Christian Origins in Ephesus & Asia Minor by Fairchild

book ephesus

This is the book that I will be taking with me if I am ever privileged to tour Turkey and all the Bible sites there involving Paul or the Seven Churches of the Revelation. Since I have done some solo touring in Israel, I know what I’m looking for in a book that I would want to carry with me every day of the trip, and this is that kind of book. This second edition is an attractive hardback that would still easily fit in a backpack for travels. In the meanwhile, this book will also serve as an outstanding Bible study resource.

The book begins with some vivid maps of First Century Asia Minor, followed by maps of Paul’s First and Second Missionary Journeys. In fact, the maps were created by Tutku Tours. After a brief introduction, chapter 1 introduces us to Ephesus. After background information and Bible history are shared, we get wonderful pictures and a tour guide to the archaeological site. In fact, the map on pages 10 and 11 are the same sort of map you would get if you were touring the site. If you use the map, and then the text, pictures, and descriptions given, you could easily plan your trip. The armchair traveler would feel as if he or she were there too. The paper and visual quality are similar to the small books you often find at tourist sites, though much more true to Bible history.

Chapters 2 and 3 spread out from Ephesus to places like Miletus, Priene, Colossae, Hierapolois, Troas, and Assos. The quality of text, pictures, and tour guide information maintains its high level. Chapter 4 looks at Peter and John’s ministry in Asia Minor while chapter 5 turns its attention to the Seven Churches of Revelation. Finally, chapter 6 continues this history for the years after the New Testament period.

After a brief conclusion, the book ends with a helpful glossary as there are many terms the reader might not be familiar with, timelines for archaeological periods, and historical ones as well. The author even attaches a lengthy bibliography for important commentaries on the New Testament as well as historical and archaeological resources on all the sites studied in the volume.

I’m really impressed with this book and recommended for either Bible touring or Bible study. You’ll be a winner either way!

I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

The Quest by Leen Ritmeyer

book quest temple

This book is without doubt the preeminent resource on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem available today. Whether you desire the historical or archaeological perspective, this is your book. This book’s success likely springs from the fact that no one but Leen Ritmeyer could have authored it. Both from his long years of working in this field and his work as the architect of the Temple Mount excavations, as well as his other work on the Temple Mount itself, demands that Ritmeyer produce this extraordinary resource.

This book is filled with pictures from the earliest scholarly explorations of Jerusalem, other helpful pictures on a range of issues, extraordinary reconstructions, and the wonderful, accurate Carta maps. It’s hard for me to effectively portray the visual treat the reader will have in this book. The text is the equal of the visuals and gives the most up-to-date, scholarly, detailed information that can be found on the Temple Mount.

The book begins covering the Herodian Temple Mount walls. Since archaeology digs down into older time periods, chapter 2 provides a lengthy chapter on the Temple of Nehemiah’s day. Some of the reconstruction models in that chapter were extraordinary. After a chapter on the Hasmonean Temple Mount, he turns to the interesting subject of the underground cisterns of the Temple Mount. I’ve never seen better on that subject. Chapter 5 examines how Herod extended the Temple Mount. That includes things like how he had to expand the drainage system and some of the gates he added. Chapter 6 nails down the location of the Temple on the Mount and has some great pictures of the inside of the Dome of the Rock.

In chapter 7 we find a reconstruction of the First Temple. Again, the graphics and reconstructions were eye-catching and instructive. In chapter 8 we follow that up with reconstructing the Second Temple and all the history behind it. The book goes full-circle with chapters on reconstructing the Herodian Temple Mount as well as Herod’s Temple itself.

Readers are going to love this book. I can’t imagine anyone finding something they thought was left out on the subject of the Temple Mount and its history. Helpful, beautiful, and thorough – what more could you ask for? I give this book the highest possible recommendation.

I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Carta’s Interesting New Releases!

book hezekiah

Here’s 3 of Carta’s 2017 releases plus a catalog title that was the first of these attractive large, educational, handy (40 pages each) volumes:

1. Understanding Hezekiah of Judah 

Hezekiah is a worthy focus of study for Old Testament students. Not only is he the greatest king after David, but he is the last great hurrah of Judah. His reforms ran the deepest, his faith was the most clearly on display, and it was all against the backdrop of the turbulent times he lived. This book brings it all alive!

Mordechai Cogan, a respected Jewish scholar wrote this volume. You may remember his name from writing major commentaries on 1 & 2 Kings in the Anchor Bible Commentary series. I may not agree with every historical conclusion he makes, but his passion for his subject is clear on every page.

You are going to love the gorgeous photos, fine graphic illustrations, and, of course, those wonderful Carta maps. He explains how Hezekiah eliminated rural altars and brought all worship back to the Temple in Jerusalem. (When Cogan speaks of the “Israelite cult” he is referring to their uniqueness in the religious world of their times).

Archaeological data and Assyrian accounts are brought in to enliven the story. What you end up with is a fascinating portrait of Hezekiah and his times that any Bible reader would have to enjoy!

I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

book samaritans

2. Understanding the Israelite-Samaritans

Fascinating! I can think of no other word to describe this book. Benjamin Tsedaka, who is an Elder in the Samaritan community in Israel, is writing as one who lives his subject. As the subtitle suggests, the portrait drawn takes us from biblical to modern times. Frankly, both ancient and modern times are fascinating.

Tracing back to the Northern Kingdom days of the Divided Kingdom Era, and being prominent in some episodes of Jesus’ ministry as well as one of His most famous parables, the Samaritans are a worthy subject of study for Bible students today.

The book begins with a general history, then gives a review of their area, and even tells where settlements of their people were. In section 4, we get a careful explanation of who the Samaritans are and who they are not. We are told of their Scriptures, the Samaritan Pentateuch, which are the only Scriptures they recognize, and the difference with the Masoretic text. Then we learn their prayers, their customs, and their way of life.

A book written by someone who believes in what they write always reads the best and that is the case here. With the incredible subject, you have the Carta maps and photos, which are the best out there! There’s nothing in print quite like this book!

I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

book temple jesus

3. Understanding the Holy Temple Jesus Knew

Leen and Kathleen Ritmeyer are Temple Mount experts. More than scholars, they have been involved in all major excavations in Jerusalem for the last 40 years. They are uniquely qualified to tackle the subject of this fine book. In fact, Carta has already published their larger work, “The Quest: Revealing the Temple Mount in Jerusalem“.

Now they give us a volume that fits in with the attractive series of 9×12 glossy, 40-page books that Carta has been turning out over the last few years. The incredible Carta maps are used throughout, as are exceptional pictures and illustrations. I love the reconstruction drawing of Jerusalem in Jesus’ day on page 6!

This is a worthy subject as several New Testament events of Jesus’ ministry took place in or around the Temple. The first half of the book explains the Temple itself as we understand it from the Bible and archaeology. A fine, succinct overview is given.

The second half of the book more specifically discusses Jesus there. What the reader gains is a vivid picture of key Gospel events!

This is another Carta winner! No Bible reader could fail to glean from this beautiful book. I highly recommend it!

I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

book ot atlas

4. Understanding the Old Testament: An Introductory Atlas to the Hebrew Bible

Here’s the first of the gorgeous Carta glossy 40-page volumes for Bible students. Baruch Sarel wrote this little jewel filled with incredible Carta maps, pictures, and illustrations. The maps alone make the book worthwhile, but there’s so much more.

There’s an overview of each book of the OT, a description of the Ancient Near East, another of all the peoples and lands that impacted OT history, and an explanation of the patriarchs and matriarchs of the OT. From there, the story of the OT is told historically with text and well-chosen maps. The kings of Israel and Judah are described, as are the corresponding prophets.

I don’t see how a better overview of the OT could be fit in 40 pages. This would be perfect for Bible or Sunday School classes as well as personal study. Chalk this up as another highly-recommended volume!

I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Announcing My New Book:Following Jesus Through The Gospels

book fjg

I’m excited to announce the release of my latest book Following Jesus through the Gospels. The Gospels have been a favorite of mine and the material in this book has been things I’ve studied over the last 10 years. There’s more charts than text in this volume and its designed for the busy person who needs a lot of information in a short read. It’s also designed to be small enough to easily tag along with your Bible.

In this book you will find a brief overview Harmony of the Gospels as well as an outline of the stages of Jesus Christ’s ministry. You will have a complete numbered Harmony of the Gospels that includes all the miracles, parables, personal encounters of Jesus, sermons of Jesus, private discourses of Jesus, cries of Christ on the cross, and Resurrection Appearances. Separate charts for all of the above are included for deeper study.

The final section of the book makes a special synthesis of the birth and infancy of Christ, the Upper Room and Gethsemane, the trial of Jesus Christ, the Crucifixion, and Resurrection Appearances. Perhaps you have seen my “Synthesis of the Crucifixion” that’s shared on this blog here. The others are designed similarly.

If you have interest in checking out this book in either paperback or a Kindle edition, check out the Amazon link below:

Amazon listing

Recommendations

This book is a great tool any student of the Bible needs in their toolbox. I’ve used many books that give Gospel parallels, but this is by far the most user friendly. The addition of geographical information makes this book especially wonderful, as combining the geographical information together gives new and improved understanding of the context of many of Jesus’ sermons and parables. The information is laid out in very easily understood tables that will make studying out common threads through the Gospels much easier. This reference book will be coming off the bookshelf on a regular basis, I can promise that.

Pastor Tom Otto

This book is a result of much careful study of the Gospel Records and is evidence that the author loves to study God’s Word. He answers many questions that most Bible students have had about geography and the harmony of the accounts of our Lord’s ministry. I really enjoyed the charts and notes that synthesized the events surrounding the death and resurrection of Jesus. This book is an excellent resource for all students of the Bible.

Pastor Jamin Boyer

This short volume is packed full of helpful charts and list. The research and study involved in this work are a credit to the author and his team. This is solid choice for any serious student of the life of Christ.

Pastor Mike Montgomery

Jimmy Reagan has done a wonderful job of compiling a great deal of information in a very concise format. The charts make this volume extremely useful. I believe it will serve as a good quick reference for those who are serious about studying the life of Christ.

Dr. Scott Pauley

Pastor Reagan is one of the most well-read ministers that I have ever been around. For many years in my own ministry I have gleaned from his wisdom and study. Following Jesus through the Gospels is a culmination of years of study on the life of Christ. In this valuable book, he harmonizes the events of the Gospel records and presents the information in usable chart form. You can now see various aspects of the Gospel records on one page at a time. This is treasure for any student of God’s Word and a handy resource for all preachers.

Pastor Mark Fowler

This book will prove to be most helpful for anyone studying through the life of Christ. It is loaded with information that is able to be both quickly accessible and easily understood. You will find it more study guide than book, but its affordable price and handy size, make it a great companion to scripture while reading through the gospels.

Pastor Allen Gibson

Pastor Reagan shows the ability to simplify the most challenging of topics in this chart filled book. There is no more vital topic for understanding than the life of Jesus Christ! I remember when the topics were first taught and put into chart form; they helped me and they will help you.

Pastor Ryan Brown

 

Jerusalem Biblical Archaeology: A Carta Map

map-jerusalem-carta

I so wish that I had had this map when I was in Israel. Without a doubt, I will never go to Jerusalem without it again. This foldout touring map has the same high quality that we find in all Carta products. Every biblical archaeology site imaginable in and around Jerusalem is included on this map. You could truly plan days of tours with this map in your possession.

One side of the map is in large map covering the Old City. It includes every site you’ve ever heard of and many more. It takes up half of the backside, would be easy to hold in your hand, and help you do multiple walking tours of Jerusalem. If you have been to Jerusalem in the past, you will be amazed how many things you walked by when you study at this map. I don’t know how they included so much information without cluttering the map, but each side has enough information to let you know exactly what the site is without covering up its place on the map. This would be the only map you would need on a day in the Old City.

The entire front side of the map, besides some attractive pictures around the edges of two sides, covers the greater Jerusalem area. You will need a car, but again there are so many sites. I would even encourage you to get this map if you plan to hire a tour guide as it would help you decide what you wanted to see. Remember many modern maps don’t show all of these sites. For example, when I was in Jerusalem, I had a car and I wanted to see Tell el Full, which is biblical Gibeah, the home of Saul, and I could never find it. Not far from there is Beit Hanina, or a piece of the ancient Road to Jerusalem built by the Romans, which I didn’t even know about. Both of these places would be easy to visit with this map.

The bottom half of the back of the map covers six places an extra detail: the Kidron Valley, Mount Zion, the city of David, the Hinnom Valley, Ein Kerem, and the water aqueducts that served ancient Jerusalem.

This map is fascinating. It would provide an opportunity for great study before a trip and supply the ideal map while on the trip. I give it the highest recommendation.

I received this map free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

To buy:

http://store.carta-jerusalem.com/guides-maps/723-jerusalem-biblical-archaeology-9789652208743.html

 

Genesis by Meredith Kline

book-gesisd

Meredith Kline is someone I’ve not really read much, but was intrigued as I have read several things mentioning the insight and even uniqueness of his writings. This volume turns out to be a posthumous work where his grandson, Jonathan Kline, found this manuscript in his grandfather’s things and lovingly edited it for publication.

Though this book is clearly not written as a major commentary, it is a pithy help on Genesis that reflects the mature judgments of an influential scholar in the twilight of his career. Unlike some modern commentaries, this book is not dry. Even better, he is not afraid to see Christ and His glorious Gospel revealed on the pages of Genesis. For that matter, he even sees Moses as the author, which is unfortunately too uncommon in our day.

I couldn’t personally agree with all his thoughts on the covenant, nor a few of his thoughts in Genesis 1, but if you prefer a volume that spurs thinking rather than trying to do it all for you, you might want to look up this little jewel.

I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Discovery House Bible Atlas by John Beck

Here’s one of the most recent major Bible atlases out there. Written by Dr.  John Beck, this volume has in its favor being written by someone who has spent much time in Bible lands and is clearly passionate about teaching biblical geography. You will appreciate as a Bible believer his consistent, conservative stance on the subjects you find in a Bible atlas. While he is a scholar, and while he has written in over 300 pages to the extent of particularly scholarly works, he has aimed at accessibility and serious Bible students. He has succeeded in reaching that audience and as a pastor I enjoyed the atlas too.

The maps look different than those in other volumes, and sometimes the scope, scale, and even color were not my favorite. As that is of course only a matter of taste, I should point out a careful accuracy in them. There were also plenty of them covering more biblical events than some other major atlases. No matter your own eye for graphics, the educational value of these maps are unmistakable.

What especially stood out in this volume to me was the pictures. They were vivid, copious, and gorgeous. I found them a visual treat. They even covered places most Bible tours never get to.

The writing struck me as that of a warmhearted preacher. In that many Bible students have learned much from preaching, I feel that increases its value for serious study. You probably can’t go wrong with this Bible atlas.

I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Josephus–Carta’s Illustrated The Jewish War

book carta

Carta Jerusalem keeps finding ways to put their treasured maps into the hands of Bible students. This book is especially creative in that regard. Most of us are very familiar with Josephus and here we have the popular translation by William Whiston of Josephus’ The Jewish War.  What makes this classic new and vibrant is the Carta maps profusely interspersed at appropriate places in the text. 

An added jewel in an introduction by noted New Testament scholar R. Steven Notley that really helps us get hold of the life, writings, and importance of Josephus.

Pictures of places add even more as does a users’ guide for The Carta Bible Atlas and The Sacred Bridge, which are the best in the field and are loved by many of us.

This is a publishing event and a real asset to have!

I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

4 Exciting New Titles From Carta

Carta has four new titles that Bible students will love to check out!

jeru

This is the second of a planned four-title series that will make up The Carta New Testament Atlas. Steven Notley, already a co-author of the sweeping Bible Atlas The Sacred Bridge, contributes this fine volume. It is the perfect blend of history, text, pictures, and maps. Yes, it is the outstanding Carta maps! Together these features are a feast for the reader.

Bible students will be greatly enriched here and will find much to expand understanding and gain background in New Testament studies.  Carta has been reaching out to a wider audience in many of there later releases, and as much as i love them all, this may be the best so far.

I see an additional use for this book. Are you planning a trip to Jerusalem? I can’t imagine how much better such a trip would be if you read this book first.

This is a real gem!

life jesus

Bible students will love this 40 page volume. It is more of a visual smorgasbord. The text is minimal so you have just enough to gain what the pictures and maps will give you. Some of the best of the famous Carta maps are here. Bible study groups, Sunday School classes, and of course, pastors and teachers will love this volume.

More economical than a full-scale Bible Atlas, but perfect if you are having an in=depth study of the life of Jesus.

We have here another winner!

jewish

Do you ever wonder what happened to the Jewish World from New Testament times forward? Michael Avi-Yonah and Shmuel Safrai wrote this material in three larger works. What we have here is a more manageable 40 page work for Bible students. The editors have selected well in producing this for we who teach, preach, or study God’s Word. Many of us have a noticeable gap in our knowledge in this very area.

This book, in beautiful, large pages gives us what larger volumes give. the difference is what you have to wade through to get the information, and of course, price.

Another fine title from Carta!

boat

No doubt this a specialty title, but when we stop and remember just how much of Christ’s ministry was by or on the Sea of Galilee, this is a fascinating title. Written by Shelley Wachsmann, this volume takes the discovery of a First Century Galilean boat that Mr. Wachsmann was part of and puts the whole idea of Galilean Seafaring in perspective.

The book begins with a background seafaring in NT times and even the legends of the area. All we know about travelers there from NT times to modern days is given. The rest of the book covers the discovery, the challenging excavation, and the careful preservation of this amazing discovery of a boat just like Jesus would have used.

I’ll call this volume–fun!

I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Carta’s New Century Handbook and Atlas

carta NCH

Are you looking for a great Bible Atlas for some serious Bible study? Then you will want to give this atlas by Anson Rainey and Steven Notley serious consideration. It has much going for it. Carta maps, the best we have, are the primary asset here. Then you will learn that this is a concise edition of the most comprehensive Bible Atlas in print–The Sacred Bridge: Carta’s Atlas of the Biblical World. Fortunately,  the parts missing from this volume will likely be the things least missed by Bible students. What remains is an incredible Bible Atlas at half the price.

The authors brought different strengths to the project. Rainey (died in 2011) was considered the greatest scholar on the historical geography of Israel of his generation. Notley, who authored the chapters on the New Testament, is a warm believer who lived in Israel for many years and mastered his subject. I often find myself not agreeing with conclusions in the text, especially in the OT section, but there is hardly a better compendium of scholarly thought.

Then there are those maps! That is what I most want in an atlas. So I use those maps and get an update on what the scholarly world is thinking. There is detailed archaeological information that is a gold mine as well.

As a pastor, I have thought that The Carta Bible Atlas, by the same publisher, was the best we have. This volume is a rival and actually a fine compliment. I am glad to have both to consult. This one has more historical geography, the other more actual Bible events covered. This one has more color and visual beauty, the other has more obscure passages illumined.

This is a phenomenal volume!

I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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