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BiblePlaces Newsletter
Vol 16, #1 - August 14, 2017

We're happy to announce today a new photo collection called the Photo Companion to the Bible. This new series is our most ambitious ever, as we will attempt to illustrate the Bible book by book, chapter by chapter, and verse by verse. Today we're excited to release Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.

We've been dreaming of this project for more than a decade, and we've been working aggressively on the Gospels volumes for the last three years. I think it's amazing and the best (and most useful) collection we've ever created. I think you'll agree, and I'm looking forward to hearing your feedback.

Keep reading to learn more. But let me ask you also to consider telling others about this new collection by emailing, tweeting, or Facebook posting this link: www.bibleplaces.com/gospels/. We would love to help others "see" the Bible better than ever, and we need your help in getting the word out. Thank you!

Todd Bolen
Photographer, BiblePlaces.com
Professor of Biblical Studies, The Master's University


New Collection:
Photo Companion to the Bible

This brand-new series is comprised of images organized by biblical book, chapter, and verse. This PowerPoint-based collection includes extensive notes and labeling of images to help any user understand what they are looking at and why it is important.

How does it work? For each Bible chapter, we have created a PowerPoint slideshow. Each slide has a verse quotation, verse reference, photograph, photograph description, and an explanatory note.

What kinds of photographs are included? Everything we could take ourselves or could get our hands on that would help to illustrate the Gospels! We have complete coverage of every geographical location, strengthened by historic images as well as our latest photos, including hundreds of new aerial images of Galilee and Jerusalem. We have numerous photos of museum artifacts, including images of coins related to New Testament people and events. Quotations from the Pentateuch and Isaiah are illustrated with photographs of an old Torah scroll and the Dead Sea Scrolls.

How can I use this collection? Here are a few ways: You can view sections to correspond with your own Bible reading, you can display it on a screen for your Bible study group, and you can pick and choose what you want to include with your sermon or lecture.

Can I edit or change the collection? Yes! Everything is completely edit-able in PowerPoint, so you can choose what you want and tweak it as much as you like. You can change the captions, delete the labels, and add your own markings. Our goal is that this collection will serve you and your needs, so we have intentionally made it entirely customizable.

How many photos are in the collection? Matthew and Luke are longer Gospels and are illustrated by more than 3,000 slides. Mark and John have more than 2,000 each. To look at it another way, the average number of slides per chapter is 117 with a high of 234 slides for Matthew 27.

Can I see a sample? You can download Matthew 4 and John 2 and see exactly what the Photo Companion looks like. We've also created a short video that walks you through what the Photo Companion is and how it works.

Will you be creating volumes for other books of the Bible? We hope so. A positive reception for the Gospels will surely propel us forward. Our next planned volume is the book of Acts, and we're also eager to get to the Old Testament books.

What does it cost? Individual volumes are on sale this week for $69. The Gospels set (all four) is on sale for $139. All volumes are available for immediate download. For an additional $6, we will ship you a DVD. (International shipping extra)

Can I purchase a single chapter? We hope to make individual chapters available for $9.99 in the future. If you would like that option now, email us.

How can I order? Here's a quick link to purchase all four Gospels. To browse a list of individual volumes, click here.


Featured Photos:
Matthew 4

For this newsletter's featured photos, we have selected 7 photos from Matthew 4 that provide a glimpse into the early days of Jesus's ministry. The chapter begins with Jesus's temptation in the wilderness and continues with his calling of the disciples and his journeys through Galilee.

All of the photos below come from the Photo Companion to the Bible. You can download a free copy of the entire chapter (all 152 slides) in PowerPoint format here. Readers are welcome to use these images for personal study and teaching. Commercial use requires separate permission. For more high-quality, high-resolution photographs and illustrations of biblical sites, check out the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands and the Historic Views of the Holy Land collections.


"Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness . . ."

Click photograph for higher-resolution version. Download the PowerPoint presentation for all of the photos.

Judean wilderness near the Wadi Qilt (aerial view from the south) - Because of its lack of water and good routes, the Judean wilderness has been (mostly) uninhabited throughout history. Consequently it was an ideal place for those seeking refuge from enemies or for those retreating from society. John the Baptist preached here, and it seems likely that Jesus was tempted by Satan in the same area.


"But he answered and said, 'It is written . . . '"

Torah scroll - Jesus refuted the devil each time by quoting from the book of Deuteronomy. Unlike the Israelites who succumbed to temptation in the wilderness because they didn't believe God's word, Jesus overcame temptation by knowing, trusting, and keeping the Scriptures.


"Now when he heard that John had been arrested . . . "

Macherus, place of John's imprisonment - According to the first-century historian Josephus, John was imprisoned and beheaded at the palace of Herod Antipas in Macherus, east of the Dead Sea. The fortress of Macherus was built by Herod the Great and inherited by his son Antipas, who ruled over Galilee and Perea. Jesus knew that the way the authorities treated John foreshadowed the way that they would treat him.


"While walking by the Sea of Galilee . . . "

Fishermen along shore of Tabgha - Most of Jesus's recorded ministry took place along the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee. The area of Tabgha (ancient Heptapegon) has long been attractive to fisherman because the warm springs encourage the growth of algae which attracts fish. Because of this, the area has been considered a "fisherman's hole" for thousands of years. This American Colony photograph was taken between 1920 and 1934.


"He saw two other brothers . . . in the boat"

Fishermen on the Sea of Galilee - This photograph taken in the 1940s makes it easier to visualize the scene that Jesus may have witnessed when he saw Simon Peter and his brother Andrew casting their net into the Sea of Galilee. Today, with the fish supply greatly reduced and fishing techniques modernized, you will probably never see anything quite like this.


"And Jesus went throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues . . . "

Synagogue of Magdala - The first-century synagogue at Magdala has recently been excavated and identified. Though the Gospels never record Jesus visiting Magdala, one of his famous followers came from this town. In light of this verse, it is likely that Jesus taught here.


"And great multitudes followed him from . . . Decapolis"

A main street of Hippos - Jesus's ministry created great excitement that brought people from the regions all around. One of the closest cities of the Decapolis was Hippos, a site perched on a hill overlooking the Sea of Galilee from the east. Excavations in recent years have revealed major parts of the Roman and Byzantine city, including the Decumanus Maximus shown above which traverses the city from east to west.

These photos, and 145 more, are available in a free PowerPoint presentation of Matthew 4. The Matthew volume is on sale this week for $69 and all four Gospels are discounted to $139.



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All contents � 2017 Todd Bolen. Text and photographs may be used for personal and educational use with attribution. Commercial use requires written permission.