Thursday, October 16, 2008

On Deserts and Swimming in the Dead Sea

This past summer a group of students had the opportunity to travel to Israel and Jordan on a trip led by Elaine Phillips, professor of biblical and theological studies. Alexander Day ’09, a history and biblical studies major, writes about his amazing journey:
“Seeing Israel is a chance of a lifetime. It was an opportunity to see the land of the Bible and develop a better understanding for the Bible’s context. We spent three weeks in Israel, traveling over the deserts of the south and east, the coastal plain out to the west, the fertile areas of Galilee, the mountains of the central plateaus—everywhere except the conflict areas of Palestinian-controlled territory. We zipped through Jordan in three days, and the most notable place for me was Petra, one of the modern wonders of the world. The focus of the trip was a historical exploration of the country, visiting many ancient ruins and important sites as well as exploring Jerusalem.”

When asked what the most rewarding aspect of the trip was, Day responded, “Everything. Swimming in the Dead Sea, standing on top of the Herodian and Masada, seeing a siege ramp built almost 2,000 years ago still existing today at Masada, and knowing that what Josephus said happened actually happened. It was neat to stand between Hebron and Gaza on the coastal plain and look up to the Judean hill country, realizing just what a feat it was for Samson to carry the gates of Gaza to Hebron. Also, seeing Hezekiah’s Tunnel, the Temple Mount, the Wailing Wall, the Springs of Dan, the Sea of Galilee and Petra was life-changing. I would highly encourage every Bible major at Gordon to try to figure out a way to do an Israel trip for credit if they can. It was a trip of a lifetime.”

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