The term “Holy Land” is historically associated with the land of Israel, and is a term sometimes used by Christians, Jews and Muslims. This small piece of land in the Middle East has a rich history that goes back more than 4,000 years.
Today, Israel is one of the smallest countries in the Middle East – only about the size of the state of New Jersey. It sits among Syria and Lebanon to the north, Egypt to the south, Jordan to the east, and the Mediterranean Sea to the west.
The Jordan River, which connects many of the stories in the Gospels, runs from the base of Mount Hermon, down to the Dead Sea. Along the way, it feeds into the Sea of Galilee, which is lowest fresh-water lake on earth. The Sea of Galilee is where Jesus spent much of his time during his ministry. In our study of the Gospels, we’ll also learn about a number of ancient towns in the Galilee region, including Cana, Capernaum, Chorazin, Bethsaida, Tiberias, and Jesus’ hometown of Nazareth.
From the Sea of Galilee, the Jordan River flows for about 65 miles down to the Dead Sea. This is the most famous stretch of the Jordan River, which we read about in the Bible. It’s where the Israelites crossed into the Promised Land and where John baptized Jesus.
The Dead Sea is the lowest inhabited place on our entire planet. It’s about 1,300 feet below sea level. The water is warm year-round, but it’s so salty that nothing can live in it, which is why they call it, the Dead Sea.
Just northwest of the Dead Sea are other famous cities from the Gospel accounts, including Bethlehem, Jericho, and Jerusalem. We’ll visit those places in later Gospels Adventures.