Like many other atlases of biblical times, this atlas is filled with colorful images, drawings and maps. In particular, this book is more than just an atlas, but a visual guide to the location and lifestyle of the biblical lands. Many of the visual insets are well reporduced and nicely described. The text is easy to read, informed by recent scholarly opinion, and is approached from a secular standpoint.The main complaint with the book is its layout of images of cities and area maps across two pages. While the larger size of the maps and images of cities and temples is appreciated, the hardcover binding of the book really distorts the images. For example, about 2 inches of the map on page 59 of the Assyrian Empire is pushed leftwards on to page 58, and to the right of the map is a two inch column depicting a tribute obelisk. While removing this small image and description and placing it on page 58, leaving 59 free to contain the entire map, might make the book's page layout less exciting, at least the map would not be distorted by the binding crease.Since the main focus of an atlas of this sort should be its images (and not necessarily the text, although that is important), it really detracts from the overall appreciation of the book to experience such distortion of maps and images page after page. Almost every 3D topographical map is distorted in this fashion.The publisher would have better served the editors if care would have been taken to create maps and images which could either have been contained on one page, or designed with a hardcover binding as interference, reducing the image distortion.Otherwise the book is beautifully done, containing clear appropriate images and easy, intelligent text, without noticable religious bias.Read more ›
This book is beautiful! The illustrations are wonderful. It reminds me of the old Time-Life books.
You will find illustrations juxtaposed with photos of recovered artifacts. The maps are wonderful and well drawn. There are several cut-away views of places like the Hebrew Tabernacle, Solomon's Temple Herod's Palace and Masada. You will find illustrations of Jerusalem at various points in history. There is even a view of the Via Dolorosa (Christ's walk to Calvary).
The text for the most part is only marginally useful, though only peripherally related to the images on the page. It consists mainly of simple Bible stories. The captions, however, are quite helpful.
Unfortunately, the author seems to have forgotten that there is such a thing as a binding in a book. Many illustrations and maps needlessly cross the binding and are distorted and obscured. I say needlessly because in most cases they would have fit on one page, but instead some text or a smaller image pushed the larger one to the side. This is so frequent that it is a serious shortcoming and detracts significantly.
Overall a good effort, but the layout drops it at least a full star.
Upon arrival, I was surprised by the size of the book. It is not thick, actually very thin for the amount of historical data, maps and timelines. It could be considered a "coffee table" book. The Table of Contents begins with The Bible and the Holy Land then proceeds throughout The Old and New Testaments. An index is located in the back as an additional resource. I purchased a used copy of the book, but it did not diminish the beauty and details of the pictures, timelines and maps. For visual learners this book is perfect!