Category Archives: Book Review

A new tool for tour leaders

Near the end of January when I received my copy of The Satellite Bible Atlas, I decided that I would secure a copy for each member of my April tour group. Arrangements were made to have the books delivered to my tour operator in Jerusalem so that they would be available for use by the group at the beginning of the tour.

Ideally, it would be good for tour groups to meet together for classes prior to the tour. I have never been able to do this because my groups have come from many states, and sometimes a foreign country.

The first morning of touring I had the driver stop on the kurkar ridge along the Mediterranean Sea a few miles north of Netanya while we handed out the “surprise” books and explained them to the tour members. I asked them to turn to the maps that showed the area where we would be traveling that day. This procedure continued throughout the tour.

By the end of the tour the group members were talking about how the SBA would help them in their studies when they returned home.

On the last day of the tour we stopped by Yad HaShmona where Bill Schlegel works with the IBEX (Israel Bible Extension) program. Bill met our group and gave us a brief geographical orientation of the location and the importance of geography in the biblical story. From Yad HaShmona one can see the site of Kiriath-jearim (see here) to the east, and the coastal plain to the west. Todd Bolen includes a brief description of Yad HaShmona at BiblePlaces.com (here).

Bill Schlegel autographs a copy of The Satellite Bible Atlas for Ferrell Jenkins.

Bill Schlegel autographs a copy of The Satellite Bible Atlas for Ferrell Jenkins.

I can highly recommend the use of the SBA in connection with tours anywhere in Israel. Details about the publication, and how to order your own copy, may be found here.

The Satellite Bible Atlas is not to replace a standard Bible atlas such as the Zondervan Atlas of the Bible by Carl Rasmussen, or The New Moody Atlas of the Bible by Barry Beitzel. In fact, get all three. You will find each of them useful.

Logos Community Pricing

Logos Bible Software has a feature called Community Pricing. It works like this. A book (or set) is chosen for publication. Interested persons are asked to place a bid on the completed digital publication. When there are enough bids to pay for publication the book is published. After the initial publication, the price goes up. I have purchased many Logos publications using Community Pricing and Pre-Publication Specials.

To use the Community Pricing or Pre-Pub specials you must already have Logos (or the older Libronix) on your computer. You may purchase a base package from Logos (here), or buy a relatively inexpensive set of books from someone like Rejoice Christian Software. I suggestion you buy something like the  Baker New Testament Commentary ($79.95 here), the Norman Geisler Apologetics CD-Rom Library ($29.95 here), or one of the other great specials they offer.

thompson_land-and-the-bookHere is a Community Pricing special too good to miss for anyone interested in the land of the Bible: The Land and the Book by William M. Thomson. This is an old work that is rich in information about the land and the culture of the Bible land.

Rich with scriptural landmarks and filled with hundreds of beautiful pen-and-ink illustrations, Thomson’s The Land and the Book has been a popular classic for over 100 years. Learn more about the people, places, and historical events behind the text you’re studying. Incorporate pictures, illustrations, and graphics into sermons, school papers, or Sunday school lesson plans. Whether you are a student, pastor, scholar, or layperson, the 3-volume Land and the Book is a must-have resource for Bible study or reading.

A work like this does not replace current studies, but it supplements them. Just go to Logos (here) and bid $18 on this work. If it sells for less you will pay less.
In the next post I will share another special pre-pub bargain.

The new Satellite Bible Atlas

Todd Bolen announced Monday the publication of the Satellite Bible Atlas. This new work is by Bill Schlegel, Associate Professor of the Bible at IBEX in Israel. Bill has lived and taught in Israel since 1984. He taught at the Jerusalem University College (formerly the Institute of Holy Land Studies) before joining The Master’s College IBEX program in 1995.

According to Bolen,

This resource is ready for personal use, classroom use, and field trip use. The author, Bill Schlegel, has been teaching college and seminary students in Israel for 25 years. Everything in the Satellite Bible Atlas is field-tested by a professor who knows God’s land and loves God’s Word.

He continues to give 7 additional reasons why he loves the Satellite Bible Atlas. I will leave it for you to read more details at the Bible Places Blog here.

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I have had the opportunity for several days to see the various materials associated with the Satellite Bible Atlas, but late Monday I received my beautiful copy and have found it to be an amazing production.

After 17 pages of beautiful satellite maps, the additional maps are printed on one page with a brief, numbered, commentary on the opposite page. For example, looking at map 5-1, Samuel’s Ministry, we see a marked map of the portion of the land where Samson was born, and the places of his activity. Map 9-4 shows Jesus’ Move from Nazareth to Capernaum. Map 10-1 shows Acts of the Apostles in Israel. While the emphasis is on the Promised Land and the history of Israel, Jesus and the Early Church, there are maps showing the Journeys of Paul, The First Revolt Against Rome (c. 66-73 AD), the Bar Kochva Revolt, Jerusalem, the modern Middle East, etc. Eighty-five maps in all.

This beautiful book is published in Israel. I am surprised that the book is available for $30 plus tax and $3 shipping (in the U.S.). You will also be granted access to download the maps.

More information and ordering instructions are available here. Sample Maps, Commentary, Study Questions, and an Index to Sites, are available for download. There are also some Teaching Videos, and more are expected from time to time.

A new study guide for those who wish to understand the overall picture of the Bible

How do we deal with the problem of the person who does not know very much about the Bible and gets lost in some of our classes? I recall one time teaching Romans in a church class. I think we were already in chapter 11. A visitor came to the class. Toward the end of the class when I was entertaining questions, the visitor spoke up saying, “I don’t have any idea what you are talking about.” I sympathized with him and mentioned that we had set the stage for the current class over a period of months.

Marc Hinds, a former student of mine at Florida College, understands that many students need a general survey of the Bible. He has provided a solution for this problem in his newly published book by 21st Century Christian. The full name, The Big Picture: A Guide to Learning the Bible’s Story, explains what he is trying to do with this book. The book is suitable for classes of beginners or more advanced learners who haven’t yet understood the overall picture of the Bible.

The Big Picture, by Marc Hinds.

The Big Picture, by Marc Hinds.

In this book of 15 lessons, you will find a brief survey of both the Old Testament and the New Testament. The book is printed in full color with many illustrations, photographs, and maps drawn (by Marc) specifically to illustrate the lesson. This book will be suitable for church classes, or individual home study.

The book may be ordered from 21st Century Christian, other bookstores, or Amazon here: The Big Picture: A Guide to Learning the Bible’s Story.

Limited time bargain on a great Bible atlas

Christianbook.com is offering Carl Rasmussen’s Zondervan Atlas of the Bible for a limited time at the unusual price of $14.99. Click here.

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I can’t promise that it will still be available by the time I get this posted, but you can try.

Update Noon  12-04-12:  I see the price is now $19.99. If you have a a Prime account with Amazon (postage free), or wish to add another item, the price may be better at $22.73 for Zondervan Atlas of the Bible.

This Atlas is an extremely good one. It is well written, accurate, colorful, filled with great photos and helpful maps. Earlier this evening I emailed a notice to folks who have traveled with me recently, or who plan to, with this note:

This is an excellent book for anyone planning a tour to Israel, or anyone who has been. It should be one of your most helpful Bible study tools.

One of the ladies who traveled to Israel earlier this year replied with this note:

That is a great price. I got one before we went. I use it daily as I read and it sure brings the scriptures alive. It is much more so now that we have seen the country.

The Annual Meetings # 1

Each year in November professional meetings pertaining to the field of biblical studies are held in a major U.S. city. The largest meeting is the SBL/AAR meeting. That is the Society of Biblical Literature and the American Academy of Religion. Together these organizations attract maybe eight thousand persons who are involved in teaching and researching in the fields of Biblical Studies and Religious Studies.

ASOR, the American Schools of Oriental Research, meets separately a few days ahead of the other meeting. This organization attracts those who are teaching and active in the field of Near Eastern archaeology.

The Evangelical Theological Society (ETS) currently meets at the same time as ASOR. I think in some recent years as many as 2000 members attend ETS. This organization attracts scholars who are admittedly conservative in their approach toward the Scriptures. Most of them teach in seminaries or religious schools.

Some international scholars attend each of these meetings.

From time to time I have someone ask me why I attend. I will suggest a couple of reasons based on the current ETS meeting, and these reasons will be true of both meetings.

Books, Books, Books. I do not buy as many books as I once did, but I still like to see what is being published. The ETS book exhibit has grown from a few tables several years back to a large exhibit hall this year. Many of the major religious publishers offer deep discounts to the members. They know that these teachers may use their books, or at least recommend them, in their classes. Only members with the proper ID are allowed in the exhibit hall.

The Crossway display. Crossway is the publisher of the ESV bible.

The Crossway display. Crossway is the publisher of the ESV bible.

The books on display are mainly the current publications along with a few of the previous best sellers.

A portion of the B&H display.

A small portion of the B&H display.

Friends. Another reason I attend the meetings to to see old friends and make new ones. Jack is now a freelance representative. This week he was working for Moody Press.

Promoting Moody Press books at the ETS meeting.

Promoting Moody Press books at the ETS meeting.

For the first time, Todd Bolen had a display of his Pictorial Library of the Bible Lands. We have written about this series here.

Todd Bolen, Bible Places.com, talks with a customer.

Todd Bolen (right), Bible Places.com, talks with a customer.

A. D. Riddle made new maps for the revised PLBL. He was helping at the booth. A customer is on the right. Bolen is in the background. This was my first time to meet A. D., he has been helpful to me several times via correspondence.

A.D. Riddle, who supplied new maps for the revised series.

A.D. Riddle (right), who supplied new maps for the revised series, takes a break from talking with an ETS member about the PLBL series.

I ran across Mark Wilson, author of Biblical Turkey: A Guide to the Jewish and Christian Sites of Asia Minor. Mark lives in Turkey part of each year, and has spoken to one of my groups. Everyone who plans a trip to Turkey, or who just wants to know more about the Biblical places in Turkey, should have this book.

Mark Wilson mans the Tutku Travel booth.

Mark Wilson mans the Tutku Travel booth.

Other friends I saw included Steve Wolfgang, former students Rusty Taylor and Randy Murphy.

In another post I will mention some of the papers I heard.

Reformation Day

October 31 is known as Reformation Day because it was on this day in 1517 that Martin Luther posted Ninety-Five Theses on the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany. The Ninety-Five Theses were issues that Luther thought should be debated by the theologians. These questions were brought about due to the sale of indulgences and general corruption within the Roman Catholic Church.

The term Protestant was not used to describe those who aligned themselves with Luther for another 12 years, but the Protestant movement can be dated the the event at Wittenberg.

There are many issues on which I would differ with Luther, but I admit that I admire the man and the stand that he took against practices of his day which were departures from the Apostolic doctrine.

This statue of Luther stands in the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany. The official name of the town is Lutherstadt Wittenberg.

Statue of Martin Luther in the Wittenberg Castle Church. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

Statue of Martin Luther in the Wittenberg Castle Church. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

The original door of the church was destroyed by fire in 1760. Doors covered with bronze plaques with the Ninety-Five Theses on them were installed in 1858. The door of the church is pictured below.

Door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

Door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

Free Book. Those who use Logos Bible Software may download a copy of the Ninety-Five Theses under the title Disputation of Doctor Martin Luther on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences. For information click here.

Interested in the Reformation? If you have interest in Church History and the place of the Reformation within it, you might enjoy this post on “The background of the Protestant Reformation,” or posts on Zwingli, Tyndale and Knox (and here), Heinrich Bullinger, St. Andrews, and Savonarola.

HT: HMcK