I’m so excited about this new Bible, I can hardly contain myself! 🙌😊
Click here to enter the giveaway contest
Buy it. Buy one for yourself and one for your pastor or your favorite Bible teacher or your teenager with all the questions. After all, it’s almost Christmas! Here you go: https://amzn.to/2VjZDUh
Still here? Okay, let me tell you why I am so excited. This “illustrated” Bible is PACKED with information to help you understand the historical context in which each book was written and how the original (and intended) audience would have understood it. This is a big deal.
Unlike some of the other Study Bibles I’ve reviewed (here and here and here), the Holy Land Illustrated Bible is not filled with QR codes to supplemental teaching videos and/or paragraphs upon paragraphs of commentary written to promote a specific interpretation of a passage or a particular worldview.
The Holy Land Illustrated Bible is a treasure trove of over 1200 images, maps, and illustrations and nearly 300 articles that appeared in the Biblical Illustrator, a scholarly magazine originally published from 1973 to 2020. The original purpose of the Biblical Illustrator was to “offer in-depth information for the serious student of the Word” (G.B. Howell, Content Editor, Biblical Illustrator).
Earlier this year Biblical Illustrator ceased publication, and instead of allowing all those years of research and scholarship to be archived and forgotten, the decision was made to strategically insert relevant research into the Scriptures right where it would educate the reader to guard against ignorant interpretation.
“The intent is not to give you minutia or additional tidbits of obscure information. Instead, it is to help you grow in your commitment to both the Word of God and the God of the Word.”G.B. Howell
Content Editor, Biblical Illustrator
These supplemental resources were chosen because they offer pertinent information with respect to the following questions:
- What is the significance of a particular location?
- How does this event fit into the larger context of Scripture?
- What was going on in the world at that time?
- Was there a significance that the initial readers would have understood that we miss, now centuries later?
In preparation for this review, I read through a variety of articles and call-outs. They are great, and I was excited to see a few articles written by one of my seminary professors. I also reviewed a few book introductions: Daniel, Mark, Hebrews, and Revelation. Each one presented an excellent overview of the historical context while briefly addressing scholarly debates about dating, authorship, and purpose of the book. So. Good. Click here to enter the giveaway contest
Video Overview of the Holy Land Illustrated Bible
Below is the promotional video for the Holy Land Illustrated Bible (HLIB), and you can click here to download an 18-page PDF sample which includes an overview of the Bible’s features, an introduction to the Christian Standard Bible translation/version, and the entire book of Ruth exactly as it appears in the HLIB.
This Bible literally had me at “Hello.” When I used to teach Sunday School, I’d spend a lot of time scouring the internet for photos of locations, artifacts, and landscapes. I’d search for maps showing ancient boundaries and helpful information about cultural norms of the time (depending on the book). With the HLIB, you’ll have at your fingertips a basic introduction to biblical archaeology and anthropology how it informs responsible biblical interpretation. This is a resource every serious student of the Bible should own. Full stop.
In addition to the excellent book introductions and articles which enlighten the reader to the world and culture of the Bible, the Holy Land Illustrated Bible also includes more than 40 “call-outs” which highlight a variety of “recent” discoveries and review their relevance to the Bible. Here’s a sampling of the “call-outs” I was excited to see included in this Bible:
- Enuma Elish
- Gligamesh Epic
- Merneptah Stele
- House of David Inscription
- Dead Sea Scrolls
- Cyrus Cylinder
- Jesus in Ancient Non-Christian Sources
- Arch of Titus
I mean. Seriously. They’ve published a Bible acknowledging the Babylonian story of Creation (Enuma Elish) and the Flood (Epic of Gilgamesh) with those articles on the same page as the Biblical account. This is rare and exactly what we need nowadays.
THIS is the kind of Bible you want to get your kids. #themoreyouknow
What Are You Waiting For?
I cannot recommend the Holy Land Illustrated Bible highly enough. It actually surprises me how much I love it, and on a personal note, I’d like to let you know that my husband, 18 year old son, and his sweetheart all agree that this is a VERY COOL Bible. Finally.
Yay for archaeology and responsible Bible study!!! 🙌🙌🙌
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