BiblePlaces Newsletter

Vol 20, #2 - October 25, 2021

Our new collection of Paul’s Epistles in the Photo Companion to the Bible series is out! We expect that many pastors, teachers, and serious Bible students will enjoy numerous insights and “aha” moments as they flip through more than 8,000 slides illustrating Paul’s 13 letters.

As with our previous volumes, we have designed this resource to be:

  • Quick to access – jump straight to any chapter and verse
  • Easy to copy – right into your own presentations
  • Completely adaptable – every element can be changed to suit your needs
  • Beautiful – lots of engaging photos that take you to the biblical world
  • Full of helpful notes – background information about the site or artifact
  • Affordable – less than $10 per epistle when purchasing the set on sale
  • Excellent – the best visual tool for Bible study and teaching

The collection includes 9 volumes, all in PowerPoint format, with immediate download and free shipping:

The entire collection of Paul’s epistles is on sale today for $129, using the coupon code EPISTLES. Upgrade pricing is available for those who previously purchased Romans and/or 1-2 Corinthians (email us for the upgrade option). Purchase the set today as a DVD+download or as download-only.

Thank you for your support. It is a joy to serve the church and the academy with unique resources designed to deepen understanding and appreciation of God’s Word.

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

What Others Say...

“We are helped in understanding the Scriptures when we immerse ourselves in the culture and the world in which the Bible was written. These photos transport us back in time, and they help us see a dimension of the culture and the world of the Bible that we would not see otherwise. An invaluable resource.”

—Thomas R. Schreiner, James Buchanan Harrison Professor of New Testament Interpretation, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary; author of 
Galatians (Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the NT)

“These photographs of ancient sites and artifacts related to Paul’s letter to the Ephesians provide a visual feast for the student of the letter. They helpfully place students of the letter into Paul’s world and make its abstract theological concepts come alive.

—Frank Thielman, Presbyterian Professor of Divinity, Beeson Divinity School; author of 
Ephesians (Baker Exegetical Commentary on the NT)

“There is nothing quite like the Photo Companion to Philippians. The hundreds of photos, along with clear and descriptive captions, enable one to visually engage the world of Paul and the Philippians in fresh and dynamic ways. Whether you are a pastor, a teacher, a missionary, a small group leader, or simply a student of the Bible, the Photo Companion to Philippians will deepen your understanding of the biblical text and enable you to invite others into that experience.”

—Matthew S. Harmon, Professor of New Testament Studies, Grace College and Theological Seminary; author of 
Philippians: A Mentor Commentary

“At the time of writing this endorsement, I am teaching Philippians, using the material, and my students appreciate it greatly. I unhesitantly endorse this superb resource and commend it to anyone teaching Philippians, including seminary lecturers and tutors, pastors, homegroup or youth group leaders; indeed, anyone wanting to familiarise themselves with the letter and pass its treasures on to others.”

—Mark J. Keown, Senior Lecturer and Bible Lead at Laidlaw College; author of 
Philippians: Evangelical Exegetical Commentary

“This new collection of images illustrating 1 and 2 Thessalonians is extraordinary! It illuminates not only the archeological setting of Thessalonica and the letters Paul sent to the congregation there, but also the many aspects of everyday life that those letters touch on, including death, sex, money, and work. This wide-ranging and visually powerful collection is an outstanding resource for anyone teaching or researching the Thessalonian letters.

—Michael Holmes, Professor of Biblical Studies and Early Christianity Emeritus, Bethel University; author of 
1 & 2 Thessalonians (NIV Application Commentary)

“In a visual culture, seeing the truths of Scripture adds a new dimension to understanding the words of God. This is especially true of theological teachings, which the Photo Companion to 1 & 2 Timothy, Titus uniquely and wonderfully does. I wish I had this resource when I was teaching and especially preaching through the Pastorals.”

—Bill Mounce, President of BiblicalTraining.org; author of 
Pastoral Epistles (Word Biblical Commentary)

The Photo Companion to the Bible

Old Testament (8 volumes): JoshuaJudgesRuth1 Samuel2 SamuelEstherPsalm 23, and Daniel

New Testament (14 volumes): MatthewMarkLukeJohnActsRomans1 Corinthians2 CorinthiansGalatiansEphesiansPhilippiansColossians and Philemon1 & 2 Thessalonians, and 1 & 2 Timothy, Titus

COMPLETE SET (22 volumes): Purchased individually: $1,288;
Set Discount: $569; with coupon ALL22: $469

A Photo Every Day

Every weekday I choose an interesting photo from the biblical world and post it on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram. Follow us to see our latest photos as well as some classics.

Featured BiblePlaces Photos:
Colossians 1

The featured photos this month come from Colossians 1, with a variety of illustrations related to Paul, his audience, and the glorious supremacy of Jesus Christ. These and more than 8,000 photos are included in Paul’s Epistles in the Photo Companion to the Bible.

“To The Saints . . . Who Are At Colossae”  (1:2)

Paul had never visited Colossae when he composed his epistle to the church there (Col 2:1), but he does imply (in 1:7-8 and 4:12-13) that Epaphras founded the church, along with the churches at Laodicea and Hierapolis. This was probably during Paul’s third missionary journey, when he preached in Ephesus for three years, “so that all who lived in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks” (Acts 19:10). Members of the church at Colossae included Philemon and his slave Onesimus (Col 4:9; Phlm 1:10), along with Archippus and Apphia.

“For By Him All Things Were Created” (1:16)

Paul declares that all things were created by Jesus Christ. The verse continues by referring to the heavens and the earth, an echo of creation as recorded in Genesis 1:1. This mosaic from Pompeii depicts a variety of life forms, both on water and land. Notice the reflection of the waterfowl and water plants that the artist has captured on the surface of the water.

“Having Made Peace Through His Blood” (1:20)

These marble reliefs come from a high-quality Julio-Claudian monument known by some as the Ara Pietatis (Altar of Augustan Piety). The reliefs portray a bull being sacrificed before a pagan temple, similar to what is found on the Ara Pacis in Rome. Such depictions reveal the deep-seated awareness of even pagan Romans that humans were not naturally at peace with the divine world.

“And You, Who Were Formerly Alienated” (1:21)

In Paul’s day, Roman citizenship was a highly valued status which afforded tremendous benefits. War veterans were able to acquire citizenship through decades of service; others received it in return for payment of large sums of money (Acts 22:28). The bronze tablet shown here was a diploma given to acknowledge citizenship. Acts 22:28 states that Paul acquired Roman citizenship by birth. Here Paul tells the Colossians that they are made citizens in Christ’s kingdom through His death. This bronze diploma dates to AD 79, and it confers citizenship on a soldier after 25 years of service in the Roman army. This artifact was photographed in the British Museum.

“Now I Rejoice In My Sufferings” (1:24)

The traditional view is that Paul wrote Colossians during his imprisonment in Rome sometime around AD 60. As a prisoner, Paul may have worn a chain similar to this one. Even though Paul’s imprisonment allowed him a certain amount of freedom, and he was not seen as a serious threat, he was still bound with a chain, at least at times (Acts 28:20). This chain from the 1st century AD was photographed at the Spartacus Exhibit, a temporary exhibition at the Ara Pacis Museum in Rome.

“By Cancelling The Certificate Of Debt” (2:14)

We dip into chapter 2 to bring you this last photo. This document is a loan contract for 480 drachmas, to be paid back with interest. It dates to AD 17 and records that a man named Dionysius and his wife Thasos signed as sureties for each other to guarantee that the debt would be repaid. When the debt was satisfied, the record of debt was crossed out. This illustrates Paul’s claim that Christ has fully satisfied the debt we owe to God. Christ becomes the surety (Heb 7:22) of those united to Him by faith, satisfying all their debts before God. This papyrus was discovered at Oxyrhynchus in Egypt. This image comes from the University of Michigan, Advanced Papyrological Information System.

You can see more photos in these free chapter downloads: Galatians 5Ephesians 3Philippians 4Colossians 21 Thessalonians 5, and 1 Timothy 4.

This week you can purchase the Paul’s Epistles set at our launch price of $129, including immediate download and free shipping (in the US). Use coupon EPISTLES to receive the discount. This unique collection includes more than 8,000 PowerPoint slides illustrating these thirteen epistles by chapter and verse. Purchase the set as a DVD+download or download-only.


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All contents © 2021 Todd Bolen. Text and photographs may be used for personal and educational use with attribution. Commercial use requires written permission.