road to Damascus

Stronghold on the road to Damascus

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This stronghold, resting on the flanks of Mt Hermon, protected the road to Damascus. It is known popularly as Nimrod’s Fortress or Qal'at al-Subeiba (“Cliff castle”). The site was hastily erected in the 1220s to prevent the European Crusaders from a return to the region.

The fears were unfounded. The Crusaders did not return and despite the adaption of the latest technologies in this medieval slugfest between East and West, the fortress was never used as a point of active defense.

I set our students free to explore the site on their own. Naturally the adventurous ones headed straight for the keep, the inner stronghold on the highest point of the ridge pictured here.

We know that Saul of Tarsus was converted along the famous “road to Damascus,” but it is unknown where the event described in Acts 9 (see here) took place.


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The residency program of Johnson University leads to a Master of Strategic Ministry degree. It involves a collaborative relationship between Johnson University and local churches. This accredited program equips students for effective, strategic Christian leadership and includes a study-tour to Israel/Palestine.

To learn more about residencies, see the link here.