Frequently Asked Questions


How can I use these pictures?

There are many ways.  Since the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands provides thousands of images in jpg format, they can easily be adjusted and incorporated into nearly any type of project.  They are perfect for teaching with PowerPoint, using as backgrounds for Scripture texts or worship songs.  Other programs restrict and limit options; this library is designed to be a versatile tool to be used in as many ways as possible.


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Why are these photographs of places on mentioned in the Bible?

We have created this collection to be a library of photographs, so that whatever your particular interest or need, you will be able to find relevant images. Usually (but not always) modern locations are ignored, but anything with historical significance for studies of the world of the Bible are included. For example, Tel Arad is apparently never mentioned in the Bible (assuming, as we do, that the Arad of the book of Numbers is another site). But there is much value in understanding both the Early Bronze city and the Iron Age fortress, including the syncretistic temple used by the Judeans stationed there.


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How are these photos unique?

We’ve written a page to answer this question.


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Why should I purchase these photos when I can find free ones on Google?

The availability of images on the internet today is much greater than it was in 2000 when the first edition of the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands was released. Today one can search Google Images, Flickr, and similar sources for thousands of free images. What does the Pictorial Library provide that these sources do not?

First, we provide a comprehensive collection that is well-organized. Google can provide you with a variety of images, but sorting through them all to find what you want can be daunting. Our collection was designed so that you can find lots of images related to the Bible and ancient history quickly and easily. Second, our images are accurately identified and described. We recently read a major archaeology textbook that made an embarrassing identification error of a photograph based on an internet source. Third, our images are all in high-resolution. Fourth, many of our images have descriptive labels which help you to understand what you’re looking at.

Fifth, with the Pictorial Library you do not need to identify copyright holders, determine what type of usage is allowed, and write to request permission. The Pictorial Library provides thousands of high-quality, accurately identified photographs with generous permissions at areasonable price. The Pictorial Library is consistently praised as providingoutstanding value.

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What are the minimum system requirements to use the program?

You need a computer (PC, Mac, or Linux) with a DVD drive. The PowerPoint program (or similar) is necessary in order to view the PowerPoint presentations and annotations.


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Does the Pictorial Library work on a Mac?

Yes. The DVDs consist of three kinds of files: jpg images, PowerPoint presentations, and html files with instructions. This format allows for maximum compatibility with all computers and operating systems.


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I like the information on the website; is there also text on the DVDs?

Yes. The Pictorial Library includes much more information than is available on the website. The PowerPoint presentations have extensive annotations about the sites and photographs.  Altogether the amount of text is equivalent to a 2,000-page book.  For more detail and samples of the explanatory text, see this page.


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How can I view the annotations if I don’t have PowerPoint?

The free PowerPoint viewer does not allow viewing of the annotations.  The current edition of the free OpenOffice has a confirmed bug that does not properly display the annotations in PowerPoint files, but this may be corrected in a future version of OpenOffice. The annotations can be read in Keynote ’09.


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How does the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands compare with the Slide Set CD from Biblical Archaeology Society? Is there significant redundancy between the two collections?

The Biblical Archaeology Slide Set CD focuses on artifacts while the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands features primarily sites and landscapes. The BAS CD includes 1,200 images at a lower resolution for $180; thePictorial Library includes 17,000 images at a high resolution and costs $389. The BAS CD has thorough explanations written by multiple experts; the Pictorial Library has limited explanations written by a single college professor.

Kris Udd of Grace University has written reviews on both products for the Journal of Biblical Studies (the review of the Pictorial Library is here; the review of the Biblical Archaeology Slide Set is here).  David Padfield has written a review comparing the two sets.  Both products have 100% satisfaction guarantees so if you are unhappy with either, you can return them.


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Can I use this if I teach with overhead transparencies?

Yes.  One school district purchased multiple sets and printed hundreds of the photographs as full-color transparencies.  They look beautiful and are being used with great impact in their classrooms.


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How do you install the program?

Since the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands is a collection of jpg images and PowerPoint presentations, there is nothing to “install” per se. There are some significant advantages to copying the files to the computer’s hard drive, such as speed and convenience, and we recommend doing this.


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What is the Image Library in Logos Bible Software?

A $20 product included in most base packages of Logos Bible Software, the “ Image Library” is a collection of 350 medium-resolution (1024×768) images selected from the previous 10-volume edition of the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands.  One advantage of the Logos collection is its close integration with biblical studies resources, including searchability by Scripture reference.  By contrast, the Pictorial Library is not searchable by Scripture reference, but it contains 17,500 high-resolution images, pre-made PowerPoint presentations, relevant maps, two indices, and extensive annotations.


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Do you have a catalog of all of your products?

Yes. You may download our catalog here (pdf).


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Do you accept payment with PayPal?

Yes.  We also accept Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Discover.  Payment may be made in a variety of currencies, including Euros, British Pounds, South African Rand, Australian Dollars, and more.


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Do you charge sales tax?

Sales tax is charged where required by law. Currently sales tax is charged for purchases in the states of California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, New York, Texas, Utah, and Washington. Purchases by organizations that are tax-exempt will receive a sales-tax refund upon request.

Customers outside the US may be charged VAT at the time of purchase or upon delivery. One customer in the UK has informed us that they were assessed a Royal Mail International handling fee. You may also request to receive your purchase by download instead of a physical copy. In this case, we will refund your shipping charges.

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Can you offer me a better price if I buy the complete set?

Yes.  The complete set of 18 volumes of the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands is available for $389. This is a 35% discount off of purchasing the volumes individually. If you own the previous edition of the Pictorial Library, you qualify for upgrade pricing.


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How can I get the photo collection quickly?

Expedited shipping is available for $10 in the US and orders take approximately three days to arrive.  International orders cost more and take longer, though international postal practices make estimating difficult.  If you have placed an order and would like to download part or all of your purchase, send us an email and we will make the images available for you within 24 hours.  There is no charge for this service.


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Can I upgrade from the previous edition?

Yes, and on this page we explain why upgrading is recommended for previous purchasers. We also have a separate FAQ concerning upgrades. To order resources at the upgrade pricing, go here.


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Do you have a question that’s not answered here?  Let us know!


Revised: August 5, 2015