Around Galilee

Today we visited sites that have some connection to the story of Jesus. Contrary to what some fringe internet voices such as the Jesus mythicists have sometimes claimed, there is evidence for habitation in Nazareth in the first century, in the structures excavated beneath the Church of the Annunciation. Even rather later, in the 4th [Read More...]

Two Nazarenes

Our tour guide Baligh’s local tour organization which EF works with is called “Nazarene Tours” because Baligh himself is from Nazareth. He made an amusing comment on the first day about the fact that he is more of a Nazarene than Jesus for two reasons: Jesus was born in Bethlehem and lived in Nazareth for [Read More...]

Loquats, Olive Oil, and Tombs

What the three things mentioned in the title of this post have in common is my friend Eldad Keynan, who stopped by the hotel where I am staying in Haifa and spoke to my students as well as me. He brought me some fruit from his garden (sheseq, which a quick internet search informed me [Read More...]

Caesarea Maritimia, Acre and Haifa

Today was our first day of touring, and it felt pretty full, although the tour guide at the end of the day said that tomorrow will be a full day, and so apparently it is possible to at least try to squeeze even more in. Today was a visit to completely new places for all [Read More...]

At JFK Airport in New York

  Off we go! I took the photo above near the gate in Indianapolis, but did not have time to post it before we left. We have arrived at JFK airport and made our way to the gate where our departure to Tel Aviv should be. We are so early that it is not listed [Read More...]

Travel Tips for Preparing to Visit Israel/Palestine

Next week I’m traveling with students from Butler University to Israel and the Palestinian territories on a 9-day tour. I just posted some tips to help students prepare for the trip on our course blog. Why not click through and take a look – and point out anything I may have neglected to mention? [Read more...]

Home Safe and Sound

I’m back safe and sound and without delays from Lethbridge. Here’s a photo taken from inside Calgary Airport which scarcely does justice does no justice whatsoever to the view of the Rocky Mountains from Calgary and its vicinity. [Read more...]

Verdict in the James Ossuary Trial: Not Guilty on All Counts

The news is circulating that the judge in the James ossuary forgery case found the defendants Oded Golan and Robert Deutsch not guilty. Do note the nature of this conclusion. It is not a scientific, archaeological or epigraphic assessment of the authenticity of inauthenticity of the ossuary or some or all of the inscription on [Read More...]

The Burial of Jesus: Second Edition Published!

I am happy to finally be able to announce that the second edition of my book The Burial of Jesus: What Does History Have to Do with Faith? has now been released by Patheos Press and is now available for purchase in Kindle format on Amazon.com. Versions in Nook and iBooks format are planned for [Read More...]

Jerusalem and Israel: An Aerial View

This trailer for an upcoming IMAX movie about Jerusalem gives an aerial view of a number of major sites. I hope it will generate enthusiasm among students for the Israel trip I’ll be leading in May! I definitely recommend clicking the “full screen” button! Also potentially of interest is the video blog, The Jerusalem Experience, [Read More...]

Israel and the Palestinians: Reading Recommendations Sought

I’m hoping to read three books with students who will be participating in the trip to Israel/Palestine in May 2012. The first I’ve already decided on, and it is A Hitchhiker’s Guide to Jesus: Reading the Gospels on the Ground by Bruce Fisk. I’m also using it as a textbook in my historical Jesus class. [Read More...]


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