The Bible tells the story of God meeting real people in a real time and place, yet we rarely take the time to wonder, Why there? Maybe we have a hard time even picturing where there is. To begin to fully understand the Bible, we must understand the geographical settings of Scripture and how each place participates in the biblical story.With its colorful maps, The Basic Bible Atlas helps us link geography to Bible study so we can understand how place impacted events in the Bible. From Eden to Egypt, from the promised land to Persia, from Bethlehem to the New Jerusalem, The Basic Bible Atlas is a fascinating guide to the land of the Bible. Your Bible study will never be the same.
|Publisher:||Baker Publishing Group|
|Product dimensions:||6.90(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.40(d)|
About the Author
John A. Beck (PhD, Trinity International University) has taught courses in Hebrew and Old Testament for more than 25 years, many of those years teaching field studies in Israel, Jordan, and Egypt. Beck spends most of his year writing and is a permanent adjunct faculty member at Jerusalem University College in Israel. His books include The Land of Milk and Honey, A Visual Guide to Bible Events, The Baker Book of Bible Charts, Maps, and Time Lines, and The Holy Land for Christian Travelers. Learn more at JohnABeckAuthor.com.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
As a Baker Books Blogger, I received a copy of John A. Beck’s The Basic Bible Atlas: A Fascinating Guide to the Land of the Bible to review. I selected this book thinking it was a reference book in which I could look up various descriptions of the geography of the Bible to enlarge my understanding of scriptural truths. I was delighted to discover that instead of a typical reference book, it is essentially the story of the Bible told through the lens of “places.” I read this book straight through over two days, in less than three hours total time, because it captivated my interest. Beck tethers the familiar stories of the Bible to the places where they occurred and reveals how God divinely and strategically used the world He created as a stage for His purposes. The reader will gain a lot of information about the everyday life of the people in the Bible, largely influenced by when and where they lived. The Bible makes sense in a whole new way as the story of redemption unfolds. This is at heart the story of God’s relationship with humanity. The author begins in the Garden of Eden, the place of perfection that provided everything the man and woman could possibly need for eternity. We follow their exile after the Fall and find ourselves on the ark with Noah, floating above the earth as God reshaped His original creation and gives humanity a second chance. We explore the plains and scatter with the rebels who tried to build a tower to heaven. We trail Abraham from the Promised Land, down to Egypt, and then back again with Moses and Joshua. We then are led through the tumultuous years of war, peace, and war again, under judges and kings who rule various cities and take possession of the wild terrain that God calls His special land. When the Messiah comes, we focus on Jerusalem, the city where God dwelled and will dwell again. In the final pages of the story, we track the spread of the gospel across continents and end on a small island called Patmos which God has prepared for his beloved servant, John, to reveal the secrets of the end of the story. "In between the Bible’s beginning (Genesis) and ending (Revelation), the inspired authors and poets take us on a long journey. We walk thousands of miles through a wide variety of landscapes, each of which plays a role in the evolving plan of salvation. But there is something we dare not miss: the story told in the Bible begins and ends in the same place—the garden of Eden." (p. 158) The people in the Bible were real people, with real lives, real problems, challenges, and victories. Just like us, I’m sure, the first question when meeting someone new was “Where are you from?” because the answer to that question reveals a host of information to the inquirer, assumptions (correct and incorrect) and facts, based solely on the geography of their origin. The places we’ve come from and the places we’ve been, tell our stories. This is a good one. I recommend this book for students of the Bible wanting to enlarge their understanding of scripture, or those who have little or no understanding of the story of Jesus. Both will be encouraged, enlightened, and surprised by what they learn.
This book was beautiful writing and compelling to read with that also had a great way to help us to understand more of Scripture and connecting us to the Biblical land of God presenting with a great geographical and beautiful map and that will be giving and challenging us to adventure to history from the garden of Eden, Egypt, and Jerusalem. I highly recommend to everyone must to read this book. “ I received complimentary a copy of this book from Baker Books Bloggers for this review”.
I am such a visual learner, so the illustrated maps included in this book (and the vivid descriptions) help me visualize the geographic details of the Bible. I can "see" the Exodus, where the Ark of the Covenant traveled, how far Jesus journeyed, etc. This atlas and guide are invaluable tools of learning and understanding. Just as a setting is so important in fiction stories, understanding the physical setting of the true stories of the Bible provides a richer and fuller understanding of the times. The maps (some are full-page) are clear, colorful, and fascinating, and inspires and encourages me to delve deeper into the Good Book! A Scripture index and an index of place names is also included (in the back of the book.) I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher.
“And we will not fully understand this story unless we understand the place from which it has come. That is why you need an atlas. Because some of what the Lord has to say to us, he has said using geography,” John S. Beck writes in the introduction of his book, The Basic Bible Atlas: A Fascinating Guide of the Land of the Bible. ~ What ~ This one-hundred-and-seventy-six-page paperback targets those who want to have a better understanding of the lands mentioned in the Holy Bible. After a map and illustration list plus acknowledgments, the book is divided into two parts: Introduction to Geography and Putting the Story in Its Place. The ending includes notes, Scripture index, and an index of place names. The New International Version of the Holy Bible is referenced. In this book that focuses mainly on Israel and its surrounding areas, over sixty maps with illustrations explain the Old and New Testaments’ geographical locations relating to the stories they provide. The first part has an introduction to the atlas and Biblical world that includes the ancient Near East, regions mentioned in the Bible, and Israel’s major cities, towns, roads, zones, rainfall, seasons, culture, soils, and products. The second and larger section of the book is subdivided into eight chapters covering the creation, the exodus, conquests, the kingdom’s establishments, divisions, and exile, and when Jesus was living as well as church stories. ~Why ~ This is is a wonderful read as it is basic and too the point so the reader can pick a topic of the Old or New Testament and pinpoint on a map where it took place. I loved looking at the maps’ notes and learning that Israel covered 6,750 square miles, the Jewish people’s meandering route for forty years in the desert, where Samson lived and died, the travels of the Ark of the Covenant, the expansion of Jerusalem and its Temple, and Elisha’s history. Understanding the distances Jesus traveled and places He performed miracles were interesting as well as Paul’s many journeys. ~ Why Not ~ Those who do not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ may not be interested in an atlas that shows how God was and is always there, taking care of the beloved Jews and Christians. Others may wish there was more content to the discussions, but it is a basic synopsis. ~ Wish ~ I wish there were more stories of every person’s whereabouts in the Bible, but this would be a major task. Including an index by people’s names would be helpful for quick look-up. By accident, I noticed Susa (Nehemiah and Esther) was not listed in the index. I prefer all pronouns of God to be capitalized for reverence. ~ Want ~ If you are wondering how far Moses traveled, where Bethlehem is related to Jerusalem, or how the Word of God was spread in the New Testament, this is an excellent source of knowledge that will amaze you. Thanks to BakerBooks for this complimentary book that I am under no obligation to review.