Logos offers "Images
of the Holy Land" with 200 photographs for $30. The photograph resolution
is not listed but when we inquired we learned that the
average image size is 750x500 pixels - much smaller than the Pictorial
Logos also offers "Photos
from the Holy Land" for $30. No quantity of images is
given, nor is a resolution listed, but the quality of the sample images do
not give us reason to pursue it further.
As part of all of their base packages, Logos
includes the BiblePlaces.com Image Library. As you might expect, we think
these photographs are superb! This collection includes 350 images of
selected biblical sites. The Pictorial Library of Bible Lands has
many advantages over the Logos module.
An Israeli company produces "Israel
Views and Sites" ($49; link no longer valid) with 600
photographs. These are of varying quality and interest and have a
screen resolution of 640x480. If you want to use the pictures in PowerPoint or elsewhere, you'll have to convert them from bmp and then
crop them. (We did it, but then the images are not appropriately
named, and ultimately six years later, we haven't used a single
one in teaching or research.)
Photo Collection: Jerusalem includes 100 pictures for $20. The
pictures appear to be 440x300 in resolution. The company's
Photo Collection features 200 photos of the same resolution.
Israel may be one of the only comparable products to date. It
claims 1,200 high resolution photos, though it doesn't specify what
"high resolution" is. The price is $70 though we've seen
sales from time to time. All of the
images have been scanned in from slides, and the overall quality
reflects that--the colors are not bright and the detail is not
sharp. The producer is a Jewish-American and the images on the CD
reflect that interest--many biblical sites are represented by only a few
photos or are not represented at all, and many Jewish and rabbinic features of less interest to a
Christian audience are included. Interested purchasers should also
note the CD license prohibits use of the images for "public
display" as well as other uses. Any altering or modification
of the images is also forbidden without permission. That makes
this product suitable for personal viewing only.
Several scholars have produced their own photo
collections since we first produced the Pictorial Library. Helmut Koester is the author of
Paul, Images and Interpretations: from the Harvard New Testament and
Archaeology Project, a CD-ROM with 900 photographs and
accompanying notes and diagrams. It is very expensive for a single disk
Amazon), and the photographs are
limited to nine sites in Turkey and Greece, only five of which
are mentioned in the New Testament.
(Our blog contains
a brief review.)
Carl Rasmussen has been developing
Holy Land Photos for a number
of years now, gradually expanding the free online collection with the
support of donations. A useful source with accurate identifications and
explanations, the scope of the collection is more limited than the
Pictorial Library, and the images are more
difficult to access because each image has to be downloaded one by one.
Leen Ritmeyer has created a number of
photo CDs with
particular focus on Jerusalem and the temple. His work includes many
original diagrams which cannot be found anywhere else. A couple of notable
volumes are The Archaeology of Herod's Temple Mount (£15) and
Jerusalem in the time of Christ (80 annotated images for £15). Like
the works of Koester and Rasmussen above, we believe these can be valuable
supplements to the more extensive Pictorial Library of Bible Lands.
Christian Computer Art offers The
Bible Picture Library of Photo Art with 1800 images for about $25. The
ordering page was not working when we last tried, but you can view samples
and get an idea for the product. They have some good reviews and a
strong guarantee of satisfaction, but the download samples of the
photographs do not impress.
israelimages.com has some
excellent photos and a great selection. The only catch is that
each picture costs $60 per year (that's the cheapest price [PowerPoint
educational use only]; prices go up to $8,000 per picture). See holylandimages.com and PhotoZion
and Fotosearch Stock Photography
for more of the same. These high prices are
standard for stock photography and one of the reasons why the Pictorial
Library exists - to provide high-resolution, high-quality images to
teachers, students, pastors, and churches much more cheaply. (Note that use of images
from the Pictorial Library is granted for personal and educational
purposes; commercial use requires permission.)
Biblical Archaeology Society has made available a revised
edition of "The
Biblical World in Pictures" CD-ROM. This includes 10 of their
slide sets, with 1,300 pictures. We are disappointed with both the
poor image quality and the low resolution. For a lower price, it might be a
worthwhile purchase; for $150, we do not recommend it. David Padfield recently bought the set but
wishes he had not.
Kris Udd of Grace University has written a more detailed review of it in the
of Biblical Studies (pdf format). See also the
Testament Archaeology in Pictures CD-ROM, which includes 285
pictures for $70.
Few of the above products give any kind of product review from
consumers. We suspect that the reason is that the
reviews are not positive; most people we know are disappointed with what is
available on the market today. Either the picture quality is poor, or
the resolution is low, or both.
Many companies don't want to provide
high-resolution photographs without royalty charges. They view the
risk as too great that the images can be used in commercial projects
without proper compensation. We choose to take that risk and make
the best quality, highest-resolution images available.
This is what we say about others; here's what others
say about the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands. And we have a 100%
satisfaction guarantee–no questions, no hassle, no time limit.
Know of any other options, good or bad?
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