Israel and Palestine in Sunday School

I was asked by my Sunday school class to help them understand what is going on in Israel and the Palestinian territories, and how if at all this connects with the Bible. I was going to try to make a video with a brief overview of the history of Israel, providing maps and illustrations. But I have [Read More...]

In Jesus’ Way

The above photo was kindly taken by Ryan Eller on the recent trip I led to Israel. He gave me the strangest look when I told him that you never know when a photo of oneself exiting a first-century tomb will come in handy. The tomb in the photo is a replica at the Nazareth [Read More...]

Temple Mount Flyover

From SourceFlix. Since the area is a no-fly zone even when there isn’t war going on, this is a rather rare perspective. Sharing this video also gives me the chance to see whether issues I’ve had in the past have been resolved, now that the Patheos upgrade has finished. And so let me try embedding a YouTube [Read More...]

The Tribes of Israel

Paul Davidson posted on the topic of the tribes of Israel, noticing that there is often evidence of a baker's dozen or so, and sometimes a shorter list than twelve. Here is a chart he made that seeks to list the tribes mentioned in various passages (click for a pdf with the details in readable [Read More...]

Butler University 2014 Israel Trip Movie Trailer

OK, so this movie trailer, made by one of the students who went on the trip, may be my new favorite movie… [Read more...]

Did They Walk Into a Bar?

The pope has now concluded his visit to the Holy Land. My own trip was moved earlier to avoid having places be closed in preeparation for his visit. Apart from the “upper room,” traditional site of the last supper, which is over the traditional site of the tomb of David, we did not experience any [Read More...]

Stars and Bucks

There were a number of interesting places to drink coffee and/or eat around Israel. One that the students on my recent trip found particularly amusing was “Stars and Bucks” Cafe: We also came across this homemade sign: I particularly appreciated this place’s name: However, when in Jerusalem I prefer to get what the locals call [Read More...]

Bethlehem Fire

Last week I visited the Church of the Nativity with students. Then the pope visited. Now it seems that there has been a minor fire there, which started when a candle tipped over and ignited a curtain. I mention this for a number of reasons, one of which is that I have seen some photos [Read More...]

Palestine

My recent trip to Israel included the West Bank. It was interesting to hear locals talk about the future of the region, and also overhear American Christians who spoke in very sweeping terms about “standing with Israel” in a manner that lacks not only nuance, but any actual understanding of the realities or the history. [Read More...]

Danger Mines!

Many churches are filled with metaphorical mines, mostly theological, but sometimes of other sorts. But today at Qasr al-Yahud, the traditional site of Jesus' baptism, I saw a church with real ones. The Jordan River at this point is the boundary between Israel and Jordan. Elsewhere the border comes further eastwards. Now that there is [Read More...]

Breakfast Box

The hotel we stayed at in Haifa ordered boxed breakfasts for us to take with us yesterday morning when we left, since we were departing very early in the morning, before the breakfast buffet would be open, in order to have enough time to do everything we hoped to do in the region of the [Read More...]


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