Over the course of the last week I've been posting pictures of the churches of Beit Jala, Palestine. This image gives context to the effort.
From the edge of Bethlehem the camera captures the lumpy "backbone" of the Judean Hills. It is difficult to say with precision where Bethlehem ends and Beit Jala begins, but climbing the steep hill (nicknamed "Mt Everest") to the towers on the horizon brings the walker through the community of Beit Jala.
For the sake of the eyes, I've circled the Latin Church of the Annunciation in yellow and the Orthodox Church of the Nativity of the Theotokos in red.
Some have suggested that this hillside community is biblical Giloh. If the identity is correct, it would have been the home of Ahitophel, the counselor of David and grandfather of Bath-sheba (see 2 Samuel 15:12 here). There is no archaeological evidence of this connection.
Interested in visiting Israel/Palestine yourself? Pastors, professors, and their spouses are invited to participate in a unique experience. Priced at a deep-discount level, this trip delivers a rich engagement with the Land of the Bible and introduces leaders to the potential and pitfalls of organized travel. Mark it on your calendar: Jan 8-15, 2019.