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Posted January 26, 2012
Informative, easy read...easy reference
A 'suggested' text for a graduate course, this book is a well written and illustrated guide to the geography and climate of the Middle East. Some interpretive literary license may be taken in the text as well as the from Biblical sources for the historical explanations. This should not detract from the value of the information nor the concept of laying the background for the written account of oral history the Bible represents. It is a fine tool for the casual and beginner student and I would recommend it's use for any parish and/or chuch's study programs.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 8, 2010
I Also Recommend:
Jesus and Geography
Carl G. Rasmussen is the kind of person you would love to have over to dinner again and again and again. And lead you, as well -- as he has so often done for other people -- on scholarly tours of the Holy Land, Asia Minor and the Aegean. Rasmussen has several times written successive Atlases of the Bible. And his 2010 revision is wonderfully appealing. It has probably 80 more colored maps than non-specialist I will ever study in detail. But all those time-specific maps will always be there when needed, should I want to burrow further into Biblical towns like Beth Dagon, Gath Rimmon, Oboth or Ziph. ***** Neither Rasmussen nor this reviewer is a military historian. And that may be one of the book's weakness when reproducing landscapes from Old Testament times with their centuries of carnage, defense, conquest and sieges. The author does note that the coastline of today's Israel is woefully lacking in natural ports. This is an obvious reason why the Hebrews never became a great seafaring nation, while Punic neighbors up the coast eventually mastered a good part of the western Mediterranean ***** What I personally am more likely to do with a popular encyclopedia such as ZONDERVAN ATLAS OF THE BIBLE is focus on Roman-ruled lands that Jesus of Nazareth once trod. "Jesus was raised in the small village of Nazareth, only 3.5 miles southeast of the capital (of Galilee), Sepphoris" (The Life of Christ, p. 207). From the map facing that page, I easily locate Nazareth, Sepphoris, Upper Galilee, Lower Galilee, the Sea of of Galilee, Cana and, off to the northeast, mighty Damascus. Perhaps 300,000 people lived in the 200-plus cities and villages of Galilee sketched by the Jewish historian Josephus. The largest was Sepphoris, "which may have had a population of 50,000." Galilee's ruler was Herod Antipas (4 BC - AD 39). He rebuilt Sepphoris and made it his first capital. It would not surprise me to learn that Joseph, Jesus and perhaps even Mary, learned Greek interacting with customers in Sepphoris. ***** Trivia lovers will thrive on texts like "Only Jerusalem and Capernaum are mentioned more frequently in the Gospels than Bethsaida" (p. 210). And it was news to me that both Damascus and today's Amman (Philadelphia) were cities of the Decapolis (211). ***** Finally, two maps in particular should be close to hand when you read the Gospels: "Jesus in Galilee" (bottom 2/3 of page 208) and "Jesus's Ministry - Sidon to Jerusalem" (all of page 212). Keep this encyclopedia handy. And buy it for your children or grandchildren for Christmas. -OOO-Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.