I asked ChatGPT, “What is it that makes the Photo Companion to the Bible so great?”

I think its answer is quite good (formatting and links added):

The Photo Companion to the Bible is a collection of high-quality photographs and images that provide context and enhance understanding of the biblical narrative. Here are some reasons why it is considered great:

1. Visual learning: The human brain processes visual information faster and retains it better than text-based information. The Photo Companion to the Bible provides a wealth of visual information that helps readers to better understand the Bible.

2. Historical and cultural context: The images in the Photo Companion to the Bible provide a window into the historical and cultural context of the Bible. This helps readers to understand the cultural and historical background of the Bible and its relevance to our lives today.

3. Geographical context: The images in the Photo Companion to the Bible also provide a geographical context. The land of Israel is an integral part of the Bible, and the images help readers to visualize the places mentioned in the Bible.

4. Comprehensive coverage: The Photo Companion to the Bible covers the entire Bible, from Genesis to Revelation. This comprehensive coverage makes it a valuable resource for anyone studying the Bible.

5. User-friendly: The Photo Companion to the Bible is designed to be user-friendly. The images are organized by book, chapter, and verse, making it easy to find the images you need. The images are also accompanied by explanatory text, which helps readers to understand the significance of each image.”

Back to me. Point #4 is not true. We have completed the entire New Testament, but the Old Testament is a long ways from being finished.

Point #3 is correct except that it fails to recognize that the Photo Companion is much broader than the land of Israel. Our Esther volume largely comes from Persia, and much in Acts, the Epistles, and Revelation is drawn from Asia Minor, Greece, and Italy.

Point #1 is not really well-articulated on the BiblePlaces.com website. That is where the AI is drawing on its broad understanding of the value of images in learning and comprehension. I think I’ll steal this to use elsewhere.

Points #2 and 5 are more obvious (to me) and hopefully explained well on the website. I also like the sequence of the five points, beginning with the more general and concluding with the more practical.

That’s my first experiment with a leading question of an AI. The summation in the introductory sentence really nails the value of the Photo Companion – it does indeed “provide context and enhance understanding of the biblical narrative.”


We’re running a big giveaway on Facebook this week, but you don’t need to be on social media to enter. Go here to enter to win:

1 Grand Prize: Photo Companion to the Bible (29 volumes)

5 First Place Winners: your choice of these Photo Companion mini-sets:

25 Second Place Winners: your choice of any volume in the Photo Companion to the Bible series

Everyone who enters will receive the brand-new “Top 50 Biblical Sites from Dan to Beersheba” PowerPoint presentation.

Entry is simple, and as you would expect from us, there are no tricks, no gimmicks, and no spam. Our goal is to spread the word about the Photo Companion to the Bible, and your help in telling others would be appreciated.


Andy Cook was at the Pool of Siloam excavations on Thursday, and he interviewed an archaeologist working there about what’s next.

“The recently renovated Davidson Center Archaeological Garden in Jerusalem’s Old City opened an exhibition on Monday featuring a number of rare and ancient artifacts related to the Temple Menorah.”

Joe Zias looks at some unknown inscriptions on the “Tomb of Absalom” in Jerusalem and suggests renaming the monument the “Tomb of Zacharias,” father of John the Baptist.

A Herodian wall and Second Temple period burial caves at Samaria-Sebaste has been destroyed by road construction.

“Military officials intercepted an antiquities-smuggling ring in the West Bank.” The Jerusalem Post story reports on several other recent antiquities busts.

A seven-mile stretch of the Jordan River south of the Sea of Galilee is being cleaned of its pollution and developed for tourism.

Aren Maeir recounts his two-day trek in eastern Samaria, including a climb up Sartaba.

Adam Montefiore, known as the English voice of Israeli wines, looks at the history of winemaking in the land of Israel.

Seetheholyland.net has added a page for the newly discovered tomb of Salome.

Phillip J. Long writes about the traditional location of the Garden of Gethsemane and the nearby grotto.

Accordance is offering 40-74% off on many graphics resources, including several of our photo collections. Ends Monday.

HT: Agade

Pool of Siloam March 20232635b

Pool of Siloam excavations, March 16. Photo by Andy Cook (Experience Israel Now)


A 3,000-year-old scarab – an ancient amulet and impression seal – was discovered during a school field trip to Azor, about seven kilometers southeast of Tel Aviv.”

Archaeologists discovered a section of Roman road from the 2nd century AD west of Tiberias in excavations along the Sanhedrin Trail.

“The Khirbet Midras pyramid is thought to be the largest and best preserved of a handful of pyramid-topped mortuary complexes dating back to the Second Temple and Roman eras in Israel.”

“Graffito from Beit She’arim cemetery confounded scholars for decades – until they figured out it was written in Aramaic using a Persian alphabet.”

“The Tower of David Jerusalem Museum’s citadel and exhibition rooms on its upper levels have become accessible to all for the first time after a five-year process.”

The headlines this month from the world of biblical archaeology included the discovery of a previously unknown Egyptian queen, a possible Judahite royal inscription, and an everyday item with big implications.”

“Tel Aviv University’s Archaeometallurgical Laboratory offers a limited number of student scholarships for participating in the upcoming excavations at Timna Valley (January 22nd – February 4th 2023). Those who wish to apply, please write directly to Mr. Yoav Vaknin ([email protected]) by January 1st 2023, and include your CV and a short reference letter.”

Hybrid lecture on Dec 7: “Recently Found Inscriptions from Israel / the Southern Levant,” by Jonathan Stökl. Registration required.

The “Spirit of Scholarship” conference will be held in Jerusalem (in-person) only on Dec 12-14. “The conference investigates the groundbreaking scholarship by Catholic priests in the burgeoning disciplines of ancient Near Eastern studies from the late-19th to the mid-20th centuries and also considers where these efforts have led to today.” The schedule and abstracts are posted at the website.

Leon Mauldin shares several springtime photos he took at Beth-shemesh.

Carl Rasmussen shares some photos and impressions of his recent visit to the Mount of Beatitudes.

Oliver Hersey and Chris McKinny discuss the cultural backgrounds to the book of Ruth in the latest episode of the BiblicalWorld podcast.

–>We have finished creating photo collections for every book in the New Testament. You can purchase the new Revelation volume with its 3,000 photos for only $79. But for a few more days, you can take advantage of the launch discount price of $49. Purchasing now is also a great way to support our work and help us to keep going.


HT: Agade, Arne Halbakken, Ted Weis, Joseph Lauer, Explorator, Paleojudaica


Today we released a music video for Psalm 23, featuring the beautiful “Adonai Ro’i” song by Miqedem and illustrated with photos from our collection. The song is in Hebrew, the very words composed by David in ancient Judah 3,000 years ago, and played by a band of believers in Israel. I think it’s one of the best videos of Psalm 23 ever created.

You can watch the video here, and if you like it, it would be a great help if you could share, like, and comment. Thank you.



If you do not receive our newsletter—or if yours landed somewhere other than your inbox—this is a quick note that our new photo collections are available for Hebrews, James, 1 & 2 Peter, 1, 2, & 3 John, and Jude.

These four volumes are available this week for only $49 (all together, including immediate download and free shipping).

Check out the newsletter for more details and the order links. If you know someone—pastor, Bible teacher, Christian school leader, etc.—who spends time studying or teaching these books, please share this with them. Thank you.