Bible Illustrations From Bible Lands -- By: Thomas Laurie

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 036:143 (Jul 1879)
Article: Bible Illustrations From Bible Lands
Author: Thomas Laurie


Bible Illustrations From Bible Lands

Rev. Thomas Laurie

It is one of the favorable signs of the times that so much attention is given to the elucidation of Scripture. The Palestine Exploration Fund in England and the corresponding society in our own land furnish maps of that country such as never were known before; and men who have lived in it give us the fruit of their protracted observation, showing how natural history, as well as topography, and manners and customs also, both corroborate the statements of the Bible and illustrate its meaning. The danger is that instead of la Bible theologique we shall have la Bible geographique et pittoresque.

While the exploration societies give us the most perfect specimens of cartography that modern science can furnish, it is very desirable that the department of Bible illustration should attain a like degree of accuracy; and every one should be ready to contribute to that end. If he cannot supply

original discovery, let him do what he can to eliminate errors from existing treatises, and so help on the work. The writer desires to contribute his mite in this good cause, confident that, if he can do even a little, it will promote in its measure the great interests of the kingdom of Christ.

We have a number of works on this general subject, some written by men who never saw “the lands of the Bible,” and others written by travellers who have only passed through them; but it is inevitable that these can neither be so full nor so reliable as those written by men who have spent many years in daily contact with the things they describe.

It is matter of interest to Americans that just as the most scholarly work on biblical geography and topography was written by their countryman, Dr. Edward Robinson of New York, so the two most prominent works on “The Land and the Book” were prepared by missionaries of the American Board.

The pioneer work in this department was written by Rev. William M. Thomson, D.D., who sailed from Boston October 30, 1832, and arrived at Beirut February 24, 1833, and from that day to the present has been gathering the facts which he sets before us in his most interesting volumes, one of five hundred and sixty pages, and the other of six hundred and fourteen pages. They were first published in New York in 1859; and he is now in New York, preparing a new and improved edition, which we confidently expect will be a very great improvement on anything yet published. Dr. Thomson has travelled more extensively in Syria than perhaps any other man now living, and in his volumes takes the reader along with him in his journeys, pouring out his rich stores of information about this...

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