Three Countries and Dozens of Sites! A private Nile cruise, ancient sites, chartered flights, and a luxurious Jordanian tent-camping experience ending with four amazing days in Israel!
The 2018 Signature Tour sold out in record time, so we've expanded the 2019 itinerary to include Israel! You won't find a better way to experience three countries and over two-dozen sites while learning from Jonathan Greer each morning and evening as he unpacks what we're learning in the context of biblical history as well as our daily faith.
Jonathan & Jennifer Greer have enjoyed learning and teaching the Story of the Bible together in a variety of contexts in the Middle East for nearly two decades. They are faculty members at Grand Rapids Theological Seminary where Jonathan serves as Associate Professor of Old Testament and Director of the Hesse Archaeological Lab and Jennifer as Adjunct Instructor of Bible with a New Testament focus. Together they lead an annual study tour course in cooperation with GTI to the lands of the Bible as well as courses in biblical interpretation and background studies. Jonathan holds M.A. degrees in Old Testament and Biblical Languages from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and a Ph.D. from The Pennsylvania State University where he focused on Hebrew Bible, ancient Near Eastern studies, and archaeology. He is also the Associate Director of archaeological excavations at Tel Dan, Israel, and has published a number of works on the relationship of the Bible to the ancient world (see his latest project here). Jennifer earned an M.Div. at Gordon-Conwell and, in addition to her teaching, serves in leadership at Madison Square Church in Grand Rapids, where they reside with their three children. She and Jonathan are currently working on a book entitled How to Read the Bible in Its Ancient World and Why It Matters for Ours. They look forward to every opportunity to teach the Bible and find no better classroom than the lands where the Story all began.
After graduating with his Masters in Theology from Talbot Seminary, Rich and his wife Becky began working full-time for Hume Ministries in 2001. Rich’s passions are discipleship and teaching God’s word in a way that brings it alive in today’s world. In his spare time, Rich enjoys leading Israel Study Tours (32 trips and counting), motorcycle riding, off-roading and spending time with his wife, daughters Ellie and Carmel as well as his two sons Jaron and Ronen. In 2016 Rich and his family moved to Michigan to join the GTI staff where he serves as General Manager.
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After our luggage is collected, we’re taken by motor coach to the wonderful Le Meridian Pyramids Hotel for a good night’s sleep before our adventure begins in the morning.
After breakfast and our morning orientation meeting, we make our way to the iconic Great Pyramids of Giza and the Great Sphinx, all constructed during ancient Egypt’s Old Kingdom period. After lunch, we make our way to Cairo airport and board a private charter jet. We’ll fly to ancient Thebes, modern day Luxor, where we’re taken to the beautiful Nile River Palace for a good meal and well-earned sleep.
Today, we find ourselves on the west bank of the Nile River, visiting the Ramesseum (memorial temple of Ramesses II) as well as discussing the biblical significance of the land of Goshen and the fertility and importance of the Nile. We will conclude the evening with a carriage ride through downtown Luxor.
We will walk through the ancient and wonderfully preserved temple of Karnak and head to the west bank of the Nile to visit the Valley of the Kings and Hapshepsut's mortuary temple. Here we explore the elaborate tombs of key Pharaohs. That afternoon, we re-board the beautiful Movenpick Nile Cruise ship and begin our journey along the Nile.
Today is a day of cruising and touring as we make our way south. First we come to Edfu where we disembark to visit perhaps the best-preserved temple in all of Egypt: the temple of Horus, the son of Osiris and Isis and protector of Pharaoh. Returning to our ship we will continue to sail south to visit the temple at Kom Ombo, which honors Sobek the crocodile-headed protector of Egypt.
Today, we explore Elephantine Island in the center of the Nile, the site of a temple to Khnum, an Egyptian creator deity, and also a temple to Yahweh, built by a Jewish mercenary community who wrote letters to Jerusalem mentioning figures from the book of Nehemiah. Next, it’s off to explore an authentic African village where we’ll encounter welcoming shop-keepers and residents. In the evening, we head back to our cruise ship for dinner and our last night on board.
This morning we bid farewell to our ship and crew and make our way to Aswan airport. There, we’ll board our private chartered jet and fly to Aqaba, Jordan, to our waiting motor coach which will bring us to the spectacular Wadi Rum. Once we check into our tents we will head out for a jeep ride in the majestic Wadi Rum as we explore the sites and watch an amazing sunset. Our Bedouin friends will have a traditional supper for us called Zarb, (a roasted lamb and/or chicken feast) waiting for us when we return. We’ll say goodnight and make our way to our personal tents where we spend the evening, “glamping” at Sun City Camp.
After a great night of star gazing and enjoying the amazing sunrise we make our way by motor coach to the World Heritage site of Petra to learn about the Nabateans and see their distinctive tomb façades.
Today is all about transitions. We’ll explore the Plains of Moab and Mt. Nebo, where we’ll consider the transition from Moses to Joshua. We’ll enjoy Jordanian Grill for lunch and then bid farewell as some of our group make their way to the Geneva Hotel in Amman to overnight and prepare for their flight home the following day. Others who have signed on for the Israel extension make their way further north crossing at the Sheikh Hussein Border entering into the Galilee, where we will continue the story. After a short drive north by motor coach we will settle in to the Ein Gev Hotel, a delicious Israeli dinner, and a Galilean sunset before our night’s rest.
After a morning boat ride across the Sea of Galilee, we will make our way to Mt. Precipice to gain an understanding of the geo-political dynamics of the Jezreel Valley and also to remember Jesus in Nazareth. We will then proceed to the guardian city of Megiddo and learn of its role in Egyptian imperialism, connections with Solomon and Ahab, and the imagery invoked in Revelation. Our final stop will be the magnificent Caesarea Maritima on the shores of the Mediterranean where we will consider the person of Herod the Great and more before making our way via motor coach up to the ancient city of Jerusalem and the Grand Court Hotel.
We begin our final day with a walk down from the Mount of Olives to the Old City, then along the Via Dolorosa, with a stop at the pools of Bethesda, to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, the church which marks the traditional site of Christ’s crucifixion and burial. We’ll continue our walk through the Old City, visiting all four of its quarters and finishing at the Western Wall, one of Judaism’s most honored sites, and the excavations at the southern steps where Jesus taught. We’ll conclude our trip together with a farewell dinner and reflections on our wonderful journey.
More than simply a statement about pricing, “All Inclusive” describes GTI’s holistic approach to facilitating purposeful travel and experiential learning in cooperation with our Ministry Partners.
Your tour leader, study materials, and even itinerary are biblically focused, creating a journey that will draw you more deeply into God’s Word with each step you take.
Each stop on your itinerary is selected because it provides an experience than brings meaning and emotional significance to the information you will be learning.
There’s no need to worry about wasting time and money haggling or being surprised by hidden costs. Except for souvenirs and optional upgrades, every part of your trip is covered.
Our secure online payment and registration system allows for payment plans and reminders, easy passport and document uploads, and confidence that your money and information is safe.
Friends and family can receive daily updates of text, photos, audio, and video from you and other participants to keep up with where you are and what you’re learning via the GTI Online Tour Journal.
We take care of everything so you can stay focused during your Study Tour, including providing you with a hydration backpack, study guide, passport/ticket carrier, and even a flashlight (when the trip calls for it).
We have spent years developing relationships with experienced guides and drivers because they are an integral part of a study tour. And if you already have a trusted guide/driver you prefer that’s ok too!