Ready to plan your trip to Israel? That’s great news! We are here to help you do just that. And to further help you prepare for your life-changing, faith-elevating trip to Israel, here are a few books to consider reading before you arrive.
The Christian Traveler’s Guide to the Holy Land
by Charles H. Dryer and Gregory A. Hatteberg
This is a resource that covers all of the Holy Land, including sites in Egypt, Greece, Israel, Jordan, and Turkey. It includes a 40-day pre-trip Bible study as well, which many travelers may find helpful. Entries include both Old and New Testament sites, the vast majority of which are found in Israel. It’s an excellent introduction of the region from the Christian perspective.
Walking the Bible: A Journey by Land Through the Five Books of Moses
by Bruce Feiler
This book includes Biblical sites both within and outside of Israel, from the first five books of the Bible: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. The author talks about his personal experiences visiting each of the places referenced in these books, which Jesus would have learned about as a Jewish child growing up in Israel. It’s an excellent resource for those seeking to understand Jesus’ faith and the history he learned growing up in Israel.
Israel: A Simple Guide to the Most Misunderstood Country on Earth
by Noa Tishby
There are plenty of high-level, academic books about Israel, Palestine, and the conflict in the region. However, those are often challenging to read all the way through. This book, written by an Israeli actress who is also an American film producer, explains the conflict and complexities in an approachable way for non-Israelis. It’s a good introduction for anyone who does not live with the conflict in their everyday life, which is anyone who is living in neither Israel nor the Palestinian Territories.
Jerusalem and the Palestinian Territories
by DK Eyewitness Travel
If you’re lookingfor short, concise information with lots of pictures to help give you a visual, this guidebook will provide that for you. It’s well-organized, giving readers both an overview of the sites and details where appropriate. Going beyond just the sites, this travel guide also explains some of Israel’s history, culture, food, and customs, as well as practical information such as language, money matters, safety tips, and religious holidays, which effect opening times for many businesses.
This one sounds obvious, but it’s still worth mentioning! There are many plans guiding readers through the entire Bible in a year, but if that’s a bit overwhelming, start with the four Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. These four perspectives of the life of Jesus will take you through his birth, ministry, death, and resurrection from the point of view of four out of the twelve disciples.
As you read through the Bible to prepare for your trip, you’ll start to recognize place names: Bethlehem, Nazareth, the Sea of Galilee, Jerusalem, the Mount of Olives, Gethsemane, etc. These are all places you can actually visit on your trip to Israel, and the Bible is the reason why we know so much about their significance. Does your Bible have footnotes? If so, each time you see a footnote in reference to scriptures in the Old Testament, go to that scripture and read it. This will give you a greater understanding of Jesus’ words and actions in the Gospels.