Bible lands journey;Secondary;Reviews;Religious education;Books;Features and arts

3rd December 1999 at 00:00
THE ESSENTIAL ATLAS OF THE BIBLE. By Team Media. SPCK pound;20.

This is far more than a simple map book. It is a lavishly produced, large format visualisation of the principal events of the Bible, with double-page spreads that interpret topics from the Creation through Old Testament history, and on to the ministry of Jesus and his followers.

Many of the maps are three-dimensional "relief" pictures. There are also many reconstructions of significant buildings (especially the various temples in Jerusalem) and a profusion of other illustrations such as photographs of "typical" scenery in the Bible lands, sacred sites, pertinent artefacts and contemporary paintings and mosaics.

A substantial amount of text fills in the background to make this both a summary of, and a guide to, the two testaments. But while the introduction suggests it is an objective work based on the latest archaeological research, certain subsequent sections tend to present characters such as Cain, Abel and Noah as historical figures.

Even so, the book not only encourages browsing, but is a practical work of reference. Probably most relevant to key stage 4 and above, it will have a wider application given appropriate teacher mediation.

David Self

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