The little community of Beit Jala spills down a ridge opposite its better known cousin, Bethlehem. It is predominately a Christian village. Locals trace their ancestry back to Aramaic-speaking tribes who lived in the area prior to the Muslim conquest in the 7th century. Christianity is an ancient feature in Palestine.
Church buildings rise from either side of the main road through Beit Jala. Among them is the meeting place of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Reformation pictured here. The Lutherans offer a home for orphans and unwanted boys.
Dr. Mark Ziese, Dean of the School of Bible and Theology at Johnson University, manages the website Bible Land Explorer and teaches regularly in the Biblical heartland. You are invited to join Mark and Vicki for a Mediterranean Cruise aboard the Celebrity Reflection in October, 2018. Onboard lectures will focus on Paul's fourth missionary journey. See the link here for details.