Scripture Central: Journeys of Paul and Bible Lands

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Scripture Central: Journeys of Paul and Bible Lands

13 Day Cruise

10/15/2023 - 10/27/2023

Welch Cropped
John (Jack) W. Welch
John S Thompson
John S. Thompson

Scripture Central (including Book of Mormon Central) sponsors a Journeys of Paul – Bible Lands Cruise – Join us on a scriptural journey. Sail with Jack Welch & John Thompson as they inspire us with incredible presentations on sea days. Learn about the travels and teachings of the apostle Paul and other gospel topics. Experience history, culture, and civilization at every turn on this extraordinary itinerary. Join our private tours options at port. From Haifa, visit the Mt. of Beatitudes, Capernaum, and Magdala and the Sea of Galilee. Journey to Jerusalem and visit the Garden of Gethsemane, the Garden Tomb, and the Jordan River. We will explore the Greco-Roman world of Paul with stops in Pompeii and Rome. We will visit the ancient site of Ephesus, where Paul labored for over two years. We will also visit Athens, where Paul spoke to a group at Mars Hill & the nearby city of Corinth. Join John and Jack and our adventurous LDS group as we create memories to last a lifetime!

Join us for a 2-night pre-cruise tour of Rome!

We are offering a 5-night post-cruise tour of Sicily!


Day 1 : Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy

October 15, 2023 (Sunday)

October 13 - Arrive in Rome. Visit LDS Temple. October 14 - Vatican City Museum tour and Highlights of Rome. October 15 - Transfer to the ship

Day 2 : Naples, Italy

October 16, 2023 (Monday)

We begin by stopping at the dock of Puteoli, where the Apostle Paul landed on his first trip to Rome (Acts 28:13). From the port, we head to the ancient city of Pompeii. We spend some time strolling through the ancient ruins as our guide shares details about the lives' of the residents before the great eruption. We have an opportunity to view the somber and incredible plaster casts of some of the victims of the Mt. Vesuvius eruption in 79 AD. Mt. Vesuvius can be seen from Pompeii. Our tour continues with a scenic drive through the beautiful countryside along Amalfi coastal road. After about an hour we arrive at the wonderful town of Sorrento. Here we enjoy some free time to shop, eat or just admire the picturesque views of Sorrento. $135 if paying by check.

Day 3 : Cruising

October 17, 2023 (Tuesday)

10:00 AM to 3:00 PM Bible Seminar at Sea with Jack Welch & John Thompson

Day 4 : Ephesus (Kusadasi), Turkey

October 18, 2023 (Wednesday)

Today our tour takes us to one of the most impressive archaeological sites in the world, Ephesus. We tour the terrace houses that are part of the Ephesus site. We walk along the Odeon, the marble street where Paul held daily discussions, the Library of Celcus, the Temple of Hadrian and the great theater. We spend several hours strolling through this site. Following this we board the bus for a quick photo stop at the Artemision or Temple of Artemis. We return to the port at Kusadasi and we have the option of remaining on land for lunch and shopping or boarding the ship and relaxing. $70 if paying by check.

Day 5 : Athens (Piraeus), Greece

October 19, 2023 (Thursday)

We start our exciting day with a one-hour scenic bus ride to visit ancient Corinth where Paul arrived in 51 AD. We take a look at the famous Corinth Canal and enjoy lunch featuring authentic Greek cuisine. We then head back to Athens where we visit the Acropolis, including the Parthenon, Erechteion, Temple of Athena Nike and more. We also get to see Mars Hill where Paul once preached. We drive by other interesting sites as we make our way back to our ship. $130 if paying by check, lunch included.

Day 6 : Santorini, Greece

October 20, 2023 (Friday)

We are be picked up from the old port of Fira where we take a water taxi to Athinios port and our bus. We enjoy a guided walk through the quiet, picturesque village of Magalochori. Following our visit we drive to Profitis Ilias. the highest point on the island, for a scenic photo stop. Our next stop takes us to the Monolithos Black Beach (no swimming) where we have a short time to enjoy the water and beach. We then journey to Oia, the northern most village where we see the classic blue domed buildings, the ruins of a Venetian castle and admire the breathtaking view over the caldera. We have time on our own to explore or eat. We take in any sights we might have missed as we enjoy the journey back to the port. $95 if paying by check.

Day 7 : Cruising

October 21, 2023 (Saturday)

10:00 AM to 3:00 PM Bible Seminar at Sea with Jack Welch & John Thompson

Day 8 : Haifa, Israel

October 22, 2023 (Sunday)

We get off the ship as early as possible this morning and make our way through the northern parts of Israel and the Sea of Galilee region. This is the area where many of Christ’s greatest teachings and miracles took place. We start the morning driving to Sepphoris and then down to the recently excavated site of Magdala, believed to be the home town of Mary Magdalene. Then we head to Capernaum, where we see the remnants of the town where Peter lived and Christ taught. We discuss the miracles that took place here and around here. We take a boat ride onto the Sea of Galilee and visit a site called the Mount of Beatitudes. Lunch is included on the shores of the Sea of Galilee. Time permitting, we visit Caesarea Phillipi where Jesus told Peter, “Upon this rock I will build my church.” $325 if paying by check (includes Haifa and Jerusalem).

Day 9 : Jerusalem (Ashdod), Israel

October 23, 2023 (Monday)

We begin this tour atop the Mount of Olives where we have a panoramic view of the Old City and Dome of the Rock. We then take a short walk down to the Garden of Gethsemane. We travel to the Garden Tomb, where we see the spot many believe to be the location of the death, burial and resurrection of Christ. We enter the Old City and head toward the Western Wall, where we see the holiest of sites for the Jews and the remnants of the retaining wall that surrounded Herod’s temple. Here we see St. Anne’s church and the pools of Bethesda and do a short walk through the Old City following the traditional Via Dolorosa toward the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, passing by Antonio’s Fortress. We have free time in the Old City for those who would like to shop or visit the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. We will visit the Western Wall and the Davidson Center (south steps of the Temple Mount).

Day 10 : Limassol, Cyprus

October 24, 2023 (Tuesday)

Our journey takes us to Paphos a city where the apostle Paul taught. We learn about Paul and Barnabas and what they did when in Cyprus. We visit the most important archaeological sites of Cyprus including the tombs of the Kings. We see the the Panagia Chysopolitissa Church and see St. Paul's Pillar, where according to tradition Paul was flogged. We admire the beautiful mosaics as we reflect on Paul's experiences here in Pathos. We look inside King Donysos house, a luxury building of the Roman period. We will see Paphos Odeon, the ruins of The Basilica of Panagia Limeniotissa and a medieval fort. We take in the beautiful coastal vistas as we travel back to Limassol. Time permitting; we make a brief stop at the mythical birthplace of Aprhrodite 'Petra tour Romiou.'$110 if paying by check.

Day 11 : Cruising

October 25, 2023 (Wednesday)

10:00 AM to 3:00 PM Bible Seminar at Sea with Jack Welch & John Thompson

Day 12 : Cruising

October 26, 2023 (Thursday)

10:00 AM to 3:00 PM Bible Seminar at Sea with Jack Welch & John Thompson

Day 13 : Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy

October 27, 2023 (Friday)

We disembark early this morning. You transfer to the airport and journey on to Sicily on the 5-night post-cruise tour or elsewhere.


Ship Information: Royal Caribbean Odyssey of the Seas

This is a new Royal Caribbean ship. You will love the many different dining and entertainment opportunities available on this ship. We have secured great rates on a new ship.

It’s time to see how just far adventure can take you. Introducing the newest Royal Caribbean game changer, and the first Quantum Ultra Class cruise ship to sail in the U.S and Europe – Odyssey of the Sea. Cue the thrills with unforgettable experiences onboard the cruise ship, dig in to delicious dining from around the world, or soak up the sun at a newly designed resort-style pool deck that brings the island vibes poolside.


All Rates are per person based on double occupancy. Rates will vary for cabins with 3rd and 4th passengers in them. We can sometimes get reduced rates for triple and quad occupancy cabins.

Rates are for the cruise portion only. It does not include your airfare, shore excursions or gratuities. We will send out pricing for our private group shore excursions about 6 months prior to the cruise.

Inside $2,399
Ocean View Call for Pricing
Balcony $2,899
Taxes & Govt. Fees $188.15

Terms and Conditions: Advertised rates do not include shore excursions, airfare, or gratuities.

  • Deposit — A $900 deposit ($450 per person based on double occupancy) is required to confirm the booking.
  • Final payment is due July 8, 2023. Deposit is refundable prior to final payment without penalty. Within three months of the cruise, the tours and cruise are non-refundable.
  • Price is limited and based on availability. These cruises sell out quickly so we recommend you book early.
  • After final payment, the cruise and excursions are non-refundable.

Check Your Invoice Names: Please check to see that your names are spelled correctly. Your first and last names must appear as they appear on your passport for International travel and Driver’s License for domestic tours.

PASSPORTS ARE REQUIRED and should be valid 6 months after the end of the tour.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Due to the nature of this tour you must be able to climb stairs and walk unassisted at a moderate pace. 

Please note that minor changes to the itinerary may occur due to local conditions and to better accommodate our group.


John (Jack) W. Welch
John W. (Jack) Welch is well-known and highly regarded in LDS circles for his insightful studies of the Bible and Book of Mormon, including numerous works on Jesus’s Sermon on the Mount, temple studies, the Gospel of Matthew, the parable of the Good Samaritan, the trial of Jesus, and the legal and cultural backgrounds of the New Testament. While serving in 1967 as a missionary in Regensburg, Germany, Jack discovered the remarkable literary form called chiasmus in the Book of the Mormon. In 1970, Jack received a master’s degree in Greek and Latin from BYU, where he studied under Hugh Nibley, Truman Madsen, and Terry Warner. He then spent two years at Oxford Studying Greek philosophy. From there, Jack went to law school at Duke where he an editor of the Duke Law Journal, and also studied with the eminent New Testament scholar, James Charlesworth. He practiced law in Southern California, where he founded the Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies (FARMS) in 1979. He joined the faculty of the J. Reuben Clark Law School in 1980, where he still teaches courses on tax, ancient laws, and Joseph Smith and the law. He has served as the general editor of the Collected Works of Hugh Nibley, on the editorial board of the Encyclopedia of Mormonism, and as co-director of the Masada and Dead Sea Scrolls exhibition at BYU. Since 1991 he has been the editor-in-chief of BYU Studies Quarterly. He has been a bishop twice and has served in a stake presidency. He and his wife Jeannie have traveled widely. They have four children and seventeen grandchildren.
John S. Thompson
Bio: John S. Thompson obtained his BA and MA in Ancient Near Eastern Studies (Hebrew Bible) from BYU and UC Berkeley respectively and completed a PhD in Egyptology at the University of Pennsylvania. He has been a full-time employee of the Church’s Seminaries & Institutes of Religion for more than 25 years, most recently as the Coordinator and Institute Director for the Boston/Cambridge, MA area. His research interests and publications focus primarily on early Egyptian religion (Pyramid Texts; non-royal tomb iconography; and conceptions of deity), ancient & modern temple ritual (sequencing; spacial/architectural context; and meaning), ancient & modern covenant theology (concepts of covenant fulfillment in time (vs. eternity); inheritance laws relative to covenant promises of land and priesthood), ancient & modern priesthood function and organization (contrasting roles of high priest, priest, patriarch, prophet, elder, apostle in antiquity and implication for understanding modern restorations of priesthood), and the Book of Abraham (Joseph Smith’s syncretization of Abrahamic details with ancient Egyptian iconography; racial misuse of). He is married to Stacey Keller from Orem, Utah, and they have nine children and four grandchildren.
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Scripture Central: Journeys of Paul and Bible Lands - 13 Day Cruise


*Reservation will be confirmed once deposit is received and you receive and email confirmation.