khazneh or Treasury at Petra. On Wednesday, May 17, we cross back into Israel at Aqaba, visiting Eilat for a swim in the Red Sea. We are staying at the En Gedi Kibbutz Hotel (this is my second time there, it is excellent!)
- Thursday, May 18, starts with a visit to the Nabatean trading village Mamshit, Tel Arad, and the highlight of the day, Masada, the famous fortress built by King Herod and the site of the last stand of the Jewish zealots in the first Jewish War against Rome. On Friday, May 19, we will start the day with a swim in the Dead Sea, then on to the Ein Gedi Nature Reserve, hiking to the waterfall in Ein Gedi where David hid from King Saul, then a visit at Qumran, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found. We will finish the day by shopping in the Old City in Jerusalem before driving to Tel Aviv for our last night in Israel.
These places are important historical and cultural sites, but they also challenge students to think more deeply about the story of the Bible and will encourage them in their walk with God. Plan on following our adventures as I post updates on Reading Acts each day.