Dec 29, 2014

Traveling in the Holy Land: Then and Now

For fun, I have been reading Herbert Rix’s Tent and Testament: A Camping Tour in Palestine with Some Notes on Scripture Sites, a book published 1907. I came upon the following statement and was reminded of two points. First, traveling in the Holy Land, even with the hassles of security, lost luggage, etc., is still much easier and safer now. Second, some things have not changed that much. Nablus is still a somewhat difficult to visit and photography is not allowed, at least at Jacob’s well.

“I should have preferred to encamp at Nablûs, in that Vale of Shechem concerning whose beauties I had heard so much. But Hanna strongly dissuaded us from any such plan. The people, he said, were rude, and it was impossible to keep them from invading the tents; and they were fanatical to such a degree that they often became dangerous to Christians. He further took occasion to remind us that pictures were forbidden by the Mohammedan religion, so that when we entered Nablûs I must not attempt to photograph, otherwise we stood a fair chance of all being killed. It may be that for reasons of his own he exaggerated the dangers, but, of course, for the ignorant there was nothing to do but to follow his advice” (
Herbert Rix, Tent and Testament: A Camping Tour in Palestine with Some Notes on Scripture Sites [New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1907], 22).  

Here is a picture of Jacob's Well from the book. I am not sure how he secured the picture though.

By the way, can download Rix’s book for free at Google Books here.

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