I’ve used Todd Bolen’s Pictorial Library of the Bible Lands collection for several months. I’ve tried it with Bible classes, history classes, sermons, etc. and my conclusion is…
I posted on the new expanded set a few months ago before I had actually obtained it. It was clearly a useful product. Now that I’ve used it, I can’t imagine life without such a valuable, enriching tool.
The Pictorial Library set includes some 17,500 photos of nearly everything you could imagine in the Bible Lands. For me, the best part is the 400+ PowerPoint presentations included with the set. The PowerPoint files contain all of the photos ready-to-go. They are organized by location and contain great slide notes that inform and complete your presentation.
I suppose someone might mention that Jesus taught successfully without such things. True in a sense, but let’s not forget that the Bible Lands (Galilee, Jerusalem, the Temple, shepherds, flocks, fields, et al.) were His backdrop. I don’t believe our church buildings and classrooms are as informative.
Let’s also remember that Jesus was an intensely visual teacher, constantly painting pictures with parables and illustrations. We simply can’t imagine the master teacher standing behind a podium framed by a blank wall. How long did He ever seem to go without some kind of visualization? This is especially relevant in our culture. For better or worse, people drift off without something visual. There’s no honor in teaching above the attention span of an audience. Good Bible-related photos help things work.
Whether or not you’ve visited the Bible Lands, this photo collection is a plus. I always travel with a camera, but Todd’s photos are as good or better than anything I’ve taken. (Usually, much better.)
You can buy the whole collection for a few hundred dollars or the individual collections for less. The complete catalogue is here. Don’t balk at the price of a few hundred dollars. How important to you is the quality of your teaching or preaching? Valuable things are worth the investment. Go cheap and you’ll be rewarded with disappointment. Go with Todd Bolen’s collections and you will find a *good* resource that lasts for years.