Tour Leader and Teacher -- Joel Kramer
Having lived in Jerusalem for almost ten years and earned a Masters Degree in Archaeology from the University of the Holy Land, Joel is a highly sought after tour leader and teacher.
A pastor for a number of years before moving his family to Israel, Joel powerfully weaves together his understanding of Biblical archaeology and his belief in the truth of the Bible.
While he has participated in numerous digs with world-renowned archaeologists at sites such as The Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem and The Mount Zion Dig in Jerusalem, Joel is best known for his teaching related to the archaeology of Jericho. In 2010 he produced a film, Jericho Unearthed, which explains how the archaeology there, though disputed by some, lines up perfectly with the Biblical account of Joshua's conquest of Jericho.
Joel teaches passionately about archaeology and how it relates to the Bible; however, his teaching style isn't, "believe me because I say so." Instead he offers direct source material: archaeology reports, published books and journal articles, aerial photographs, linguistic references, historical records, ancient texts and the Bible. His desire is deeper than just to convince you of the validity and profoundness of the Bible. He wants to equip you to convince others!
Joel's unique specialty is his understanding of archaeological and Biblical locations in the West Bank. Numerous significant sites are found there, but many tours to Israel miss out on these important places. A few examples are Tel Balata (ancient Shechem) where Abraham first entered the land of Canaan, which Jacob later made his home; and, where one can still stand, looking up at Mount Gerazim and Mount Ebal, and imagine hearing the Israelites echoing blessings and curses back to each other. Another site, Mamre, commemorates where the announcement was made to Abraham and Sarah that Isaac, the long-promised son, was finally going to be born. Still today, Jacob's Well offers refreshing water as it did for Jesus and the Samaritan woman.
After touring and learning with Joel, you will have a powerful perspective that unites Biblical truth with clear evidence. At the end of your time with Joel, reading your Bible will be a rich, new experience!
Reserve your spot on this unique trip!
Tour Cost: $3,100
- land costs for 12 days in-country
- $3,100 is land cost only, you are responsible for your airfare
- $250/person registration fee (non-refundable, counts toward the total cost)
- all lodging
- breakfast and dinner each day (in hotels)
- all transportation during tour days
- all entrance fees and any incidental site fees
Cost does not include:
- travel from/to the airport in Israel
- lunches or any personal items (gifts, snacks, personal travel, etc.)
- tip for guide/driver
- travel insurance
- hotel costs for early arrival/late departure
- transportation for personal excursions
- If you wish to have a private, single room, there is an additional single supplement cost of $745.
- Immediately: a registration deposit of $250/person to secure a spot on the study trip (*non-refundable)
- Dec. 31, 2020: remaining balance must be fully paid – you may pay in installments prior to the deadline (if the balance is not paid by the deadline, your spot could become available to the waiting list).
- cancel by Jan. 7, 2021 - 100% refund less *registration deposit & administrative costs
- cancel by February 1, 2020 - 75% refund less *registration deposit & administrative costs
- cancel after February 1, 2020 - 50% refund less *registration deposit & administrative costs
- cancellation at any time by Expedition Bible Tours - Full refund - with the possible exception of a small amount of pre-paid hotel deposits (if within one month of the trip). Those hotel deposits may or may not be refunded to us. However if they are, we will forward the full refund to you. Receiving back your registration deposit (normally non-refundable) will more than cover any lost hotel deposits.
*For our March 2021 Israel Tour, we will be refunding registration deposits with any cancellation.
For cancellations beyond the initial cancellation date due to medical emergencies, natural disasters, or other “acts of God” circumstances, we will review your situation with the possibility of offering a 100% refund, less non-refundable hotel deposits and already incurred administration costs.
Note: Expedition Bible Tours does NOT refund airfare, only land costs paid to us.
DAY 1: DEPARTURE FROM HOME
DAY 2: ARRIVE BEN GURION
- make your way from Ben Gurion airport to the Gilgal Hotel
- hotel is only a 10 min. walk to the beach on the Mediterranean coast
- supper (apx. 6pm) / group orientation meeting (apx. 7pm)
DAY 3: THE COASTAL PLAINS & THE JEZREEL VALLEY
- Joppa - Considered a pivotal city in God's messag going out to the Gentiles; Jonah attempted to flee from there when told to go to the gentiles Assyrian, and years later the Lord prepared Peter to go to from Joppa to the household of the Roman centurion, Cornelius.
- Caesarea Maritima - built by Herod the Great, the Roman headquarters in Judea, site of a massive temple to Caesar Augustus from whom the city derives its name, where Holy Spirit was first poured out on gentiles (Cornelius and his family), where Paul was imprisoned and appealed and sent to Rome, an important place in the development of the early church.
- Tel Megiddo - a Biblical city that guarded the main coastal travel route; the gathering place for the final battle of Armageddon
DAY 4: SEA OF GALILEE
- Nazareth - (Church of the Annunciation) where the angel Gabriel announced the birth of the Messiah to the virgin Mary, town where Jesus grew up, significant archaeological remains
- Mount Arbel / Mount Tabor (driving by)
- Capernaum - the headquarters of Jesus' Galilean ministry, where Jesus healed Peter's mother-in-law
- Boat Ride on the Sea of Galilee - much of Jesus' ministry took place on the northern portion of the Sea of Galilee
DAY 5: NORTHERN GALILEE
- Hazor - the head of all the Canaanite kingdoms, the key city for Joshua's northern conquest, burned by Joshua, one of the key cities built up by King Solomon
- Tel Dan - the northern most city in ancient Israel, capital city of the tribal territory of Dan
- Caesarea Philippi / Banias - cult site for the worship of the god Pan, location of Peter's confession of Christ, one of the springs that feeds the headwaters of the Jordan River, a
- Golan Heights - northern most area of Israel
DAY 6: JORDAN RIFT VALLEY
- Beth She'an - the place where Saul and his sons were hung on the city wall by the Philistines, the only Greek Decapolis city on the west side of the Jordan
- Masada - fortress used by Herod the Great, site of one of the last stands against the Romans in the First Jewish Revolt
- Qumran/Dead Sea Scroll Cave (hike) - area where the Dead Sea scrolls were discovered in a series of 11 caves, Cave #1 is where the initial discovery was made
DAY 7: JERUSALEM
- Hezekiah's Broad Wall - built by Hezekiah to expand Jerusalem in order to take in refugees from the 10 northern tribes fleeing from the Assyrian army, the wall was breached by the Babylonians in 586 BC
- Western Wall - a Jewish holy site, the foundation wall on the western side of the platform (the Temple Mount) on which the Jewish temple stood
- Southern Archaeology Park - within this park are the original steps that led to the temple entrance as it stood in Jesus' time, piled up stones thrown down from the temple in the 70 AD destruction of Jerusalem
- City of David: the site of Melchizedek's city of Salem which David conquered from the Jebusites and made the capital of Israel
- David's Palace - David's residence, a monumental building
- Hezekiah's Tunnel (walking through) - the water tunnel built by Hezekiah to prepare for the Assyrian invasion
- David's Tomb - the site where King David was buried
- Ben Hinnom Valley / Gehenna - the lowest valley in Jerusalem, the place that represents Judah's sin of child sacrifice, the location where Judas hanged himself after betraying Jesus
DAY 8: BENJAMIN / JUDEA
- Ein Gedi (hike) - a wilderness hideout where David and his men hid from Saul
- Jericho - first city the Israelites conquered after crossing the Jordan River into the Promised Land
- Dead Sea - float in the incredibly salty water of the Dead Sea
DAY 9: EPHRAIM / SAMARIA
- Jacob's Well - site where Jesus conversed with the Samaritan woman in John's Gospel
- Shechem - a Biblical city which is the location of many Old Testament stories including Abraham, Jacob, Joshua, Rehoboam, in between Mount Gerizim and Mount Ebal where the Israelites renew the covenant
- Samaria - the final capital of the northern kingdom of Israel before it was destroyed by the Assyrians, later built up by Herod the Great
- Bethel - second-most mentioned city in Israel after Jerusalem, associated with Jacob's staircase/ladder dream
- Ai - the second city that the Israelites attacked after Jericho
- Burj Beitin - where Abraham pitched his tent and worshiped God
DAY 10: WESTERN FOOTHILLS
- Tel Gezer - city that the Pharaoh of Egypt conquered and gave to King Solomon as a wedding present, very interesting Canaanite high place
- Azehkah/Elah Valley - area of the battle between David and Goliath
- Lachish - the second most important city in Judah after Jerusalem, conquered by Joshua, Sennacharib and Nebuchadnezzar
- Israel Museum - the Shrine of the Book which displays the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Archaeology wing on the museum
DAY 11: JUDAH
- Bethlehem - (The Church of the Nativity) the birthplace of Jesus
- Mamre - Abraham's campsite where the Lord appeared to he and Sarah and promised that Isaac was to be born
- Hebron/Machpella - the place where the Biblical patriarchs and matriarchs are buried (Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Rebekah, Jacob, Leah), location from which David ruled over the southern kingdom of Judah for 7 1/2 years
DAY 12: JESUS DAY
- Mount Moriah/Temple Mount (7am) - where Abraham was to sacrifice Isaac, where Solomon and Zerrubabel built temples, Jesus used it as a teaching platform
- Mount of Olives - location where Jesus ascended into heaven and to which He will return
- Garden of Gethsemane - site where Jesus prayed before his crucifixion and where he was betrayed by Judas
- Herod's Palace Complex - the monumental palace Herod built for himself in Jerusalem
- Gabbatha - the location of Jesus' trial under Pontius Pilate
- Golgotha - site of Jesus' crucifixion
- Tomb of Jesus - where Jesus was buried and resurrected
- Church of the Apostles - location of the Last Supper and Pentecost
- Farewell Dinner - last time together as a group to recap and reflect about the tour
DAY 13: FREE DAY / DEPARTURE DAY
- hotel check-out / final shopping / exploring
- depart for the airport
(Be clear about your departure time. Is your ticket showing AM/PM or military time? A departure time of 12:15 AM means that your flight is leaving in the middle of the night, just after midnight.)
DAY 14: ARRIVE HOME
(If you are traveling back to the United States, you will most likely arrive on the same date that you departed from Israel because you will be crossing back over the International Date Line.)