Best of 2009: Books, Software, Photo CDs

This list isn’t comprehensive, but these are works I noted as I reviewed the posts for this year on the BiblePlaces Blog.  Feel free to suggest other valuable works in the comments below.

Books of the Year:

Barry Beitzel, The New Moody Atlas of the Bible – The long-awaited second edition is now available.

Hanan Eshel’s three field guides on Masada, Ein Gedi, and Qumran – There is nothing better for a quick but careful review of these important sites near the Dead Sea.

John Walton, ed., Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary: Old Testament – The bar has forever been raised for illustrated works on the Old Testament.  Purge all of those references in
your books and syllabi to ANEP.

Anne Spangler and Lois Tverberg, Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus This is a great little book for those who want to see background information applied to Scripture, and in a very readable style.

James Martin, John Beck, and David Hansen, A Visual Guide to Bible Events  – If you believe that there’s a reason for everything, you’ll love this book which shows you in story after story why the geography matters.  Along the way, you’ll enjoy beautiful and instructive photographs and maps.

Best Bible Software of the Year:

Bible Mapper 4 – The best software for making your own maps is now better.  Bonus: you can use these maps without restriction.

Glo – Interactive Bible software that puts the Bible together with videos, reconstructions, photographs, and more in an impressive and immersive experience. (And now only $50 at Amazon.)

Logos 4 – The whole program has been re-engineered to take advantage of the latest in computing technology.  I haven’t installed it yet, but word on the street is that the program is significantly better than the previous version.

BibleWorks 8 – The best software for exegesis of Scripture now includes the best Hebrew and Greek grammars.

Best Photo CDs of the Year:

The American Colony and Eric Matson Collection: Vol. 2: Jerusalem – Not less than 700 images hand-picked from thousands of photographs taken by a group of resident photographers from 1898 to 1946.

The American Colony and Eric Matson Collection: Vol. 6: Traditional Life and Customs – These are photographs that you thought you’d never see.

I’m more than a little biased on this last category, but I’m happy to welcome any challengers in the comments below.


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