Looking back at earlier posts on this website demonstrates my fascination with photos and images that might be used in presentations or even printed materials to help illustrate Biblical subjects or events. (In fact, see here for recent articles on www.bibleplaces.com and www.freebibleimages.com.) I know many of my hearers are visual learners so they understand and retain knowledge better when it is accompanied or illustrated by photos, drawings, maps, charts, etc.

One often overlooked source of useful photos and images is Wikimedia Commons, which is part of the online encyclopedia Wikipedia. Going directly to the Wikimedia Commons site allows searching directly by subject for what images are available. Alternately, I usually go to Wikipedia itself for the subject (place, event, person, etc.) I am searching for. Any images on Wikipedia are also part of the Wikimedia Commons collection. It is important to notice the requirement to give credit for the source of any image you use; the appropriate credit statement is usually available just below the image when you click on the image to open it in a full window. The Wikimedia Commons currently lists almost 58,000,000 available images!

As an example, take our image at the top of this article. It is the first page of the Gospel of John in English from William Tyndale’s 1525 New Testament. The photo is found in the Wikipedia article on William Tyndale. Tyndale’s translation was the first English translation made from the Greek instead of the Latin Vulgate. It was so influential that, according to the Wikipedia article, the New Testament portion of the King James Version of 1611 is approximately 83% identical to Tyndale’s work! However, Tyndale was condemned by the Catholic Church as a heretic, tied to a stake, strangled to death, and his body burned in 1536. Note that the Tyndale Bible was printed using movable type, but was made to appear like a hand copied Bible from an earlier time by the use of special type and color illustrations.

As for the image source, it is listed as in the public domain in the United States, was accessed from Wikipedia.org, and no further acknowledgement is required.

When you need an image of a historical figure or object, give the Wikimedia Commons or Wikipdeia a try.