Registration opened yesterday for my 2024 “Tracking Jesus.” The dates are May 14-23, 2024–that’s ten days of touring and nine nights in 4 Star+ Hotels.
Most trips to the Holy Land are sponsored by churches and their pastors, synagogues, or other cultural groups, and each of these has its value. This tour, however, is decidedly different, one that is oriented to the history and archaeology related to a single question–“What do we really know about the historical figure of Jesus of Nazareth and how do we know it?”
I have made 73 trips to Israel, Jordan, and Egypt but most, by far, were for my research, filming, or working at archaeological sites. In 2010 I began developing this very special annual tour, limited to about 35 people, to facilitate maximum interchange between participants and with me. I have continued to shape and refine it based on these years of experience. Many of the sites visited are ones I have surveyed or excavated, so we are able to go behind the scenes and experience things from the inside. This tour typically draws a very diverse group of people in terms of faith backgrounds and spiritual orientations–with the common denominator a love of history and archaeology, with no expectations regarding belief systems, politics, or faith orientations.
We walk the ancient paths–taking in the texts, geography, history, and archaeology–both on the ground and under the ground–that shed light upon what our central question of what we really “know”? Sadly, many of the sites people are taken to on Holy Land tours are often late, legendary, based on Byzantine or Crusader theological traditions, with no historical basis. I have spent the past 40 years trying to sort out the differences between what we think we know, what is highly improbable, and what is most certainly the case. Each participant receives a copy of “Tracking Jesus: A Study Guide to the Sites,” personally prepared for this tour, with maps and textual resources directly related to what we are seeing so one can prepare ahead for this adventure even before beginning the tour. This experience is intended to be educational and stimulating, while at the same time enjoyable and lots of fun. One of the chief benefits is participants spend the entire time with Dr. Tabor and are able to have group and one-on-one dialogue with him related to all we are learning and experiencing.
No tour can cover everything, but we will take you, quite literally, on a full circuit through the Holy Land, from the Mediterranean coast to the Sea of Galilee, and then to the far-northern border near Mt Hermon, down to Jerusalem, and all the way south past Qumran and Masada—to the southern edge of the Dead Sea on the edge of the Negev desert.
Our tour includes nine nights at 4-Star + hotels, personally selected me and Lori Woodall, my wife. If you check around, you will find a lot of price differences on Holy Land tours of comparable length. This mostly has to do with the choice of hotels and the size of the group. In my experience, you get what you pay for and if you see a cheaper tour there is a reason—usually they cater to what I call the “tourist” hotels, often filling one or more buses with 50 or more. We consider hotel choices to be a vital part of an enjoyable tour.
I expect this tour to fill up moderately quickly since size is limited but you can reserve your place with your deposit. You can download the itinerary and get details on costs and registration here: http://tracking-jesus.com/