For all of my life, I have dealt with a very mild form of dyslexia. Left and right, east and
west. These are just words that might as well be rocket science gibberish due to my inability to connect them with the real world. This slight life annoyance has been the woe of my loving wife for the past five years. Road trip after road trip has been fraught with her giving directions and me turning in the complete opposite direction.
Needless to say, geography has never been a strength of mine. I have found this
especially true when it comes to placing the biblical stories in their geographical context.
Throughout Scripture, you hear of the people of Israel fleeing from one land, conquering another, and being held in captivity by a foreign power in a completely different location. Keeping up with it all can be quite the task, even for those not directionally challenged like myself! That is where atlas’ come in.
Atlas’ have been an extremely useful tool to help my understand of where a particular
biblical account is taking place. Many biblical atlas’ are rich with maps and brief, historical explanations. While extremely useful, they often lack a deeper dive into the biblical narrative that relates to what is happening on the map. Which leads us to The Basic Bible Atlas by John A. Beck.
John A. Beck does a wonderful job of not only providing detailed maps of the
movements of Israel, the domains of kingdoms, the travels of Jesus, and the missionary
journeys of the apostles, but also of giving wonderfully summarized explanations of what is happening in the biblical narrative during that time. What is truly wonderful about this atlas, is that it functions as a very well written and thought out, biblical theology book. This allows the maps to truly come alive in ways many other atlas’, at times, fall short of.
If you are interested in deepening your understanding of the geographical locations
where the biblical narratives took place, I would recommend this resource. What is more, if you are interested in an entry level, biblical theology book that features concise summaries of all major events within the pages of Scripture, I would, again, highly recommend The Basic Bible Atlas.