fbpx

BiblePlaces Newsletter

Vol 17, #2 - August 27, 2018

Today we’re excited to announce our Psalm 23 volume. This photo collection is special for a number of reasons. First, this beloved psalm is treasured because of its powerful imagery of God’s care for his people, and these images of shepherds, paths, waters, and dark valleys are all best illustrated by photographs in the land of Israel. And we have some great ones!

Second, this resource is completely unique. Though hundreds of books and essays have been written on Psalm 23 (and who knows how many sermons!), no one has ever created a photo resource that helps you see the imagery of David’s world.    

Third, in addition to the digital format, we have created a printed book, Psalm 23: A Photo Commentary. This is our first photo book, and we think it came out looking beautiful. You can buy it inpaperback or for Kindle, and the paperback includes the Kindle edition for free.

This week we have an introductory special on the Psalm 23 DVD for only $19 (including immediate download and free shipping in the US). That includes 100 photos in PowerPoint format, all provided with informative descriptions, plus some bonus photo sets. This would make a great gift for anyone who wants to better understand or teach the psalm. 

You can check it out here or purchase it here

Todd Bolen
Photographer, BiblePlaces.com
Professor of Biblical Studies, The Master’s University

Today we’re excited to announce our Psalm 23 volume. This photo collection is special for a number of reasons. First, this beloved psalm is treasured because of its powerful imagery of God’s care for his people, and these images of shepherds, paths, waters, and dark valleys are all best illustrated by photographs in the land of Israel. And we have some great ones!

Second, this resource is completely unique. Though hundreds of books and essays have been written on Psalm 23 (and who knows how many sermons!), no one has ever created a photo resource that helps you see the imagery of David’s world.    

Third, in addition to the digital format, we have created a printed book, Psalm 23: A Photo Commentary. This is our first photo book, and we think it came out looking beautiful. You can buy it inpaperback or for Kindle, and the paperback includes the Kindle edition for free.

This week we have an introductory special on the Psalm 23 DVD for only $19 (including immediate download and free shipping in the US). That includes 100 photos in PowerPoint format, all provided with informative descriptions, plus some bonus photo sets. This would make a great gift for anyone who wants to better understand or teach the psalm. 

You can check it out here or purchase it here

Todd Bolen
Photographer, BiblePlaces.com
Professor of Biblical Studies, The Master’s University

New at the BiblePlaces Blog...

Weekend Roundup – In recent months, our blogging has been limited to Weekend Roundups. To stay up-to-date on discoveries and events in the world of biblical backgrounds, check our blog periodically, or you can subscribe by email.

A Pastor's Perspective on
the Photo Companion to the Bible

“For years I have used the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands in my preaching and teaching. If a picture truly is worth a thousand words, then Dr. Bolen’s labor of love has given living expression to many preachers and teachers who simply could not in words describe the scene they were teaching from the Scripture. It was one of the greatest gifts I have ever given my people. It could not get any better.

Until it did!

It is impossible for me to commend Dr. Bolen’s new Photo Companion to the Bible—The Gospels to preachers and Bible teachers highly enough. This new work takes the richness of the original Pictorial Library and organizes literally thousands of photographs BY VERSIFICATION!!! Dr. Bolen’s team has done the painstaking work of looking up relevant photos and slides and categorizing them right down to the very verse you are teaching! In addition, like before, there are prepared presentations on key Bible places that will help you help your people get from their twenty-first-century world into the world of the Bible.

Do yourself, your time management, and your people a loving favor: get the Photo Companion to the Bible—The Gospels. If you use it, I promise that your teaching will be richer and your people will understand and love their Bibles more.”

–Jonathan Peppers, Senior Pastor, Concordia, Kansas

“For years I have used the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands in my preaching and teaching. If a picture truly is worth a thousand words, then Dr. Bolen’s labor of love has given living expression to many preachers and teachers who simply could not in words describe the scene they were teaching from the Scripture. It was one of the greatest gifts I have ever given my people. It could not get any better.

Until it did!

It is impossible for me to commend Dr. Bolen’s new Photo Companion to the Bible—The Gospels to preachers and Bible teachers highly enough. This new work takes the richness of the original Pictorial Library and organizes literally thousands of photographs BY VERSIFICATION!!! Dr. Bolen’s team has done the painstaking work of looking up relevant photos and slides and categorizing them right down to the very verse you are teaching! In addition, like before, there are prepared presentations on key Bible places that will help you help your people get from their twenty-first-century world into the world of the Bible.

Do yourself, your time management, and your people a loving favor: get the Photo Companion to the Bible—The Gospels. If you use it, I promise that your teaching will be richer and your people will understand and love their Bibles more.”

–Jonathan Peppers, Senior Pastor, Concordia, Kansas

A Photo Every Day

Every weekday I choose an interesting photo from the biblical world and post it on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram. Follow us to see our latest photos as well as some classics. As you see images and captions you like, share them with your friends!

Featured BiblePlaces Photos: Psalm 23

Perhaps the most beloved of all psalms is Psalm 23. This short poem penned by David has comforted and encouraged many for thousands of years. David spoke from his experience, comparing the kindness of the Lord with the skill of a shepherd. The language David used is concrete, and these images can be visualized by those familiar with the Middle Eastern landscape. Our photo collection is designed to bridge the gap of time and distance to increase our understanding and appreciation for the Lord’s compassionate care for his people.

For more free photos, download our Psalm 23:1 PowerPoint. You can purchase the photo collection here or the paperback here.

"The Lord is my shepherd"

The theme of Psalm 23 is God’s watchful care of David, providing for him and protecting him at all times. The metaphor of shepherd is a particularly appropriate way to describe God’s relationship to his people, as he is not merely their ruler, but also their caretaker. David himself was a shepherd, and his personal experience provided him with an intimate understanding of the care of a good shepherd. This photo of a shepherd was taken between Jerusalem and Bethlehem.

"The Lord is my shepherd"

The theme of Psalm 23 is God’s watchful care of David, providing for him and protecting him at all times. The metaphor of shepherd is a particularly appropriate way to describe God’s relationship to his people, as he is not merely their ruler, but also their caretaker. David himself was a shepherd, and his personal experience provided him with an intimate understanding of the care of a good shepherd. This photo of a shepherd was taken between Jerusalem and Bethlehem.

"He makes me to lie down in green pastures"

“Green pastures” is literally “meadows of grass.” The word for “grass” here refers specifically to fresh or green grass, as opposed to mature grass or hay. A green pasture is the ideal place for sheep to feed. The good shepherd leads the sheep to a place where their food grows abundantly. The sheep will eat of their own accord and will lie down once they are fully fed. A sheep lying down in a green pasture is satiated and content. As a metaphor, verse 2 refers to God fully providing for all of David’s needs, both physical and spiritual. This photo was taken in the Judean wilderness east of Jerusalem along the slopes of the Nahal Perat.

"He leads me beside still waters"

Besides the food found in green pastures, sheep also need water to drink—daily, in the climate of Israel. A good shepherd will find a good source of water for his flock. The idea here seems to be of water that the flock can rest beside, or where the flock can find refreshment—not necessarily placid water. This photo was taken at Ein Farah (the Farah Spring) in the Judean wilderness. It is quite possible that David would have brought his flock to this abundant spring that is about 10 miles (16 km) north of Bethlehem. This American Colony photograph was taken between 1900 and 1920.

"He leads me beside still waters"

Besides the food found in green pastures, sheep also need water to drink—daily, in the climate of Israel. A good shepherd will find a good source of water for his flock. The idea here seems to be of water that the flock can rest beside, or where the flock can find refreshment—not necessarily placid water. This photo was taken at Ein Farah (the Farah Spring) in the Judean wilderness. It is quite possible that David would have brought his flock to this abundant spring that is about 10 miles (16 km) north of Bethlehem. This American Colony photograph was taken between 1900 and 1920.

"He restores my soul"

“Restoring the soul” refers to the renewing and sustaining of life. The Hebrew word for “soul” here refers to all of one’s being, not just to man’s immaterial part. The Hebrew word translated “restore” literally means “bring back.” It is not uncommon to see a shepherd carrying a lost or tired lamb. I took this photo last year of a shepherdess along a Roman road that Paul may have walked on his way to Assos in Turkey (Acts 20:13-14).

"He leads me in paths of righteousness"

Sheep are dependent on a shepherd to guide them down the right paths—paths that lead to food, water, and shelter, while staying away from danger. However, the term that is used here refers specifically to what is morally right—emphasizing the metaphorical meaning of a manner of life that is in accord with God’s will. The Lord led David down right paths “for his name’s sake,” that is, in order to maintain his reputation by taking care of his people as he has promised. This hand-colored American Colony photograph was taken between 1925 and 1946.

"He leads me in paths of righteousness"

Sheep are dependent on a shepherd to guide them down the right paths—paths that lead to food, water, and shelter, while staying away from danger. However, the term that is used here refers specifically to what is morally right—emphasizing the metaphorical meaning of a manner of life that is in accord with God’s will. The Lord led David down right paths “for his name’s sake,” that is, in order to maintain his reputation by taking care of his people as he has promised. This hand-colored American Colony photograph was taken between 1925 and 1946.

"I will fear no evil"

The word for “evil” can also be translated “calamity.” The greatest threat to a flock of sheep was predatory animals—especially, in ancient Israel, lions and bears. The Asiatic lion was the species of lion that inhabited the land of Israel during the biblical period. David killed lions to protect his flock of sheep (1 Sam 17:34-37). This Asiatic lion was photographed at the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo.

"Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me"

In the familiar imagery of traveling along a path, one imagines the Lord’s goodness and lovingkindness following after the psalmist. This hand-colored American Colony photograph was taken between 1900 and 1920, probably in the northern Judean wilderness east of Jerusalem.

"Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me"

In the familiar imagery of traveling along a path, one imagines the Lord’s goodness and lovingkindness following after the psalmist. This hand-colored American Colony photograph was taken between 1900 and 1920, probably in the northern Judean wilderness east of Jerusalem.

There’s a lot more—we have photos illustrating the “valley of the shadow of death,” “your rod and your staff,” “a table before me,” “in the presence of my enemies,” “you anoint my head with oil,” and more. One hundred images bring Psalm 23 to life like never before. You can purchase the photo collection today for the sale price of $19 or order the book from Amazon.

For a free sample, download the Psalm 23:1 PowerPoint.

SHARE THIS NEWSLETTER

Please feel free to pass this newsletter on to friends you think might appreciate it. They can subscribe here.

The BiblePlaces Newsletter is cost-free and spam-free. Email addresses will never be used for any purpose other than this newsletter. If you have questions about the subscription process, see this page.

All contents © 2018 Todd Bolen. Text and photographs may be used for personal and educational use with attribution. Commercial use requires written permission.