Summer Scholar: Touring the Land of the Bible

Editor’s note: This is the third in a series of stories about Summer Scholars, exploring what Gordon professors are up to in between semesters. Here Elaine Phillips, professor of biblical studies, shares a few of the highlights of her upcoming study trip to Jerusalem. She is the second from left in the front row of the photo below, which was taken during the last class in 2010 on the south side of the Temple Mount, steps from the first century, “so we know Jesus would have ‘walked there,'” Phillips said. The hands-on class has become a Gordon tradition.

Walking Through the Geographical and Historical Settings of the Bible
By Elaine Phillps

We leave 9 June with 15 Gordon students – and return on the 30th.  Four of the students will actually stay an additional two weeks for another course in Jordan taught by a good friend and former colleague of ours at Jerusalem University College. Although the title of the course is Physical Settings of the Bible, we are always unavoidably doing contemporary political contexts, modern Israeli and Arab cultural observations, eating fabulous Middle Eastern cuisine, hiking, and bonding 24/7. Here’s a quick overview of our trip:

10-11 June – arrival and getting over jet lag — informal walks around both the Old City and New City of Jerusalem

12 June – Orientation and walking introduction to Jerusalem

13 June – walking field study — Old Testament Jerusalem:  City of David, Hezekiah’s tunnel, pool of Siloam

14 June – New Testament Jerusalem:  Herod’s Temple platform, church of the Holy Sepulcher

15 June – tribal area of Benjamin field study:  Gezer, Gibeon, Wadi Qilt

16 June – field study survey of approaches to Jerusalem:  Mt of Olives, Herodion, Bethlehem

17 June – free day

18 June – exam and preparatory lectures

19 June – field study — from tribal area of Judah out to Philistine plain:  Azekah (overlook Elah Valley – David and Goliath), Moreshah (Micah), Lachish, Ashekelon

20 June – field study — Negev:  Beersheva, Nabatean cities, hiking in “craters,” Arad

21 June – field study — Dead Sea:  Masada, En Gedi, Qumran

22 June – field study — Shiloh, Shechem and Samaria

23 June – exam and preparatory lectures

24 June – free day

25-28 June – field study north to Galilee:  Caesarea, Mediggo, Nazareth; Golan Heights, Caesarea Philippi, Dan, Hazor; Sea of Galilee sites; Sepphoris to Beth Shean to Jericho

29 June – exam and departure

30 June – return home

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