In Context, In Israel: Explore, Learn, Grow

Holy_Land_Trip_20162Imagine standing on the Mount of Olives or walking around the ruins of Jericho. Envision yourself sitting on the ancient steps to the Temple, wading through the dark waters of Hezekiah’s tunnel, standing atop Mt. Nebo (Jordan), and surveying the land of Israel as Moses did in ancient days. Consider what it would be like to swim in the Dead Sea and get refreshed in the streams of En Gedi where David fled from (and encountered) Saul; or to view the wilderness of Maktesh Ramon and walk the Judean wilderness. That is only a fraction of what I experienced in the Holy Land and what has been built into the Northeastern Seminary study tour in Israel coming up in July 2016. My Bible study and devotions have never been the same and messages from the pulpit have come alive whether preaching or listening to others.   

Ever since my first trip to Israel in 1997 I found ways to return again and again—now four times. In a recent trip I studied at Jerusalem University College (JUC), the premiere location to study in Israel. Early in the morning I would wake up and sit on the Old City walls for personal devotions or walk through the Old City before the shops opened and the tourists invaded. With every trip, I found blessing and further confidence and understanding in my study of God’s word. 

It’s an investment but the experience is unforgettable:

■ Bible in hand, the field becomes your classroom

■ Some of the best scholars on Ancient Israel are the instructors

■ There is no “licensed” canned instruction—JUC is the only Christian organization allowed by the Israeli government to provide direct “tours” and education in the land

■ Jewish and Christian perspectives offer insight

■ Traditional vs. biblical and archaeological evidence provide the real story!

■ College/Seminary/continuing education credits can be earned

This is not a trip comprised of the basics. When you get to study the biblical text from the places it unfolded the learning goes deep. You see and hear the sounds of the Old City and walk through the city gates. You walk where Jesus and his disciples walked. You stand where Goliath confronted Israel. You cross the Sea of Galilee by boat and come to understand the historical and geographical settings of the Bible.

God is not more present in Israel … but the context of his word is. Immersing yourself in the wonder of the land of the Bible comes with a warning!  You will want to return, again and again.

Chris Kelley (M.Div. ‘07) is a national instructor with Walk Thru the Bible, has led medical mission trips to Africa, and has provided interim pastor support to a number of area churches. He travels extensively around the world as founder of Be a Berean Ministries and as vice president of ANKOM Technology.

Northeastern Seminary in partnership with Jerusalem University College Institute of Holy Land Studies and Be a Berean will be hosting a Holy Land Study Tour July 1—July 17, 2016. To learn more about this study tour and how to register by visiting the Northeastern Seminary website at

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