For the past decade or more, whenever I taught or preached the Bible, I incorporated visual images into Keynote or PowerPoint slides to illustrate what I was teaching. My method for finding appropriate images depended heavily on Accordance. Yes, I could always search the web, but with Accordance I was guaranteed to find images related to my passage or topic, and I knew that my license to use the software included permission to use any images in teaching or preaching contexts.
Up until this week, I would have used three steps to finding images in Accordance, usually in this order. First, I would use the Add Parallel button in an Accordance Search pane to place a highly visual commentary—usually the Zondervan Illustrated Bible Background Commentary—side by side with my passage. This was always my first step because I was looking for images to specifically illustrate my passage. I often added the Bible Art module in parallel, too, in case a fine art image looked particularly striking. If this first step didn’t result in finding an appropriate image, in my second step, I would search for Scripture references and topics in a User Group made up of Accordance’s incredible PhotoGuides and PhotoMuseum. If I still didn’t find something at this point, my third step consisted of an image search in Accordance’s Research feature. The image search scans the captions of all graphic-rich resources.
My method described above always went in that order because I was moving from the easiest kind of image “hunt” to the more difficult as well as from the specific to going broad. As nice as the ZIBBCOT and ZIBBCNT were as resources for images to illustrate what I was teaching, I always wished there was a more direct way to access the PhotoGuide and PhotoMuseum. I wished that I could rearranged the content of these resources and place them in parallel with the Bible, so I could view the images and descriptions in a verse-by-verse context. I needed a photo commentary. Now, there’s a way to do just that.
Yesterday, we released Picture the NT: A PhotoCommentary on the New Testament. An Accordance exclusive, this commentary draws from our rich database of images found nowhere else. You can use Picture the NT for your own study, of course; but your Accordance license also allows you to use images in teaching and preaching settings (if you wish to use an image in a book you're writing or other commercial endeavor, you have to contact the copyright holder for that particular image).
Click/tap the image above for a much larger view of Picture the NT in Accordance 12
You may have seen some of the photographs in Picture the NT before in our other exclusive Accordance image-rich titles, but there are also never-before-published images in this title. In fact, you’ll even see some of my photos from my trip to Constantinople (modern-day Istanbul) earlier this year.
Picture the NT can be used by itself with full access to its own table of contents or in parallel to a biblical text. As an example of how to use the latter, let’s say you’re teaching from Acts 8, and you want to graphically illustrate the content of v. 1:
“And Saul approved of his execution. And there arose on that day a great persecution against the church in Jerusalem, and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles.” (ESV).
I added bold text above to the words for which Picture the NT provides images. There is a photo of a life-size mosaic of the Apostle Paul (Saul) that I took at Chora Church earlier this year. For the mention of Jerusalem, there is a photograph of the modern city and another of a scale model depicting Jerusalem in New Testament times. The section on Judah features a map of the region and a recent photo of the hill country of Judah. For illustrating Samaria, you can choose from another map and three photos of the archaeological remains of a Samaritan village, including the remains of an ancient synagogue. For illustrating the apostles, you find a fresco of Jesus and the Apostles from the catacomb of St. Domatilla in Rome.
Check out Dr. J's Lighting the Lamp podcast covering Picture the NT!
Picture the NT is not just a bunch of photos organized by Bible verse. Dr. James F. Davis and others have provided commentary explaining the context of each verse as it relates to the provided images. Currently, Picture the NT covers all four Gospels, Acts, and 1-2 Peter. Once completed, it will contain over 1,000 distinct photographs. If you purchase today, upgrades will be free until all 27 books of the New Testament are covered.
Picture the New Testament
Regular Price $99.90
Special Introductory pricing listed above is good through Tuesday, November 20, 2018 (11:59 PM EST). Cannot be combined with any other discounts.
Ever try to imagine what biblical times were like? Where Jesus walked around Galilee? Or how Paul traveled during his missionary journeys? Accordance is pleased to introduce its newest visual resource, Picture the New Testament. The initial release covers the four Gospels, Acts, and 1-2 Peter. When it is complete, it will span the entire New Testament and include more than a thousand images. Organized canonically, this resource scrolls with our Bibles, offering photos, maps, and other visual illustrations to illuminate every passage. Articles include photos that illustrate the people, places, or objects mentioned in the passage; basic information about the topic; and hyperlinks to Accordance’s other visual resources (for more information and more photos!). This resource is perfect for the Bible study leader, pastor, or person for whom seeing something is every bit as important as reading about it.
Check out more episodes of the Lighting the Lamp Podcast!
Do you find yourself producing more visuals than usual during Advent? Is your church producing slide presentations, bulletins, flyers advertising a Christmas program, and the like? Are you sending out Christmas cards and letters? Do you ever find yourself looking for unique Christmas images to include in all these documents and presentations?
You can do a Google image search and find some nice images, but it can be a lot of work separating the wheat from the chaff. When you do manage to find the perfect image, it is often too small and low-resolution to be usable.
For that reason, I have long relied on Accordance resources like Bible Art for high-quality Christmas images. If you were to look back at my family Christmas letters over the past several years, you would see them adorned with quite a few images from that one module. Last year we added the Christmas Classics module with some additional Christmas images. And of course, an image search of your entire Accordance library can turn up additional images in unexpected places.
One relatively new resource which I plan to mine for images in upcoming years is Historic Views of the Holy Land: The American Colony and Eric Matson Collection. This massive collection of photographs from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries offers views of Israel that you just don't see today, and many of those photographs actually reenact biblical scenes. For example, a simple search for Bethlehem turned up the following images reminiscent of the shepherds:
…and the magi:
…and the birth of Jesus:
How cool are those? There are many more images which illustrate the Christmas story, and countless others which illustrate other biblical narratives. It's really an incredible resource.
If you're looking for unique and high-quality images to adorn your various projects this Advent, you'll find Bible Art, Christmas Classics, and especially the Historic Views of the Holy Land collection extremely helpful.