X Marks the Arabs?

As I was thinking about the way Americans can misperceive danger elsewhere in the world compare to where they live, I was reminded of something amusing that happened the last time I was in Israel and the West Bank with students. One of the students had noticed an “X” hanging from the rear-view mirrors of cars, [Read More…]

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Fear at Home and Abroad

I probably should not vent about my students’ parents on my blog, but I am feeling a bit frustrated. The stabbing of an American student in Israel is certainly a cause for concern. Like any parent would, I have imagined my own son traveling abroad as a student and being in that situation, being stabbed and [Read More…]

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Demonization is Dangerous

Here is a larger excerpt from the online article that the above quote comes from: The demonization of the Other is dangerous first and foremost for us. It endangers our humanity; it instills us with fear of the unknown. After all, they are different from us, they operate according to different and unfamiliar codes. This [Read More…]

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Ken Stein at IUPUI (on BDS and the CIE)

On Wednesday I had the chance to attend a talk at IUPUI by Ken Stein of Emory University. Although the talk was billed as focusing on how to respond to the BDS (Boycotts, Divestments, and Sanctions) movement on campuses, Stein in fact spent most of his time making sure that the audience understood the ins and outs of [Read More…]

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Where Jesus Prayed

I am happy to have the chance to participate in the Patheos Book Club about Danielle Shroyer’s book Where Jesus Prayed: Illuminating the Lord’s Prayer in the Holy Land. I was eager to participate, since I’ve been to the Holy Land multiple times, and will be leading a group of students traveling there again next [Read More…]

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Violence in Israel and the United States

Given that I am leading a trip to Israel and the West bank next summer, I’ve been watching the news about increasing violence in Jerusalem and other places with some concern. But the fact that I have friends who live in these places, and can see what they post on Facebook, provides an interesting perspective [Read More…]

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Virtual Walking Tour of Old Jerusalem

I came across the above walking tour of the Old City of Jerusalem. For those who have visited at other times of year, the city will seem surprisingly uncrowded, since the video was made in December. You can also take a virtual tour of Jerusalem using Google Maps street view. [Read more…]

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Ahab and Jezebel in Psalm 45

A recent post by Wil Gafney about sexuality and eroticism in the Bible made the suggestion that Psalm 45 is about King Ahab and Jezebel. It is an interesting suggestion, which I had probably read before but forgotten about – for instance, Claude Mariottini blogged about the possibility in 2007, and commentaries mention it as [Read More…]

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Are Israel and Palestine Safe to Travel To? (Fear and Statistics)

When I’ve sought to reassure students and their parents that travel to Israel is relatively safe, I have often used statistics. In light of the things that have been in the news recently, I thought I should blog about this topic. One is much more likely to be a victim of a homicide in the [Read More…]

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Review of William Dever, The Lives of Ordinary People in Ancient Israel

I mentioned in a recent post that I had been reading William Dever’s book, The Lives of Ordinary People in Ancient Israel: When Archaeology and the Bible Intersect. That book (for which I am grateful to Eerdmans for having sent me a review copy) deserves more than just a mentioning in the context of Gen [Read More…]

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The Gospel against the Prophets?

The above words are how I summarized the gist of my recent post “Micah among the Baptists.” I thought perhaps they deserved a meme. If you agree, please share it!   [Read more…]

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