Theodor Zahn Picture

W. M. Christie


Palestine Calling





William Melville Christie had known that he was called to missionary work among the Jews since age 14. He prepared himself for this ministry by studying in Edinburgh, in London, and under Franz Delitzsch at the Institutum Judaicum in Leipzig, Germany.

Some years later he commenced his missionary service in the Galilean city Safed (also spelled Safad) with the Free Church of Scotland, Palestine, and then moved to Allepo, to work with the Presbyterian Church of England. He later worked in Safed and in Glasgow. In 1922 the University of Glasgow conferred on him the degree of Doctor of Divinity in recognition of his "great rabbinical learning" and three years later, in 1925, he represented that University at the opening of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

The University of Glasgow Web site summarizes his ministries as follows:

  • Minister, Free Church of Scotland, Aleppo, 1897-1899, 1895-1911; Safad, Galilee, 1889-1895; Tiberias, 1889-1895.
  • In charge, Jewish Mission, Glasgow, 1911-1922.
  • Examiner in Turkish, University of Glasgow.

This biographical material was taken from the following two Web sites:

Dr. Christie, a Hebrew and Rabbinic scholar, offers many insights into the biblical text and the life and ministry of Christ based on his extensive, first-hand knowledge of the land of Israel, both ancient and modern. Haven't we all wondered what the early years of Jesus' life must have been like? Dr. Christie gives some fascinating insights into what it may have been like for the young boy Jesus growing up in the village of Nazareth. See Chapter I.

Here's another example. Did you ever wonder about why Jesus cursed the barren fig tree when according to Mark "the time of figs was not yet" (see Matt 21:18-22; Mark 11:12-14, 20-22)? Critics have often pointed to this event to attack Jesus regarding both his knowledge and sinlessness. However, Christie writes, "the land brings light to the Old Book, and when all the facts are understood, this difficulty, like so many others, disappears." See Chapter XVIII.

Also, where was Jesus crucified? The simple answer is "the place of a skull" or "Golgotha" (cf. Matt. 27:33; Mark 15:22; Luke 23:33; John 19:17). But there is much more to investigate. Where was this area located? Why was it called "a skull"? What was its history? All of this is discussed in a fascinating chapter by Dr. Christie. See Chapter XXIII.

We believe you will thoroughly enjoy this book and learn much from it. Indeed, it is a classic.

We have reproduced the enite book here. The only change made was to update the method of Scripture citation from the older John 6. 14 to John 6:14. Our copy was printed by Pickering & Inglis, Ltd., London and Glasgow. There is no copyright or date of publication. Since Christie mentions the date 1923 in Chapter X, our best guess would be shortly after that year.

Chapter I

The Early Days of the Lord Jesus

Chapter II

Bethabara, or Bethany Beyond Jordan, and Pella

Chapter III

A Man I Want to Meet...Cestius Gallus

Chapter IV

What Must Have Been

Chapter V

What the World Owes to Tiberius

Chapter VI

Herod's Hill (Kusr Bint el-Melek), Tiberius

Chapter VII

The World's Most Famous Glen

Chapter VIII

Were there Two Bethsaidas or only One?

Chapter IX

The Site of Capernaum

Chapter X

The Delta of the Jordan

Chapter XI


Chapter XII

Trades and Occupations in Palestine

Chapter XIII

The Haran of Abraham, Laban and Jacob

Chapter XIV

The Land of Goshen

Chapter XV

What Moses Might Have Been

Chapter XVI

The Fifteen Steps

Chapter XVII

A Famous Three

Chapter XVIII

The Barren Fig Tree

Chapter XIX

Allusions in the Gospel Narrative

Chapter XX

A Man Bearing an Earthenware Jar of Water

Chapter XXI

Did Christ Eat the Passover with His Disciples?

Chapter XXII

Was the Crucifixion on Friday?

Chapter XXIII


Chapter XXIV

The Wailing Wall at Jerusalem

Chapter XXV

Where the Sanhedrin Condemned Christ

Chapter XXVI

The Jews and Chronology

Chapter XXVII

A Minor Old Testament Problem

Chapter XXVIII

Some Bible Names

Chapter XXIX

Bible Time

Chapter XXX

Blessing Every Hour

Chapter XXXI

Israel's Daily Portion

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