Book Review: The Illustrated Atlas of Jerusalem -- By: Bryant G. Wood
The Illustrated Atlas of Jerusalem
by Dan Bahat with Chaim T. Rubinstein
Reviewed by Bryant G. Wood
In the Jewish and Christian religious faiths, there is no place in the world more sacred than Jerusalem. It is a city rich in history, both ancient and modern. Because of its significance, it has been extensively excavated for the past 100+ years. Now, for the first time, a comprehensive atlas is available which pulls together all the available information on Jerusalem in an attractive, scholarly and easy-to-read format.
The author, official archaeologist for the city of Jerusalem for the past decade, has produced a number of atlases of Jerusalem over the years, with the present volume representing the culmination of those efforts. With a total of 152 pages and over 400 color maps, drawings and illustrations, the book brings to life each of the various periods of the city. After a brief introduction on the topography and archaeological study of Jerusalem, the reader is taken on a journey through time, from “Ancient History: Until circa 1000 BCE” (where the Conquest is said to have occurred in the 12th century BC!), to “United Jerusalem: Since 1967.”
For the person whose interest is limited to Biblical history, however, the book is disappointing. Less then one-quarter is devoted to that epoch. For an outlay of $95.00, you will receive but 34 pages on the Biblical period (nearly $3.00 per page!): 10 pages on the “First Temple Period” (the time of the monarchy, ca. 1000–586 BC), 20 pages on the “Second Temple Period” (the return, intertestamental period and the time of the New Testament, ca. 538 BC-AD 70) and 4 pages on “Jerusalem at the Time of Jesus.” The illustrations are beautiful and the archaeology up-to-date, but one is left wanting more, especially on the New Testament period.
The Illustrated Atlas of Jerusalem is an excellent overall survey, although expensive. But for those booking for an atlas that is an in-depth resouce for Bible study, let us hope that Dan Bahat’s next project will be a detailed atlas of Biblical Jerusalem.
Click here to subscribe