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, Jordan River and Bethlehem. 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!


Day 1 : Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy

October 15, 2023 (Sunday)
Join us on a 2 day pre-cruise tour in Rome and see the highlights of this amazing city. Tour will include transfers to/from the ship.

Day 2 : Cruising

October 16, 2023 (Monday)
Bible Seminar at Sea with Jack Welch & John Thompson

Day 3 : Cruising

October 17, 2023 (Tuesday)
Bible Seminar at Sea with Jack Welch & John Thompson

Day 4 : Limassol, Cyprus

October 18, 2023 (Wednesday)
On this island where Paul and others stopped (Acts 13:4-12), you will have free time to explore the island.

Day 5 : Jerusalem (Ashdod), Israel

October 19, 2023 (Thursday)
We will begin this tour atop the Mount of Olives where we will have a panoramic view of the Old City and Dome of the Rock. We will then take a short walk down to the Garden of Gethsemane. We will then travel to the Garden Tomb, where we will see the spot many believe to be the location of the death, burial and resurrection of Christ. Before going to the Old City, we will visit the Jerusalem Center for a short tour. After our visit, we will head to the Western Wall, where we’ll see the holiest of sites for the Jews and the remnants of the retaining wall that surrounded Herod’s temple. Here we will see St. Anne’s church and the pools of Bethesda and do a short walk through the Old City following the traditional via dolorosa to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, passing by Antonio’s Fortress. There will be free time in the Old City for those who would like to shop or visit the Church or the Holy Sepulchre. We will visit the Western Wall and the Davidson Center (south steps of the Temple Mount).

Day 6 : Jerusalem (Ashdod), Israel

October 20, 2023 (Friday)
We will start the morning on the Jordan River on our way to Bethlehem, where we will see the Church of the Nativity and Shepherd’s fields. We will see any of the missed sites from Day 1 in Jerusalem.

Day 7 : Haifa, Israel

October 21, 2023 (Saturday)
We’ll get off the ship as early as possible 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. If time permits, we will start the morning at Caesarea Phillipi. We will visit then visit the recently excavated site of Magdala, believed to be the home town of Mary Magdalene. Then we will head to Capernaum, where we will see the remnants of the synagogue where Christ possibly taught. We will discuss the miracles that took place here. We will take a boat ride onto the Sea of Galilee and visit one the proposed sites for the Mount of Beatitudes. Lunch is included on the shores of the Sea of Galilee.

Day 8 : Cruising

October 22, 2023 (Sunday)
Bible Seminar at Sea with Jack Welch & John Thompson

Day 9 : Ephesus (Kusadasi), Turkey

October 23, 2023 (Monday)
The Kusadasi port will take us to Ephesus, where we will enter through the Magnesia Gate to the ruins of the ancient Roman Capital. We will go see the ancient ruins known as the Odeon, the Celsus Library, the Temple of Hadrian, the Fountain of Trajan and the Great Theatre, which is the place many believe Paul preached to the Ephesians. After visiting the ruins of Ephesus. The tour will conclude as we visit the ruins of the Temple of Artemis, which is known as one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. This tour comes with a local lunch included at a nearby village.

Day 10 : Athens (Piraeus), Greece

October 24, 2023 (Tuesday)
We will begin with an early start so we can get out to the Biblical city of Corinth. Although off the beaten path of most travelers,, there is a lot of Biblical and historical importance to this site. We will discuss Paul’s visits and letters to the people of Corinth. We will head into the heart of Athens and visit the “sacred rock”, the Acropolis. Here you will see the Parthenon that was dedicated to goddess Athena We will also walk over to the Theatre of Dionysus and finally Mars Hill, where Paul addressed the Athenians. From there, we’ll proceed to the oldest and most picturesque neighborhood of Athens, Plaka (stone-paved narrow streets, traditional Greek taverns -best gyros- antique and souvenir stores). We will give you free time here to shop and eat. After free time for lunch in Plaka, we’ll walk through the city centre through the area of the  Flea Market (street bazaar, antique stores) where we’ll visit the Ancient Agora (the political, financial and commercial centre of ancient Athens). 

Day 11 : Cruising

October 25, 2023 (Wednesday)
Bible Seminar at Sea with Jack Welch & John Thompson

Day 12 : Naples (Capri), Italy

October 26, 2023 (Thursday)
From Naples, we will go to Pompeii. This archaeological site is considered to be the world’s finest example of a Roman town and its way of life in Paul’s day. In 79 AD, the catastrophic eruption of Mount Vesuvius buried the town under 20 feet of ash and pumice stone, preserving the entire city. During the walking tour of the ruins, admire the mansions and art of wealthy patricians who moved to Pompeii to escape the turmoil of Rome; view countless paintings and inscriptions and the streets with raised pavements on either side. At intersections are stepping-stones that ensured pedestrians a safe crossing. This prosperous Roman City had an extensive forum, lavish baths, temples and villas richly decorated with frescoes. Excavations have revealed details of everyday life such as the wine jars still set in the counter of the wine shop. Following our visit to Pompeii, we will explore and give you free time on the beautiful Amalfi Coast.

Day 13 : Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy

October 27, 2023 (Friday)
Return to Rome, Italy. Transfer to airport.


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.