An Exclusive Tour of the Holy Land Like No Other!

Most trips to the Holy Land are sponsored by churches and their pastors, synagogues, or other cultural groups. In the Spring of 2023–March 17-28–I am leading a very different and unique tour–one that is oriented to the history and archaeology related to a single question–“What do we really know about the historical figure of Jesus of Nazareth and how do we know it?” Of my 73 trips to Israel, Jordan, and Egypt only 12 of them have been leading this particular tour. By far most were for my research, filming, or working at archaeological sites. However, in 2010 I began doing a special tour, limited to about 30 people. It is very different from other tours. I tend to attract a very diverse group in terms of faith backgrounds and spiritual orientations–with the common denominator a love of history. We explore the Holy Land as it applies to Jesus and the movement he led–but with full attention to his teacher John the Baptist, his brother James, Paul and the other apostles, and leading women such as his mother Miriam, and his companion Mary Magdalene.

We walk the ancient paths–taking in the texts, geography, history, and archaeology–both on the ground and under the ground–that sheds light upon what our central question of what do we really “know”? We learn to rate assertions and ideas from improbable to most likely and even quite certain–based on logical arguments and evidence. Sadly, about half of the sites people are taken to on Holy Land tours are likely incorrect–and often what they are told and taught is simply without any historical basis. I have spent the past 40 years “tracking Jesus,” as I like to call it. I have learned the differences between what we think we know, what is highly improbably, and how it all might fit together into an evidence based coherent whole–theology aside.

If any of you remember the song by The Who, “The Seeker.” That pretty well captures our spirit on the tour–lots of fun–how could it not be with my wife Lori Woodall along as DJ and cultural connoisseur–with a dozen trips herself sorting out the good and the beautiful.

Our March 17-28 tour is filling up fast. I only want to take 30–to allow for reasonable interchange and time together. We stay at good hotels that we have tried and tested, and like no other tour I know of, we spend our last three nights in the Negev desert–under the splendid night sky–at biblical Tamar, one of the most important archaeological sites in Israel, right on the edge of the wilderness of Paran–Moses country I call it! That last weekend is a wonderful time for debriefing, relaxing around a campfire, and taking in all that we have learned and experienced.

This tour will fill up fast…we are already at half our number. If you are interested you can read all the details about cost, itinerary at this link–and also hold  your place with a deposit.

2023 Walking the Ancient Paths

Here are a few photos that capture a bit of what we will experience together–from the Arbel overlooking the Galilee, to sunrise over Jerusalem from our hotel window–and the Desert, looking west into the wilderness of Paran, and then back to the east, with the hills of Moab/Jordan as the sun rises over biblical Tamar–dating back to the 10th century BCE!

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