Monday, March 17, 2014

Essential Atlas of the Bible - Carl Rasmussen

I like this Atlas very much, it is a nice overview of the geography of Biblical events. It was more interesting than I had expected. You can get caught up following the discussion of places, and looking at the locations of Biblical places. Beginning with a basic overview of the geography of the middle east and then move into historical geography.  Moving along the timeline of the Bible, we examine Abraham's journeys, follow the possible path of Israel's Exodus from Egypt, and then journey to the promised land.  We see Israel's dispersions from Israel into other lands, and finally end up looking at Israel at the time of the New Testament.  The places visited by Christ are considered, and then we see the spread of the Gospel.   The book ends with an examination of the city of Jerusalem in detail.

Some particular sections I found helpful were the maps of the distribution of land to the twelve tribes of Israel.  It makes the account in the Bible easier to focus upon when you actually see the areas spoken of, and are able to see the land area of each individual tribe. The histories, and geography of the lands of Israel's enemies are also dealt with.  The Maps show where these enemies lived, what routes they took to attack Israel, and what areas of Israel they took over.  
This Atlas includes many pictures, and also has discussion of archaeological finds in relation to the locations being examined.  It is so refreshing to read a book dealing with a science that doesn't doubt God's Word in the process.  For instance archaeologists have found Sennacherib's written account of his war with Judah and in it there is no mention of 185,00 troops seeming to randomly die in one night(2 Kings 19:35-36; 2 Chron 32:21-22). Instead of panicking or bowing before archeological evidence and saying that the account must just be symbolic, as there is no known evidence of it actually happening, this Atlas reads:  "Obviously, Sennacherib did not mention this disastrous loss of troops in his inscriptions."

I would recommend it to anyone reading the historical accounts in the Bible, it really helps build a geographical picture in one's head of the locations that are mentioned.

I received a free review copy from the Booklook blogger program(My review did not have to be favorable).  Many thanks to Zondervan and Harper Collins Christian Publishing!
This book may be purchased at Zondervan or at

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