Conference Schedule

June 11th

Day 1, Monday (12:30PM-8PM)

The Shepherding Context

  • Understanding “The Land of Milk and Honey”
  • Characteristics of Judean Sheep and Goats
  • Types of Middle Eastern Shepherds
  • Three Basic Functions of Shepherds
  • Strength and Savviness of Shepherds
  • Personal Experiences on Aspects of Sheep, Goats, Flocks and Shepherds
  • Psalm 23 from a Judean Perspective
  • Optional Evening Program where each faculty member shares their respective journey in biblical context – first exposed, how evolved, epiphany moments, lessons learned, pass-along wisdom, etc.

June 12th

Day 2, Tuesday, (9AM-8PM)

Shepherding Stories in the OT

  • Shepherding Motif in Genesis (Cain and Abel, Calling of Abram, Failure of the Elder Brothers, Joseph Leading Flocks, Settling in Goshen)
  • Moses’ Calling in Exodus
  • Pharaoh as Shepherd in The Exodus Confrontation
  • God Shepherding Israel in the Desert
  • Stealing God’s Glory (Numbers 20)
  • Transfer of Leadership (Moses to Joshua)
  • Shepherding Motif from Monarchy to Exile (Contrasting Shepherds – Saul and David, David on the Run, and More)
  • Optional Evening Program Where the Faculty Discusses Classic/Contemporary Resources, Lessons Learned, Wisdom and Tips

June 13th

Day 3, Wednesday, (9AM-5PM)

Shepherding Stories in the Gospels

  • John the Baptist and Jesus Ushering in the Kingdom of Heaven
  • The Parable of the Lost Sheep (Luke 15)
  • Understanding Those Bethlehem Shepherds
  • And He Had Compassion On Them: Jesus Tends His Flock (Mark 6)
  • The Good Shepherd (John 10)
  • Watching the Good Shepherd Caring for His Disciples: Wisdom and Insights for Today (Importance of Grace before Truth from John 1:14&17, Implications of Grace Upon Grace from John 1:16, The Servant Nature of Shepherd Leadership, The Cost of Shepherd Leadership)
  • And More …

Distinctives of this IBC Conference

This will be a unique opportunity for developing the contextual dynamics at work in an Old Testament setting,  as well as in the Gospels, together with interpretive implications for passages and encounters. Each faculty member has lived and studied in Israel, or led study programs to Bible Lands.


  • Zeeland, Michigan is located between Grand Rapids and Holland.
  • Tuesday and Wednesday lunches are included.
  • Attendees are responsible for travel, room and board expenses. IBC has arranged group rates at a nearby hotel.
  • Conference schedule: Monday, June 11th, 12:30 p.m. until Wednesday, June 13th, 5:00 p.m., including optional sessions on Monday and Tuesday evenings.



Early bird rate untilApril 11, 2018


Regular rate afterApril 11, 2018

Student Rate


Early bird rate untilApril 11, 2018


Regular rate afterApril 11, 2018


The Ibc 2017 Conference Faculty

  • George DeJong

    Founder and Executive Director of “Under the Fig Tree Ministries.” Author of “In a Word.” Study program leader to Israel, Egypt, and Jordan.

  • Doug Greenwold

    Executive Director & Senior Teaching Fellow, “Preserving Bible Times;” author of nine books on biblical context; study program leader to Israel and Italy (Roman World).

  • Brad Gray

    Founder and Executive Director of “Walking the Text,” author of “Make Your Mark,” study program leader to Israel and Turkey, attended Jerusalem University College.

  • Stacie Post

    Campus Ministry at Grand Valley State
    University, Conference Worship Leader, attended Jerusalem University College.

  • Danielle Parish

    “Come and Learn to Walk Ministries,” studied at Jerusalem University College, Advisory Board Biblical Language Center, “Jerusalem Perspective” contributor. Leads study tours to Israel.

  • Dr. Randall Smith

    Founded Great Commission Bible Institute and Christian Travel Study Program, blogs on “The Wandering Shepherd.” Studied at Hebrew University, Ecole Biblique, Jerusalem Center for Biblical Studies.  Leads study tours of Israel, Turkey, Greece and Italy.

About The Institute Of Biblical Context

The Institute of Biblical Context’s (IBC) vision is to preserve and present biblical truth and meaning through integrating the biblical text with its visual, geographical, literary, historical and cultural context. The Institute’s approach utilizes an expert faculty gathered in one place at one time to share their respective areas of expertise – favorite contextual tools, frameworks and resources – as well as their unique thematic insights into the context of God’s Word. IBC’s purpose is to allow the Scriptures to increasingly come alive in fresh and new ways for pulpit and pew. Distinctives of an IBC Conference include:

  • Developing contextual frameworks, not only the communication of fascinating facts.
  • Integrated contextual exegesis that weaves together the cultural, historical, literary, geographical and visual context of passages to reveal/discern the original meaning and the intended transformational power of the passage.
  • A learning paradigm that allows us to step outside of our 21st century Western mindset to hear, think and understand God’s Word as people in the Bible did.
  • Equipping people with tools, frameworks and resources to engage the Scriptures in truly refreshing ways.
  • Renewing the mind and transforming the heart as people discover the original meaning and purpose of Bible passages that rekindle their excitement and enthusiasm for studying God’s Word.


For the words of Scripture to be transformational, they need to be heard and understood as the biblical writers intended them to be. The Bible writers conveyed precise meanings through their words, idioms, sites, names and images used. They assumed their audience would know what they were describing, together with its intended meaning. To more fully appreciate that meaning, a passage’s context needs to be restored in order to (re)discover the transformational impact originally intended by the Holy Spirit.


The Institute of Biblical Context is a Ministry Affiliate of Preserving Bible Times

Conference Hotel Option

Best Western Holland Inn & Suites

2888 W. Shore Dr., Holland, MI 49424

The conference group rate is $99.99 per night plus tax and includes a hot breakfast. Conference attendee must book room(s) by May 1, 2018 to get the conference rate.

Call (616) 994-0400 (be sure to mention conference name) or Book Online through the “BOOK NOW” link below.

This option is close to shopping, restaurants and the church venue.

Conference Venue