For modern readers of the Bible, studying the ancient context of the text can be extremely difficult. There are so many unfamiliar details that get lost in translation. Cultural concepts that would have been woven into the fabric of these ancient societies are foreign to us. Massive structures like the temple in Jerusalem must be pieced together in our minds using only the descriptions found in the text.
When we’re able to visualize these things—whether they’re an abstract concept or a physical object—they come alive.
An ancient worldview
Modern science has given us a pretty good idea of what the cosmos looks like. The Earth isn’t flat, it orbits the sun, and the universe contains billions upon billions of stars and galaxies. But the ancient Israelites didn’t have access to our modern technology. Their view of the universe had many implications for how they viewed the world around them. This ancient worldview is beautifully visualized in this infographic from the NIV Faithlife Study Bible.
In 1 Kings 6, the author describes the construction of Solomon’s temple in Jerusalem. While this account is very detailed, there isn’t enough in the text to fully reproduce the structure with certainty. Almost 1,000 years later, Herod the Great began his expansion of the second temple, which would result in a temple complex more than twice the size of Solomon’s. By visually comparing the size of these two massive structures, we can gain a greater appreciation for something only previously described in words.
Visualize the Bible
The NIV Faithlife Study Bible includes over 100 full color infographics, comprehensive timelines and informative tables to enrich your Bible study. These visually stunning graphics bring the ancient world—and the Bible—to life.
- 3 detailed life-of-Jesus event timelines chronicling his infancy and early ministry, the journey to Jerusalem, and the passion and resurrection
- 27 family trees and people diagrams illustrate the interconnectedness of key characters in Scripture
- 14 original color maps at the back of the Bible provide historical and geographical context for key events of the Old and New Testaments