In my completely non-objective opinion, the Pictorial Library is the best collection of Bible-related photos on the planet. But that doesn’t mean that we’ve stopped taking pictures. Today was just one of many incredible days that the Lord has given us lately for photos. It was so good though that I am very tired, and so this blog is going to give only questions and no answers. If you want the answers, sign up for the BiblePlaces Newsletter. If all goes well, we’ll have a great issue out next week that answers these questions and more.

The question: where were these pictures taken and what are they?

Hint: they were all taken within a 10-mile (15-km) radius.

Our preference would be that you not put any answers in the comments section (and spoil the fun for others). You are welcome to make other comments or to note how many of the pictures you correctly identified (place and object). My guess is that very few, if any, of my readers know them all (with correct specifics).


I took the above photo today. A few questions about it:

1. Can you figure out where it was taken?

2. Can you imagine a more beautiful time of year?

3. What are most of the trees in this photo (and in the entire region)?

4. Can you name at least 7 events of biblical significance that happened within the view of this photo?

5. What common theme characterizes this area from biblical times until present?

To check your answers, see this page.


A few weeks ago the media was carrying the report of a study done by the Journal of Paleolimnology that a patch of ice could have formed on the surface of the Sea of Galilee. The scientists admit that this was a very rare event and may have occurred only once every 30 to 60 years. It was a floating piece of ice that would have been difficult to see. And it’s on the opposite side of the lake where Jesus had been with his disciples just prior to the episode (he had been near Bethsaida). I’ll leave it for you to determine which is the greater miracle: incarnate God walks on water or a really moral teacher with great eyesight catches a ride on a floating piece of ice without anybody figuring it out until 2006.

Re-enactment of Jesus walking on the Sea of Galilee

You don’t read much about “Palestinian archaeology,” that is research done by Arabs in the West Bank. This article gives a little insight into why that is (HT: Explorator). One thing of note for biblical studies is the “freshly uncovered Bronze Age site called Tell Etell, a few kilometers outside Ramallah.” Certainly this must be a reference to the site sometimes identified as Ai, which is anything but “freshly uncovered” (it was first excavated in 1928). I can see why it would be an attractive site for Palestinians: 1) its proximity to the large city of Ramallah, and 2) its apparent discrediting of the historicity of the Israelite conquest when identified as Ai. For a brief note about the problems with et-Tell as Ai, see this BiblePlaces page with photos and links.

Early Bronze temple (or palace) of et-Tell

Richard Bangs is claiming to be the first guy since Lynch 150 years ago to float a boat down the entire length of the Jordan River. If he succeeds, I’ll be impressed, and not only because it’s an international border between a Jewish state and an Arab state. But he has reached “Day 4” of the journey and I see that the trip intro was hype and not reality. He’s now driving down the road parallel to the river. Now that’s an “adventure.” Still there may be something of interest to viewers here, as in addition to his narration, there are photos and videos for each day. Unfortunately he does perpetuate the myth (see Day 4) that the Jordan is 200 miles long between the Galilee and Dead Seas. In reality, it’s closer to 130 miles.


No April Fool’s joke here; it really is. Today you could go to one part of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher and see the Easter observance and go to another part and watch the Palm Sunday ceremonies. The Western Church (Roman Catholic and Protestant) celebrate Easter today; the calendar of the Eastern Church (Orthodox) is a week “behind” this year. The picture below is from today’s procession to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher; I bet you can guess who is pictured from what they’re holding.

As if that is that’s not enough excitement for one city in one day, the Jewish people are now celebrating Passover and this morning was the “Priestly Blessing.” At least you know the police in Jerusalem aren’t bored.