Grace Christian University Tour of Israel and Jordan 2019

For the next two weeks I am leading a (mostly) student group from Grace Christian University on a tour of Israel and Jordan. This is my ninth trip leading a group to Israel, and this time I have 27 students and parents traveling with me.This is a diverse group and I look forward to getting to know the whole group as we travel together. I am doing things a little differently than previous years. First, I am using Tutku Tours for the first time in Israel. I have traveled in Turkey, Greece and Egypt with them and had excellent trips. I have two tours planned with Tutku in 2020, if you are interested in my “Missionary Journeys of Paul” tour in March 2020, check out the brochure on the Tutku website. If you have questions about the 2020 tour, contact me directly via email or a direct message on twitter @plong42

Mount of Olives

Mount of Olives, May 2017

Days one and two are travel from Grace to Chicago, a flight through Frankfurt to Tel Aviv. By Wednesday we will be in the Old City. I include 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 two videos.

Beginning on May 1 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.

On Thursday May 2 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.

On Friday May 3 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.

On May 4 we heard north to Galilee, driving from Jerusalem to Caesarea, Megiddo, through Nazareth to the Sea of Galilee to finally arrive at Maagan Holiday Village in the late afternoon. On Sunday May 5 Galilee we will start the day at Mount Arbel overlooking the Sea of Galillee and then visit the synagogue at Magdal, the Mount of Beatitudes, Capernaum, and other sites Jesus.

We cross the border to Jordan on May 6 and visit Jerash and Mount Mt. Nebo on our way to Petra. Jerash for a tour of this spectacular Roman city.  Tuesday May 7 we will spend the day at Petra, walking the Suq to the famous Al Khazneh or Treasury at Petra. On Wednesday May 8 we cross back into Israel at Aqaba visiting Eilat for a swim in the Red Sea, then a drive through the Arabah, a visit to Tamar Biblical Park.

Thursday May 9 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 10 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 out the day with some shopping in the Old City in Jerusalem before driving to Tel Aviv for our last night in Israel.

All of these places are important historical and cultural sites, but they also challenge students to think more deeply about the story of the Bible an will encourage them in their walk with God. Plan on following along with our adventures as I post updates Reading Acts each day.

The Garden Tomb

At the Garden Tomb in May 2017

 

 

Biblical Studies Carnival 157 (March 2019)

Spencer Robinson posted the March 2019 Biblical Studies Carnival at Spoiled Milks. Remember, it is April 1, so expect the unexpected. “Nothing says ‘fun,’ ‘excitement,’ and ‘unemployment’ like biblical studies.”Perhaps he needed to add a trigger warning for “Jim West’s new swimsuit calendar,” but otherwise Spencer has collected some very good posts for the month of March.

Since I took over as the “keeper of the list” of Biblical Studies Carnivals in August 2012, I have tried to get new people to host carnivals, often hosts who are on opposite sides of the spectrum with respect to assumptions about biblical studies (look at a few of the upcoming hosts for example). I have tried to draw in more women as hosts, although that has not always been successful. I have asked at least two people to do an international carnival, highlight Spanish language blogs for example, but nothing has come of that either.

If you are a new blogger, a graduate student or established scholar who is actively blogging, I would love to have you host a future carnival.

As you can see there are some gaps in the schedule and there is no one for the rest of the year after (September through December are wide open). I have a few asks out there, but there is still time for you to volunteer as Carnival Host. Hosting the carnival is a great way to draw attention to your work, so consider hosting in the near future.

Seriously….PLEASE email me  (plong42 at gmail.com) or direct message on Twitter (@plong42) to volunteer. You can also leave a comment here with your contact info and I will get back to you.

You can also review older carnivals by browsing this tag. Follow me on twitter (@plong42) if you are into that sort of thing. I have a Biblical Studies magazine on Flipboard, an essential app for your iOS device. I use it on my iPad for news and other special interests (including biblioblogs).

Book Giveaway Winner – James L. Papandrea, A Week in the Life of Rome

Last week I offered my extra copy of James L. Papandrea, A Week in the Life of Rome (Downers Grove, Ill.: IVP Academic, 2019) to one of the readers of this blog. I do this from time to time when I have an extra copy of something I think people might like. Sometimes I buy a book and discover later I already had a copy (people often associate this with impending old age, but I blame almost anything else). I said I would give it away yesterday, but I got busy with other things and completely forgot.

There were twenty-one entries this time, and I was happy to see several new names from previous giveaways. I sorted the names randomly and then used random.org to generate the winner. And the winner is….

Matt Lantz

Everyone congratulate Matt (or curse his luck). Matt, contact me via plong at gmail.com or a direct message on Twitter (@plong42) with a mailing address and I will get this right out to you.

About the book: Since the “week in the life of” series are novels by biblical scholars, about half the book is academic side-notes explaining the background details of the story. I have read all three of the currently available volumes and find them to be entertaining and easy reading. These are not academic books, but they do present the history and archaeology of the Roman world for a popular audience. I reviewed the book a few weeks ago, concluding “this book offers an entertaining insight into the relationship of Christianity and Rome in the mid-first century. Papandrea draws out the agonizing decisions a person living in the Roman world would have to make in order to be a Christian in an entirely pagan world. The book will be an easy introduction for readers interested in the background of the Roman world and early Christianity.”

 

Book Giveaway – James L. Papandrea, A Week in the Life of Rome

I have an extra copy of James L. Papandrea, A Week in the Life of Rome (Downers Grove, Ill.: IVP Academic, 2019). This is the latest addition to IVP Academic’s “A Week in the Life of” series, which now includes Ben Witherington’s A Week in the Life of Corinth (2012) and Gary M. Burge, A Week in the Life of a Roman Centurion (2015). John Byron, A Week in the Life of a Slave is coming in July 2019.

Since the “week in the life of” series are novels by biblical scholars, about half the book is academic side-notes explaining the background details of the story. I have read all three of the currently available volumes and find them to be entertaining and easy reading. These are not academic books, but they do present the history and archaeology of the Roman world for a popular audience. I reviewed the book a few weeks ago, concluding “this book offers an entertaining insight into the relationship of Christianity and Rome in the mid-first century. Papandrea draws out the agonizing decisions a person living in the Roman world would have to make in order to be a Christian in an entirely pagan world. The book will be an easy introduction for readers interested in the background of the Roman world and early Christianity.”

To have a chance at winning this book, leave a comment with your name so I can contact you if you win. I will randomize the names from the comments and select one winner at random.

I will announce the winner picked at random on March 26, 2019 (one week from now). Good Luck!

Biblical Studies Carnival 156 (February 2019)

Typical Biblioblogger

Bob MacDonald posted the Biblical Studies Carnival for February 2019. Subtitled “The Lego Edition,” Bob has put together a great collection of the best posts last month of interest to Biblical Studies. He has long lists for TNK (Old Testament for the evangelicals out there) and New Testaments and an “other ” category with some theology, church history, book reviews and at least one board game review. He has a link to Ian Paul’s reflection on Michael Green life after his passing last month. In other carnival news, Brian Small had a few Hebrews Highlights for February 2019 at Polumeros kai Polutropos.

The day before the carnival, Bob posts “Doing a carnival for Biblical Studies.” This is a kind of method statement for doing a carnival. Bob says, “I see the Biblical Studies carnival as a celebration of posts in the month. It is also a way for me to learn what is going on in the field. I search through over a hundred sites as well as social media groups to see what seems of interest to me. My purpose is to find those posts which best illustrate sound practices in Biblical Study that will get everyone to learn together.” This is a great way of thinking of these carnivals. He lists a few bullet points on “What is substantial for me” as well, which separates his carnival from others. For Bob, “since BS carnivals are supposed to be fun, … but it is serious stuff with real-life consequences.”

Since I took over as the “keeper of the list” of Biblical Studies Carnivals in August 2012, I have tried to get new people to host carnivals, often hosts who are on opposite sides of the spectrum with respect to assumptions about biblical studies (look at a few of the upcoming hosts for example). I have tried to draw in more women as hosts, although that has not always been successful. I have asked at least two people to do an international carnival, highlight Spanish language blogs for example, but nothing has come of that either.

If you are a new blogger, a graduate student or established scholar who is actively blogging, I would love to have you host a future carnival. Spencer Robinson is hosting the March 2019 carnival at Spoiled Milks. feel free to twitter links to him at @spoiledmilks.

As you can see there are some gaps in the schedule and there is no one for the rest of the year after (September through December are wide open). I have a few asks out there, but there is still time for you to volunteer as Carnival Host. Hosting the carnival is a great way to draw attention to your work, so consider hosting in the near future.

Seriously….PLEASE email me  (plong42 at gmail.com) or direct message on Twitter (@plong42) to volunteer. You can also leave a comment here with your contact info and I will get back to you.

You can also review older carnivals by browsing this tag. Follow me on twitter (@plong42) if you are into that sort of thing. I have a Biblical Studies magazine on Flipboard, an essential app for your iOS device. I use it on my iPad for news and other special interests (including biblioblogs).

Biblical Studies Carnival 155 (January 2019)

Jim West cosplaying his favorite reformer

Jim West, the grand old veteran of Biblical Studies Carnivals, posted a fine collection of links at Zwinglius Redivivus. You can follow Jim on Twitter, @drjewest. Jim is off to attend the Zwingli Conference, celebrating Zwingli’s arrival in Zurich 500 years ago, so we will all be treated to photos of his hotel room and the book room for the conference. (Seriously, I live for the book room pics…)

Brian Small had a few Hebrews Highlights for January 2019 at Polumeros kai Polutropos.

Unless I hear from somebody soon, Reading Acts will host the February Carnival, then Spencer Robinson at  Spoiled Milks (@spoiledmilks) has March 2019 (Due April 1).

As you can see there are some gaps in the schedule and there is no one for the rest of the year after (September through December are wide open). I have a few asks out there, but there is still time for you to volunteer as Carnival Host. Hosting the carnival is a great way to draw attention to your work, so consider hosting in the near future.

Seriously….PLEASE email me  (plong42 at gmail.com) or direct message on Twitter (@plong42) to volunteer. You can also leave a comment here with your contact info and I will get back to you.

You can also review older carnivals by browsing this tag. Follow me on twitter (@plong42) if you are into that sort of thing. I have a Biblical Studies magazine on Flipboard, an essential app for your iOS device. I use it on my iPad for news and other special interests (including biblioblogs).

Biblical Studies Carnival 154 (December 2018)

First time host Christopher Scott has posted the Biblical Studies Carnival for December 2018. Christopher collects links from the four categories that I write about: Bible, theology, small groups, and leadership. Head on over and check out what he has for us this month. Veteran blogger Jim West will host the Carnival in January. Jim always mixes up an interesting stew when he hosts a carnival. Here is the schedule for the next few months:

  • January 2019 (Due February 1) –  Zwinglius Redivivus, Jim West,@drjewest
  • February 2019 (Due March 1) –
  • March 2019 (Due April 1) – Spoiled Milks, Spencer Robinson @spoiledmilks
  • April 2019 (Due May 1) –
  • May 2019 (Due June 1) – Claude Mariottini @DrMariottini
  • June 2019 (Due July 1) –
  • July 2019 (Due August 1) – My Digital Seminary, Lindsay Kennedy @digitalseminary

As you can see there are some gaps in the schedule and there is no one for the rest of the year after (August through December). I have a few asks out there, but there is still time for you to volunteer as Carnival Host. Hosting the carnival is a great way to draw attention to your work, so consider hosting in the near future. Seriously….PLEASE email me  (plong42 at gmail.com) or direct message on Twitter (@plong42) to volunteer. You can also leave a comment here with your contact info and I will get back to you.

You can also review older carnivals by browsing this tag. Follow me on twitter (@plong42) if you are into that sort of thing. I have a Biblical Studies magazine on Flipboard, an essential app for your iOS device. I use it on my iPad for news and other special interests (including biblioblogs).