Geography & the Bible provides brief
geographical insights about the ancient world.
What is Geography?
Geography comes from two Greek
words "geo" which means 'of the earth', and "grapho" which
means 'to write', and together they mean 'to write about
or describe the earth.' To the ancient Greeks geography was a
scientific method of describing the earth, its lands and all of its
contents and details.
What is Biblical Geography?
Biblical Geography is the study of
Bible lands, and an examination of the places and features that are
within the boundaries of those lands. Becoming familiar with
the geographical background of the ancient biblical world is
essential for a better understanding of the Bible. The Bible
mentions rivers, mountains, details about topography, and even
nations and empires that all had geographical boundaries.
The Importance of Biblical Geography
Biblical Geography is important
because God is in history, and history is forever connected to the
geography of the land from which the events in history occurred. All
the events in the Bible happened in time, and happened in a certain
place, on a mountain or near a river, on a boat in a lake, in a
valley, or on the seacoast. In fact the God of history also
fashioned geography, because God is in control and even "the king's
heart is in the hand of the Lord, as the rivers of the water he
turns it wherever he wills." (Proverbs 21:1). God reveals in the
Bible that he led Abraham to a certain land, and that he fashioned
that land in a very special way. Geography is also important when
studying the Bible because it brings more understanding and insight
into the context of Scripture. The Bible is alive and the LORD
illuminates our heart as the Scriptures enter us, and a geographical
understanding can make the study of the word more beautiful.
Probably the most important aspect of biblical geography is when
looking at the life of Jesus Christ. When God chose to come to this
world clothed in human flesh, the Bible says he came to his home
(John 1:11 - RSV). Jesus was born in the land of Israel in a specific
place called Bethlehem. He grew up in Nazareth, and went to
Jerusalem for the Passover. He was baptized in the Jordan River and
ministered throughout geographical areas within the land of Israel.
Geography plays an important role in the life of Christ, and he was
very aware of the rich history of each and every place he went in
Biblical Geography and Archaeology
Archaeologists have made thorough
examination of the ancient near East, the Roman Empire, and all the
lands in Bible history. There have been absolutely no discrepancies
ever discovered, and in fact many archaeologists stand in awe of the
accuracy of the biblical text.
"There are more sure marks of
authenticity in the Bible than in any profane history."
- Sir Isaac Newton
Biblical Geography and Bible Study
The Bible is the word of God, and
accurately reveals the locations where the events within the Bible
happened in history. The study of geography is part of a good
foundation for Bible study, and a good overview of the background of
Bible lands is a worthwhile endeavor. It is highly recommended to
use maps and a Bible dictionary when studying Scripture.
A growing database of maps for study and teaching.
Sketches of ancient cities & monuments from archaeology.
- Educational maps for Bible students of all ages.
Israel Map. This growing map shows the cities existing
during the time of Jesus, the first century AD.
Map of Old Testament Israel - This Growing Interactive map of
ancient Israel has important locations mentioned in the Old
Map of the Roman Empire - This map contains important cities and
regions within the Roman Empire during period of the New Testament.
Enlarged Map of the Roman Empire -
This offers a much larger version of the Interactive map of the Roman
Empire during the early first century AD.
Map of Ancient Jerusalem -
Interactive map of Second Temple Jerusalem with information about
Jerusalem during the first century AD.
Around The Web - More to come.
Israel, The Center of the World.
Little did the descendants of Abraham, also known as the Hebrews, realize what was in store for them as they entered into the land of Canaan. Their relatively small territory was right in the heart of the ancient world and on the borders of three gigantic land masses, Asia, Africa and Europe. Every great kingdom around them, from the north, south, east and west, along with their conquering monarchs would be confronted with Israel and learn about their people, their laws and the holy Oracles of the One whose kingdom will never pass away.
and Months in Palestine. Everyday
life in ancient Israel was largely affected by that which was beyond the
control of man, the seasons and the weather. This section contains a
brief sketch of the seasons, climate, rainfall, dews, and months of
Fashioned For A King. Long before the threshing floor of Araunah
was ever purchased by David or the Temple of Solomon had ever become a
twinkle in Solomon's eye, Jerusalem had long been strategically set
apart in the providence of an Almighty God as the city of the great
King. Not until the foundations of the great Temple of Solomon were
being laid was there even the slightest glimpse of the wealth of
resources available below the ground level of the magnificent city of
Influence of the Mediterranean Sea. Everything came to Israel by way of the Great Sea. The
Roman rule and the procurator who condemned Jesus to death; as well as
the Greek language, and that Greek view of life which not only created
the ten cities of Decapolis but deeply influenced the more liberal Jews.
Roman Roads. The Roman road was the bloodstream of the empire. Merchants paid taxes to Rome on all their transactions, and they needed the roads to carry their goods to an ever-widening market. Legionnaires marched upon them swiftly gaining efficient access to battle. In a sense, the roads were funding and facilitating Roman expansion.
Yet God had a higher purpose. A new kind of merchant would soon be traversing the entire Mediterranean area, not one who transports his treasure to the city marketplace, but one who is a treasure, and who carries true riches, - not to sell, but to give away freely.
The Fertile Crescent. The Bible mentions that civilization began
in the land between the two rivers, the Tigris and the Euphrates. The
Fertile Crescent was an arc of land that was cultivated by these two
rivers, which extended from ancient Mesopotamia up the Tigris and
Euphrates rivers and over to the Mediterranean Sea, and down into Egypt
and the Nile River.
of the Chaldees. The Bible reveals the exact name of the city
that Abraham lived in when God called him. It was called Ur of the
Chaldees, and for centuries many scholars believed it to be a myth and a
biblical legend along with other cities like Nineveh. Recently
archaeologists have uncovered the ruins of this mighty Sumerian city in
ancient Mesopotamia, the land between two rivers.
Growing up in Nazareth. Nazareth was
a special place chosen by God for Jesus to grow up. From His home in
Nazareth he could see a wealth of historical landmarks, as well as the
growing cultures of the world, and nature's allegorical lessons.
Search This searches cities of the ancient world and
brings up a description about each city. Coming soon.
[Next] The Great Rift of the Jordan
(More to come)
Bible History A
growing database of images and sketches of the ancient world.
Maps A growing
database of maps for study and teaching.
Sketches of ancient cities & monuments from archaeology.
Holman Bible Atlas: A Complete Guide to the Expansive Geography
of Biblical History by Brisco. 304 Pages, 2014
The Story of the Bible
© Bible History Online (https://www.bible-history.com)