Jan 28, 2020

BiblePlaces at Twenty

“Time flies when you’re having fun.” This aphorism fits the surprising revelation in my email today that “twenty years ago this month, BiblePlaces.com was born.” This reminder drew me back to 1999 and my first trip to the Holy Land. Todd was one of my teachers. I recall the not uncommon experience of first-timers of trying to drink from a fire hydrant of biblical, historical, and archaeological knowledge. I also remember trying to take judicious photos with my 35mm and economize the nearly thirty rolls of film that I had brought! When I got back home, I realized that I had taken some reasonably good photos and others where I lamented that I had wasted precious film and then to add insult to injury, paid to have it processed. 

It was around that time that Todd began selling his photo collections divided into geographic regions. As a seminary student on a budget I wrestled with which collections I needed most and could afford. As I recall, I purchased two or three and was delighted when they arrived in the mail. Such a helpful resource packed on round plastic discs. These photos have served me well in the church and in the classroom. It is said that a British accent automatically makes one sound smarter. I’m not sure about that, but I am confident that using these photo collections over the years have made me a more effective communicator of the Bible.

I have purchased other collections of photos from places like Zondervan, Fortress, and the Biblical Archaeological Society, but none of these have eclipsed the bang-for-the-buck of Todd’s collections. I have also learned how to take better pictures over the years (for some advice see here, here, and here) and digital photography has helped. But I still find the BiblePlaces typically has already done it better than I have.

So if you have never considered BiblePlaces before, I would encourage you to not let another twenty years go by. You can check out the offerings here, sign up for the free newsletter here, and get a free presentation on the Sea of Galilee here. You really have no excuse not to check it out.

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