Bethlehem holds a central place in the New Testament Gospels as the birthplace of Jesus. For over 1,700 years, the Church of the Nativity has marked the spot where, in tradition, “the Word became flesh.” This opening event for the exhibition, Bells of Bethlehem: Sounds from the Church of the Nativity, features renowned New Testament scholar Ben Witherington III discussing Bethlehem in the first century and how it connects to the Gospels. In addition, George Al Ama, a historian and resident of Bethlehem, will highlight the history and recent renovation of the Church of the Nativity.
- 5:30 p.m.* — Doors Open
- 6:00–6:10 p.m.* — Welcome by Dr. Jeff Kloha and Introduction to the Exhibition
- 6:10–7:00 p.m.* — Presentation Lectures
- 7:00–7:30 p.m.* — Q&A
- 7:30–8:00 p.m. — Exclusive Tour with Curator George Al Ama
PLEASE NOTE: Zoom will begin streaming 10 minutes before the program for our virtual audience. The schedule will run from 5:50–7:30 p.m. EST. The tour WILL NOT be included.
Dr. Jeffrey Kloha
Jeffrey Kloha manages the Museum of the Bible Education, Scholars Initiative, Exhibits, Curatorial, and Collections departments and is responsible for executing those departments’ strategic plans.
Jeff previously served 18 years as a professor of New Testament at Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, and also served Concordia as provost/chief academic officer. He earned his PhD from the University of Leeds. His areas of teaching and research include the textual and canonical history of the early Christian writings, hermeneutics, and the Pauline Epistles. He is a frequent conference presenter, radio guest, and television documentary commentator.
Mr. George Al Ama
George Al Ama is a researcher, academic, and collector of Palestinian material culture and art. Founder of Dar Al Sabagh Diaspora studies and Research Centre, Head of the Culture Unit at the Center for Cultural Heritage Preservation, Member of the Scientific Committee of Terra Sancta Museums, Advisor for Bank of Palestine Group, and a lecturer at Dar Al-Kalima University and Birzeit University.
Dr. Ben Witherington III
Ben Witherington III is Amos Professor of New Testament for doctoral studies at Asbury Theological Seminary and on the doctoral faculty at St. Andrews University in Scotland. A graduate of UNC, Chapel Hill, he went on to receive the MDiv from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and the PhD from the University of Durham in England. He is now considered one of the top evangelical scholars in the world and is an elected member of the prestigious Society of New Testament Studies.
Witherington has also taught at Ashland Theological Seminary, Vanderbilt University, Duke Divinity School, and Gordon-Conwell. A popular lecturer, Witherington has presented seminars for churches, colleges, and biblical meetings in the United States, England, Estonia, Russia, Europe, South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Australia. He has also led tours to Italy, Greece, Turkey, Israel, Jordan, and Egypt.
Witherington has written more than 50 books, including The Jesus Quest and The Paul Quest, both of which were selected as top biblical studies by Christianity Today. He also writes for many church and scholarly publications and is a frequent contributor to the Patheos website.
Along with numerous interviews on radio networks across the country, Witherington has been seen on the History Channel, NBC, ABC, CBS, CNN, The Discovery Channel, A&E, and the PAX Network.