A Nile River cruise, dozens of ancient sites, and the brand-new Egyptian Museum!
From the bulrushes on the banks of the Nile to panoramic view on Mount Nebo, this study tour will follow the life and footsteps of Moses - Shepherd, Leader, Prophet and Friend of God, the man with whom the Lord spoke face to face (Exodus 33:11). Dr. Jonathan and Jennifer Greer will teach us each day and connect what we see to the biblical narrative, all from the comforts and convenience of a cruise ship.
It took one day to get the Israelites out of Egypt; it took years to get the Egypt out of the Israelites. To really understand these spiritual ancestors of ours, we need to see and understand where they were coming from (literally and figuratively): Egypt, the pagan land where they were delivered out of slavery to become God's Chosen People; and Jordan, where God led them through the wilderness and taught them to depend on Him as they awaited the Promised Land.
On this tour, we will not only learn about the major Egyptian deities but visit temples where they (and the Pharaohs) were worshiped. Beginning with the Pyramids of Giza, our itinerary will guide us south along the Nile River to Luxor and Aswan, visiting sites such as Karnak, the Valley of the Kings, and Elephantine Island.
We then transition into the second part of our journey and notice the contrast between the green lushness of Egypt and the red, rugged terrain of Jordan. As we discuss the wanderings of the Israelites, we will see stunning places like Wadi Rum, Petra and Jerash and experience Bedouin hospitality. These two lands are a significant part of biblical history – the prequel to Israel! Join us for the spectacular trip!
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. 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.
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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 will make our way to the iconic Pyramids of Giza and the Great Sphinx, all constructed during ancient Egypt’s Old Kingdom period.
After a delicious breakfast we will venture out but not very far. Near our hotel is the new Grand Egyptian Museum, over 5 million square feet of Ancient Egyptian antiquities under one roof! We will be the first GTI group to tour this incredible place! After lunch, we will head to Cairo airport and fly to ancient Thebes, modern day Luxor, where we will be taken to the beautiful Nile River Palace for a good meal and well-earned sleep.
We will begin the day with a “hands-on” experience of brick making, much in the same way the ancient Israelites would have known it, and then we will cross over to the west bank of the Nile River. There we will visit the Ramseum (the memorial temple of Ramesses II) and Karnak Temple as we discuss the power of New Kingdom pharaohs, the crisis of ca. 1200 BC, and how these realities relate to the biblical story. This afternoon we will board our lovely Nile cruise ship.
We will head back to the west bank of the Nile and there we will explore the elaborately painted tombs of key Pharaohs in the Valley of the Kings. We will also visit the mortuary temple of the female pharaoh Hatshepsut. That afternoon, we will re-board our beautiful cruise ship and begin our journey along the Nile.
This is a day of cruising and touring as we make our way south. First we will come to Edfu where we disembark to visit what is 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.
This day, after a visit to the massive “unfinished obelisk,” we will 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. In the evening, we head back to our cruise ship for dinner and our last night on board.
This morning we will bid farewell to our ship and crew and make our way to Aswan airport. There, we will 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 desert 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 will 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 will make our way by motor coach to the World Heritage site of Petra to learn about the Nabateans, and their relationship to the biblical story, and see to their distinctive tomb façades.
After visiting a mosaic floor portraying the oldest map of the Holy Land, we will explore the Plains of Moab and Mt. Nebo, where we will consider the transition of leadership from Moses to Joshua. Following a delicious Jordanian lunch, we will make our way to the Dead Sea for dinner & overnight at the Holiday Inn Resort.
For our last day in Jordan, we will enjoy the stunning site of Jerash. Jerash (called Gerasa in the Bible) was one of the ten cities of the Decapolis and one of the best-preserved. The Greco-Roman architecture and features such as a theater, hippodrome and arched entry earned it the title, “The Pompeii of the East.” We will have dinner at the Geneva Hotel in Amman followed by a good night’s sleep then leave for the airport in the morning.
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!