Self-Directed Touring and Driving
Traveling to Israel offers such a wide variety of options that I’d be remiss not to mention it. Going to museums, etc., on my own for a week, and especially renting a car for a day, was a little hard on my nerves. This depends on how much you’re used to driving where people take crazy risks, and/or how much of a risk-taker you are.
Speed with precision is their specialty. Incessantly honking the horn around Jerusalem itself just means “as soon as that light changes you’d better move.” Showing no shame over anything is the norm. English signs will help you on the main highways, but you’ll likely only see Hebrew if you get off them.
If instead, you want to go on a guided tour with a group, local tour guides will likely talk about current day events about one-third of the time. Another third will be for medieval events, and Bible time events will get the last third of the time. It will be information overload for all the first-timers, so bringing a camcorder is ideal. Afterward, everything becomes a blur with too much to remember.
This type of tour will also likely include too much focus on churches at holy sites for anyone’s preference. Unless you actually like the medieval churches, art, and history. (See example, Church of Annunciation.)
Guided Tours with Local Tour Guides
To Focus Best on Bible Time Eras:
Would you regret your arrangements for a trip to Israel if you didn’t make it worth your while? What would make the trip extra special for you? A week of looking at things without someone to explain and tell me interesting insights was plenty for me.
If you want to focus on envisioning Bible times, there are a few experts that I would be happy to go with. A couple I’ve never heard myself, but have had highly recommended to me, is Dr. Doug Bookman or Dr. John Currid.
Dr. Bookman teaches at the Shepherds Theological Seminary and wrote a few books. My parents heard him speak and thought he was the best.
2 Experts I’d Recommend Going to Israel With
Dr. John Currid is the author of numerous books including the commentary on Leviticus that I quote lots in my blogs. A Christian man I met highly recommended him, and I’m very happy I read his Leviticus commentary.
I’d also recommend the Biblical Resources Center and Nazareth Village. These 2 organizations were the highlight of my trips in 2002 and in 2004. But since I learned so much from both of them, I’ll soon have to create 2 more webpages with a better introduction to each of them.
The 2 Experts I Went With Myself, That I’d Recommend
The first time I went to Israel was with Friends of Israel and a local tour guide. They took us to the Biblical Resources Center for an evening, which at that time was still in Jerusalem. My visit there convinced me that, when I went back to Israel in 2004, I should go with this organization, instead. Dr James Fleming is the Christian archaeologist I went with in 2004, and Hannaniah Pinto was his assistant.
Hannaniah took us on the first half of the tour north to Galilee. He grew up in Brazil and went to Israel right after college. He lived there 20 years. Then the tourism industry in Israel was dying and opportunity opened for the Biblical Resources staff to open their facility in Lagrange, Georgia, instead.
Dr Fleming went to Israel in 1969 when he took a year’s graduate course in history, geography and archaeology of the Bible at the Hebrew University. “That was when he became ‘hooked’ on Israel.” Listening to him was a lot like listening to someone reciting an encyclopedia set, except he could make it all so much more interesting.
Hannaniah and Dr Fleming have written at least a few books together or apart. Dr Fleming also had numerous lectures printed. I quote from them a little in my blogs and found them most helpful especially in my early days of research.
These 4 experts I list on this webpage don’t likely all go to Israel every year, but it’s well worth saving and waiting to go with them the next time they are going. Make your trip worthwhile, when you do go. And bring a recording device!
Changes for my website
Praise the Lord! My students finished helping me with the latest technology and now I’ll be busy all summer with improving my presentations and organizing my material to significantly improve your experience here. If you want to keep tabs on the latest edits, check out the bottom of my blog index.
- Putting out a Fleece, Casting Lots, and Choosing that Hill to Die on February 24, 2020
- False Humility in the NT, Apocrypha, and Pseudepigrapha, Part 3 of 3 February 17, 2020
- False Humility in the NT, Apocrypha, and Pseudepigrapha, Part 2 of 3 February 10, 2020
- False Humility in the NT, Apocrypha, and Pseudepigrapha, Part 1 of 3 February 3, 2020
- Christ’s Temptation as our Inspiration January 26, 2020
– View previous posts –
My Plans for Blogging
My story of forgiveness and healing is quite unrelated to envisioning the Bible world. But since our world is sin and pain infested, I suspect many will want to hear more about my personal experience. I anticipate writing a couple of blogs about this, but mostly I’ll focus on envisioning the Bible world.
Heather, Christmas 2021
Plans for Improved Website:
The following documentary links are gradually going to disappear from here this summer, appearing instead under the menu option “Tour Israel.” There, I’ll cover more introduction and pictures to the areas these links cover.