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This is our standard tour to Israel. Details and prices change from year to year. We can also set up custom designed tours for your group.
In The Footsteps of Jesus
This tour includes all the "must see" sites, plus a whole lot more! Try to find these exciting extras in other tours: The Talmudic Village at Qatzrin (a reconstruction of village life in the time of Jesus), the Herodian Quarter Excavations (homes of the wealthy in Jesus' Jerusalem), the Burnt House (dramatic evidence of the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans), Nimrud Fortress (a massive Crusader Castle near the site of Jesus' Transfiguration), Tel Dan (the actual worship platform of one of the golden calves of King Jeroboam), and Hazor (site of exciting new evidence of Joshua's conquest in the north).
These are all in addition to the "must see" sites included in most tours (see itinerary below). Our accomodations in Galilee will be at the peaceful and relaxing En Gev Holiday Village right on the shore of the Sea of Galilee. We will also stay our first night in a Mediterranean seaside hotel in Tel Aviv, and will have a night in one of the popular hotels at the Dead Sea. All this with high-quality teaching that reflects the latest in Christian and Israeli scholarship. You just won't find a tour like this anywhere else!
Why a study tour? To help you learn about--and remember--all the fascinating places you will see, with a depth of Biblical insight you won't find anywhere else.
The focus of this tour is the earthly life and ministry of Jesus--not just to trace out his travels, but to let the local climate, customs, language, and archeology bring us a new, richer understanding of his life and teachings that you will cherish for a lifetime.
Tourist information ("on the right you can see...") is balanced with background Biblical and historical information to give you the "big picture" from a Christian perspective. Timelines, maps, and diagrams help sort out the depth of history found in Israel and can be used long after the tour is over.
A tour is only as good as the guide or teacher who leads it. In a To The Ends Of The Earth Study Tour, you'll get the benefit of Pastor Jeff Harrison's years of teaching experience in Israel and around the world making Israel and the Bible come alive to thousands of students in Israel, North America, and Asia.
In addition to the "must see" sights in Bethlehem, Nazareth, Jerusalem, Masada, Caesarea, and Qumran, we have included many exciting extras: the "Jesus" boat discovered at the Sea of Galilee, a relaxing boat ride on the Sea of Galilee, and the new discoveries in the City of David, including the Siloam Pool and the possible remains of King David's palace. These and other extras raise the price of the tour a little, but we think they're worth it!
We've also scheduled several short walks, with Bible in hand, that will get us away from the buses and the crowds and out into the land so we can see it as Jesus did.
At the Sea of Galilee, we'll be staying at the En Gev holiday resort, located right down by the Sea of Galilee, away from the bustle of Tiberius (though we'll also get to Tiberius for a fish dinner one night). En Gev is the perfect place to soak up the view over the Sea of Galilee or go for a swim. We've done many baptismal renewals there at the beach, and would be happy to do so on this trip for anyone that is interested.
Here's the complete itinerary:
In the Footsteps of Jesus
Day 1 Flight to Israel.
Day 2 Arrival in Israel. Orientation at the hotel to the history, archeology and geography of Israel. Preparation for our time in Galilee. Overnight in a beautiful Mediterranean seaside hotel in Tel Aviv.
Day 3 "Herod's Capital City and the Way of the Sea": Caesarea on the Sea (the Roman capital of King Herod and Pontius Pilate; travels of Peter and Paul), with stops at the Roman theater, hippodrome, Crusader city, and Roman aqueduct. Muqrakah on Mt. Carmel (the confrontation of Elijah and the prophets of Baal). Megiddo (Israel vs. the Canaanites). Nazareth (boyhood home of Jesus): Church of the Annunciation (with remains of the ancient village), Orthodox church of Mary's well (St. Gabriel's; Christianity in the Middle East today). Hippus hike (with view of Sea of Galilee; time permitting). Overnight at the Sea of Galilee: En Gev.
Day 4 "Jesus' Ministry Around the Sea of Galilee": Bus stop for view over the lake and orientation. Gergesene demoniac site (Kursi; early Christians in the Land of Israel). Bethsaida (hometown of Peter and John), Capernaum (Jesus' home base for ministry). Peter Primacy (the resurrection appearance of Jesus by the Sea). Church of the Multiplication (Heptapaegon). Chorazin (the traveling ministry of Jesus). Church of the Beatitudes with optional downhill hike to original Beatitudes site (the Sermon on the Mount; Jesus' vision for the Christian life). Jesus boat museum at Ginnosar. Boat ride to Tiberius. Fish Dinner at Tiberias. Optional baptism in the Sea of Galilee at the hotel. Overnight: En Gev.
Day 5 "Jesus' Withdrawal to Caesarea of Philip": Gamla (Zealot stronghold). Qatzrin (village life in Jesus' day), Road to Damascus (Paul's vision of Jesus), Nimrud Fortress (the Transfiguration), Caesarea Philippi (Jesus' question to the disciples, "Who do men say that I am?"). Tel Dan (site of one of the golden calves; religious compromise in ancient Israel). Hazor (battle of Joshua). Map marking and short “Desert Preparation” orientation, to prepare for the time by the Dead Sea. Overnight: En Gev.
Day 6 "Jesus' Journey to Jerusalem": Beth Shean (Stadium, Theater, Main Excavation area; Saul and Jonathan, city life in the Roman world). Qumran (Dead Sea scrolls). Map marking, Jerusalem preparation. Overnight at the Dead Sea.
Day 7 "Essenes, Zealots, and Messianic Expectations": Masada (Zealots' last stand). Up to Jerusalem. Stop for a view over the Desert of Judea (Wadi Qilt near St. George’s monastery; Jesus' temptation; Jesus' last trip to Jerusalem). Panorama over Jerusalem from the south (Haas Promenade). Bethlehem: Church of the Nativity, Grotto, and St. Catherine’s Church (birthplace of Jesus). 2nd Temple Model at the Israel Museum (model of Jerusalem in the time of Jesus). Overnight in Jerusalem.
Day 8 "Jesus' Ministry in the Temple": Temple Mount, the Western or Wailing Wall, the Wall Tunnel, the S&W Temple Mount Excavations (the Jewish Temple; the conflict between Jesus and the religious authorities of his day). City of David (Jerusalem in the time of King David). Citadel Museum (Upper Palace of Herod). Jaffa Gate. Upper Gehinnom valley walk (time permitting). Overnight: Jerusalem.
Day 9 "Jesus' Passover and Trials": Mt. Zion (the Upper City of Jerusalem in the time of Jesus): Essene Quarter, Early Judeo-Christian synagogue (Tomb of David), Last Supper Room (Cenacle; Jesus' last Passover with the disciples; Passover and the Christian faith), St. Peter Gallicantu (possible house of Caiaphas). Jewish Quarter: Herodian Quarter excavations (Wohl Archaeological Museum; homes of the wealthy in Jesus' Jerusalem), Burnt House (evidence of the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans), Broad Wall (Hezekiah and Isaiah), and Cardo. Dinner: Biblical Meal at Neot Kedumim. Overnight: Jerusalem.
Day 10 "The Crucifixion, Resurrection, and Ascension": Mt. of Olives: Chapel of the Ascension (the ascension of Jesus), Eleona Church (Pater Noster; Jesus' end-times prophecy), Dominus Flevit, Garden of Gethsemane. Stephen’s Gate, Pools of Bethesda (Jesus' healing of the sick man). Via Dolorosa (Jesus carries the cross): Flagellation Chapel, Sisters of Zion, Holy Sepulchre, Garden Tomb. Overnight: Jerusalem.
Day 11 Day off. Optional activities: Yad Vashem, planting a tree, Israel Museum.
Day 12 Departure from Israel.
If you're interested in joining one of our tours, or setting up a tour for your own group, please e-mail us at Jeff@totheends.com