New Christian Traveler's Guide to the Holy Land

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You are about to embark on the trip of a lifetime. You will walk in the footsteps of Jesus and see God's Word come alive like never before!

A trip to the Holy Land can be life-changing, and for many, it is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. In this one-stop guide, you will reap the benefits of the authors' extensive travel through five key Bible land regions: Israel, Egypt, Greece, Jordan, and Turkey. Detailed maps and a full-color 16-page photo insert offer a preview of what's to...

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You are about to embark on the trip of a lifetime. You will walk in the footsteps of Jesus and see God's Word come alive like never before!

A trip to the Holy Land can be life-changing, and for many, it is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. In this one-stop guide, you will reap the benefits of the authors' extensive travel through five key Bible land regions: Israel, Egypt, Greece, Jordan, and Turkey. Detailed maps and a full-color 16-page photo insert offer a preview of what's to come and will help you make the most of every moment along the way.

Packing lists, jet lag tips, passport requirements, and a wealth of other practical information will assure you have everything you need, while a four-week prayer guide and Bible study will prepare you for the spiritual journey you are about to take.

The Christian Traveler's Guide to the Holy Land traces the biblical events of over ninety of the most visited sites and will ensure that your trip is an exciting, spiritually satisfying, and unforgettable experience.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802466501
  • Publisher: Moody Publishers
  • Publication date: 1/1/2006
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

CHARLES DYER (B.A., Washington Bible College; Th.M. and Ph.D., Dallas Theological Seminary) served for ten years as Provost of Moody Bible Institute before becoming Professor-at-Large of Bible and host of The Land and the Book radio program. He is the author of numerous books, including A Voice in the Wilderness, Character Counts: The Power of Personal Integrity, and Thirty Days in the Land with Jesus. His most recent books are Matthew and Daniel, two revisions of classic commentaries by Dr. John F. Walvoord. Charlie and his wife, Kathy, have been married for more than 39 years and have two grown children.

GREGORY A. HATTEBERG (Joliet College; Moody Bible Institute; Dallas Theological Seminary) is the director of Alumni for Dallas Theological Seminary and a seminar leader for Walk Thru the Bible Ministries. Prior to joining the staff at DTS, Mr. Hatteberg worked in Admissions at Moody Bible Institute. He completed graduate studies at the Institute of Holy Land Studies in Jerusalem, and has traveled extensively in Israel and beyond. Based on his experiences in Israel, he co-authored The Christian Traveler's Guide to the Holy Land with Dr. Charles Dyer. He and his wife, Lisa, are the parents of four children.

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The New Christian Traveler's Guide to the Holy Land

By Charles H. Dyer Gregory A. Hatteberg

Moody Publishers

Copyright © 2006 Charles H. Dyer and Gregory A. Hatteberg
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0-8024-6650-8

Chapter One

Preparing for the Trip

* Travel Safety Facts

* Tips for Travelers

* Packing List

* Requirements for Obtaining a U.S. Passport

* How to Overcome Jet Lag

* Helpful Web Sites

* A Four-Week Schedule of Bible Reading and Prayer

-To Prepare for Israel -To Prepare for Egypt and Jordan

-To Prepare for Greece and Turkey

* A Four-Week Bible Series to Prepare a Group Spiritually for a Trip to Israel


1. Airport security for all flights to the Middle East is very thorough.

2. Terrorist incidents in those Middle East countries visited by tourists, though well publicized in the media, are extremely rare.

3. There is more danger of death or injury driving from one's home to the airport than of being attacked by terrorists while on tour.

4. The governments of Israel, Egypt, Greece, Jordan, and Turkey take the safety of tourists very seriously and have implemented extraordinary measures in the past several years to increase security.

5. Several steps can be taken to minimize even further one's chances of being involved in terrorist incidents.

* Keep a low profile. Try not to be conspicuous in your dress, speech, or behavior. * Avoid wearing articles of clothing that advertise your nationality or that actively identify you with one side or the other in the current Middle East conflict. * Avoid crowds, protest groups, or other potentially volatile situations that could present safety or security risks. * Stay with your group and avoid wandering off alone (similar to the advice you would give someone coming to visit any major city in the United States). * Dress and act in a manner that shows proper respect for the social and cultural values of the region. Avoid falling into the "Ugly American" stereotype. * Remain aware of your circumstances and surroundings. Don't become so absorbed by the grandeur of the sites that you fail to keep track of what is happening around you. If you sense anything out of the ordinary, don't hesitate to express your concerns to the tour guide or tour leader.

6. Tour buses are in constant contact with their headquarters. The tour operators monitor any potential trouble spots; and if they feel there might be a problem, they will contact the guide and driver and reroute the group to avoid the area.



Most tours to the Middle East are very informal. (No real dress-up occasions, even for Sunday.) For touring, plan to wear comfortable clothes. Most tours encourage participants to wear jeans or slacks on the trip. Take one jacket or heavy sweater, even during the summer months. Remember when packing: Less is better. Comfortable shoes with nonskid soles are necessary. (You will be doing a great deal of walking, often over uneven terrain and smooth stone.) Wash-and-wear items are very helpful, and shorts are acceptable. However, those who wear shorts should also carry a "modesty kit" for visiting holy sites or traveling in more conservative areas so that knees and shoulders are covered. A modesty kit for women should include slacks or a wraparound skirt (below the knee), a blouse that covers the shoulders, and a hat or scarf for the head. A modesty kit for men should include long pants, a shirt that covers the shoulders, and a hat.


Depending on what is covered in your tour, extra expenses may include incidental food items (beverages, snacks, lunch, etc.). You will also want to bring money to purchase souvenirs. Of that amount, you should carry $50 in $1 bills with the rest in cash or U.S. traveler's checks. (The $1 bills can be used to purchase bottled water, soft drinks, postcards, etc.) Should you need to do so, you can exchange dollars into the local currency at airports, hotels, and banks. Whenever you exchange dollars, keep the receipt given to you. You will then be able to convert any remaining currency back into dollars when you leave the country. Most stores love U.S. dollars, but you can sometimes get better bargains if you pay in the local currency.

The basic unit of money in each country is as follows:

* Israel uses the New Israeli Shekel (NIS), which is divided into 100 Agorot. * Egypt uses the Egyptian Pound (£E), which is divided into 100 Piastres. * Greece uses the Euro ([euro]), which is divided into 100 Cents. * Jordan uses the Jordanian Dinar (JD), which is divided into 100 Piastres. * Turkey uses the New Turkish Lira (YTL), which is divided into 100 Kurus.

Just before leaving on your trip, check the Foreign Currency Exchange section in your local newspaper to determine the current exchange rate, or check the rate online.

You should consider the use of a money belt. Clever pickpockets are waiting for you. Carry and guard your passport, pocketbook, purse, and other valuables very carefully. Keep your money, traveler's checks, and passport on your person or in your hotel safe-deposit box. Never pack them in your suitcase or leave them in your hotel room. Larger purchases can be made using a major credit card (except the Discover Card), but go through your wallet or purse before leaving the United States to remove all unnecessary credit cards (just in case your wallet is lost or stolen).

Electric Appliances

The electric current in the different countries of the Middle East is 220-volt AC, single phase, 50 cycles, which requires special adapter plugs that can vary by country. If you intend to take appliances (hair dryer, electric razor, iron) that are suitable for both 110 and 220 volts, make sure to carry a set of adapter plugs. If your appliance is for 110 volts only, you will also need a converter. Never plug a 110-volt appliance into a 220-volt outlet without a converter; it will work at twice its speed for a few seconds-and never work again!


No shots or vaccinations are required to visit most tourist destinations in Israel, Egypt, Greece, Jordan, or Turkey. However, you might want to visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Web site to learn about illnesses specific to these countries and how best to protect yourself. Should you need medication during the trip, be sure to carry it with you. Also, take some of the following items along for any emergencies: Pepto Bismol (liquid or tablets), Imodium, sleeping pills (to help overcome jet lag the first few nights), Dramamine (if you are subject to motion sickness), cold or allergy tablets (if you are subject to allergy attacks), and any other personal hygiene products you may require.


International airlines normally limit passengers to one suitcase and one carry-on bag (excluding purse or camera bag). In addition to satisfying airline regulations, this limitation also makes it much easier for individuals to keep track of their luggage when it is being loaded and unloaded from the buses and when it is portered at hotels. Be sure your suitcase closes and fastens securely (use extra straps if necessary). Mark your suitcase and carry-on bag clearly so you will be able to distinguish it. Women should consider using only their initials rather than their first name. Do not pack cameras, expensive jewelry, or other valuables in your suitcase.

Current airline security regulations require that checked baggage be unlocked. However, there are now locks available that are Transportation Security Administration (TSA) approved. These locks can be opened by the TSA and then relocked. Consider buying a set of TSA-approved locks if you wish to lock your luggage.

Be sure to have anything you will need while flying in your carry-on bag. Also keep your essential toiletries and a one-day change of clothes with you in your carry-on luggage (just in case your baggage would get "lost in transit"). Don't overpack. Leave some room for items you may purchase and bring back. Remember that on the way over you will be wearing the same clothes for two days-walking, riding, and sleeping in airplanes. Dress for comfort!


Hotels usually serve nutritious breakfasts, so don't skip breakfast! Lunches may or may not be included in your tour. (Check your travel brochure.) Dinner will be ample. Some foods will be new to you. Any foods served at the hotels will usually be safe to eat. Exercise care in eating unpeeled fruit and fresh vegetables purchased in open-air markets unless you peel and/or wash them first. Consider bringing along some snack foods to eat on the bus when you are traveling.

While the tap water in most hotels is usually safe, if you have any doubts, consider purchasing and drinking bottled water. Coffee, tea, and soft drinks are also safe to drink. Depending on the specific country and locale, you might need to exercise care about using ice. Plan to pay for any extra drinks you order for meals. (These are not usually included in the price of a tour.)

Other Items to Pack

Consider packing moist towelettes for warm touring days, and a washcloth-if needed-since some hotels do not supply them. Bring your own soap if it is important to you. Don't forget your sunglasses, and remember that a hat is an absolute necessity. (One with a broad brim is a wise choice.) You can request a wakeup call from most hotels, but you may also want to carry your own alarm clock. Boxed snacks (dried fruit, etc.) can help keep one's energy up between meals. Any liquids you take should be in tight (preferably plastic) bottles. Only fill them three-fourths full to allow for expansion. Put each bottle in a small ziplock plastic bag for further protection.

Passport Information

Make sure your passport is up-to-date (and isn't scheduled to expire until at least six months after the trip). Visas are required prior to departure for some countries in the Middle East. (Individuals with U.S. passports do not need to obtain a visa prior to their trip to Israel; a tourist visa will be issued to them at passport control on arrival.) Travel agencies will usually take care of obtaining required visas for individuals. Check with them if you have any questions. Keep your passport with you in a safe place at all times. Also, keep a photocopy of your passport in a separate location, possibly inside your suitcase. Remember, do not pack your passport inside your suitcase!

If you plan to obtain a passport for the first time, instructions For applying for your passport are found on pages 29-31. The key tip for first-time applicants is to apply early!


If your camera uses film, make sure you take plenty. (Film is expensive overseas.) Also, take an extra set of batteries for your camera. You may wish to invest in a lead-lined bag to hold your film to avoid any X-ray damage. You may be required to unload your camera for inspection when boarding planes, so the best policy is to make sure you have no film in your camera when you arrive at the airport. (For your convenience, at the end of this guide we have included a film list for recording each picture.)

A digital camera can be a wise investment for a trip far from home: It allows you to review your pictures immediately (and reshoot if necessary), and it also provides you with photos to look at during your flight home. But if you are taking a digital camera, be sure to bring sufficient memory cards or sticks to store pictures. Another alternative is to download your pictures to a portable storage device during the trip. Finally, make sure you bring the cable for recharging your camera's internal battery!

Use discretion in what you photograph-especially military personnel, secure areas (like airports and military bases), Muslim women with covered faces, or Orthodox Jewish men and women. If you are in doubt, ask first!

Physical Exercise

You will be doing a great deal of walking on your trip. It is strongly recommended that you do some walking now-in the shoes you're taking on the tour-to condition yourself. If you're buying new shoes for the trip, plan to wear them weeks before departure so they are "broken in" and you are comfortable walking in them.


The English language is spoken sufficiently everywhere, so no language problem need arise. Part of the fun of shopping is the Middle Eastern culture of "bargaining" for an item. When bargaining with merchants, don't appear too anxious to purchase an item, and never accept the first price as the actual price. In many cases the item can be purchased for less than half of the "asking price." The truth of Proverbs 20:14 will come alive in the markets of the Middle East. "'Bad, bad,' says the buyer, but when he goes his way, then he boasts" (NASB).

Keep a written record of all your purchases, as this will make the filing of your customs report easier when you return home. Be careful about exposing much money at any one time when you are shopping.


Calls to the United States can be placed through the switchboard at all hotels. However, most hotels add a hefty service charge for this service. Consider purchasing a prepaid calling card available at most discount stores here in the U.S. Check with the company issuing the card to obtain the appropriate access number for calling to the United States from the different countries to which you are traveling-and to make sure the card can be used in that country.

U.S. cellular phones can be used overseas only if they are quad-band GSM phones. If you have any questions, check with your provider to find out if your cell phone will work overseas. It is often more cost-effective simply to rent a cell phone with prepaid minutes while traveling overseas. (In most cases incoming calls to these phones are free.) Check with your travel agent to see if this is a possibility.

Traveling as Part of a Group

Sometimes photographers will take pictures of you or your group. You are not obligated to buy any. Expect some inconveniences such as schedule changes. Things do not always run as smoothly as they do in the United States. Have a good Christian attitude about it all.

Be careful about sharing your faith. This is an especially sensitive situation in the Middle East. Let your life and conduct count. Consider the believers there whose situation you might make more difficult by arousing anger or by giving a poor testimony. Pray for the tour. Live with others as Christians should; plan to cooperate and stay on schedule with the group. The guide and tour host are concerned for the welfare of the entire group, and they count on your cooperation to make it an enjoyable time for all.


The climate of Israel, Greece, Jordan, and the southern part of Turkey is often described as Mediterranean. This type of climate is known for its hot, dry summers and cold, rainy winters. Other parts of Turkey have a climate that is more akin to Europe. Egypt is a desert climate with very little rainfall.


Winter weather in Israel is very changeable, and November through March is the rainy season. While you should have some beautiful days, expect to see rain, especially in the hill country. The average temperature can vary greatly depending on where you are in Israel. Expect cool days and cold nights in Jerusalem. Following are the average high/low temperatures for various places in Israel in the winter.

Nov. Dec. Jan. Feb. March Jerusalem 67/54 56/47 53/43 57/44 61/47 Tel Aviv 76/54 66/47 65/49 66/48 69/51 Sea of Galilee 78/59 68/53 65/48 67/49 72/51 Dead Sea 83/61 74/51 70/49 73/51 79/56

Spring and summer weather is very stable and pleasant. April and May can still bring occasional rain, but little or no rain will fall from June through October. The average summer temperature can still vary greatly. Expect warm days and cool nights in Jerusalem. The following are the average high/low temperatures for various places in Israel in the summer.

April May June July August Jerusalem 69/53 77/60 81/63 84/66 86/66 Tel Aviv 72/54 77/63 83/67 86/70 86/72 Sea of Galilee 80/56 89/62 95/68 98/73 99/75 Dead Sea 87/63 95/69 99/75 103/77 104/79


Excerpted from The New Christian Traveler's Guide to the Holy Land by Charles H. Dyer Gregory A. Hatteberg Copyright © 2006 by Charles H. Dyer and Gregory A. Hatteberg. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents


Part 1: Preparing for the Trip

Part 2: The Land of Israel

Part 3: The Land of Egypt

Part 4: The Land of Greece

Part 5: The Land of Jordan

Part 6: The Land of Turkey

Part 7: Preserving Your Trip

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