Q&A: Illustrations of Herod’s Temple

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.


8 thoughts on “Q&A: Illustrations of Herod’s Temple

  1. I notice the prices on Ritmeyer's site are British pounds. It seems doubtful that the same shipping costs would apply for shipments to the US. Can you shed any light on this?

  2. There are also lots of publically available pictures of the 1c Jerusalem model that seems to have a very accurate depiction of the Temple and environs. Do a Google search. Todd’s CDs also have the model in them.

    One thing I don’t think any of the models/illustrations do very well is to show what the “Court of the Gentiles” would have looked like when populated by sellers and moneychangers. On many models and illustrations this area is not well highlighted at all.

    Of course, how it would actually have looked would be pure speculation. But, it seems most likely that this was the area where the commerce that Jesus objected to took place and the area he ‘cleansed’.

  3. Thanks Todd for the recommendation!

    To answer some questions:
    Living the Biblios: Alec Garrard's model, which we also helped design, can unfortunately no longer be visited as Alec died over a year ago and his family hasn't decided yet what to do with the model. The pictures on the Telegraph site are good, but small and cannot be downloaded. Our CD Vol. 1 on this model has PPT-size images and explanatory text as well.

    Greg: We are working on this problem. We use two different programs for the website and the Image Library. Prices on the website are set in UK£ and prices in the Image Library are set in US$. We hope to get the two sites to work together soon, but the exchange rate is roughly 1UK£ = 1.6 US$ or 1US$ = UK£0.62. To find out the current exchange rate, I use: http://www.xe.com/ucc/
    The shipping cost includes packaging and shipping. The shipping rate for the UK is lower than to the US. The applicable price appears when you enter your address details.

  4. All – thank you for the comments and suggestions.

    I would also advise that you make sure you are allowed to use images in the way you intend (copy and paste may be possible but not permissible, so check on this with each source).

    Leen – thank you for the reply as well as all of your great work.

    Mark – you're always welcome to chime in, and my apologies for not noting the BW module. I have recommended the Glo program most recently

    And I recommended the Rose Guide to the Temple last month here (but not yet available).

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