Virtual pilgrims to the Bible lands
April 26 2002 by Tony W. Cartledge , BR Editor

Virtual pilgrims to the Bible lands | Friday, April 26, 2002

Friday, April 26, 2002

Virtual pilgrims to the Bible lands

By Tony W. Cartledge BR Editor

One of the many downsides to the conflict in Israel and surrounding areas is the loss of its tourism industry. Both Israelis and Palestinians depend heavily on tourism to provide daily bread, but with so many bullets in the air and bombs on the ground, tourists are in short supply.

While local residents suffer economic hardship, potential pilgrims the world over have put their travel plans on hold again and again, waiting and praying for peace.

There's something special about walking where Jesus walked, sailing on the Sea of Galilee, splashing in the Jordan River or sweating on the old Jericho road. The landscape has changed in many ways, but to stand on the Mount of Olives and drink in the sight of Jerusalem remains a heart-pounding experience.

Both prospective pilgrims and veteran travelers who yearn to return can find some small solace in "virtual tours" offered on the Internet (see, for example, www.jesus2000.com and www.mustardseed.net).

The pictures provided there are nice - if you have enough computer memory and a fast line to download them - but I'd still rather sit down with a good book.

The good book I've been sitting down with lately is Where Jesus Walked: A Spiritual Journey Through the Holy Land by Wayne Stacy (Judson Press, 2001).

Stacy is dean and professor of New Testament and preaching at the M. Christopher White School of Divinity of Gardner-Webb University. He is also a veteran leader of study tours to the Holy Land and a good writer.

Stacy's book includes some nice photography but the words are better. He takes the reader to 14 locations in Israel, from Nazareth to Capernaum to the Garden Tomb. For each setting, he offers descriptive insights from archaeology and history, and an extended devotional thought based on a scripture text related to that location.

The nice combination of biblical scholarship and personal experience makes for a book that is both informative and inspirational - a virtual visit in which the reader can smell the dust of the old city's crowded streets, and feel the heat of the sun over Galilee. Tickets are on sale at a bargain price, and you don't even have to pack a bag.

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4/26/2002 12:00:00 AM by Tony W. Cartledge , BR Editor | with 0 comments
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