Mapping it all out

Bringing the Bible to life for young people is a youth leader’s job… and John Allan believes that the best online Bible Atlas’ and maps can help.

Bringing the Bible to life for young people is a youth leader’s job… and John Allan believes that the best online Bible Atlas’ and maps can help.

The more I teach the Bible, the more I see the value of maps. Scripture’s full of journeys, battles, meetings, and special places, and the better your kids can visualise where it all happened, the more they’ll remember what they’ve learned. When people see where Revelation’s seven churches actually were, or where the Babylonians came from, the stories mean so much more. OK, what do you do when you need a quick map? Google ‘Holy Land’? You can do better than that; the Web is loaded with resources, from the simple, uncluttered Bible Atlas (great when you’re in a tearing hurry) right through to the scholarly but fascinating links on New Testament Gateway. The New Testament in Maps helpfully plots every single development in Jesus’ life and early Church history, labelling it all clearly for you.

But my favourites are Ebibleteacher, where the maps are simple, clear and therefore Powerpoint- friendly (they even do blank ones which you can customize); and the stunning BibleMap, an ambitious attempt to link every Bible placename to Google Maps, with clickable photos and back-up information too. More? You’ll also find mounds of useful stuff (not just maps) at Bible-History.com, among the stacks of useful, clearly organised Bible background information compiled from every conceivable angle. Don’t leave your kids wondering how far Bethlehem was from Jerusalem, or where on earth Elijah ran away from Ahab. Show them.