Netanyahu to hold official Bible studies

Sunday, December 11, 2011 |  Ryan Jones

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday announced that he will reestablish a regular Bible study group at his official residence in Jerusalem. The group will be open to Bible researchers, government officials and invited guests.

Netanyahu made the announcement on the 30-day anniversary of the passing of his father-in-law, Shmuel Ben-Artzi, who was a respected Israeli poet and Bible teacher. Ben-Artzi used to attend the regular Bible studies hosted by Israel's first prime minister, David Ben Gurion.

"Ben-Gurion understood that the Book of Books is our mandate for our country," Netanyahu said. "He viewed the Bible as the wondrous story of the Jewish people, the unique spiritual, cultural and historic heritage of our people, and also as one of the cornerstones of all of human culture."

The father of Netanyahu's Likud Party, Menachem Begin, also used to host regular Bible studies at the prime minister's residence. Netanyahu said he wanted to reinstate that practice in order to encourage love of the Bible among government officials, and by extension, the nation.

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