Biblica Bible Atlas – A Bargain Source of Pictures

When visual teaching on a budget, finding a good source of pictures that are inexpensive is important, I think the most amazing source I have found in that sense is “Biblica – The Bible Atlas” written by Barry Beitzel.

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I will write more about Professor Beitzel in a later post. Biblica is a massive print book with beautiful pages, and the content flows wonderfully through history. You may be thinking… a book? But wait… some versions of the book came with CD-Roms that contained all 870 images used in the book in jpeg format. Sure there were no useful labels on them, but there is everything in this images set.  Fantastic maps, even of obscure Bible subjects like “The Syro-Ephraimitic War”

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Amazing tables, artifact pictures, location pictures and then there is the art used… wow, there is a depth and variety of art used in this book that I have not found in any other book. For instance the below picture is “Merodach Baladan king of Babylon that would be defeated by Sargon by E Wallcousins” if memory serves this King of Babylon long before Nebuchadnezzar, visited Hezekiah, trying to drum up an alliance against the massive Assyrian Empire.

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Okay so this is the most important thing to know. I do not think all editions had the CD-ROM, so if you buy it used (which I think it is out of print) make sure you buy a copy with a CD-ROM. Here is a link to the amazon page for the book.

Biblica on Amazon

Be really careful if  you want the best hard cover atlas as well, there were two different sizes, one is smaller.

I give Biblica 5 stars as visual resource for depth, usefulness and variety of visual content. As well for 870 pictures it is possible to get the book for under $30 which is well worth it.

The Biblical Art of Ted Larson

Among all the art I use teaching, I don’t think I use anyone’s art more than Ted Larson.

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Ted Larson is a modern digital artist, who has done five series that go through the following five books of the Bible:

  1. Exodus
  2. Ezekiel
  3. Daniel
  4. Zechariah
  5. Revelation

All five are amazing and the Ezekiel and Zechariah two are especially gems because there are so few artists that do much from those books.

If you are going to buy useful art for teaching I highly recommend you check out his art at Ted Larson Online Store

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The Biblical Etchings of Gustave Dore

In the late 1800’s Gustave Dore created some of the most beautiful biblical etchings ever done. He also ended up doing Paradise Lost and Dante’s Inferno.

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In all there are 241 etchings that span the whole Bible. These are relatively common online for instance http://www.creationism.org/images/DoreBibleIllus/ the copies you find online will be of varying sizes and resolutions, though in general it is easier to find larger copies, then it is other artists.

There are multiple paid outlets for these public domain pictures:

  1. Amazon, but be very careful which Kindle you buy with them, because there is one that is empty. The reviews will guide you
  2. Accordance Bible Software has a product Bible Art Collection that contains most of Dore’s Bible stuff (the apocrypha is missing). Though the size of the pictures is the same as found on the internet.
  3. The best place to get them is in Glo Bible software, they by far have the largest with the best resolution copies I have found, all with excellent scans. Below is one of the etchings from Glo of Paul being arrested. The copy I uploaded was 2265×2880 this is almost worth the purchase price of Glo in and of itself. The pros to using Glo for these pictures is that they have each picture attached to the chapter in the Bible that it depicts. The downside is that the pictures are little hard to get to for presentations and you may have to screenshot them.

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Great Screen for the price for Visual Teaching

As we all know often church equipment is not the highest quality. Being a visual teacher it is tough to rely on unreliable equipment. A long time ago I invested in my own equipment. The screen I currently use is a Yard Master 2 (link goes to the amazon page. Yard Master 2 screen

There are a lot of great things about this screen.

  1. Screens can be expensive and this one is reasonable.
  2. This screen is very portable, great carrying bag and the aluminum construction on the frames beautifully folds down, but is sturdy at the same time.
  3. It comes in a variety of different sizes and the one I have I can setup in a class room or in my house or outside, so lots of variability.
  4. I use back projection, so that I can point things out on the screen without getting between the projector and the screen. The back projection material on this screen works great.

The screen works so great, that last time I was in Africa, I brought along the biggest model front projection with me to the missionary in Africa for use showing the Jesus Film. (If funds are short, aren’t they always… I will post later about how to use a shower curtain instead, which I used for the first year that I visually taught.

The Biblical Paintings of James Tissot

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In the history of painting no artist painted as much of the Bible as James Tissot. At the age of 49 Tissot had a revival in his Catholic faith, already an established painter, he spent the next 17 years of his life painting the Bible. His initial work was in the gospels and he painted almost every event from the four gospels, including some landscape and portraits of Biblical figures. The paintings were published multiple times in books usually with the title “The Life of Our Savior Jesus Christ”. There were 365 main paintings some editions have 462 because they contain line drawing studies. Most of these originals are owned by the Brooklyn Museum

He then began to paint the old testament and died in the process of that, though his assistants finished most of his planned work. These were published in a couple of editions and there are 396 of them in all. Most of the original water colors of these are owned by the Jewish Museum.

He never painted Acts, the Letters or Revelation.

Where to get his art:

  1. Both the Brooklyn Museum who owns his gospel art and the Jewish Museum who own his old testament art have scans from his printed books of his paintings online. The Jewish museum has only about one third of his old testament images. The Brooklyn Museum has maybe 320. Often these photos are of average size and the colors are dull. Most of what you find floating around are just copies of these. This includes kindles that contain the images.
  2. Glo Bible Software http://globible.com/ – Glo has 69 of his Gospel paintings in the program. These are beautifully color adjusted and are a truly massive size, for instance the one below is 5522 x 3704. Though the Glo pictures are hard to access at their full resolution. (See bottom of the post for an example)
  3. Their was a site, which I will write more about named Christ Images that used to sell a package of touched up art, again their copies were beautifully color adjusted and massive, but unfortunately the site was taken down a long time ago.
  4. Logos Bible Software – Logos has collected many but not all of Tissot’s paintings into 3 of their products, these copies are the same copies the Brooklyn Museum and Jewish Museum put out, culled off wikiart. The tagging on them is poor, so compared to many logos resources there is not much search value added by having them in Logos. There are multiple ways to get them in Logos:
    1. Verbum Sacred Art – James Tissot – This is actually part of a package with 4 other artists, the advantage to these is you get a table of contents, though the pics are listed in no particular order and some of the names are obscure.
    2. Logos Media – The paintings though not mentioned were part of this base package product, unfortunately the media search is so poor it is hard to find any of them without browsing
    3. Logos Now – Logos Now has a new media search and the Tissot paintings are here as well, but they are still poorly tagged.
Christ Healing the Lame in the Temple by James Tissot from Glo Bible Software
Christ Healing the Lame in the Temple by James Tissot from Glo Bible Software

 

Eighteen Types of (Mostly) Visual Media to Use in Biblical Narrative Teaching

In teaching Biblical narrative if you are retelling the story there are a variety of useful types of media that can and should be used when teaching, here is a list:

  1. Paintings and sculptures that represent the text – these burn the event into the viewers mind and make the whole thing more real.
  2. Maps – Give the student a view of where things happened
  3. Modern Day Pictures of Where things happened – This grounds into the student that this stuff is real.
  4. Architectural Reconstructions – I love these, they give the student a feel of the ancient world.
  5. Scripture Quotes – In general when telling the story only a highlight of the scripture should be shown, Logos Bible Software has some great methods of making these which I will go over in another post.
  6. Quotes from Famous People – I will go over making these as well
  7. Archaeology Pieces – Again impress on the students that this stuff is real, very important with young people.
  8. Object Reconstructions – See what the Ark of the Covenant would have looked like, through an artist’s eyes.
  9. Comedy – Put cartoons, to add levity
  10. Moral Application Slides – This is important to balance the story with the greater meaning.
  11. Time Lines – To give viewers a sense of when things happened.
  12. Cultural Artifacts – These are artifacts that don’t relate directly to the Bible, but that show an ancient practice was in place. This is usually what most visual Christian books are full of and are the most boring for visual teaching. (I will write more on this later)
  13. Games – Intersperse mini-games in teaching, it highly engages people and helps them to remember more.
  14. Social Situations – Have a projector that can project a background? Then you can create any social situation you want to play out and is a great way to engage an audience
  15. Movie Clips – Nothing gets the blood pumping like a movie scene
  16. Documentary Clips – Sometimes it is more memorable for an audience if they see someone else say it instead of you.
  17. Song Clips – I usually try to stay below a minute and either use the songs as openers or lyric videos, but they add flavor. Like playing the Indiana Jones song before I show archaeology.
  18. Sound bites – I use little sound bites, like impacts (duh duh duh) and catch phrases for emphasis, transition and comedy.