Question: I’m writing to ask if you know of a place on the web (or anywhere else) that I could find good pictures or diagrams of Herod’s Temple.  I want to help my church be able to really understand the temple that Jesus entered during Passion week.  I’m preaching the Mark 11 version of the cleansing of the temple this week. –K.W.

Answer: Yes, there are a few sources. The place to start is the website of Leen Ritmeyer. As you probably know, he was the architect for the excavations south of the Temple Mount and his reconstructions are the best. He now has a series of excellent photos CDs for sale in his online store.

In particular, for your purposes I would recommend:

  • Volume 2: Jerusalem in the Time of Christ image
  • Volume 4: The Archaeology of Herod’s Temple Mount
  • Volume 5: Worship and Ritual in Herod’s Temple

Even if you don’t have time for these to arrive in the mail before you teach,

I’d suggest picking them up for the (many) future opportunities when they will come in handy. For immediate download, the Ritmeyer website also has individual images available.

Another source is images from a virtual model created by a team at UCLA. There is an explanation of the model here, a series of (small) 360-degree panoramas here, and five still shots of the model here.

They also have an 8-minute video which gives you a tour of the model. You can turn the sound down and give your own explanation.

Archaeology Illustrated also has some individual images for sale, though their system seems to be less user-friendly (with the purchase of credits which can then be used towards illustrations).

The ESV Study Bible also has some great illustrations. These are available in digital format with purchase of a print Bible ($30) or from Logos ($40) or Accordance ($40). You can see some samples posted at Amazon. Ritmeyer was a consultant on these images as well.

Any readers who have additional suggestions are welcome to make them in the comments below.