Since we first released it nearly twelve years ago, one of my favorite Accordance resources has been The Sacred Bridge: Carta’s Atlas of the Biblical World. We offer a lot of great Bible atlases—each with distinct advantages—but The Sacred Bridge is by far the most thorough and scholarly atlas available.

What Makes It So “Scholarly”?

Where most atlases tell you a biblical location is “probably to be identified” with a specific archeological site in the lands of the Bible, The Sacred Bridge explains why that identification is “probable.” It cites ancient texts which mention that location. It then presents passages from those ancient sources in the original Greek, Hebrew, Egyptian hieroglyphs(!), or other ancient language. Of course, those passages are also presented in English translation. The authors then discuss those ancient sources in detail so readers can grasp what they have to teach us. Finally, in-text citations point to entries in the 40-page bibliography at the back of the book. It’s as if the authors of The Sacred Bridge were willing to put all their cards on the table so the reader could fully evaluate their conclusions.

Is It Too Scholarly For Me?

That, of course, is what scholarly works do. They are designed to be a launching pad to further study by other scholars and up-and-coming students. Is The Sacred Bridge therefore overkill for non-scholars? Not in this non-scholar’s experience. The text is highly readable, and although it is rich in detail it never seems to get bogged down in those details. I consulted The Sacred Bridge constantly while teaching Sunday School classes on Genesis, Exodus, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, and 1–2 Samuel. It gave me a thorough understanding of the geography those books were describing, and often exposed me to aspects of the biblical text I had missed.

So Why Bring It Up Now?

Why am I giving a glowing review of an Accordance resource we’ve offered for more than a decade? Because we’ve just released a major update to The Sacred Bridge. If you already own it in Accordance, just go to Check for Content Updates and download it for free. You’ll be very glad you did.

What’s New in This Update?

New Colors: The most obvious change is cosmetic. In print, The Sacred Bridge uses color to distinguish original language excerpts, English translations, and in-text Bibliographic citations. When we first released the Accordance edition, we supported fewer text colors than we do today. That required us to make some color substitutions which, frankly, made some text difficult to read. The colors have now been changed to better reflect the print book and aid readability.

Left: previous release of Sacred Bridge. Right: New update to Sacred Bridge

New Bibliography Field: I’ve already mentioned the numerous in-text citations which point to the massive bibliography. These have now been placed into a separate Bibliography field to aid in searching.

New Citation Hyperlinks: Better still, many of the in-text citations are now linked to the corresponding entries in the Bibliography. You can now hover your cursor over the cryptic “Arnold 1992a” to see that it points to an article from Anchor Bible Dictionary (ABD).

New External Hyperlinks: Best of all, references to external works available in Accordance are now hyperlinked directly to those works. If you go ahead and click “Arnold 1992a” to jump to the Bibliographic entry, you’ll see that relevant page numbers of Anchor Bible Dictionary are now linked. If you own ABD, you can click that link to open it and begin reading the relevant articles. There are now hundreds of new links to other Accordance resources.

Other Internal Hyperlinks: Abbreviations in The Sacred Bridge are now hyperlinked so you can hover over them to see what they stand for. There are also numerous internal links to other chapters and excursuses within The Sacred Bridge.

Miscellaneous Corrections: Thanks to many sharp-eyed Accordance users over the years who reported typos and formatting issues, this new update includes lots of minor fixes and improvements.

Better Than Ever

If you’ve already purchased The Sacred Bridge, this new update is completely free to download—giving you even more bang for the buck you may have spent over a decade ago. That’s just how we roll here at Accordance.

If you don’t yet own The Sacred Bridge, what are you waiting for?