Most of us give Christmas gifts that are quickly forgotten.
After the iPhone gets cracked, or the DVD gets watched, or the sweater gets snagged, they all end up at the landfill.
This year, why not give a gift that will last a lifetime?
Bible Lands study tools make great gifts because they take your personal Bible study to the next level. What’s more, they don’t wear out.
Here are my top 5 recommendations for gifts you’ll enjoy giving.
1. The New Moody Atlas of the Bible
The most basic resource for personal Bible study in Bible lands is a good Bible atlas. Good atlases provide more than maps; they teach the importance of geography as it relates to history, archaeology, topography, climate, and soils.
Although there are several outstanding atlases are available today. I recommend The New Moody Atlas of the Bible by Barry J. Beitzel.
- I like the combination of excellent maps, pictures, and text. It’s also available as a gift in the popular Kindle Edition.
- Both the maps and pictures are available in a digital format, free to all who purchase the atlas.
- The maps and photos can be displayed for personal Bible study or for teaching.
If you can only get one atlas, get this one. I list several other good atlases in my recommended resources page.
2. Pictorial Library of Bible Lands (Also a Great Gift for Your Pastor!)
Even though I’ve been to the Holy Land many times, I’ll never see all of it. One resource will show you more than any other.
All together, the 18-Volume Expanded Edition of the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands includes more than 17,500 High Definition photographs from 9 countries in the ancient Mediterranean world.
My recommendation for starters? Get the “Israel Collection.” It includes volumes 1-5:
- There are more than 1500 photos of Jerusalem.
- More than 1500 photos of Judah and the Dead Sea area.
- More than 2300 photos of the areas of Galilee and Samaria.
These are more than just High-Resolution pictures from the Holy Land. Special care has been taken to photograph biblical sites.
Nothing else rivals the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands. If a picture paints a thousand words, then thousands of high-resolution pictures are even better. I use these images almost daily on my blog, and I have used them for years in my teaching and personal Bible study.
3. NIV Archaeological Study Bible: An Illustrated Walk Through Biblical History and Culture
It took me two years to read this Bible because I purposed to read ALL of its great content. I also bought the Kindle Edition.
In addition to the Scripture itself, The Archaeological Study Bible includes:
- More than 8,000 bottom-of-the-page study notes that highlight historical, archaeological, or cultural topics
- More than 500 articles covering topics from ancient texts to biblical reliability
- 500 full-color photographs interspersed within articles throughout
- Detailed book introductions including basic, at-a-glance timelines and outlines
- Detailed charts on pertinent topics
- Citations/quotations offering perspectives in the direct words of “the ancients”
- Additional features: Concordance, cross-references, subject and feature indexes, color maps, and words of Christ in red
- Bonus CD-ROM: NIV text, photographs, maps, and charts included in the Bible
- Full-color interior throughout
4. Devotional Books about Bible Lands
There are several that I list on my recommended resources page. Here are the cherry-picks:
- Charles H. Dyer has two great volumes, Thirty Days in the Land with Jesus and A Voice in the Wilderness. Dr. Dyer has been to Israel dozens of times and brings to his writing a perspective that is as practical as it is informed.
- My two books, Walking in the Footsteps of Jesus and Going Places with God, were written to connect the Holy Land with our lives in practical ways. The first book follows the life of Jesus in the land, and the second is a 90-day devotional. Both are available as Kindle Editions.
5. Give a Journey to the Holy Land!
Why not surprise your spouse, a friend, or your pastor with a trip to the Holy Land? I’m leading an exclusive one-bus tour next year.
I have personally designed our itinerary with you in mind. My goal is ensure than you experience the Holy Land in such a way that you understand how the land connects to the Bible—and how these connect to your life.
This is an exclusive, one-bus tour in which I will help you connect the Bible and its sites to your life.
- You will learn the Word of God right where it happened—with Bible in hand. After seeing where biblical events occurred, you will never read your Bible the same way again!
- Our one-bus tour will go places and experience sites that larger groups never see.
- We’ll travel the land in a climate-controlled deluxe motor coach. It even has FREE Wi-Fi so you can stay in touch and send photos back home! (I use it also to follow our location on my iPhone.)
- We have reserved rooms in some of Israel’s finest hotels. And the food? Delicious. (It’s a good thing we’ll be walking a lot each day!)
Well, I could keep going with recommendations, but these are my top 5.
Make your gifts this year last a lifetime! Give the gift of a great Bible Lands study tool.
Question: What other great Bible Lands tools would make good gifts? Please leave a comment.