The pocket-sized Israel guidebook "Hiking the Jesus Trail and Other Biblical Walks in the Galilee" (published in April, 2010) was co-written by a husband-and-wife team (who were married shortly after this book was published). There are many existing footpaths within Israel, but the idea for a "Jesus Trail" is a completely new trail in commemoration of the biblical account from the Gospel of Matthew about how Jesus left his hometown of Nazareth and travelled to the village of Capernaum on the shores of the Sea of Galilee where Jesus gathered his first disciples. The trail was marked out with a white/orange/white trail blaze in 2009 by the public Israel Trails Committee which works in conjunction with the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel.
The American Christian co-author David Landis is co-founder or co-initiator (along with his Jewish Israeli partner) of the newly marked hiking path which is referred to in English as the "Jesus Trail" or in Hebrew as the "Glad Tidings Road" or "Gospel Road." The book "Hiking the Jesus Trail" is a complete hiking and backpacking guide to all aspects of the new trail. The authors have extensive experience in backpacking the world over, and bring that knowledge and experience to the book.
The concept of a "Jesus Trail" fits in with a burgeoning modern rejuvenation of the historic Christian pilgrimage route in France and Spain called the "Way of St. James" or in Spanish, "El camino de Santiago," as well as the first official trail going the whole length of Israel which was established in the 1990s, which was in turn inspired by the 2,000 mile (3,500 km) trail along the eastern mountains of America called the Appalachian Trail established in the 1920s and 1930s.
The book covers the basic, most symbolically laden trail which involves a four-day walk from the hills of Nazareth down to the shores of the Sea of Galilee, as well as covering a walk to make a large circuit back to Nazareth, and another walk along the ridge above the Jordan Valley, in addition to a further trail going through the central region of the Galilee.
The book is very practical with maps of an overview, further extremely detailed maps of the trails, along with detailed lists of guest houses, camping sites, and thorough public transportation timetables and routes to get the potential hiker or backpacker to and from the Jesus Trail. The book is also lavishly illustrated with color photographs. The illustrations alone make the book worthy to obtain.
The tips and recommendations make this book suitable for a novice as well as for the more experienced hiker.
The book is filled with a goodnatured camaraderie of love and respect for Jews and Arabs one would meet along the way, as well as being sensitive and alive to the beauty of nature in the countryside, and has rich references to biblical culture and history.