Holman in the last couple of years has put out a plethora of visual resources. One of the more widely distributed is the “Holman Book of Biblical Maps, Charts and Reconstructions’
My favorite part of this book is the 22 Reconstruction drawings that are included. There are also 22 Maps and close to the same amount of charts.
The highlights for me were the reconstruction drawing of New Testament Jericho and Caesarea Maritima and the charts that show how money is distributed between the evangelized and non-evangelized world.
There are two important notes about this 1) These are not my favorite maps 2) All the same reconstructions and some of the maps and charts are included in the Holman Quick Source Bible Atlas which in general is a better deal for the money, only downside is the picture size is worse in the Bible Atlas than in the “Holman Book of Biblical Maps, Charts and Reconstructions”.
The Virtual Bible is an obscure resource that was put together by Daniel Warner and James Strange, that has videos that go through computer reconstructions of Biblical sites.
As far as I have found there are three released pieces.
Visual Bible 2004 – This version I only have experience through the Logos Media Archive, which is a media set included with the lower base package. It contains 2 videos and 110 pictures. One video is just a 360 of a Galilean boat, the other though is a fly over of Jerusalem during Jesus time stopping at important spots. It is well done. There are also 10 still shots of the computer generated model, below is one of those still shots.
2. Virtual Bible 2014 – The second version seems to be an updated version of this same resource. I think there was a dvd released with this content, but I have never seen it and a search online did not help. Accordance Bible Software sells a copy here.
This version has more video, the best one is a overview narration of the passion events while a computer model is moved, it really gives a feeling of where everything happened.
Here is a promotional video from on Youtube
3. The Virtual Bible – Abrahams Journey is the third one. This one I have only seen as an out of print CD-ROM. Here is the link to it on Amazon. I am not for sure this is even the same authors. The back of the CD mentions the website for the virtual bible www.thevirtualbible.com this of course no longer works.
In closing if you want a good concise computer generated model video tour of 1st century Jerusalem from the air consider this product.
Apocalyptic literature is one of those things that visuals add to the experience so much. In teaching the book of Revelation if you really want to make the book pop and you want to add visual resources I am going to give you a couple of Recommendations, normally most visual books are not that useful here, the only thing a Bible Atlas usually gives you is the location of the Seven Churches, that is why it is important to seek out other resources:
2. Charting the End Times by Tim LaHaye, this is an amazing CD-Rom of charts/time lines. I have an blog post about the charts here.
Below is an image.
3. For really understanding all the different views of Revelation and getting some nifty charts and pictures see Rose Guide to Bible Prophecy. I will give you a more in depth review of this resource later, but in my opinion this should be your third choice for visual resources after the two above.
Charting the End Times CD-ROM is an incredibly special resource. This resource is out of print and it is so rare, that if you see it, you need to buy it now. It is that good!!! Well as long as you are teaching dispensational premillennialism, (that is a mouthful, basically the idea that the tribulation and rapture are yet to come and that Revelation is future prophecy) if you are preterist (Revelation is about past history) then you have no need for this.
Tim LaHaye some of you may remember, because he was one of the co-authors of Left Behind. He has a book named “Charting the End Times”, that contains a ton of great charts that make Revelation easy to understand. This CD-ROM is a teachers companion to that book. The reason it is so amazing is it comes with 50 pre-made power point charts, that fill themselves in with each click. So you start with a blank screen and every click fills in a complex time line/chart. It makes it super easy to explain things. I have never seen a better power point product for teaching Revelation. Below is a screen shot of one of the charts filled in, there were 20 clicks to get it to fill in that far.
I highly recommend this resource it is unique and high quality. 5 Stars.
Unfortunately I could not find this for sale anymore on LaHaye’s website and a copy on Amazon is in the hundreds.
A Biblical Reconstruction is where an artist recreates what things (often cities) looked like during Biblical times. One of the most famous is the model in the picture below from Logos Bible Photos of the 1st Century Model of Jerusalem currently on display Israel Museum. Almost every book source of pictures will contain a close up of at least the temple.
These reconstructions would be the equivalent of giving the reader scenery when retelling a Biblical story visually. It can give them a feeling of space and movement, which maps do as well, just the three dimensional nature of a reconstruction does even more.
If you want to get really crazy, the best reconstructions I have found are in Glo Bible Software. Glo has these insane 360 degree virtual tours (See my review of Glo here). Some are of modern day Biblical sites (like the Pool of Bethesda excavation) or some are from computer reconstructed models, there is one that you can walk from the Damascus gate to the Temple, through the Temple and then all the way down to the Pool of Siloam.
These are crazy detail and fun. I encourage you to use reconstructions, it will let your students have a good picture in their mind when they read the Bible.
There are many places to get images both free and pay. One of the pay ones is Sermon View. Sermon sells single images and subscription downloads. (They also give away free images, word on that below). All of their content is modern and they sell some modern artists and design houses. The majority of their images are meant to be marquee images for Pastors preaching. For those of you like me that are telling a story there are just a couple sets of interest. They have images from Oxygen Media
An example image of Samson vs the Philistines with a jaw bone, as you can see Oxygen’s artist is really amazing.
They also have images from modern artist Steve Creitz (whom I will write more on later). Steve has sets of Daniel, Revelation and Tabernacle images that are really amazing. Sermon View does not sell all of his stuff. Below is a copy of the beast from Revelation with the boastful little horn. Creitz is an amazing artist.
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.
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”
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.
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.
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.
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:
Amazon, but be very careful which Kindle you buy with them, because there is one that is empty. The reviews will guide you
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.
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.
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.
There are a lot of great things about this screen.
Screens can be expensive and this one is reasonable.
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.
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.
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.