As I mentioned last week, I’ve recently started a blog about a new book I’m writing called Feet to Follow, Eyes to See. At that blog, I’ve been discussing the value of traveling to Israel as a way to help “connect the dots” in our understanding of the Bible.

PhotoGuide box As I was writing that blog post, I remembered a similar discussion in the Introduction to our Bible Lands PhotoGuide. The PhotoGuide is an illustrated dictionary of biblical locations, and anyone who owns it quickly learns to link it to the Atlas so that it comes up whenever you double-click a place name. Doing so enables you to see photos of that location and learn about its biblical significance. Yet like most dictionaries, it’s easy to dive right into using the PhotoGuide without ever reading its Introduction. If that’s what you did, I’d recommend you go read the Introduction right now. Don’t worry, it’s pretty short.

The value of the PhotoGuide’s Introduction is in its explanation of why the biblical narratives are so often short on detailed description and background information. I won’t spoil it for you, but it has a great deal to do with the degree of shared context between the biblical authors and their original audiences. Grab hold of that idea, and it will change the way you approach the biblical texts, the resources you turn to for help, and the conclusions you draw.

So if you haven’t read the Instroduction to the PhotoGuide, be sure to check it out. And if you haven’t purchased the PhotoGuide yet, what in the world are you waiting for?