If you are looking for a serious study tour of biblical and historic sites in Jordan, you can do no better than the trip this June with Dr. Ginger Caessens.  I was on a similar trip some years ago and I highly recommend it.  This is particularly ideal for those who

1) have already been to Israel;

2) are not looking for a “tourist” trip, but really want to learn;

3) are in reasonably good shape.  You can even get credit to transfer back to grad school, college, or seminary.  Here are the details from the University of the Holy Land website:

Historical Geography of Jordan

Credits – 2

A 14-day Intensive Study Tour. Nine days of field studies will immerse the student in the rich history of the area. Regions visited include Ammon, Gilead, the Madeba Plateau, Moab and Edom. Many Biblical events transpired in this region, where the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and the half-tribe of Manasseh settled. Moses died in Transjordan and the judges and prophets including Elijah, John the Baptist, Jesus, and Paul, all ministered in the area, which played a crucial role in international trade during Old and New Testament times.

Instructor: G. Caessens, Ph.D. June 2-16, 2008.

For information on cost and accommodation, contact the UHL office.

This is a short-term intensive course. Register now. Limited enrollment! (Minimum enrollment: 
15; maximum: 22)

Dr. Caessens is also leading 21-day study trips of Israel in May and July.
Gerasa oval plaza from above, tb060603041sr
Modern Jerash – biblical Gerasa


If you’re into mysteries and tracking down little details, there’s an endless supply of material in biblical studies and archaeology.  George Grena latched on to one challenging and controversial issue in archaeology some years ago and he seems determined to become the world’s expert on LMLK seals.  (LMLK seals were impressed on royal storejars in the time of Hezekiah.  Nearly everything else about their interpretation is controversial.)  Grena certainly has enriched the world with the extensive information that he has published online and in his book.  That’s a little background to a recent blogpost in which he sheds some light on the little-known biblical town of Kephirah/Chephirah/Kefireh.  In the time of Joshua, this was one of four cities of Gibeonites.  Most people know of the treachery of the city of Gibeon, but may not recall that there were three other cities in their league, including one I saw every day for the last decade – Kiriath Jearim.  Grena’s post begins with some interesting facts about Kephirah before discussing two LMLK seals