Paul Brown Israel Jordan Rome Tour
Pastor Paul Brown
December 26, 2018 – January 8, 2019 (or January 11 with Rome Extension)
Los Angeles, CA
14 Days in the Lands of Jesus and Moses
DAY 1: DEPART USA
Our journey of a lifetime begins with a flight on a wide body jet. After take-off, we will be served dinner and breakfast.
DAY 2: ARRIVE AMMAN, JORDAN
Upon arrival in Amman, our guide will assist us through customs and passport control. Transfer to our hotel in Amman for dinner and overnight.
DAY 3: PETRA/WADI MUSA
After breakfast, we begin a long day of driving through the Jordanian desert along the area called the Way of the Kings. On our way we will visit Petra. The “rose red city half as old as time.” This ancient Edomite and Nabatean capital is an amazing example of prophecy. We’ll see the spectacular “city of the dead,” with its famed gorge, ancient streets, temples, dwelling places and tombs, carved in the solid rock. Then we arrive at El-Ji Post, and continue the one-mile journey on horseback, or walk, passing through the famous Siq (the natural gorge) and arrive at the Treasury. Overnight in Petra, dinner will be served at our hotel.
DAY 4: BETHANY BEYOND THE JORDAN/DEAD SEA SPA
After driving north again along the Dead Sea Road we will make our way to Bethany Beyond the Jordan. We will have an opportunity to be baptized here, the place where John the Baptist lived when he baptized Jesus. We then drive to our spa hotel, where we can enjoy the remains of the day at leisure to perhaps soak in the mineral rich Dead Sea or take in a spa treatment. We enjoy dinner and overnight at the Dead Sea Spa.
DAY 5: MADABA/MT. NEBO/BORDER CROSSING/BET SHE’AN/THE GALILEE
This morning we drive to Madaba the sight of a mosaic map of Jerusalem from the Byzantine era and then on to Mt. Nebo, to stand where Moses stood to view the Promised Land. We continue to our border crossing, and leave Jordan for Israel. From there on our way to the Galilee area we stop at Bet She’an, the Disneyland of archeology and also where the bodies of King Saul and his sons were taken and mutilated after their death in battle. We overnight in Tiberias.
DAY 6: CHURCH OF THE BEATITUDES/PETER’S PRIMACY/ CAPERNAUM/KHORAZIM/ JESUS BOAT MUSEUM/BOAT RIDE/MAGDALA
This morning we rise at our hotel on the shore of the Sea of Galilee. Today will include many Biblical sites along the shore of the Sea of Galilee: e.g., Capernaum (Matt. 4:13), Mount of Beatitudes (Matt. 5-7), Church of Peter of Primacy (John 21), The Jesus Boat exhibition; Sunset boat ride across the Sea of Galilee; we will also visit Magdala (the hometown of Mary Magdalene) with its 1st century synagogue. Lunch of St Peter’s Fish and overnight in Tiberias.
DAY 7: HAZOR/ TELL DAN/ CAESAREA PHILIPPI/GOLAN HEIGHTS/BETHSAIDA
There is nothing quite like watching a sunrise on the Sea of Galilee from your guesthouse or from a boat. Today will include many biblical sites in the Upper Jordan Valley: Hazor (Josh. 11:10; 1 Kgs. 9:15), Tell Dan and the Nature Reserve, Border of Lebanon (Josh. 11:17), view Mt. Hermon (Deut. 3:8), Caesarea Philippi (Paneas; Mark 8:27), the road to Damascus (Acts 9:1-19) in the Golan Heights (Bashan). Dinner and overnight in Tiberias.
DAY 8: NAZARETH/MEGIDDO/MT. CARMEL/ CAESAREA MARITIMA/JERUSALEM
Today we depart the Galilee, visiting the following biblical sites: Nazareth – Mount of Precipice (Luke 1 & 2), Mt. Carmel (1 Kings. 18), Megiddo (Armageddon; 1 Kgs. 9:15; Rev. 16:16) and Caesarea Maritima, the springboard of Christianity to the West (Acts 9 & 25). We proceed south to Jerusalem for dinner and overnight.
DAY 9: MOUNT OF OLIVES, SOUTHERN STEPS, BETHLEHEM CHURCH OF THE NATIVITY/ SHEPHERD’S FIELDS
Today we begin our tour with an orientation of the City of Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives. We will then visit the Southern Steps, the main entrance to the Temple and the Teaching steps where Rabbis such as Gamaliel used to teach. We will then visit Bethlehem and the Church of the Nativity where Our Lord was born and Shepherd’s Fields. Time will be given for shopping. Dinner and overnight in Jerusalem.
DAY 10: WESTERN WALL/RABBINICAL TUNNEL/ ST ANNE’S CHURCH AND POOL OF BETHESDA/ – MODEL OF JERUSALEM/
SHRINE OF THE BOOK/ISRAEL ARCHEOLOGY MUSEUM
After breakfast, we will enter Jerusalem through the Dung Gate, and walk to the holiest site in the whole Jewish world, the Western Wall (Wailing Wall) of Herod’s temple. At this point we will enter the Rabbinical Tunnel where we get as close to the temple as allowed without being on the Temple Mount. Here you will see the foundation stones of Herod’s wall surrounding the Temple Mount. When we exit the Rabbinical Tunnel we will make our way from the temple area. We will proceed to St. Stephen’s Gate to visit the Church of St. Anne, which is also the site of the Pools of Bethesda (John 5). From there we will go to the Israel Museum, including a 1:50 scale model of Jerusalem at the time of Herod the Great and the Shrine of the Book Museum, where the Dead Sea Scrolls are displayed. Dinner and overnight in Jerusalem.
DAY 11: TEMPLE MOUNT/ CITY OF DAVID-½ DAY OF LEISURE WITH A FEW POSSIBLE OPTIONS
Beyond the Western Wall of the Temple Mount lies the 35-acre temple area purchased by King David (2 Sam. 24:18-25). On this site now stands the magnificent Dome of the Rock (the third holiest shrine in all Islam) and the El Aksa Mosque. We will then visit the City of David, the original location of the city of Jerusalem and explore the origins of the city, here you will have the option to walk in water through Hezekiah’s Tunnel on to the Pool of Siloam (flashlights and water shoes needed). The second half of the day will be at leisure with various options in the Old City. Dinner and overnight in Jerusalem.
DAY 12: MASADA/EIN GEDI/QUMRAN/TEL JERICHO/WADI QELT
Leaving Jerusalem, we will descend down to the Dead Sea and the wilderness of Judah. Our first stop will be Masada, where we will ascend high upon the wilderness mountain by way of the cable car to the fortress built by King Herod. Here we survey the ruins of the fortifications, waterworks, synagogue, temples and palaces.
Following the road north along the western shore of the Dead Sea, we will stop at Ein Gedi where David hid from King Saul (I Samuel 24). Continuing north, we will stop at Qumran and the possible settlement of the first century sect known as the Essenes, the authors of the Dead Sea Scrolls. From there we will go to the city of Palms, Jericho the oldest existing city on earth. Here we will see Tel Jericho and the Mount of Temptation. If it is available on our way back to Jerusalem we will stop at the Wadi Qelt. The Biblical Valley of the Shadow of Death. Back to Jerusalem for dinner and overnight.
DAY 13: UPPER ROOM/HOUSE OF CAIAPHAS/ CHURCH OF ALL NATIONS/GARDEN OF GETHSAMANE/KIDRON VALLEY/
VIA DOLOROSA/JUDGEMENT HALL/CHURCH OF THE HOLY SEPULCHRE / GARDEN TOMB/COMMUNION
Today we will follow the Passion of Christ. We begin our day on Mt. Zion where we will visit the Upper Room, where Jesus spent those last momentous hours with His disciples before His passion, and it was also here where the Holy Spirit came upon the disciples on Pentecost. We will then go to Gethsemane with its ancient olive grove, and there visit the Church of Agony, where Jesus prayed and was arrested (private time will be given in the private section of the Garden). We will then cross the Kidron Valley on foot to go to the house of Caiaphas, where Jesus was tried and where Peter denied Our Lord. We then walk the Via Dolorosa to the Sisters of Zion Convent (to see the Pavement where Jesus stood as he was being tried by Pilate) and the Ecce Homo Arch, and then follow the Via Dolorosa to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher where Jesus was crucified, buried, and resurrected. Late in the afternoon we will visit the Garden Tomb and celebrate a communion service. Dinner and overnight in Jerusalem.
DAY 14: FLIGHT TO ROME OR FLIGHT HOME:
We depart from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv to board our flight to Rome.
DAY 1 : Rome/Ostia /Rome
Upon arrival at Rome’s international airport, and before we start the visit of Rome, we drive for approx 10 minutes towards the sea, to visit the site of Ostia Antica the harbor city of Ancient Rome. We explore the well preserved excavations and step back in time into Roman antiquity. Ostia was a cosmopolitan city, which is reflected with the various temples dedicated to Mitra ( Persian) Cibele ( Turkish ), Iside ( Egyptian) and even a synagogue. No better place to understand that Rome was the right place for Christianity to start being a worldwide religion.
On the way to Rome, we continue with our tour: we will be reminded of the early companions of Paul, travelling to the Church of Santa Prisca dedicated to Santa Prisca on the Aventino Hill. Prisca came from a rich Roman family and Aquila, her husband was probably Greek. Paul spent a couple of years with them in Corinth and this is very often mentioned in his Letters and the Book of Acts.
Rom 16: 1-23 …..Greet Prisca and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus, who for my life, laid down their own necks; to whom not only I give thanks, but also all the assemblies of the Gentiles. Greet the assembly that is in their house.
The House on the Aventino Hill where Paul lived is named in a legal document of the 5th century, as “Titulus Priscae.” We continue following the steps of St Paul recalling both his first and second visits to the city. We will begin our visit to the Insula Di San Paolo alla Regola. According to tradition, S. Paolo Alla Regola is the most accredited hypothesis of the first home of Paul in Rome. Here he lived between 61 and 63 AD, for eighteen months as required by law, pending trial. In this first Roman period, in his state of semi-freedom, Paul may have met the community of Rome, “domus ecclesiae” where they gathered to share the Word and the Eucharist and may have visited the house of Aquila and Priscilla. Paul lived in one of the places inhabited by the Jews, near the River Tiber, the Trastevere area, beyond the port of Ripa Grande, the 14th and final quarter of the city, according to the division of Augustus. Recent archaeological excavations in this zone showed the presence of stores of grain (horreum) and a second-century apocryphal ancient states, in fact, that “Paul took a rented horreum – A large barn where you think you could preach, teach, comfort the Christians.” As the majority of the people living there, Paul worked as a leather tanner. This area became known by the name of “Contrada Pauli” ( Paul’s district) In a legal document of the year 1245, we find the words “ In loco qui dicitur Pauli” (In that place called “of Paul”). In 366 AC, Pope Damaso wanted to build a church over the ruins and dedicated it to Paul. Visiting the church, you will see the oratory which has been created using the room where Paul lived and on the main beam you can read the following: “This is the place where the Apostle Paul lived and taught.”
Check in at our hotel in Rome –
DAY 2: Rome
All day in Rome.
This tour will show the great “power” of Rome and Emperors who demanded divinity for themselves. This was mainly what Apostle Paul preached against in Roman 1:25:
Romans 1:25 …. And worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed forever.
From the Trajan’s Column, jewel of architecture and sculpture made by Apollodorus of Damascus, our guide will show you along the Via dei Fori Imperiali (street of the Imperial Fora), the ruins of the fori that the great emperors built as lasting memory of their power.
We see the Mamertine Prison, the Forum of Trajan, the biggest and most splendid of all, whose markets, true forerunners of the modern commercial centers, offered to the Roman citizen any goods to be found at that time.
On foot you will reach the Capitoline Hill, once political and religious center of the town, which today is the seat of the Municipality. The stairway will lead you to the Piazza del Campidoglio, the magnificent result of a single project by Michelangelo, with a copy of the most famous equestrian statue in the world, the statue of Marcus Aurelius, in the middle. Behind Piazza del Campidoglio you will find a natural terrace providing the best panoramic point over the valley of the Roman Forum and the Palatine Hill. Walking through the valley of the Roman Forum the great Rome with its important buildings will revive before your eyes; the Curia, seat of the Roman Senate, the State Archive, the basilicas, palaces of justice, the temple of Vesta, and the House of the Vestals, the virgins in charge of keeping the sacred fire always alive, and all around temples and columns and arches of triumph erected to commemorate gods of Roman history.
Romans 1:23 … and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man…..
From the Forum the guide will show you to the place linked to the fabulous origins of Rome: the Palatine. Here Romolus founded the town in the year 753 B.C. and starting with Augustus the great emperors settled here. From the valley of the Roman Forum you will admire the Domus Tiberiana only partially explored and the ruins of the Imperial Palaces. Leaving the Roman Forum you will find the Arch of Constantine, erected to commemorate the victory of the emperor over Maxentius in the 4th century A.D. (tradition says that before the battle the Emperor saw a brilliant cross in the sky and said the famous words “in hoc signo vinces”). The tour ends at the Colosseum, everlasting symbol of the greatness of Rome and the stage for the historical fights of the gladiators.
Continue on the Ancient Appian Way, to visit the Catacombs of Santa Domitilla. The Christian catacombs are extremely important for the art history of early Christians. At first they were used both for burial and the memorial services and celebrations of the anniversaries of Christian martyrs (following similar Roman customs). They probably were not used for regular worship. Many modern depictions of the catacombs show them as hiding places for Christian populations during times of persecution.
Regain our bus and continue the tour visiting Abbey of the Three Fountains, the place of Paul’s martyrdom, where tradition has it that three different springs gushed out at each spot touched when Paul’s head fell down. Legend claims that when St Paul was decapitated, his head bounced three times and fountains miraculously sprang out when it touched the ground. The legend is nice, but the springs were known in pre-Christian times as the Aquae Salviae, and the excavations revealed ancient mosaic pavements. Still, even if it is not true it helps identify the site of St Paul’s martyrdom. It is also said that there was a stone-pine tree at the site of his death, and the identification of this place was strengthened when ancient stone-pine cones were found here during excavations in 1857.
To conclude this day in Rome we will visit the place where the bones of Paul have recently been found, Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls. It is a Benedictine Abbey which shares its name, origins and centuries of history, both joyful and sorrowful, with the adjoining basilica.
Return to the hotel, for dinner and overnight
DAY 3: Rome
Paul was not the only Apostle of the early church associated with Rome. Peter was martyred on the Vatican Hill and the memory of the impact of the Apostle John’s lasting ministry before and after his apparent arrest and exile to Patmos by Emperor Domitian also has its place.
This morning we board our bus and continue our Roman visit at Basilica of St John in Lateran which became among the most important Christians Churches of Rome. When Constantine opened the Roman world to Christianity, his apparent conversion was symbolized by the donation of a significant family property for the Basilica. The important Lateran Baptistery reminds us of the many early converts to the faith and the process of moving it from a rouge influence to a sponsored and ordered faith.
Then continue with Holy Steps, according to tradition, these steps (now covered with wooden plants) are the very ones Jesus climbed in the house of Pontius Pilate only to see the Roman governor wash his hands of the self-styled messiah. Martin Luther, on his trip to Rome to meet the Pope, climbed on his knees, a tradition still maintained today.
We continue with a relaxing walking tour throughout the most beautiful squares of Rome, from the Trevi Fountain, to the Pantheon and Navona Square, where we will enjoy a break for lunch. In the afternoon we will visit the imposing Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel.
Dinner will be served in restaurant located at walking distance from the Spanish Steps- Return to the hotel for overnight
DAY 4: Departure Transfer to airport
Roundtrip Non-Stop Flight – Wide-bodied trans-atlantic jets.
Porterage of Baggage – Your bags will be put on buses and taken up to your room for you.
Air-Conditioned Motor Coaches – Ride aboard a brand-new, private, air-conditioned motor coach.
Boat Ride on the Sea of Galilee – Complete the experience with prayer, singing and dancing on a 2,000 year old boat replica.
Guides Knowledgable of Historical and Biblical Context of Sites Visited
Customized Guidebook – Complete with study on where you have been and where you will go on your tour.
Superior First Class Hotels – We stay at only the best hotels the area has to offer.
Group Photos and More – Get a group photo and tons of photography opportunities!
Two Meals Daily (Buffet Breakfast and Dinner)
Comprehensive Sightseeing – With plenty of time and opportunity for pictures.
Limited Trip Size – We strive to make your trip special and unique, so this trip offers limited group size.
Entrance Fees to Places Visited – Walk right past the ticket booth with all your Entrance Fees paid in advance!
Special Rabbinical Tunnel Visit
Masada Visit Including Round-Trip Cable Car Ride to the Top
*Some accommodations may be changed on certain tours depending on the leader’s wishes. Please see your dedicated tour page for more information.