Day Two for the Campbell Divinity School study tour of Israel and the West Bank was typical in terms of time — on the bus before 8:00 a.m., past 6:30 p.m. before returning. We didn’t see any rain today, but many of us got wet nonetheless.
Along the way we enjoyed, as always, informative commentary and humor from our insightful guide Doron Heiliger, who is Jewish but can quote more New Testament than most of us.
Our first stop was Zippori, or Sepphoris, a Roman city near Nazareth, where Joseph and Jesus may have done construction work. Excavations there have uncovered beautiful mosaic floors including the famous “Mona Lisa of Galilee,” which these folks are admiring.
From there we travelled the few miles to Nazareth, where we admired the size of the city but especially enjoyed the view from Mount Precipice, where Chris Wilson led a devotion as we looked over the beautiful Jezreel Valley.
We took a wooden boat from Tiberius to the Beth Yigal Alon Center, home to the “Jesus Boat,” where we admired the remains of a first century fishing boat and shopped in a store that focuses on Jewish religious items like prayer shawls.
After a quick trip to Tabgha, a church that commemorates the feeding of the 5,00o, we drove to Jardenit, a baptism site on the Jordan River.
A number of our party chose to be immersed in the Jordan as a recommitment of life and a way to remember their baptism.
Tomorrow: the sea! We will begin with a long ride to Caesarea Maritime, Herod’s city on the Mediterranean.