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Vol 17, #1 - April 17, 2018
Last year we released
the first four volumes
in the Photo Companion to the Bible series. We have been very
encouraged by many enthusiastic responses we have received about this
collection. Today we are excited to announce a new volume:
The Book of Ruth. This little gem of a book is full of
cultural and geographic scenes, and our team had a delightful time
pulling together photographs that bring light to the backgrounds and
customs of ancient times.
I think that this volume will always be
one of my favorites. I love the story, and using both modern
photographs and historic images, we have created a collection that is beautiful, extensive, and unique. With 350 images
illustrating these four chapters, this will be a valuable
resource for a long time. Everything is in PowerPoint, and many
notes are included to explain what you are looking at.
We are selling the collection for only
$20 this week. Whether you are studying or
teaching the book now or later, this is the time to pick up a copy
for the lowest price. You might think about whether it would also
make a nice gift for a friend, teacher, or pastor. The $20 price
includes free shipping (in the U.S.) and immediate download.
Keep reading to see
some of the photos from the Ruth collection as well as a new resource we've
developed especially for those traveling in the United States this
Professor of Biblical Studies, The Master's University
New at the BiblePlaces Blog...
Weekend Roundup, Part 1 - the latest news from the biblical
world, delivered each weekend unless we are traveling or preparing
to release the new Ruth volume...
Early Bird Discount for IBC Conference - notice of a very
interesting conference in June...
Luke & Acts (9): Book of Isaiah - Michael J. Caba's latest
post on the historical reliability of Luke's two volumes...
Mikveh at Macherus - a before-and-after comparison of a Jewish
ritual bath discovered at one of King Herod's palaces...
Undisturbed Canaanite Tomb Discovered at Megiddo - they don't
often discover tombs that looters missed both in antiquity and in
Attractions in the U.S.
Several years ago, we
created a list of
"U.S. Museums with Artifacts Related to the Biblical World." This
resource features more than 70 museums in 23 states and Canada.
Today we are pleased to announce a new list of
"Bible-Related Attractions in the U.S." I was motivated to
create this by a couple of events.
Several years ago a friend mentioned to me that while driving up
the East Coast with my family,
I should stop at Chautauqua
Institution and see
Palestine Park. I had no idea that there was a
football-field-sized topographical model of the land of Israel
tucked away in southwestern New York. Fortunately, we had a
I paid a visit to this little-known illustration of the
biblical world. Last summer I was passing through the Dallas area
and this same friend asked me if I had ever visited the
Capernaum First Century
Village. Again, I was surprised that such a place existed.
So, in an effort to keep you from driving right past some
interesting Bible-themed sites, we have created
a list of such places. We invite you to take a look and
bookmark it. And should you know of something we don't, please
let us know!
A Photo Every Day
Did you know that I post a photo every weekday on
Instagram? If you use
any of these platforms, take a look at our pictures and follow us for more.
And as you see images and captions you like, share them with your
Featured BiblePlaces Photos:
The Book of Ruth
The story of Ruth is wonderful in so many ways. The selfless sacrifices of the
Moabite woman and the Judahite farmer stand out against the backdrop of the evil
days of the judges. The Book of Ruth tells a love story, but it is a love that
is deeper than one man and one woman, for both Ruth and Boaz demonstrate deep
devotion to the Lord in being willing to give up home and possessions for the
sake of an old woman who could never repay them. Ruth is also a treasure because
of its many cultural connections, and these lend themselves so well to
photographs. The images below are a handful of the more than 350 illustrations
in the latest volume in the
Photo Companion to the Bible.
Click on the images below to view them in higher resolution. For a free 30-slide PowerPoint of Ruth 2:1-4, click
here. To order the collection, go
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, purchase the
Pictorial Library of
Bible Lands or the
Historic Views of
the Holy Land collections.
"They went into the country of Moab" (1:2)
The story of
Ruth begins in the land of Moab, where Elimelech's family has
sought refuge from a famine in Bethlehem. The Moabites were
descended from Lot and lived on the east side of the Dead Sea.
Elimelech and Naomi may have traveled around the northern end
of the Dead Sea, or a more direct route would have taken them
across the Judean wilderness, underneath the shadow of Masada,
and across the shallow waters to the Lisan peninsula. Once in
Moab, they settled down and their sons married Moabite women.
The photo above shows the village of Humud in a scene that
might not look all that different from the way it was
thousands of years ago.
"At the beginning of the barley harvest" (1:22)
Naomi returned to Bethlehem as the barley
harvest was getting underway, probably during the month of April. The relief above comes from the
tomb of Ounsou in Thebes, bought by Champollion and shipped to the Louvre
in the early 19th century. The middle register shows the
workers harvesting the grain with sickles. Behind them, women
pick up the fallen ears of grain. The top register shows the
men carrying baskets full of grain to the threshing floor. The
scene dates to 1450 BC, several centuries before the time of
"Stay close to my young men until they finish harvesting" (2:21)
This photo is
one of a group of images taken by American Colony
photographers in the first half of the 20th century. The scene
shows Arab residents of Bethlehem harvesting the grain in the
fields on the outskirts of their village.
"He is winnowing barley on the threshing floor tonight" (3:2)
Once the grain
was harvested, the workers carried it to the threshing floor
where a sledge was used to separate the kernels from the
stalks. Then the process of winnowing began. Threshing was
done in the day when the air was warm and the straw more
easily crushed. Winnowing typically took place later in the
day when a breeze came up to blow the chaff away. This photo
shows a man using a winnowing fork and the seated woman using
a winnowing tray.
"So she went down to the threshing floor" (3:6)
winnowing, the piles of grain remained on the threshing floor.
The farmer would often spend the night there on the threshing
floor, protecting the grain from thieves who might try to rob him of
his year's labors. This photo, taken by David Dorsey in the
1970s, shows a threshing floor at
Gibeon, about 5 miles (8 km) northwest of Jerusalem.
"Boaz went up to the gate and sat down there" (4:1)
night meeting with Ruth, Boaz went to the town's gate because this was where the
gathered to decide matters. The photo above shows a recently
excavated gate in the land of Judah west of Bethlehem. Since
no ancient gate has yet been uncovered in Bethlehem (most
of the city is covered by modern buildings), this gate at
Khirbet Qeiyafa provides an illustration that is about 100
years after the time of Ruth. This gatehouse includes four
chambers, two on each side of the passageway, where the elders could have sat.
Here in the gatehouse Boaz agreed to take Ruth as his bride and raise up an
offspring for the family of Elimelech and Naomi.
For more free
images, download this
PowerPoint presentation with 30 slides illustrating Ruth
2:1-4. To learn more about the Ruth collection, go
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All contents © 2018 Todd Bolen. Text and
photographs may be used for personal and educational use with
attribution. Commercial use requires written permission.