August 30, 2018

On the back side of Bethlehem there are several important sites, shepherd’s fields for one, and the Herodium for another. They are both worth a visit. This time we did the usual things at shepherd’s field, but visit a new cave where there is clear evidence that shepherds and sheep sheltered. Bethlehem was providing lambs for the slaughter, literally, for the sacrifices in Jerusalem. It is ironic, but appropriate that the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of... Read more

August 29, 2018

The garden tomb is a nice site near the old city of Jerusalem to give one a visual image of the kind of tomb Jesus was likely buried in. It is a rock cut tomb with a rolling stone that fits the Gospel descriptions of what it would look like. Unfortunately it does not have an ancient pedigree, and there are many such tombs around Jerusalem. Yes, this tomb is outside the current old city walls, but they only date... Read more

August 28, 2018

Without question, one of the most visited sites in all of the Holy Land is the Church of the Nativity. In fact, one can wait hours in line to visit a spot claimed to be the very spot where the baby Jesus was born. But of course, we don’t really know where that is, other than in Bethlehem, and this church doesn’t date back before the fourth century A.D. Nevertheless, as a place to remember that Jesus was born somewhere... Read more

August 27, 2018

Bethlehem is sadly today a city surrounded by a wall erected by the Israelis. One of my favorite places to go in the city is to the Three Arches olive wood shop, run by Palestinian Christians (with another shop in San Diego, of all places). They give a nice demonstration of how the nativity scenes are made and the carvings done… The finished products are works of art. Here we have a recreation of first century Jerusalem in olive wood!... Read more

August 26, 2018

Once one emerges into the light again at the City of David dig, one sees a variety of things, including a lot of flowers! Directly across the way is the Palestinian village of Silwan, where the famous James ossuary was found…. There is a nice view of the Jewish cemetery on the Mt. of Olives, and of some of the ancient tombs in the Kidron valley….near the so-called tomb of Absalom. The pointed top tomb is from the Hellenistic period…... Read more

August 25, 2018

The City of David archaeological site has been developing in a rapid fashion, and now includes even an underground movie, access to Hezekiah’s tunnel from underground, a good view of Warren’s shaft, not to mention the reconstruction of various structures that were part of David’s original city on the Ophel, including perhaps a portion of David’s palace. And there is also an above the ground film added to this site as well. The movie about the city of David includes... Read more

August 24, 2018

One of my favorite sites, still under excavation is the ancient Pool of Siloam (not to be confused with the exit ramp from Hezekiah’s tunnel and the little pool there. Here are a couple of good shots from my friends at BAS….. Ronny Reich was the head excavator here, and I shot a scene for The Story of Jesus DVD here with him, which you should check out. The work is ongoing because they’ve found the secret stair way that... Read more

August 23, 2018

The Church of All Nations, like the Chapel in Shepard’s Field in Bethlehem is the work of an Italian architect, Antonio Barluzzi. It is a dark, but beautiful building. This church sits at the bottom of the Kidron valley, at the bottom of the Mount of Olives, and the traditional site of the garden of Gethsemane is right next to it. While some of the oldest of these olive trees are hundreds of years old, they are not 2,000 years... Read more

August 23, 2018

The Church of the Holy Sepulchre, which goes back to the time of Queen Helena at least in the 4th century, is the probable locale of Golgotha. It is in fact not one church but many, claimed by so many Orthodox and Catholic denominations that this man has to hold the key to the main door— he’s a Muslim and this tradition goes back in his family to the middle ages! I asked the man sitting at the door— where’s... Read more

August 22, 2018

Along the cardo there are of course food shops as well…. Name that fruit! Needless to say, the food in the Jewish quarter is all kosher. Read more

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