One of my favorite books on my favorite subject is The Sacred Bridge: Carta’s Atlas of the Biblical World. I’ve hoped to do atsb short review of it here, but I haven’t had the necessary time yet. I used the book last semester as a required text for a course I taught, but the problem with it is the cost. $100 may be standard for a chemistry textbook, but it’s hard on Christian college students who are used to paying much less. Thus the announcement of a shorter and cheaper version is welcome:

Carta’s New Century Handbook and Atlas of the Bible: Abridgement of The Sacred Bridge
by Anson F. Rainey and R. Steven Notley

Carta, Jerusalem, Forthcoming, November 2007

280 pages + full color illustrations and maps, English

Cloth, 9 x 12 inches

Your Price: $50.00

In some cases, shorter is better and I think this will be one. For most students, The Sacred Bridge is really over their heads. It’s sometimes over my head, and rarely is too basic for me. Thus I am guessing that most students will find the abridged version sufficient for their needs.

Just to be clear, there are many things in this book that I disagree with. If you’re looking for something more conservative, try the NIV Atlas of the Bible, by Carl Rasmussen or the Moody Atlas of Bible Lands, by Barry Beitzel. But the advanced version is The Sacred Bridge or its abridgement.

UPDATE (8/8): Not everyone reads the comments, so I’ll just note that the chairman of Carta has commented below that they are nearing publication of a new atlas by Paul H. Wright, In His Image: Carta’s Atlas of Biblical Geography. Wright is the director of the Jerusalem University College.