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Dr. David Reagan.jpg

Founder and Director Lamb and Lion Ministries, Pastor, Evangelist, and Author

“It is by far the best Israel travel guide I have ever discovered. I have taken over 45 groups  
to Israel and developed my own guide—but nothing to compare with what Joan has done.”




After reviewing the top four Christian travel guides to Israel, I can confidently say, "Happy Travels" with this essential guide in your carry-on! I’ve been to Israel too many times to count, led small groups there and plan to own a home in Israel, and frequently write about Israel. I thought it would be helpful to see what other authors are creating.  I decided to review four of the most popular guides to Israel, specifically written for Christians.


My reviews are focused on three main criteria: the spiritual, the practical, and the aesthetics (beauty). The goal is to find the one travel guide that must be in your carry-on when your flight touches down in Tel Aviv.


The first book I reviewed was THE CHRISTIAN TRAVELER’S GUIDE TO THE HOLY LAND by Dyer and Hatteberg.  Moody Press publishing definitely lends credibility to this book. However, aesthetically and content wise, Dyer’s book did not stand out to me. The cover and the content were similar to other guides and only eight of the pages were full-color. Dyer’s site descriptions were minimal, delivering only a few short sentences on what occurred at each major site. I did like that it has a schedule of Bible reading which enables you to identify the significance and corresponding Bible verses at each site. My favorite part of this book is the practical aspect - suggested preparations for the trip. (FYI: hotels really won’t have a washcloth for you, so make sure to pack your own).


The following book I reviewed was THE HOLY LAND FOR CHRISTIAN TRAVELERS by John Beck. Where Dyer and Hatteberg’s book is predominantly black and white, Beck offers a bit more color throughout his book. His charts and maps, with an emphasis on geography, are informative. What disturbed me the most about this book was its perspective. The book cover, highlighting an Orthodox Crusader cross, proved to be consistent with the book contents. There seems to be an official, orthodox stance on the identification of sites (even though many of these so-called “Holy sites” are highly disputed). In Beck’s favor, where Dyer is distinctly brief, Beck offers a bit more in depth. If you like viewing sites broken down by regions, this is a respectable travel guide.


The third book is Kathy Lee Gifford’s THE ROCK, THE ROAD, AND THE RABBI. This is a beautiful devotional book written in black and white (with several color inserts) on high quality linen paper, pleasant to the touch. However, it is important to note, THIS IS NOT A TRAVEL GUIDE. It is more of a personal devotion. It is especially inspiring for those who may never travel to Israel and have a special love for the Giffords and appreciate being able to see the land through their eyes. There are pearls of wisdom and deeply personal portions, including the passing of Frank Gifford. Unlike Dyer and Beck, Gifford wisely incorporates Jewish believers in Yeshua (Jesus) and inspires the reader to want to go to Israel. Again, the book is an inspiration and not a travel guide.


Finally, I reviewed Peace’s newly updated and revised travel guide, ISRAEL FOR THE CHRISTIAN TRAVELER. Aesthetically, the cover is gorgeous and the rounded corners and stunning visuals throughout the entire book make it clear why this is a three-time national award-winning read. And the content does not disappoint -- just the right amount of information to illuminate all aspects of Israeli travel without overload.  I love the unique, hidden gems of Israeli adventures that are exclusive to this book – such as finding out where to fire an AK47 or ride a zip line. I particularly enjoy the pictures of popular foods to sample. Don’t miss the ways to identify different Jewish sects by their dress, learn key Hebrew words and phrases, or the in-depth trip prep including how to avoid jet lag - while you are blessing Holocaust survivors or being an archeologist for the day! The theology contained in this book is advanced and it even includes specific opportunities to donate to reputable Israeli ministries.


Peace’s book also comes with a journal and study guide which includes site-related Bible reading, comprehensive quizzes, links to outstanding teaching and YouTube videos from believers and native Israelis, as well as original maps. To me, Israel for the Christian Traveler is the most beautiful, the most practical, and deeply spiritual of the four most popular guides available today. I can confidently say, "Happy Travels" with this essential guide in your carry-on!

Christine Cecil, Ed.D., BSN, RN, PHN

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