Description

Israel Tour Dr. Bryan Widbin & All Souls Church - August 2025

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All Souls Community Church and BibleSettings Pilgrimages is pleased to announce “Walking in the Footsteps of Jesus.” For over three decades, BibleSettings Pilgrimages have been acclaimed as among the most inspiring and informative experiences available in the Holy Land. This uniquely designed trip visits all of the sites known to our Lord and to those who love the Scriptures. We give special attention to the formative years of Jesus, their influence upon his life and teachings, and their effect upon how he engaged the Jewish and Greco-Roman worlds of his day. We also unpack the faith of Jesus (ancient Judaism) for a richer understanding of faith in Jesus (early Christianity).


Dr. Bryan Widbin (PhD in Hebrew Bible, Brandeis University) will be our guide every daily on our pilgrimage. Bryan is unmatched as a believing scholar, who is licensed by the State of Israel, has lived and worked in the middle east, and has a rich knowledge of the cultures, languages and history of the Bible. Warm and zestful as a person, he also has the wonderful gift of making our pilgrimage both richly informational and deeply inspirational. You simply cannot imagine how importantly this pilgrimage will impact your knowledge of the Bible and your walk with Christ. Come imagine a new story for yourself as we trace it within the story of Jesus!
Warmly,
Pastor Will


 

What's Included

Our tours are all-inclusive. Always.

All-Inclusive Pricing
Handpicked Hotels
Entrance Fees
Guided Tours
Gratuities & Tips
Deluxe A/C Buses
Portable Listening Devices
Fuel Surcharges
Buffet Breakfasts & Dinners
International Airfare

Videos

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Itinerary

Day by Day

  • 1
    Thursday
    New York, Tel Aviv

    Tour members are welcomed for our departing flight to Tel Aviv via wide-body aircraft arriving the next day. Meals served on board.

  • 2
    Friday
    Arrive Tel Aviv, Caesarea Maritima

    Upon your arrival, we motor up the coast to the capital city of Roman Palestine, Caesarea by the Sea. This expansive city built by Herod the Great just before the birth of Jesus furnishes an experience in the worlds of Greek culture and Roman imperialism. It also sets the stage for our understandings of early Christianity, with both Jewish and Gentile influences. Important comparisons of Herod the Great with Jesus furnish an opening look at early Christians’ understanding of our Lord.

  • 3
    Saturday
    Jesus in Anticipation: Greeks, Romans, and Second Temple Judaism

    Mount Carmel, Megiddo, Nazareth Precipice, Nain. Our morning opens with a drive to Mount Carmel, which bisects the land cutting off the largely Gentile north from the core of the country in the central mountain range. We begin on the highest peak of the mountain with a consideration of the encounter between the prophet Elijah and the prophets of Baal (I Kings 18). Understanding the collision between alternative kingdoms envisioned by the kings, on one hand, and the prophets, on the other, is exceedingly important for gaining a proper foundation for Jesus’ life and teachings. We then travel along the ridge above the Jezreel Valley to the Old Testament city of Megiddo (I Kings 9:15) and a look at the Valley of Armageddon. Lots of insights and experiences here laying a foundation for the days to come. Then it’s on to the city of Nazareth. From atop the precipice south of town we lay out the battle lines of the northern tribes as they encountered the chariot forces of the Canaanites (Judges 4 and 5) and then speak about synagogue activities prior to the first Jewish revolt and the essence of Jesus’ presentation to the scholars who sought to cast Jesus from these very cliffs (Luke 4:1-16). Before settling in for the night then, we stop at the village of Nain in lower Galilee, where Jesus raised the widow’s son from the dead (Luke 7), and then traverse the hills that Jesus knew so well to our stop for several nights in the city of Tiberias on the shores of the Sea of Galilee.

  • 4
    Sunday
    Sepphoris, Basilica of the Annunciation, Nazareth, Arbel, Jordan

    This day in the region of lower Galilee begins at the newly built city of Sepphoris, capital of the regime of Antipas, son and heir of Herod the Great. Its majestic theater, water system, Jewish quarter, and palaces capture our imagination. Here Salome danced before Antipas on Purim in 28CE and requested the execution of John the Baptist (Mark 6:23). Sepphoris was labelled by Josephus “the ornament of the Galilee,” and so it was. We then move on to Nazareth for a look inside the Herodian remains of the town where Jesus grew up and visit the largest church in the middle east, The Basilica of the Annunciation, which sits atop the Herodian village. After lunch we move to the brow of the hill, Mount Precipice, where the elders of the town thought to cast Jesus down (Luke 4:1-16) after his offense in interpreting the oracle of Isaiah. We then move back to the region of the Sea for one more overlook to take in Antipas’ “kingdom,” and then, to the inlet of the Jordan River from its northern sources for a discussion of baptism as viewed by John and Paul. We’ll have time here for a historic pilgrim rite celebrated for pilgrims by the first bishop of Jerusalem, St. Cyril, in the late 4th century. Overnight Kibbutz Nof Ginosar, Tiberias.

  • 5
    Monday
    Gergesa, Chaorazin, Sermon on the Mount, Capernaum, Tamar Lunch, Boat Ride

    Our day begins at the site of the so-called “swine miracle” on the opposite side of the Sea of Galilee at Gergesa. Here Jesus encountered the demoniac from the Decapolis. Then we motor on to the northwest corner of the Sea to the medium-sized town of Chorazin. Much to be gained here about Jewish life in first century Galilee. Then it’s on to a spectacular view of the lake, stopping at the area of the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7), for a walk down the sloping hill here Jesus taught the multitudes who gathered around him. While we walk, we’ll stop frequently to discuss the major points of Jesus’ point-of-view on the Kingdom of God and its relationship to the historic covenant faith of Israel and later Judaism. Then, just before lunch, we stop at the ruins of Capernaum, where Jesus found a “safe house” with his disciples while in the area of the Sea. Lots to take in here at this “favorite town” of Jesus. Finally, after lunch, we’ll board a boat fashioned from the ferries of Jesus’ day, relaxing with modern day fishermen on the waters of the Sea. On the way back to our stopping place, we view the remains of Tiberias, built by Antipas in 14AD, in honor of his patron, Tiberius Caesar. The city of Tiberias, a harbor town, was constructed by Antipas as a miniature version of his father’s Caesarea on the coast. Overnight Kibbutz Nof Ginosar, Tiberias.

  • 6
    Tuesday
    Jesus in Finalizing: Beit Shean, Qumran, New Testament, Jericho Approach, Qumran, Camel Ride

    Our day begins with a move along south to the impressive remains of “The Star of the Decapolis,” Beth Shean/ Scythopolis. We’ll take some time here to walk through a day in the life of a citizen of this world famous Roman-Byzantine city. Then just before lunch we drive on to the important site of Jericho in the days of the New Testament. We’ll stand at the entrance to the royal estate where Jesus encountered the blind man Bartemaeus (Luke 18) and walk through the city where He found tax farmer Zacchaeus in a sycamore tree (Luke 19). After lunch, we move to the vicinity of the Dead Sea (400 meters below sea level!) for a visit to Qumran. Here Essene sectarians produced the famous Dead Sea scrolls, which tell us much about the state of the Hebrew Scriptures at the time of Jesus. We’ll also view some of the caves where the scrolls were found. Then before bedding down for the night in Jerusalem, we offer an opportunity to ride camels at the site of Old Testament Jericho, where the walls fell down.

  • 7
    Wednesday
    Dead Sea Adventures: Ein Gedi, Masada, Qalya Beach, Jerusalem

    This morning we set out from Jerusalem to the canyon where David hid from Saul at Ein Gedi. We get a full experience of desert life here and a deep sense of what water in the desert meant to the psalmists and what it still means to the people who live here. Then it’s on to the infamous fortress of Masada where in 73 AD, Zealot rebels and their families held on to the last against the 10th legion of Rome. The impressive remains here will leave a last impression about what this site means to the state of modern Israel and can mean to us as well. Afterwards, we move north again for lunch on the northern shore of the Dead Sea and then a welcome swim (or float!) in this absolutely unique body of water (35% salt!). Our day comes to an end as our bus climbs once again to holy city of Jerusalem, our residence for the duration of our stay in Israel.

  • 8
    Thursday
    Jesus in Birth: Israel Museum, Wohl Archaeological Museum, Bethlehem

    We begin this day at the Israel Museum in the modern west city for a look at the Jerusalem of Jesus’ day, via a 1:50 scale model of Herodian Jerusalem. This mind-capturing model is necessary for appreciating the events of Passion Week tomorrow. Before leaving the museum, we view some of the actual Dead Sea Scrolls housed in the Shrine of the Book at the museum. Then, we return to the Old City of Jerusalem to the remains of Herod’s Praetorium and Palace, where King Herod entertained the Magi on their way to Bethlehem and where Pilate tried and sentenced Jesus for sedition. Then, we’re off to Bethlehem for lunch and some shopping, before an unforgettable visit to the site of Herod the Great’s mausoleum at Herodium, just a few miles away. We compare here this notorious, world-famous figure, “the king by might,” with Jesus the Galilean, “the king by right,” born close by. Our day ends with a visit to the birthplace of our Lord, at one of the three oldest churches in the world, the Basilica of the Nativity, dedicated in 339AD. Here, we enter the cave below the church where records from as early as the 2nd century mark the birthplace of our Lord. Overnight Ambassador Hotel, Jerusalem.

  • 9
    Saturday
    Jesus and the Passion: The Mount of Olives, Gethsemane, Upper Room Site, St. Peter of Gallicantu, The Church of the Holy Sepulcher

    This final, very meaningful day in Jerusalem begins with a panoramic view of the city from just west of Bethany, on the Mount of Olives. Here we will lay out the steps of Jesus between March 27, and April 4, in 33AD, the days of his passion. Then, we walk along the pilgrim route to Gethsemane, where we’ll enter the cave of the olive press, the “place” where Jesus gathered in secret with his disciples on the night he was betrayed. We also find a quiet spot in the olive garden to contemplate the agonizing temptation of our Lord. Just before lunch then, we visit the site of the Upper Room where Jesus ate the Passover feast with his disciples and then, immediately go to the Church of St. Peter in Gallicantu, where Peter denied Jesus. The denial of our Lord occurred just below where Jesus was interrogated before Caiaphas and the Sadducean authorities of the Sanhedrin. After lunch, we start at the site of the Roman trials before Pontius Pilate, where Jesus was scourged and condemned to death and walk the 1st century “Via Dolorosa” to the site of his crucifixion and resurrection. This very emotional day ends with our hands on the bedrock near the tomb, the rock that shook when the earthquake released our risen Lord. A lavish farewell meal and celebration at the hotel concludes our extraordinary experience together, a foundation for the rest of our lives. Transfer to Ben Gurion Airport, Tel Aviv, for your early morning flight to NY/JFK via Istanbul (March 24).

  • 10
    Sunday
    Home

    This morning we arrive back in the USA and transfer to our flight home with unforgettable memories to cherish always. Knowing we have walked in the footsteps of Jesus and the early Christians on such a memorable tour will bring new meaning to our Bible Reading.

  • 11
    Friday
    Free Day

    A day at leisure for relaxation and reflection. We’ll get you started with a walk to the New Gate, the 8th and final gate of the Old City, built in 1889, by the Ottoman Turkish Sultan Abu Hamid. Afterwards, we’ll give you plenty of options to get the most out of this day on your own. As Sabbath breaks in, we highly recommend a stop at the Western Wall. This is the historic retaining wall of Herod’s temple esplanade, known throughout the world as an important center of contemporary Judaism. Overnight Ambassador Hotel, Jerusalem.

Departure Date
Jul 31 - Aug 10, 2025
Price / Person
$5,650.00
Tour Number: 250823

All Souls Church

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Romans 10:9 "because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved."