Recommended: The IVP Concise Atlas of Bible History

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If you study the bible, one of the first reference books to purchase is The IVP Concise Atlas of Bible History by Paul Lawrence, edited by Richard Johnson. The book is more than a collection of maps. It contains dozens of color photographs, chronological charts and plans for different sites important to bible history in addition to 100 maps. Articles introduce the geography, climate and agriculture of Canaan. The book also includes summaries of important archaeological discoveries. I also appreciate that the maps of battles or movements of people depict the terrain and the various stages of the battle or campaign.

Perhaps the best feature is the organization of the maps and material by people, events or groups. For example, chapter titles include The Flood, Moses, The Philistine Threat,  The Romans, Herod the Great and Jesus Is Born. Over 70 chapters fill the book.  A gazetteer and index provide alternative ways to find information. A relatively few number of scripture citations reveal a weakness in the book, as does the lack of  a scripture index. However, The IVP Concise Atlas is still a strong source that can provide context and information to understand bible events. A new paperback version is expensive. But a few used books are available at a good price.

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