This month, Accordance’s Featured Product is the American Colony Collection module. They are offering the module at a discounted price of $109 (regularly $149) through the month of March. You can read Todd’s introduction to the collection here and learn more about the Accordance module from Todd and Accordance’s David Lang. If you have already purchased the collection from BiblePlaces.com and are an Accordance user, you may want to consider the crossgrade option.


Let me start by saying that you do not need an Amazon Kindle to read Kindle books. Amazon offers free reading apps for iPads, iPhones, PCs, Macs, Androids, BlackBerries and Windows Phones, so you can read Kindle books on any of those devices. Personally I recently entered the world of Kindle by purchasing a Kindle Wi-Fi, and I would recommend the device to anyone who enjoys reading.

(There is also a 3G version and a version with a 9.7″ display.) But you don’t need to spend $139 or more to get the books referenced below. They are available absolutely free through the use of one of the free reading apps.

One of the things that attracted me to the Kindle was all of the free books that are available in Kindle form. Amazon advertises: “Over 1.8 million free, out-of-copyright, pre-1923 books are available.” Many of these books are “Popular Classics” such as The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, Pride and Prejudice, and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. However, some of the free books are out of copyright works related to archaeology and ancient history that I think would be of interest to readers of this blog. Here are the works that I have found so far that fit this category:

  • Flavius Josephus, Against Apion, translated by William Whiston, (c) not listed.

Let me also point out that this is not an exhaustive list. In addition to the fact that there are probably other books available on Amazon’s website that I missed, works from the Internet Archive, Open Library, Project Gutenberg, and ManyBooks.net can be delivered to your Kindle or Kindle App as well. More information on how to do that can be found here. Also, I did not include books that are available for very little money through the Kindle Store. Perhaps we’ll explore those titles at a later date.

Disclaimer: Please keep in mind that these books are free, and to some degree “you get what you pay for.” So don’t expect too much. For example, in many (if not all) cases, the illustrations that were included in the original book are not included in the free Kindle book. At the same time, if I had to choose between having a free Kindle version of a book and not having the book at all, I would choose the Kindle book. After all, if I find that the work is particularly valuable, I can always track down a physical copy of the book to use in serious research or a writing project. In that sense, these free books serve as a great introduction to some of the classic works on Middle Eastern archaeology and ancient history.

Also (although it is not exactly free) I should mention that there is a subscription available to the BiblePlaces Blog through the Kindle store for 99 cents a month. Unlike an RSS feed which only sends a stub about new posts, this subscription service delivers new posts in their entirety. The first 14 days of service are free, if you would like to try it out.

Anyone else know of any free books that would be of interest?

The following chart represents my baseline understanding of the kingdoms of Israel.  I use this chart (or one of its cousins) as a “big picture” tool when my students get bogged-down in the minutiae of the Kings/Chronicles narrative.  I also find this tool to be helpful in facilitating discussion regarding a comparison of different periods (i.e. David to Josiah or Hezekiah to Uzziah) or contemporaneous Israelite and Judahite kings.

For instance, one of my major research goals is to understand and contrast the relationship between Jehoshaphat king of Judah (873-848 BCE) and Ahab king of Israel (874-853 BCE) – while at the same time comparing the allied front of Ahab/Jehoshaphat to the Solomonic kingdom.  Were their respective reigns a return to Solomonic glory? Something more? Something less?  Was Jehoshaphat merely a vassal to the almighty Ahab? This chart does not answer these questions – but it allows the researcher and student alike to take into account the biblical, epigraphic, and archaeological data in the form of a “peak” or “valley.”

This chart represents my own understanding of the biblical and archaeological history of ancient Israel  (i.e. very conservative).  It would be exceptionally helpful if the other side would create their own “peaks and valleys” chart – then we could compare geography.  Admittedly, their chart would not be quite as interesting (think Texas compared to California) – since it would be one long arduous climb out of the “valley” with only a couple “peaks” at the end.