Today I’m going to begin a short series that provides an inside look at some of the features of the new Photo Companion to the Bible. I think that both those who already own the collection and those who are considering the investment will find these posts helpful.
One of the questions we’ve been asked is whether the Photo Companion to the Bible is just a “remix” of photos included in our other collections. This is a good question, for way back when we conceived this project, we expected it to be primarily a re-arrangement of our images in biblical book, chapter, and verse sequence.
In the years since, however, we’ve significantly expanded our ambitions to include several new categories of photographs. One new group is numismatics, and this is particularly useful in many New Testament books.
It’s amazing to think that this image shows the same person that Paul would later testify before in Acts 26, declaring that “I pray God that not only you but all who are listening to me today may become what I am, except for these chains” (Acts 26:29).
The inscription around the head is worn, but reads ΑΓΡΙΠΠΑ ΥΙΟΥ ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΑΓΡΙΠΠΑ (“of Agrippa, the son of King Agrippa”). The reverse depicts double cornucopias, crossed at the bases, surrounded by the text ΒΑΣ ΑΓΡΙΠΠΑΣ ΦΙΛΟΚΑΙΣΑΡ (“King Agrippa, friend of Caesar”).
As much as we are able, we are photographing coins that will provide as complete of a photographic companion to the Bible as possible. The Gospels collection includes dozens of numismatic images from around the world, with a significant number (including the top two shown above) from the Jared James Clark Collection.
The book of Acts (now in development) will benefit greatly from images of coins, as will the seven churches in Revelation. Perhaps the chapter to benefit the most, when we get there, is Daniel 11 with its amazing prophecy of Seleucid and Ptolemaic rulers in the intertestamental period. Many people are not aware of the extensive numismatic evidence and how it contributes to our understanding of the Bible. We hope that the Photo Companion to the Bible will play a part in helping to bridge the gap.