Reviews of the
Pictorial Library of Bible Lands

(2003 and 2012 eds.)

Reviews in Journals and Magazines:

The Master's Seminary Journal (reproduced by permission)
Journal of Biblical Studies (pdf format)
Biblical Insights

Bible Software Review

"We live in a visual society. Pastors and teachers can enhance their communication by using pictures of the places and images that undergird God's Word. But where can you find suitable images? Todd Bolen, a professor at the Israel Bible Extension campus of The Master's College, provides a low-cost, high-quality answer. From his extensive collection of digital photographs taken throughout the Middle East, Todd has carefully chosen pictures that are visually attractive and that help illustrate key places and images of the Bible. This set is organized in a way that allows the user to find pictures with a minimum of difficulty.  I use these pictures in my classes, and I can recommend this set without any hesitation."  (Dr. Charles H. Dyer, Senior Vice President of Education and Provost, Moody Bible Institute)
"Truly glorious. These disks exceed my greatest expectation. What a wonderful teaching tool for a pastor. I have been to Israel several times and have lots of pictures. But these are just so good."  (John Daniel, Sr. Pastor, Richmond, VA) "The photos are beyond fantastic!  Breath-taking to one who lived there so long and cherishes the experience so highly.  You have done an invaluable thing for a student of the land like I am.  I consider these discs to be one of the best investments I have ever made."  (Bill Wilson, Sunday School teacher, Atlanta, GA)
"I want to compliment you on the great job you did with the aerials; they are the best I've seen from the Holy Land.  I've been to Israel many times and understand the conditions and effort that you had to go through in order to get such good results. As a ex-professional photographer that has done his share of aerial work and presently now Senior Pastor of Living Word Church in Syracuse, NY for the last thirty plus years, I not only personally enjoy these photos but use them in our presentations with the Word of God in our assembly.  Thanks again for your dedicated labors!"  (Robert Mazur, Sr. Pastor, Syracuse, NY)

"For any Bible teacher who wants to contextualize the scriptures in their historical and geographical settings, the Pictorial Library CDs are an invaluable resource. Many who have been to Israel have taken their own pictures, but these are better for several reasons. First, they are extensive.... Second, the photography is excellent. The pictures were taken at optimal seasons of the year when weather conditions were best. Finally, the digital imaging is great.... I've been searching for years and have never found a resource as rich as this!" (Dr. Chris Miller, Associate Professor of Biblical Education, Cedarville University)

"Probably every Bible teacher who tries to use multimedia in the classroom has longed for a set of usable teaching pictures. But having exploring set after set, he finds them too "touristy" and not specific to the points he is trying to make about the geography and archaeology of the Land. If you have been to Israel (or Jordan or Egypt or Turkey or Greece), this set will help to pull together everything that you have learned. This inexpensive set is a "must-buy" for every Bible teacher!!" (Dr. Richard Rigsby, Professor of Semitics and Old Testament, Talbot School of Theology, Biola University)

"I have used the pictures for projecting in a couple of ways. I use them sometimes as backgrounds, first with just site labels where I can introduce the site and explain its background. Then I put relevant lecture notes on the same projected background. It's a nice way to visually tie things together. I also use them either as backgrounds or inserted photos and then employ the animation effects of Powerpoint to provide movement, such as arrows, lines, etc. Just a few classes ago, I used one of the aerial photos of Jerusalem along with animated freehand drawing in Powerpoint to show Jerusalem's growth through history (city of David, Temple Mount, western hill, etc.). I especially like the images because they are high quality and clear, even when projected on a fairly large screen. I have used some that got really grainy when projected. I also like the way this set captures so many important sites for biblical studies."  (Dr. Greg Trull, Assistant Professor of Biblical Studies, Corban College)

"The Pictorial Library of Bible Lands is unsurpassed. I have used other Bible image CDs only to be disappointed in their low resolution images, poor quality graphics, and limited content selection.  This is a great service to Bible educators by providing excellent quality graphics of Bible land images that are ready for adaptation to word processing, presentation graphics, or web-design. Serious Bible teachers will be well-served by this new CD set." (Dr. J. Gregory Behle, Associate Professor of Biblical Studies, The Master’s College)

"If 'location' means everything in real estate, then 'quality' means everything in digital photos.  The Pictorial Library is a collection of high quality photos of many Biblical sites.  Not only do they excel in quality and variety, but they are easy to handle.  Each area of the ancient world has its own disk, each disk is clearly laid out by site, and each file is labeled -- what more could an armchair traveler want! I heartily recommend these for faculty, for students, and for tourists. Teaching, learning, and remembering will never the same again!"  (Dr. William Krewson, Chair, Undergraduate Programs in Bible & Ministry, Cairn University)

"As I'm about to embrace another year of teaching, I wanted to thank you for the awesome CD set. Because I teach Bible to junior highers, the CDs have significantly helped to shape a correct view of the Middle East."  (Courtney Robben, Teacher, The Bear Creek School)

"This is the most valuable photographic collection of biblical sites on the Web. A must for every teacher of the Bible."  (David Bivin, Director, JerusalemPerspective.com)

"I have viewed thousands of images from a variety of collections but I have never seen a better collection than this. If you are serious about using photos in Bible teaching then you ought to consider this material." (Terry Taylor, eBibleTeacher.com)
"The pictures are outstanding--great color, terrific views, fabulous aerial shots, beautiful composition.  Another feature of the pictures which I really appreciate is that they are all labeled! You know right from the picture exactly what you are looking at. This makes the pictures usable even by someone who has not been to Israel and has not seen these places personally.  Students are always asking me where they can get pictures for teaching the Bible. I have recommended BAR's slide sets, but these are much more reasonably priced and the technology available for using them is much superior."  (Dr. J. Carl Laney, Professor of Biblical Literature, Western Seminary)

"If you are looking for high-quality pictures of the Holy Land, the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands is the place to find them.  Not only are the well-known sites and features included, but also out-of-the-way places rarely seen by the average visitor." (Dr. Bryant G. Wood, Director, Associates for Biblical Research)

"This new and revised Pictorial Library of Bible Lands should be high on the list of resources for the serious or would-be Bible teacher. It would make a very special and practical gift from a college or seminary Bible class to their teacher, from a group of church members to their pastor or pastoral staff, or from a grown family to one of their Bible-hungry parents." (David Gundersen, Student, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary)

"This is an incredible resource!!  We have checked out several photo CDs of Israel and yours are by far the best!  Most others don't provide the high quality resolution that you have. Thank you!" (Gina Worsham, Administrator, Arkansas Institute of Holy Land Studies)

"Just had to write to tell you how very helpful your FANTASTIC set of CDs have been to my husband and me as we have been teaching our Bible Study and Sunday School Class....over that last couple of years, we have used photos from EVERY set....a picture is TRULY worth a 1000 words (we can save ALOT of class time as well as make a memorable impression)." (Dee Alberty, Bible teacher) "Your work is absolutely loved by my congregation.  I use your photos in about 75% of my messages. The people say that it has been one of the most impacting things they have ever seen in a Sunday message. It helps them visualize the story as well as increase their faith to see that these places really exist."  (Frank Colacurcio, Sr. Pastor, The Rock of Rocklin Church)
"I have just obtained the full Pictorial Library collection and it is very, very beautiful.  It is such a pleasure to have my screen filled with high-resolution images instead of the usual scanned or other "stuff."  This absolutely magnificent collection has a resolution as high as the cost is low and either, let alone both, of those features are rare indeed."  (Dr. John Dominic Crossan, Professor Emeritus of Religious Studies, DePaul University)
"Just wanted to thank you for the photo library. I've used it in preparing studies and I'm delighted with it. The product vastly exceeds my expectations. Especially useful are the study notes. Thank you for your commitment to a quality product. For teaching purposes it has been a fabulous investment--and you can quote me on that any time."  (David Reid, pastor in Spain) "We want to add our voice to the chorus of rave reviews for this outstanding collection. Nothing can touch this in terms of quality and price. Our scholar team will be making wide use of these images for years to come in our presentations."  (Hugh Ross, Fuz Rana, Kenneth Samples and Krista Bontrager, Staff scholars, Reasons To Believe)
My research has shown how our memory of biblical events is reinforced by associating the events with their geographical locations. Taken beyond the limits of simply imagination, this association is strengthened by actually seeing what you’re studying. We learn far better when all senses are involved, and most notably, 83% of what we learn we gain through sight. Todd’s photographs are unmatched both in their quality as well as their subject matter—they show what the Bible says. My teaching simply would not be as effective without them.” (Dr. Wayne Stiles, Executive Vice President, Insight for Living)
"I was once told by a fellow artist that 'An artist is only as good as his references.' Having been illustrating the Bible for 5 years, I now know that to be true! At BiblePlaces.com I have not only found great references, I have found inspiration too! The vast amount of information provided has been invaluable in my quest to draw more detailed and accurate Bible pictures."  (Graham Kennedy,
Bible illustrator in UK, www.visualimpactresources.com)
"I cannot articulate how highly I recommend these discs. Reading about a place in my Bible and then being able to visually see that exact location has really taken my study to the next level.  If you are in a teaching position or are a visual learner, like myself, these discs should be a mandatory part of your reference library."  (R.B., Closed Country Missionary)

"I highly recommend this wonderful set to anyone who is involved in Bible teaching. No matter what your particular needs may be, I'm pretty sure you will find here something that will address them in ways you didn't even anticipate. But even if you are not into teaching, the sheer joy of seeing the places where many of the events narrated in the Bible took places, will bring a new light and understanding to your own personal study of the Scriptures. It really is a win-win investment."  (Rubén Gómez, Bible Software Review)

"This is long overdue, but I thought it was high time I let you know how marvelous your Pictorial Library of Bible Lands is.  I work for our church's Pastor of Adult Education, and I use pictures from your collection constantly.  I've been using them for years, and not only have they saved me an immense amount of "googling" (!), but they are obviously the work of a teacher.  You've taken pictures that teachers would take if they were on site.  You know what would be of most interest in the classroom and to the student, and it shows in your collections.  We use them regularly in our Adult Learning Center on Sunday mornings.  One of the best learning resource investments we ever made!"  (Nancy Huffine, Fellowship Bible Church, Winchester, VA)

"THANK YOU!  I have spent a lot of time in Israel myself...and have taken many thousands of pictures of my own.  But in my preaching and teaching ministry at my local church, your pictures have been a wonderful supplement to my own.  The quality and clarity of your pictures are great...they're often from angles I can't get to (e.g., in the air)...you've got pictures I don't...and yours are often just plain hard to beat.  I love them!  I use them all the time.  So...I just wanted to thank you for your work and let you know they have been a great help to my ministry.  (Stan Maughan, Washington Boro, PA)

"Teachers and serious students will find in this library a rich resource at economical cost." (Dr. Robert H. Gundry, A Survey of the New Testament, 5th ed.)

"I wanted to congratulate you for the fabulous photography you have made available to all Bible students.  As director of a ministry training institute, as a minister, and as a teacher, I have found these pictures to be fascinating and extremely useful.  The DVDs are well-organized, and the availability in picture file or power point format makes them uniquely accessible for all kinds of preparations.  From detailed close-ups of the smallest item or area of a site, to breathtaking aerial views of entire regions, these pictures TEACH; students and audiences respond well to the visual stimulation added by these images. I sincerely thank you for this ministry, and the ongoing blessing and challenges provided by your newsletter.  God bless you with many more years (and pictures) of ministry." (Dr. Steve Austin, Director, Texas Gulf Coast Bible Institute)
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