Six months after I returned home from my mission to France, I stepped off a plane in Tel Aviv to spend 18 weeks at that jewel known as the BYU Jerusalem Center, with side trips to Jordan and Egypt.
I had read my scriptures pretty closely and studied a lot as a missionary, but aspired to know a lot more. The Jerusalem experience was influential in sending me to graduate school in Semitics (see some of my story here). 15 years later, nearly to the day, I stepped off another plane in Tel Aviv, this time to act as a tour guide for my wife and parents. They had always wanted to go, and weren’t going without me.This time was different; I’d studied Hebrew, Aramaic, and Arabic, as well as Greek, history, a little Latin. I had a very portable laptop with thousands and thousand of pages of books in Logos, plus all my notes from reading, studying, lessons I’d taught. And now I was back, to walk the land and share. We spent three weeks there, and saw and experienced an amazing variety of things.
How does visiting the Bible lands change your understanding? Your reading of scripture? Your faith? Your tolerance for dust in your shoes? Your ability to recognize a cistern?
If there’s sufficient interest, then every week or so I’ll put up a post with, not a travelogue per se, but an exposition-oriented summary of a day’s travel and sites, what we learned, comments from my fellow travelers, what’s worth seeing, and lots of our pictures with captions. Let me know if that’s something you’d like to read here.