Oxford Bible Atlas (For Reference)
"The Oxford Bible Atlas, edited by Herbert G. May, is a detailed, extremely useful book that will heighten anyone's general understanding of biblical geography. It contains more than maps as it delves into the history behind the maps, and the archaeology behind the history. It cites biblical sources but also cites apocryphal books unfamiliar to most Protestant readers. The end result is a colorful, informative work that helps place both Old and New testaments into perspective. The book is divided into three sections, the first introducing the ancient world, then the several maps, and concluding with an archaeological overview. Part one blends seemingly incompatible topics of biblical and geologic history. It includes biblical and secular accounts of ancient history. The atlas does not attempt to expound too greatly on the 'Holy Land' as being somehow superior in importance. In fact the Holy Land occupies an important crossroads between east and west more so than it stands as a regional religious center of its own merit. Those who held power such as David, Herod, or even Pontius Pilate were rarely more than a regional or even local rulers who paled in stature when compared to Alexander or any of the Roman Emperors. The map section covers most of the primary locations mentioned in the Bible, and illustrates the vastness of the biblical lands. Many maps retain ancient place names, though the primary focus is on the near east ... The final section is akin to a primer on biblical archaeology. It introduces Carbon 14 dating, how a site is developed, and a brief history of archaeological efforts in the region. It shows how cultures are understood by what has survived through the ages, and helps fill gaps when written records are not available. The end result is a very informative atlas that readers of many different backgrounds will appreciate."--Amazon.com.