HOLY LAND TOUR
BIBLE HISTORY AND GEOGRAPHY
A Study Tour of the Holy Land—Designed for the Layman
Dr. Bob Radford, Professor of Bible History & Bible Geography
March 4-16, 2019
Prices are per person and include round trip from our gateway city (TBA) to Tel Aviv; accommodations in 1st class hotels, double occupancy, with breakfast and dinner daily. Note our unique pricing in the travel industry: the larger the group, the lower the cost per person. We pass the savings on to the tour participant! Plus, our maximum of 45 persons insures an individualized tour, providing a more meaningful
experience for you. Amazingly, the pricing below is comparable to 2008 prices.
Dulles Departure *Land Only
If the group totals: 30-34 persons: TBD 30-34 persons: $2,133
35-39 persons: TBD 35-39 persons: $2,074
40-44 persons: TBD 40-44 persons: $2,025
45 persons: TBD 45 persons: $1,989
We do not know what the air fare will be this early out. However, whatever the airline charges will be added to the price.
*Land Only is for non-USA departures or for those wishing to purchase their own flight to Tel Aviv using frequent flyer miles, etc.
- Escorted by internationally-known, Israeli scholar guide, Gideon Shor
- Travel in a deluxe motor coach
- Only two hotels; 5 nights on the Sea of Galilee; 6 nights in Jerusalem
ALL OF THE STANDARD SITES PLUS THESE NOT OFFERED BY OTHER TOURS:
Western Wall Tunnel Gilgal Jacob’s Well
Burial caves at St. Stephen's Hazor Herodium
Warren’s Shaft & Hezekiah's Tunnel Shiloh Gamla
Tombs of the kings of the house of David Bethsaida Susita (Hippos)
Foot descent of the Arbel Cliffs Mt Gerizim Tabgha
For more information: Dr. Bob Radford 540-808-8250
HOLY LAND TOUR ITINERARY
Your pilgrimage to Israel will be an exciting time of comprehending the unique relationship of the land to the Bible. Many Bible land tours are merely fast-paced excursions which focus on shrines and souvenir shops. While we do not ignore these interesting and necessary aspects, the express purpose of our tour is to introduce the traveler to the importance of the Holy Land's geography and history for a deeper understanding of the Bible, and hopefully to whet the appetite to pursue further study upon returning home. After teaching Bible geography many years in the college classroom, Dr. Radford is able to simplify for the layman the complex science of Bible history and archaeology. This tour is specifically designed for the layman working to become a better Bible student. It will be more than just a “feel-good” experience, yet you will find it a fun-filled adventure.
You will appreciate the convenience and comfort of using two hotels as "hubs." We have booked two that are highly sought after: Ma'agan Kibbutz (for 5 nights) right on the southern shore of the Sea of Galilee; Olive Tree Hotel (for 6 nights) adjacent to the ancient city in Jerusalem. Each day by bus we will venture out and return using different roads in order to show you more of the land. You may wish to view the websites of our hotels to get a feel for their comfortable and fine accommodations: Ma'agan Kibbutz in Galilee; www.maagen.co.il/en and Olive Tree Hotel in Jerusalem www.olivetreehotel.com.
I invite you to compare our 13-day Holy Land tour with all other tours, most only 7-9 days long, yet often priced much higher than ours. Sar-el, our Israeli land tour company, told me in 2008 and again in 2011 that my itinerary is the most comprehensive list of sites they have ever provided for tours to Israel in their 28 years of business. Our tour of 13 days will provide the time you need to truly experience the Holy Land and every important Bible site. You will thrill at the many opportunities to learn and reflect upon the Scriptures on our adventure through the land of the Bible. Count on 10 hours daily for touring (8:00 AM to 5:45 PM, and three 7:30 AM departures) and slowly walking two or three miles each day. Following is a list of the sites to be included:
Sea of Galilee Area
- Tel Kursi (the Gaderenes)
- Tel Hador (feeding of the 4,000)
- Mount of Beatitudes
- Tabgha (traditional site of the feeding of the 5,000)
- Capernaum, the second-century synagogue, and Peter's house
- Boating across the Sea of Galilee
- Kibbutz Nof Ginosar where an ancient fishing vessel (“the Jesus boat”) dating to the NT era
is on display
- Susita (Hippos)—The spectacular ruins of one of the cities of the Decapolis for a
magnificent view of the Sea of Galilee from 1,000’ abo the eastern shore of the lake
- Magdala to view one of only two remaining first-century synagogues in Israel
- The Arbel Cliffs with beautiful vistas of the Sea of Galilee and optional hiking down the cliff
- Bethsaida and the newly excavated ruins (Biblical site of the feeding of the 5,000)
- Swimming in the Sea of Galilee (optional)
- Hazor, to examine the tel, the city water tunnel and palace Joshua burned with fire
- Springs of Dan and the tel, the northernmost city of OT Israel and the city gate dating to Abraham; the headwaters of the Jordan
- Golan Heights and spectacular views of Mt. Hermon
- Caesarea Philippi and Banias to catch the significance of Christ's words to Peter, ". . . Thou
art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail
against it" (Matt. 16:18)
- Gamla: view the largest of only two remaining first-century synagogues in Israel; dolmens;
spectacular flight of the Griffin vultures with their 6’ wingspan
- Caesarea, the Crusader fort, Roman theater, Roman aqueduct and newly-excavated
Herod’s seaside palace
- Extensive excavations of Beth-shan
- Shiloh, the most important location for the tabernacle prior to David’s bringing the ark to
- Gilgal, the base camp of operations for Israel’s taking the Promised Land
- Gideon's spring at the base of Mt. Gilboa
- Megiddo overlooking the Jezreel Valley (Biblical Armageddon) to examine the vast
excavation, underground water system and museum; here we can appreciate the concept
of Israel as the ancient Land Bridge
- Mt. Carmel and the monastery overlooking the Jezreel Valley
- Nazareth: the Church of the Annunciation and the precipice overlooking the Jezreel Valley
- Cana, the city of the Lord’s first miracle
- Mt. Gerizim, overlooking Shechem to gain the perspective of shouting the blessings from
Gerizim and curses from Mt. Ebal (political climate permitting). Atop Mt. Gerizim we view
the excavations of the Byzantine church built on the site of the Samaritan temple. Also
there will be a short visit to Jacob’s Well.
- Emmaus & Valley of Aijalon
- Beth Shemesh, site of the return of the Ark of the Covenant
- Valley of Elah where David slew Goliath; Socoh and Azekah
- Spectacular views of Mt. Tabor
- Mount of Olives and promenade overview of Jerusalem, entering Jerusalem from the south
- Orientation on the Mount of Olives with the magnificent panorama of the ancient city of
Jerusalem; optional walk down the Palm Sunday
- Garden of Gethsemane
- Pool of Bethesda and Church of St. Anne; Lions’ Gate
- Western wall (Wailing Wall) and Wilson’s Arch
- Western wall tunnel
- The Pavement, Pilate's judgment hall
- Temple Mount area, Dome of the Rock, the Mosque of El Aksa, the Dung Gate and the
- Southern steps of the Temple Mount and the elaborate, newly-constructed archaeological
- The Jaffa Gate and Citadel of David
- Church of the Holy Sepulcher
- Damascus Gate
- The magnificent Roman plaza below the Damascus Gate (optional—additional fee)
- Gordon's Calvary (Skull Hill), Garden Tomb and Jeremiah's Grotto
- Shrine of the Book where the Dead Sea Scrolls are on display; the huge model of New
- Traditional site of David's Tomb; the traditional Upper Room of the Last Supper
- Church of St. Peter in Gallicantu (Caiaphas' palace)
- Warren’s Shaft and Hezekiah's Tunnel; optional wading through the 1,749 feet by flashlight,
ending in the Pool of Siloam; tombs of the kings of the House of David
- Spectacular burial cave at Écôle Biblique (St. Stephen's Convent) to learn OT burial
customs while walking in the midst of human bones
- King David Street Market for endless shopping; Tarshish Antiquities
Store (for those interested)
Out from Jerusalem
- Bethlehem; Church of the Nativity and drive by the shepherds' fields
- Herodium, one of Herod’s many building accomplishments; the recently discovered
sepulcher of Herod the Great
- Masada: travel by cable car to the top of the mountain to see where Jewish zealots held out
for three years against the Romans after Jerusalem’s fall; Herod's palace, the baths, and
the Roman siege camps
- En Gedi for optional swimming in the Dead Sea
- Qumran where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found
- Jordan River opposite Jericho, the site of the crossing of the Children of Israel into the
Promised Land and Jesus’ baptism by John
- Jericho to see the remains of the walls that fell
- St. George Monastery & The Jericho Road
Our tour offers all the standard touring sites plus many others which are beyond the opportunity of the average traveler to Israel. Consider the privileges at just a few of the sites from the above list:
1. Western Wall tunnel. This newly-opened tunnel affords the visitor a first-hand, underground view of the great Herodian stones supporting the Temple Mount. Unlike the above-ground ashlars which have been exposed to the weather and elements for 2,000 years, these underground stones are in pristine condition and reveal not only Herod’s amazing engineering accomplishment, but also the beauty of his work.
2. Caves at St. Stephen's (Écôle Biblique). Only six feet (measured underground) from the Garden Tomb where Jesus was buried, this truly amazing display of Old Testament burial customs is not available to tourists, but is accessible to “educational tours” by special permission. We walk through a complex of burial caves, complete with human bones dating perhaps to the first temple period (c. 960-586 B.C.). Many agree that the visit to St. Stephen's is a highlight of their trip, second only to the Garden Tomb and Calvary!
3. Hezekiah's tunnel. Facing impending siege by Sennacherib in 701 B.C., King Hezekiah of Judah and the Prophet Isaiah realized the need to safeguard Jerusalem's water supply. Hezekiah sealed off the opening of the Gihon Spring which lay outside the city wall, and cut a 1,749-foot-long tunnel through solid rock to bring the Gihon waters by gravity flow under the wall and into a storage basin, called the Pool of Siloam. For the adventurous Bible student the tour will include an optional walk by flashlight through the two-foot-wide tunnel in up-to-knee-deep water. An alternate offering will be the well-lit, dry Siloam channel.
4. Arbel Cliffs. The Arbel Cliffs offer spectacular vistas of the area central to Jesus' earthly ministry. The energetic tour member will want to take the breathtaking optional 90-minute hike descending from the cliffs high above the beautiful Sea of Galilee.
5. Bethsaida. Bethsaida was an important New Testament town, the home of Peter, Andrew, and Philip and the location of the feeding of the 5,000. Only recently discovered, Bethsaida has undergone extensive archaeological study.
6. Mt. Gerizim. Atop Mt. Gerizim the Samaritans built a rival temple to that of Jerusalem. Excavations have recently revealed the ancient ruins of a Byzantine church which now cover the site. From Gerizim you will look across the mountain pass (at Shechem) to Mt. Ebal and envision 2 million Israelites on the two mountains shouting back and forth the blessings and cursings of the Law of Moses.
7. Herodium. This is a splendid example of the many building accomplishments of Herod the Great. Not only the location of Herod’s sepulcher, this fortress comprises another of his palaces and a synagogue. The structure itself is amazing, and from the panoramic view atop the Herodium we will see Bethlehem, Tekoa, and far across the Dead Sea into Jordan.
MEET THE TOUR STAFF
Widely recognized as a master teacher, our Israeli tour guide, Gideon Shor, has been specially selected to lead us through his land. The Israeli government engages Gideon's services whenever it receives state visits. Gideon is a veritable fountain of information—an amazing teacher with a profound appreciation for the detailed accuracy of the Scriptures. His knowledge of the history and geography of Israel is encyclopedic!
Although many Israeli guides frequently make passing references to the Scriptures, quite frankly most do not even carry a Bible. However Dr. Radford and Gideon will make the Bible "come alive" at each site. You will be thrilled on-site as we read directly from the Bible, using God's Word to expound on historical events.
Our tour host, Dr. Bob Radford, was professor of Bible at Maranatha Baptist Bible College in Watertown, Wisconsin where he taught Bible history and Bible geography for 12 years. He is a graduate of Los Angeles Baptist College and Seminary (B.A., M.Div.) and Bob Jones University (D.Min.; dissertation title—Study Guide for Holy Land Travel). Dr. Radford teaches national pastors worldwide, conducts Bible conferences in the USA and leads tours to the Holy Land. His field of expertise is applying the knowledge of Bible geography and manners and customs to better understand the Scriptures. Dr. Radford has toured Israel many times and delights to provide others the opportunity to experience first-hand the Land of the Bible. A Bible teacher of forty-five years, he is known for his passion for studying the Scriptures and his emphasis on using one’s knowledge of the Old Testament to understand New Testament truths. Realizing that most pilgrims to the Holy Land will make the trip only one time, Dr. Radford’s desire is to make their experience the “trip of a lifetime,” covering everything of importance.