Please No Explanations Inside the Church

I’ve always enjoyed the ironic double entendre of the large notice at the top of this sign at the Church of All Nations next to the Garden of Gethsemane: Another version of it became something of a meme a while back, and I even blogged about it before having been to the church where it [Read More…]

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A Visible Boundary

In my Sunday school class today we talked about Israel and Palestine, as this was my first Sunday in church since my trip. Because the question of distances between places came up, someone in the class looked up Israel on Google Earth. As a result, we all got to see something that one can see [Read More…]

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Jerusalem, Jaffa, and Tel Aviv

We made it through passport control and customs at Tel Aviv airport, in what seems like record time. The early hour of the morning helped. So now I can blog about the day’s events.   We started off at the traditional site of the last supper, in what would have been the upper city of [Read More…]

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Old City of Jerusalem

  Today most of our time was spent in the old city of Jerusalem. We started at the Kotel, the Western Wall or Wailing Wall, which is the last remaining wall of the second temple, i.e. the temple that was standing in Jesus’ time and which was destroyed by the Romans in the year 70. [Read More…]

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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…]

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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…]

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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…]

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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…]

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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…]

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Khirbet Qeiyafa’s Model Shrines and the Accuracy of the Bible

Being in the throes of grading, I am a bit late blogging about the announcement of the discovery of clay model shrines at Khirbet Qeiyafa dating from roughly 3,000 years ago. The Times of Israel has an article on the subject, and the Hebrew University issued a press release.  Demotix treats the find as evidence [Read More…]

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Round-Up: Talpiot Tomb and James Ossuary Latest

Here’s my round-up combining the latest from the blogosphere on two key archaeological topics that are featuring prominently in news and blogs: the Talpiot tombs and their ossuaries, and the conclusion of the James ossuary forgery trial. James Tabor makes an attempt at satire, but I don’t think it works very well. He also draws [Read More…]

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