Both the Old and New Testaments are full of mentions of cities, mountains, rivers, valleys and other places which are part of the “lands of the Bible.” A great way to enhance the teaching of the historical sections of Scripture is to spend at least some time helping students and church members know WHERE these places are on a Bible map and, if possible, provide through a PowerPoint®, or other visual presentation, images displaying what those places LOOK LIKE today.
For those photographic images, there is in my opinion no better resource than BiblePlaces.com. Quoting from the website:
“BiblePlaces.com was founded by Dr. Todd Bolen in 2001 to provide photographic resources for the study and teaching of the biblical world. Todd lived and taught at the Israel Bible Extension near Jerusalem for many years and he currently serves as Professor of Biblical Studies at the home campus of The Master’s University in California. He has graduate degrees from Jerusalem University College and The Master’s Seminary and a PhD from Dallas Theological Seminary.“
While BiblePlaces primarily provides a way to purchase various sets of high resolution photos taken by Dr. Bolen and more than 40 other photographers, it is important to note that he has also generously made available an ever-growing number of free photos, subject to giving BiblePlaces credit as the source and copyright owner. These free images are available through the following ways:
- Subscribe to the free BiblePlaces newsletter by visiting the website homepage and giving them your email address. Each issue sent out will have a number of free, downloadable images for various Biblical sites for the newsletter reader’s use. Here is a recent newsletter provided by them as an example. At least 7 free images appear in this sample newsletter plus one or more links for downloading even more.
- Visit the BiblePlaces Facebook page. It is my understanding images displayed there may also be used free in classroom and Bible class presentations.
- Go to the “Free Photos” section of the BiblePlaces website and download the images available there.
In our next “Pick of the Week” article we will recommend the commercial collections of photos available for purchase from BiblePlaces. But at least the above sources will immediately give access to some very useful and beautiful photographs. And as new newsletters are issued, more free photos come along with them!
Our image comes from the “Free Photos” page of www.BiblePlaces.com which grants us permission for its use. This a night-time photograph of the ancient coliseum in Rome.