Ancient and Modern

On Wednesday in our ‘Going Places’ class, we were introduced to the website and blog, and the excellent work of Todd Bolen. This week’s ‘Weekend Roundup’ on Todd’s blog includes a link to a good tourism video made in celebration of the 64th anniversary of Israel’s independence.

There is interesting footage of modern urban Israel as well as some great images of fauna that we have not yet seen in the context of our study. Enjoy!

Todd’s post this weekend also includes a note about a sale on the ESV Study Bible for Kindle. This is a very good study Bible if you are in the market.


“Going Places” Gets Into the Bible

It is exciting to read the Scriptures as we study these places in the Holy Land during our “Going Places” class on Wednesday evenings. Here are a few passages from last week that we looked at together, and several more that are relevant to those locales for your personal study. Take a few moments to look some of them up and read with the images of the land in mind from our study. And enjoy!

Caesarea Maritima

Acts 8:40; 9:30; 10:1-48; 11:11; 12:19-23; 18:22; 21:8-16; 23:22-35; 24:1-27; 25:1-22; 25:23–26:32; 27:1

Mt. Carmel

1 Kings 18:16-40
Song of Songs 7:5
Isaiah 35:2

Jezreel Valley

Judges 6–7
1 Samuel 29:1; 31:1-8
1 Kings 18:41-46
Luke 7:11-17 (Nain was on the northern slope of the Hill of Moreh.)


Joshua 12:21; 17:11, 12
Judges 1:27
1 Kings 4:12; 9:15
2 Kings 9:27
2 Kings 23:29-30; 2 Chronicles 35:22-24
Revelation 16:12-16

Dig It: Water and the Word

In the introductory session of our class “Going Places” last week, we discussed some of the theological connections between the land, the people, and the blessings of God. God used the weather—specifically the rainfall—as a living lesson in Israel’s need to trust God and to be faithful in their covenant relationship. Wayne Stiles has some great thoughts on this in a recent post on his blog.

And speaking of water, we will be talking about the Sea of Galilee next week. The Jerusalem Post recently reported that water levels are encouragingly higher this fall for three main reasons. See the article here.

The history of the Crusades that John referred to in the Going Places class Wednesday is: The Dream and the Tomb: A History of the Crusades, by Robert Payne (1984).

HT: Todd Bolen

Packing List – What do I bring?

Packing List and Other Information

Know that it can be rainy, snowy and as cold as 40°F in Israel during the winter.

 • slacks (for touring or going out at night)
• 1 Sweatshirts/ Sweaters
• 2 Long sleeve shirts
• 4 Short sleeve shirts
• 1 Bathing suit
• 1 Hand towel (for swimming outside of hotels)
• 2 Plastic bags for wet clothes
• Undergarments
• Socks
• Light jacket with a hood
• Sneakers or walking shoes (with traction for wet Jerusalem stone, and with straps or laces)

• Sandals or water shoes for swimming in the Dead Sea
• Sleepwear/ Long Johns
• Travel alarm
• Flashlight (mini)
• Camera
• Film / batteries (bring extra, because it’s much more expensive in Israel)
• Fanny pack or money belt

Airplane Backpack
• Passport

• Change of clothes
• Deodorant
• Camera
• iPod/MP3 Player
• Toothpaste
• Toothbrush
• Magazine, books, etc. – all of this could be on an iPod/iPad/ tablet device.
• Journal
• Snacks


sleeping mask / ear plugs

• Bible

Touring Attire
We recommend modest dress.  You can wear exactly what you’d wear here. For example, a nice shirt and pants or a casual skirt. Comfortable walking shoes are essential. FYI- many of the streets are paved with stone…it’s challenging to wear shoes with awkward heels/soles on uneven pavement.
Plan to bring a day pack with a smaller case to take with you at the sites.  You may want to leave a few items on the bus while visiting a site.
In Israel, most of the same products they sell in America are available, although they are at a substantially higher cost:

• Shampoo/Conditioner
• Soap
• Toothbrush
• Toothpaste
• Deodorant
• Lip balm
• Razor
• After-shave
• Band-Aids
• personal products

• Sunscreen
• Tylenol/ Ibuprofen
• Eyeglasses/ contact lenses
• Anti-bacterial hand lotion
• Any prescription medicine (acquiring the generic name is recommended)

• A small bottle of febreeze or air freshener.

A few more suggestions that will make your trip to Israel more comfortable:

• Batteries
• Tissue packs
• Sunglasses
• Photocopy of your passport
• Gum/ candy/ snacks

• Cash for shopping, lunches, etc.

You can find more information about Israel at the Israel Ministry of Tourism

‘Going Places’ Class begins October 3

This Wednesday, Oct. 3, a short series of classes to support our upcoming journey to the Holy Land will begin. We are delighted to offer an opportunity to gather, to get acquainted, to study together, and to prepare. The series is called ‘Going Places’ because it will focus on the land and the locations that we will visit, and on the significance of these places to our understanding of Scripture.

‘Going Places’ will also include an introduction and review of some basic resources for the study of the land, its historical geography, and biblical and archaeological studies in general. There will be many recommendations and opportunities to share excellent resources for further personal study and preparation.

Please note (this is very important): ‘Going Places’ is a class that is open to all, not just to those who will travel with us in January. While some of our discussion will relate directly to the trip, most of the content of this learning experience is relevant to anyone interested in the subject. Come one and all for the entire series, or choose the topics that most appeal to you. You can see the lineup and some specifics about each session here.

The study will meet six times this fall and twice in January, from 7:00 to 8:30 pm in Room C200. Note that we will not meet on Oct. 31. As soon as the exact dates in January are determined, they will be posted on this site. Join this exciting and informative adventure here in McKinney, and if would like to come along to the Holy Land, let us know. There’s room for you!