LOS ANGELES — When I first walk into the Holyland Bible Knowledge Society and am ushered into a lecture hall for a Bible study class, I feel like I have been tricked.
I came expecting to see the treasures of the man who supposedly inspired my childhood cinematic idol, Indiana Jones. Instead, I find myself being quizzed on Old Testament history by an 88-year-old woman named Betty Shepherd in a classroom covered with a map of the “World from Adam to Paul” and a copy of Raphael’s School of Athens.
“We have all types of people who come here. Some who are Christian and think they know the Bible. We even had a [Muslim] who told us he liked us because he knew we weren’t trying to convert him,” explains Shepherd, standing before me with a pointer in her hand while I fold myself into a chair desk, half expecting to look down and see a blue book for an exam.