Holman Book of Biblical Charts, Maps, and Reconstructions

By M. A. Ellis Smith, ed.
Nashville : Broadman & Holman (1993). 176 Pages.

Reviewed by
5.2 (Fall 1994) : 234-234

This delightful little tool is enjoyable to peruse. Charts include such things as ancient versions of the biblical text, ancient numbering systems, a 52-week Bible reading plan, and prayers of the Bible religions of the world.

It has several minor weaknesses. One must keep his finger in the table of contents, because the order of maps and charts within sections is not sequential or topical, but alphabetical. For example, the OT charts begin with Abraham, move to the characteristics of God in the Psalms, then return to Joshua. Again, one finds a listing of the judges of the OT on the same page as a selection of events from the life of Abraham. A biblical or topical ordering would have been preferable. Even where one would expect a historical or geographical arrangement of maps, the book uses the alphabetical.

The selection of reconstructions may strike some readers as disproportionate. Three reconstructions of Roman siege machines may be an overkill, particularly in light of the paucity of OT charts (7, with 14 charts of the NT). The need for OT reconstructions compared to those for the NT is obvious.

The book will certainly be of benefit for individual use, but small groups will need to squint a great deal to read most of the charts, maps, and reconstructions. A set of transparencies would appeal to most teachers. Holman might consider making these available (but just one of the Roman siege machine, please).