What Makes Our Tours Unique?
We are committed to the academic disciplines of historical geography, cultural anthropology, archaeology, linguistics, and other related areas of scholarship related to biblical studies. This is a study tour for those who want to become more educated and knowledgeable about the people, events, and teachings of the biblical stories so as to transform how we follow Jesus. We do not focus on tradition to the exclusion of evidence and we strive to provide the most up-to-date, trustworthy information for each site. We believe Christ is worthy of this commitment.
Participants in our tours will be equipped with guidance, resources, and experiences that will encourage continued studies and engagement long after the tour concludes. We believe this experience should impact the rest of your life. We will also make ourselves available as teachers and/or consultants to past participants as you continue along your journey.
We approach each tour participant as we do members of our church community at home, shepherding and caring for the flock as we together follow in the footsteps of Jesus. Many of the relationships that are formed during our two weeks together continue for a lifetime. Within this comes one of our most unique offerings: participating within a rabbinic system for two weeks as we walk and study together, imagining and experiencing what it may have been like 2000 years ago in a community of talmidim (disciples) following Rabbi Jesus.
Modern and Ancient Engagement
In addition to being on millennia-year-old archaeological sites, we also discover modern culture, people, and events. Israel is not a "Christian Disneyland" for our amusement. The land and the people are a present and active living history that demands our respect and curiosity. While learning more about who Jesus was then, we are also asking what this renewed understanding means for now.
"In the unfolding relationship between God and [people] there exists not only a progressive History of Salvation but also a Geography of Salvation. God has revealed himself to [humanity] not only in specific periods of time but also in very particular places in his creation."
Bargil Pixner, With Jesus Through Galilee According to the Fifth Gospel. (Collegeville, MN: The Liturgical Press, 1992), 7.
"Walk about Zion, go around her, count her towers, consider well her rampart, view her citadels, that you may tell of them to the next generation. For this God is our God forever and ever; He will be our guide even to the end."
Why Study In The Land?
The Ancient Paths
An ancient Bedouin saying states, “The way to keep a trail alive is to walk on it.” Historical, cultural, and geographical study of the biblical texts draws us close to Jesus’ steps so that we may keep his trail alive for those who come after us. As we explore the ancient paths and travel throughout the land—from as far south as the Negev to Galilee in the north—we will experience the sights, smells, and sounds that will forever inhabit your reading of the Bible.
The land of Israel allows us to read the Bible in 3D, stepping into a full-scale relief map of the biblical story, to experience the stories and meanings in a visceral and concrete way. We will span the history of the Israelites, from Abraham, to David, to Jesus, placing each element of our story back in its setting.
God could have chosen any place and any people to tell his story. Together, may we discover his wisdom in choosing Israel—both the land and the people—to bring about his covenant of love to the nations.