Satellite Bible Atlas (Skyland Publishing, 2016)

Here’s the best Bible atlas to come along in a long, long time. Using satellite photographs of Israel and other lands of the Bible, William Schlegel will walk you through the entire Bible timeline, showing detailed maps all along the way. Typically, a well-written summary will be on the one page, with a satellite image and identifying markers on the facing page. You’ll “see” the Bible unfold right before your eyes! With a few color photographs sprinkled among the maps and writing, this is a must-have resource for pastors, teachers and serious readers of the Bible.

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NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2016)

This is truly one of the best study Bibles to ever be published. It’s packed with insight on the culture of the Bible and of all the cultures interacting with biblical passages. Wonderful charts, maps and photographs are listed throughout.

The Archeological Study Bible (Zondervan, 2010)

I’m a fan of study Bibles. My favorite is the NIV Study Bible from Zondervan, which happens to be the best-selling study Bible in the world. I discovered that Bible in 1989, and it transformed my reading experience. When the Archeological Study Bible appeared, it was the first time I’d gotten genuinely excited about a new study Bible in 20 years. There are photos and articles sprinkled throughout the text, and longer articles that help pull a confusing collection of artifacts into sharp focus for their contribution to the biblical story. There are, of course, thousands of notes, timelines and maps to help round out a fascinating study Bible. This is well worth the money, and the hardback editions are considerably less than the leather-bound copies.

Six Days of War (Presidio Press, 2003)

This might be the most objective book covering the Six-Day War. Well written and documented, you’ll not regret spending time with this story!

The Lion’s Gate: On the Front Lines of the Six-Day War (Sentinel, 2015)

As one reviewer said of this work, “Why aren’t more books about war written this way?” There are other books you’ll want to read about the Six Day War for a broader and more balanced perspective. This one, however, gets inside the tank, plane or company of foot soldiers and tells the story from the men who fought the battle for Israel. It’s a page-turner, for sure!

Herod the Great: The King’s Final Journey (Jerusalem: The Israel Museum, 2013)

It’s pricey, but what a book! Here’s the comprehensive look at one of the most important historical figures of New Testament times. A tour of Israel could be called a “tour of things Herod built.” Reading this book will give you the insight of a scholar for all things Herod. Though it’s difficult to comprehend $96 as “cheaper,” that’s what this book will cost you new – with shipping – from the Israel Museum bookstore.

Touching the Stones of our Heritage (The Western Wall Heritage Foundation, 2002)

This book is surprisingly hard to find outside of Israel. A beautiful, oversized book filled with color photographs, this is the story of the Western Wall. It includes the modern archeological work that has occurred underneath today’s city streets, which is among the most fascinating on-going work in the world.

The Holy Temple in Jerusalem (Carta, 1997)

I love this book! The color drawings are worth the purchase price, but the short descriptions add details I haven’t found in any other place. Richman is the spokesman for The Temple Institute, a group that is preparing for a third Temple to be built on the Temple Mount. Whether or not that ever happens, this group’s research has added much insight to Judaism of the Second Temple period. That happens to be the Temple Jesus knew, so Richman’s work inadvertently benefits Christians, too.

Partings (Biblical Archaeology Society, 2013)

Skip the tuition for class in advanced church history and just read this book. Subtitled “How Judaism and Christianity Became Two,” this text will surprise you over and over again. If you’ve ever wondered how Christianity ever became a sworn enemy of Judaism while all the while professing a faith in a Jewish rabbi, this book will answer your questions. Each chapter is written by a different scholar, so some chapters are easier to read than others. Work through this text, and you’ll know things most Christians haven’t even thought about!

The Weekend that Changed the World (Westminster John Knox Press, 2000)

This is the story of the Garden Tomb, the universal favorite place in Israel for the Christians that visit there. Unencumbered by church buildings or noisy tourist shops, the Garden Tomb is a place of rest and worship for all who visit there. This is the story of how the garden and the tomb were found, and why General Charles Gordon went to such great lengths to purchase the property. The photographs and drawings add to the reader’s quick absorption of a great amount of information in a short period of time.