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Biblica: The Bible Atlas: A Social and Historical Journey Through the Lands of the Bible Hardcover – October 1, 2007


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 578 pages
  • Publisher: Barron's Educational Series; 1st U.S. Edition edition (October 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0764160850
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764160851
  • Product Dimensions: 13.3 x 10.3 x 2.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #750,663 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

If ever there was a biblical reference tool that left the reader eagerly anticipating the visual feast on every page, it is the Bible atlas known simply as Biblica. The work of Beitzel (Trinity Evangelical Divinity School) and an impressive team of contributors, editors, and designers, the volume is an oversize work that seems more suited for a pedestal or a coffee table than the shelf of a library. It offers approximately 650 works of art—a great number of which are paintings from artists like Caravaggio, Henri Laurens, and Pedro Orrente. The artwork depicts biblical scenes, ranging from Joseph’s encounter with Potiphar’s wife to St. Paul’s imprisonment, both of which span an entire page. The paintings are enough to make users forget about the maps they were originally seeking. The maps (around 125) are original, full color, and generally large enough to make for easy use, though they are often dwarfed by the artwork on adjacent pages. Not to be overlooked is the text of Biblica. Like most Bible atlases, the text has the feel of a biblical survey but does much more than simply paraphrase scripture itself. Its intent is to describe the history behind scripture in a readable and insightful manner. This history includes the period between Old and New Testaments, as well. The volume concludes with a “Bible Reference” section containing approximately 20 tables along with a bibliography and glossary and a scripture index, gazetteer, and general index. Although this atlas has no rivals in terms of its visual appeal, there are others offering more substantial cartographic content. The Carta Bible Atlas (Carta Jerusalem, 2002), for instance, contains twice as many maps as Biblica in less than half the size. It is the quality and quantity of the artwork that allows Biblica to stand out among other Bible atlases currently on the market. Its surprising affordability makes this atlas a worthwhile reference purchase for most public libraries, including those that already have several Bible atlases in their collection. --Wade Osburn

Review

Â"Â…The biggest book in the gift pile has to be Biblica: The Bible Atlas from BarronÂ's. An absolute steal at $50, this stone-tablet of a bookÂ--650 full-color illustrations, 125 original mapsÂ--is, at its subtitle says, Â'a social and historical journey through the lands of the Bible.Â' And it is full of surprises, such as pictures of oil derricks and even the Star of Bethlehem. This book is bound to be a favored holiday gift.Â"


Â--Michael Coffey, PublisherÂ's Weekly, September 17, 2007

Â"If ever there was a biblical reference tool that left the reader eagerly anticipating the visual feast on every page, it is the Bible Atlas known simply as Biblica. The work of Beitzel (Trinity Evangelical Divinity School) and an impressive team of contributors, editors, and designers, the volume is an oversize work that seems more suited for a pedestal or a coffee table than the shelf of a library. It is the quality and the quantity of the artwork that allows Biblica to stand out among other Bible atlases currently on the market. Its surprising affordability makes this atlas a worthwhile reference purchase for most public libraries, including those that already have several Bible atlases in their collectionÂ"


Â--Wade Osburn, Booklist, January 15, 2008



"Titanic Bible atlas..."


Â--The Philadelphia Enquirer, Sunday, December 16, 2007

"Biblica is a phenomenal work that incorporates the most recent archaeological findings and research, combining scholarly data with illuminating reference to the Bible's stories."


Â--Scott Coffman, Louisville Courier Journal, Saturday, December 15, 2007

"Â…The biggest book in the gift pile has to be Biblica: The Bible Atlas from Barron‚Â's. An absolute steal at $50.... This book is bound to be a favored holiday gift.‚Â"


Â--Michael Coffey, Publisher‚Â's Weekly, September 17, 2007

"Biblica is a phenomenal work that incorporates the most recent archaeological findings and research, combining scholarly data with illuminating reference to the Bible's stories. It features more than 650 photos and illustrations plus 125 full-color maps of the region. Its extensive bibliography, gazetteer and numerous other reference materials make this a must-have for anyone with an interest in the Bible and its history."


Â--Scott Coffman, Louisville Courier Journal, Saturday, December 15, 2007

"Titanic Bible atlas, 575 gorgeous oversized pages, that takes you back to biblical lands as they looked back when, with context and useful tools galore."


Â--The Philadelphia Enquirer, Sunday, December 16, 2007

From the article Â"A grump looks for the happiest placesÂ"



Â"Biblica: The Bible Atlas. This awesomely ambitious atlas is accurately touted as Â'a social and historical journey through the lands of the Bible.Â' It is truly heavy, weighing in at more than 9 pounds. The 578-page volume is a visual and educational treasure, lavishly illustrated with 650 full-color pictures of art - paintings, drawings, etchings, sculptures - and scenic photographs, plus 125 maps of important places, journeys, battles, political demarcations and more; meticulously compiled by an international team of writers, distinguished academics and Bible scholars. With this atlas in hand, we gain a deeper understanding of the lay of the land.Â"


Â-- Spencer Rumsey, Newsday, February 10, 2008





From the article ‚Â"Bible-inspired gift books bring meaning to the holidays‚Â"





"Tracing ancient steps"





Â"For people who are not biblical scholars and who have not traveled to the area where the Bible stories took place, it‚Â's sometimes hard to visualize exactly where these events occurred in relation to today‚Â's world. Biblica:The Bible Atlas, by Barry J. Beitzel,

Professor of Old Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, is a massive and eautiful volume that places the Bible in geographical context.

"From the Garden of Eden and the flood through the great judges,kings and prophets, the life of Jesus and how the word spread after his death,Biblica details the history of Christianity through maps, works of art and text. A section on the geography and history of biblical lands pinpoints the locations of significant events and explains what life might have been like in those places during biblical times.

"Tables of the books of the Bible, the judges, prophets, kings, Egyptian rulers, apostles, even Jesus‚Â' wondrous acts and the gospels in which they are located, as well as a glossary and Bible family trees, give readers a quick reference for details or a fascinating basis for browsing. Biblica is a complete education in the Bible and will illuminate any readerÂ's experience of the ancient text."
Â--Linda Stankard, Book Page , December 2007

"Â…The biggest book in the gift pile has to be Biblica: The Bible Atlas from Barron's. An absolute steal at $50, this stone-tablet of a bookÂ--650 full-color illustrations, 125 original mapsÂ--is, at its subtitle says‚ Â'a social and historical journey through the lands of the Bible.' And it is full of surprises, such as pictures of oil derricks and even the Star of Bethlehem. This book is bound to be a favored holiday gift.‚Â"
Â--Michael Coffey, Publisher's Weekly, September 17, 2007

From the ‚Â"LJXpress Special Edition: Reference 2008‚Â" e-blast newsletter



Â"It's hefty, but it's worth its weight. Handsomely produced, intensely informative, it's much more than an atlas. But let's start with the maps: there are 125 of them, far more than in recent offerings from Oxford or National Geographic. Almost all are physical maps and all are in color. Ranging from a full- to one-quarter-page in size, they often note terrain and, variously, climate, vegetation, and other criteria. Each labels the sites relevant to the related discussion (e.g., "Origins of the Judges of Israel"), and many offer small boxed pointers to the locations of particular biblical characters/narratives, (e.g., "Philip meets an Ethiopian eunuch....")

Â"Readers and browsers will feast on 650 color art photos across the same size range as the maps and including far more than the usual Old and New Testament subjects. There are eight main sections: "Geography and History of Bible Lands" is followed by five sections tracing the Old Testament and its social, historical, physical, and archaeological context. Then come "The Life of Jesus of Nazareth" and "Spreading the Word." An early section acknowledges the "intermingling of history and faith," the very matter that can send mixed messages when contributors include a mix of theologians, historians, and archaeologistsÂ--26 contributors in total under editor Beitzel's oversight.

Â"On the whole, this book succeeds handsomely, especially for the informed lay reader, in treading that ground shared by history and faith. The OT is handled both as a Jewish text and a predictor of Jesus' coming. For the NT, Jesus and his disciples similarly are arrayed across earthly and resurrection considerations. The back matter contains "Bible References," e.g., tables of rulers and their dates; a bibliography, subdivided by the atlas's main sections (there are no web sources); a glossary; 12 pages of "Scripture References" to specifically quoted and not simply mentioned portions; a gazetteer, which is a geographical index rather than a geographical dictionary; and the index proper. Quotes throughout come from The New Oxford Annotated Bible, New Standard Revised Version (2001). BOTTOM LINE: Given its size, this tome is absolutely ideal for library reference sections, where it will serveÂ--even inspireÂ--a broad array of readers, from biblical studies newcomer to the more informed, whether or not believers. Highly recommended for high school, public, and academic libraries."
Â--Margaret Heilbrun,Library Journal and libraryjournal.com, November 19, 2007

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Customer Reviews

At first glance I thought I would really like this book.
MG
As a teacher, this book is a gold mine--there is hardly a topic I cover that doesn't have multiple beautiful works of art, full color maps and more.
Robert S. Genin
The Pages are magnificent, 17 inches tall, 13 inches wide!
DR-J-J

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

55 of 58 people found the following review helpful By User on October 18, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I ordered this book, sight unseen, because of the editor and the promotion as the most up-to-date Bible atlas. I was not prepared for the size and weight of the book - it is almost 10 pounds. The printing for this book is so lavish that I cannot see how it could be sold at the list price, much less the price that Amazon was charging. It is more like a coffee table art book than just an atlas. In fact, there are probably more paintings reproduced in this book than maps (of which there are plenty). There is substantial text to go along with the maps. Aside from historical background, much of this text is a retelling of the Biblical narrative. The text is written more for the layperson rather than the scholar. There is a full bibliography and other reference material in the back of the book.

I am mystified by the intended audience for a book of this size. A ten pound book is not an easy one to handle for casual reading. Someone interested in a display volume with a lot of artistic pictures is not going to need the latest and greatest maps. Someone with a more academic interest would want the maps with a more technical text, and much fewer paintings. If you don't mind the size of this volume, it is certainly worth five stars for value. The only question is whether you want this combination of features.
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37 of 39 people found the following review helpful By MG on October 15, 2007
Format: Hardcover
At first glance I thought I would really like this book. After looking through it and reading parts of this manouth (at almost 10 lbs and 580 pages you won't be carrying this under your arms) I was wrong, I love this book!

I found myself drawn into the maps and text and excellant writings. The feel of the glossy pages and beautiful art and graphics is impressive. I found the text and history to be fair and balanced. The text is broken up into very readable sections, but take note, you will find yourself drifting from the text to the graphics in no time. It is worth the price and the time to explore and take in all this book has to offer.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Are you kidding me!
--
UPDATE to this Review: Apparently this massive and gorgeous book has been produced by 3 or more publishers. When I said that my book was 17 pounds and 17 inches tall, 13 inches wide, and nearly 3 inches thick, this refers to the Global Book Publishing Edition which comes with Slip Cover Box. Not every publisher made it THIS BIG! The Global Book Publisher's edition is gorgeous, but VERY LARGE, with slip case (made of wood), CD-ROM of almost every picture and map, and this enormous size and heavy book (absolutely stunning pictures on enormous and heavy glossy pages. Be aware that my review is for this publisher...Just check for your publisher to see what you are getting... search for what is most important for you. Quite frankly, the smaller 10 bound 13 inch edition would have been plenty.. but, I wouldn't be without the CD-ROM. Mine is printed in 2006. My ISBN number is 1-74048-009-0 and I just reach over to pick this book off the floor to get that number, I could barely lift it with one hand. Gosh, this think is massive and beautiful!
--

WOW! Yes, you want a better review than "WOW!" but, let me tell you, this book is stunning. At 17 lbs, this book is HEAVY. The Pages are magnificent, 17 inches tall, 13 inches wide! Absolutely incredible glossy paper. This isn't just a book, it is an experience. My wife was home when this thing came in a LARGE box with red warning labels "HEAVY"... and the post man said, "Maam, be careful, I don't know if you can lift this." I came running to the door with NO IDEA what this could be. I remembered only ordering a Bible Atlas that had a CD-Rom. I had no idea it was like this.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Hank Jones on February 20, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Though the title of my review may, at first glance, appear to be a grammatically incorrect cliche of sorts, I can express my reaction to this book in no other way. I highly reccomend this book for Biblical scholar or casual reader. A review such as this simply cannot do it justice, so just take my word for it and buy this materpiece!
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By L. Brandhagen on January 30, 2008
Format: Hardcover
At first glance, I thought this was another bible - a very big, heavy bible. But, on closer inspection found it was an atlas for the bible. I bought it for my father, who is incredibly hard to buy a gift for, and he really likes it. It has in-depth text, beautiful drawings and paintings - makes a most wonderful gift. It is quite heavy, however, so he won't exactly be bringing it along for bible study. It does make a very impressive coffee table book for his living room. Great find - wonderful price.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Jason C. Wotherspoon on December 23, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This book contains the writings of more than 20 professors or experts in the field. How can a normal person review this?

My mum is a pretty serious and devout Christian, reading a lot of scholarly books on the background of the Bible texts, plus she leads a Bible study group. She's pretty picky and choosey regarding books about the Bible.

I got her a copy for Christmas, and she thinks its great.
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21 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Rooftree on April 7, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Biblica is absolutely gorgeous. The photography is excellent, the printing and artwork reproduction are great, and the maps are colorful and well made. Its overall imagery is seductive.

But looks alone can't carry a book, especially one that claims to provide "a better understanding of biblical events and journeys, of the complex history and cultures of the Bible lands, and of the modern political landscape of the region." On these counts, the book is an utter failure. Make no mistake, this book in NOT an atlas. Yes, it contains maps and photos that might be found in an atlas. It also contains a few dozen paragraphs that give superficial interpretations of the facts, figures and locations related to biblical stories. But the majority of this 500 page behemoth is devoted to something else. Biblica is actually a dogmatic narrative of bible stories illustrated with paintings that set the stories in 12th to 19th century Europe.

The "atlas" material scattered throughout Biblica probably amounts to a total of 75 pages. If the publishers would discard the remaining 400+ pages of filler, they might have something that comes close to satisfying the claims that they make on the jacket and in the forward.
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