One of the tools you can use to help your students remember your lessons is to give them connections to material they already know and understand. Often with the Bible, this means connecting the geography and customs to modern countries and societies.
Recently, I was offered the chance to review a resource that may give you the help you need in finding and making those connections for students. The Rose Then and Now Bible Map Atlas with Biblical Background and Culture by Paul H. Wright may just be the resource you need.
The book is divided into twenty-four chapters, primarily around a person in the Bible like Jonah or Peter. (A couple of the chapters are more catch-all in nature.) The chapters contain the expected maps as well as artistic representations, photos of artifacts and photos of the actual locations or ruins of places mentioned.
There is a lot of text for each chapter. I will warn you – this is not light reading. While it is not impossible to understand, it is written more like a college textbook than a consumer book. There is a lot of information in each chapter to process. Having said that, there is enough valuable information to make it worth reading through the somewhat academic framework it has been given.
The author tends to break down the information in the scripture and explain it in light of geography, topography, culture, archaeology and even a bit of modern history and a few of his opinions. I love that for each topic he tackles, he gives the corresponding scriptures. It would be easy to get caught up in his explanations and not really absorb where that information helps explain what is happening in a particular passage. His style is more storytelling than listing a bunch of facts and information in a typical non-fiction style. That makes it a little less clinical in nature, but also the reader needs to understand his style because the author throws in his own opinions and humor on occasion. These aren’t necessarily facts and must be processed separately from the wealth of factual information shared.
This resource has lots of helpful information, but only if you will use it. It is pricier than most of the books I suggest. (Although you can save money by purchasing the e-book, I found it cumbersome. I prefer “real” books for reference books, though the e-version would be more portable.) The information in this book can give older students and those with a passion for history and geography some great connections to help them understand and remember Bible stories. It may be a resource book you even want to have to find tidbits to add to your own lessons. Check it out and let me know what you think!
This book was given to me for free in exchange for my honest review. An affiliate link is included for your convenience.