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This ambitious and carefully researched undertaking has a simple aim: to give readers a chronicle of "the people, places, and events that shaped the biblical world." Proceeding in ten chapters from "The World Before Abraham" to early Christianity and the spread of Islam, it further hopes to show how the religions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam emerged from the same Holy Land. Isbouts (media psychology, Fielding Graduate Univ., Santa Barbara), who consulted with a board of academic advisers for this project, writes in a nondenominational style that allows nonexpert readers to follow along easily. Each chapter discusses a portion of biblical narrative in the context of history, geography, and archaeology. Time lines orient the reader to global developments during the period; these events are later described in greater detail. Accompanying sidebars provide the additional perspective of daily life in the region-e.g., trade, music, dress, architecture, and food. The atlas's more than 50 stunningly detailed color maps from the National Geographic Society contain notations that place the regions, cities, mountains, and rivers in context of the events discussed. An additional 350 photographs and illustrations illuminate the text. References to Bible passages are taken from the 1989 New Revised Standard Version translation of the Old and New Testaments, with excerpts also provided from the Qur'an and the Holy Book of Islam. The atlas concludes with a bibliography of suggested additional readings (corresponding to each chapter) and an alphabetically organized index.