“The Life of Christ” Fall ‘18 Holy Land Tour
Aug 23—Sept 2nd
(Petra, Jordan, Egypt Options thru Sept 8th)
Director: Dr. Clark D. Anderson
Price for Israel: $2,985
Day 1-2 (Thurs & Fri Aug 23—24th): FLY FROM USA to TEL AVIV
Today we fly from the USA to Tel Aviv. When we arrive we will go directly to the Mount of Olives for a view of ‘the Golden City’. We overnight in Jerusalem where our hotel is only steps away from the Old City.
Day 3 (Sat Aug 25th): JERUSALEM CENTER / MT OF OLIVES (BETHESDA)
This morning we enjoy Church Services at the remarkable BYU Jerusalem Center for Near Eastern Studies. The view of Jerusalem during our Service is inspiring. On our way to lunch we will wander down the Mt. of Olives and pass thousands of Jewish graves, including those of the Biblical Prophets; Haggai, Zechariah, & Malachi. We make a brief stop at the ‘Teardrop Church’ and then enjoy lunch in a unique local place near the Old City. We will then visit St. Anne’s which is the ancient site for the Pool of Bethesda. As we make our way back to the hotel we will be introduced to the shopkeeper that makes LDS scripture covers, necklaces, etc. and after dinner those interested can peruse olive wood carvings from the shopkeepers who have been making LDS Olive Wood pieces for over 30 years. We enjoy a relaxed evening and overnight in Jerusalem.
Day 3 (Sun Aug 26th): HUMBLE BEGINNINGS: BETHLEHEM / (MUSEUMS)
Our morning begins with a visit to a local Shepherds’ Field near Bethlehem where we will review the account of the humble beginnings of the Saviors Life. In this setting we will review the Saviors Birth as well as consider Jesus as the ‘Good Shepherd’. We will cross through ‘The Wall’ (20’ cement wall that separates Israel and Palestinian controlled land) and visit the traditional birthplace of the Savior in Bethlehem (Church of the Nativity). This afternoon we will visit the unique historical museums in Jerusalem. The Israeli Museum displays the smallest Bible in the world (the size of a mustard seed), Dead Sea Scrolls, and features the very impressive miniature model of the city of Jerusalem in Christ’s day; The Model City. We conclude our museum visits with the sobering Holocaust Museum, Yad Vashem. Time permitting we will enjoy the sights and sounds of Jerusalem by walking on the Old City Walls of Jerusalem on the Rampart. We again overnight in Jerusalem!
Day 4 (Mon Aug 27th): JESUS/MARY AS A TEENAGERS: NAZARETH (TEMPLE MT)
Today we consider Jesus and Mary during their teenage years as we visit Nazareth and the surrounding areas. Before heading up north we explore what Jews believe is the Center of the Universe and where the Spirit of the Lord resides with a visit to the Tunnels at the Western Wall and the Temple Mount. We view the Dome of the Rock, the Wailing Wall, etc. and discuss the past, present and future of that significant site for all three major religions: Jews, Muslims, & Christians. We travel to Nazareth and from Mount Precipice we will have an amazing view of Nazareth and the surrounding area. Our final stop of the day will be the traditional site of Jesus Baptism at Yardenit at the Jordan River. We then drive around the Sea of Galilee to our Hotel. Checking into our Hotel this evening is a joy. Every room is only steps away from the shore of the Sea of Galilee. This evening you can enjoy a quiet, relaxing evening strolling on the Sea shores, or taking a dip in the Sea, etc.
Day 5 (Tues Aug 28th): JESUS’ MINISTRY: GALILEE (CAPERNAUM / BEATITUDES)
Today we explore the Galilee area where Jesus spent most of His ministry. We begin by boarding a small fishing boat and exploring the Sea of Galilee as we cross to Capernaum. On our way we cut the engines & review some of the scriptural accounts that take place on the Sea. On shore we visit Capernaum which He called ‘His own City’ as well as the Mount of Beatitudes where the Sermon on the Mount was delivered. For lunch those interested can have St. Peter’s Fish from the Sea! This afternoon we’ll visit Peter’s Primacy where the historic conversation took place between the resurrected Jesus and Peter in John 21. Our final site of the day will be a visit to Magdala (birthplace of Mary Magdalene) where there is a brand new church with stunning murals and a portion of the Church dedicated to Women in Jesus Life. We again enjoy another relaxing evening by the Sea of Galilee.
Day 6 (Wed Aug 29th): JESUS’ MINISTRY: GALILEE (CAESAREA / TRANSFIGURATION)
Today we explore more of the Galilee area where Jesus spent the majority of His ministry as well as some other significant scriptural sites. Our first stop features the beautiful Mediterranean Sea and represents the spot where the first Gentile convert joined the Church and the Gospel spread to the world. Paul was imprisoned for 2 years here and also departed for his 4 historic missionary journeys. We will view the ancient theater and aqueducts before making our way north to Mount Carmel. On Mt. Carmel is a great view of the Jezreel Valley (Valley of Armageddon). From this vantage point we will discuss Armageddon, the 2nd Coming and the future of this Holy Land as well as reenact the remarkable story of Elijah and the Priests of Baal. Following lunch, near Carmel, we will drive to the very north border of Israel where we will look over into Lebanon and Syria. We will enjoy a short nature hike to view the ancient city and alter at Tel Dan. Our next stop is at Banias, the ancient site of Caesarea Philippi where Peter is declares as ‘the Rock’. As we bus our way home we will travel on the Golan Heights where we can look over into Syria. From here we also have a great view of Mt. Hermon (Mount of Transfiguration) and will reflect on the remarkable experiences there! This evening we will enjoy our last evening strolling on the Sea shores, etc.
Day 7 (Thurs Aug 30th): JESUS’ FINAL DAYS: BETHANY (LAZARU’S TOMB / DEAD SEA)
Today we visit and consider the events leading up to the death of the Savior and the final days of His mortal ministry. As we make our way back to Jerusalem we pass through the Green Line and parts of the West Bank and will take this opportunity to discuss the current political situation, borders, and history. As we pass Bet She’an we will consider the ‘Fall of Saul’. We drive by Jericho and then make a stop at the Jordan River (Children of Israel River Crossing and Jesus’ baptismal site). Following lunch we will enjoy a quick visit to Qumran (discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls) and also have the unique experience of taking a float in the Dead Sea. You cannot sink! From here we make our way up to Jerusalem. We will visit Bethany and Lazarus’ Tomb and conclude our day with a unique walk through the flowing waters in Hezekiah’s Tunnel. We overnight in Jerusalem.
Day 8 (Fri Aug 31st): JESUS’ FINAL HOURS: (THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST!)
Today is one of our most significant as we venture through the wonders of the ‘Eternal City’ and retrace the events and sites of the final moments of the Saviors Life! We begin in the Upper Room where the Savior held the Last Supper. From here we trace His steps to the Garden of Gethsemane (Church of all Nations). We next visit Caiaphas’ Palace (St. Peter of Gallicantu) where Jesus went before the Sanhedrin and where Peter allegedly denied Christ thrice. Following lunch we enjoy a stop at the Antonio Fortress (Jesus before Pilate) and from here we will follow the Via Dolorosa (or Path of Suffering), the path Jesus carried His cross to Golgotha. Next we will reflect on the burial & resurrection of the Savior as we visit the two possible sites for Golgotha & Calvary. First we visit the Church of the Holy Sepulcher [believed site for many Christians] and then the Garden Tomb [where others feel is the true site]. We will discuss the crucifixion and resurrection of the Savior and the majesty of the final moments of His mortal ministry! We will enjoy our final evening at our hotel and overnight in Jerusalem.
Day 9 (Sat Sept 1st): ME…HERE…NOW: GETHSEMANE (Mt of OLIVES / PETRA)
Today we conclude our Jerusalem and New Testament portion and consider the Me…Here…Now of all we have experienced. We begin our day on the Mt of Olives with some ponder time in the Orson Hyde Memorial Park (Church regulated property and where some feel is the real ‘Garden of Gethsemane’). From the Mt of Olives Jesus officially concludes His mortal ministry on that continent (Acts 1) and fittingly we will in similar fashion conclude our study here as well. Those continuing on will head southward and begin the Book of Mormon/Old Testament focus and portion of our tour while the others will make their way to the airport and begin their journey home.
PETRA, JORDAN Option: $880
Day 9 (Sat Sept 1st): BofM BEGINNINGS: WILDERNESS (TIMNAH / PETRA)
Those continuing on into Jordan and Egypt will depart Jerusalem and go ‘down by the borders near the shore of the Red Sea’ (1 Nephi 2:5) just as Lehi and his family. As we do so we will be traveling on the road from ‘Jerusalem to Jericho’ and will reflect on a certain parable (Luke 10). On the way we pass Qumran (discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls) and stop for a picture of the natural spring and waterfall at Ein-Gedi (where David hid from King Saul) and where we most always see ibex. We vist the majestic Masada and gondola to the top and reflect on its remarkable story. On our way to the Israeli/Jordanian border we enjoy a brief stop at Timnah where we will view a replica of the ancient Tabernacle built by Moses in the wilderness. We will also discuss Sodom & Gomorrah as we drive through that remains of those ancient cities. We cross the border and make our way up to the fascinating city of Petra, Jordan where we will overnight.
Day 10 (Sun Sept 2nd): 7 WONDER OF THE WORLD: PETRA, JORDAN (EGYPT)
This morning we explore Petra, one of the newly voted “7 Wonders of the World.” We will walk down the narrow canyon to the breathtaking view of the Treasury, Petra’s most famous landmark. You will have time to visit this fascinating city carved from the cliffs of the canyon and experience some of the best ruins found anywhere in the world. Petra was once a great commercial empire with a long history, it is best known today as the lost city in the Indiana Jones Movie, The Last Crusade.
*Those not participating in the Egypt Option will take a shuttle up to the airport in Amman, Jordan and begin their journey home!
Those continuing on will cross 2 borders and make their way down to St. Catherine’s in Egypt. We will orient ourselves to our current surroundings (Red Sea) and review the account of the Exodus as we bus our way through the Sinai to our Hotel (Morganland Village) which is near the base of “Mt. Moses”. We will enjoy a relaxing evening reviewing the scriptural account of Moses and the Children of Israel in preparation for our climb up the ancient temple….Mt Sinai.
EGYPT Option: $1,985
Day 11 (Mon Sept 3rd): LIVING THE OLD TESTAMENT: (MT. SINAI / RED SEA)
We arise very early and enjoy a moonlight hike up Mount Sinai (Camels are available for those interested in the adventure). On top we will enjoy the sunrise and a very special meeting before making our descent. Once off the mountain we will bus our way to one of the very best locations for snorkeling and deep sea diving in the world…Sharm El Sheikh (Ras Mohammed). Arriving at this luxurious resort is a very welcomed experience following our early morning hike. We will enjoy all the amenities and comfort of this 5-star resort for the next day and a half. There will time for deep sea diving, snorkeling, swimming, reading, spa treatments, relaxing, etc. We overnight in Sharm.
Day 12 (Tues Sept 4th): RED SEA
This morning we will continue to enjoy the Red Sea. Those who desire can enjoy some of the world’s best snorkeling & deep sea diving and those who are not interested in getting in the water can relax at the resort hotel which has several beautiful pools, a lazy river, spa options, para-sailing, boat adventures, etc. This afternoon those interested can participate in a 4 wheeling experience in the Sinai desert. Other options include a visit to Naama Bay for some shopping and night life, or one can enjoy retiring early and other various options at the resort. We once again overnight in Sharm.
Day 13 (Wed Sept 5th): TEMPLES: (LUXOR & KARNAK)
This morning we take a short flight from Sharm to Luxor. We will first enjoy lunch and then begin our exploration of Luxor where over 60% of the world’s ancient ruins are located. Today we will explore the sites on the East Bank of the river Nile. Our first site is one of the 7 Wonders of the Ancient World and is also one of the largest temple structures in the world; the Karnak Temple. You will truly be amazed at this 64 acre temple. Following dinner we will enjoy an evening visit to the impressive Luxor Temple. These structures are amazing and must be seen to be believed. You might even enjoy these experiences more than the Pyramids in Cairo! We overnight in Luxor.
Day 14 (Thurs Sept 6th): PEARL OF GREAT PRICE: (VALLEY OF KINGS / TEMPLES)
This morning we will explore the sites on the West Bank where we will visit one of the most intriguing spots in the world; the “Valley of the Kings” (burial spot for the Egyptian Pharaohs & Queens). You will marvel at the similarities in Egyptian and LDS beliefs and rituals! We will next take pictures of the Temple of Queen Hatshepsut, the Collosi of Memnon & Nobels as well as Pit Tomb #33 where the Book of Abraham in the Pearl of Great Price was discovered. We will next explore the Temple of Ramses III. Alabaster is mined near Luxor and we will visit a shop that specializes in hand carving alabaster items. This evening we will take a short flight to Cairo and overnight.
Day 15 (Fri Sept 7th): 7 WONDER OF THE WORLD: (PYRAMIDS & SPHINX)
Today we enjoy a full day touring the sites in Cairo! We begin with the splendor of the famous Pyramids & Sphinx. Those interested can go inside the Pyramid as well as take a camel ride (these have a small extra cost). From here we will make a visit to the Egyptian Museum and explore all the unique items there (including a Rosetta Stone replica and the opportunity to view real live mummies as well as King Tut items). This afternoon we will visit one of the largest mosques in the world; the Mohamed Ali Mosque. This evening we will enjoy our ‘last supper’ together with a short program followed by a short rest in our hotel rooms before making our way to the airport to begin our journey home.
Day 16 (Sat Sept 8th): FLY HOME
Today we arrive at our homes and will be reunited with our loved ones!
Taking pictures and documenting such a historic journey is important for each participant. When possible we will provide a professional photographer/historian to accompany the group and capture your journey with professional equipment. Our historian will capture candid and other casual moments of their journey as well as a historical record and summary of key principles taught at each site each day. This will be one more way participants can be ‘in the moment’ and focus on the experience and Spirit as they study onsite. This is also a powerful means of capturing and remembering the experience for years to come. Our photographer also serves as a historian and records every on-site presentation and key discussions on the bus. She will provide an email summary on each evening of the tour which will include the doctrines taught as well as the photos of the day. This is a tremendous aid in digesting the vast amount of information being learned and also being able to sort out the sites as well as what was discussed at each site. At the end of the Tour she will provide those interested with a personalized book of the personal pictures of your journey as well as a summary of our discussions at each site. (An additional $200 per person or $300 per couple will be charged to have her professional services throughout the Tour).
To aid in maximizing this experience a Tour Booklet/Journal will be provided to each participant which will become a memoire and keepsake of their experience as well as an instrument of application and learning (work is underway to create a digital and interactive instrument where participants will use their smart phones in this process). Please let us know if you would like a hard copy of the booklet or if you would prefer a digital copy…or both.