and I am grateful for the good scholarship available to help us understand what our eyes have seen and our ears have heard in the study of the Scriptures.

May the Lord be blessed by all that has been uncovered and painstakingly interpreted by experts and volunteers. To the many people who have invested their lives to the study of the people and land of the Bible, we owe an enormous debt.

May we approach their work and the very words of God with the eagerness and curiosity of a child, and the discernment of a person after God’s own heart.”       -Melanie

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Historical and Geographical Resources

Carta is a publisher in Israel, and their maps and atlases are excellent. One of their writers, Paul H. Wright, is the director of our alma mater, Jerusalem University College. His vast knowledge of the land of the Bible is perfectly paired with his outstanding ability to teach it. For information on JUC and Dr. Wright, go to . Two resources we appreciate and continue to use extensively are Greatness, Grace and Glory and Holman Quick-Source Bible.

It would be difficult to overstate the value of the work of Steven Lancaster and Jim Monson

of Biblical Backgrounds, whose resources are utilized by Jerusalem University College

and other graduate programs.

Their website features their books, maps, and study guides.

My favorite of their resources is  Regions on the Run, by James M. Monson.

Every home should have a copy of Carl Rasmussen’s atlas:

Zondervan NIV Atlas of the Bible, by Carl G. Rasmussen.

Cultural Context Resources

I am one of countless many who have been personally impacted by the teaching of Ray VanderLaan of That The World May Know Ministries. The website is a treasure.

Lois Tverberg has written a follow-up title to her two delightful and deeply insightful books for people seeking to better understand the context into which Jesus was born and taught. Her first is called Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus (co-author Ann Spangler), the second is Walking in the Dust of Rabbi Jesus. Now her third, Reading the Bible with Rabbi Jesus, is my favorite yet! Her website,, provides an excellent on-line network of biblical authors and resources.

Lois offers us another wonderful resource in her book called Listening to the Language of the Bible.

Two more good resources for approaching the cultural context of Jesus’s teaching are both by Brad Young: Meet the Rabbis and Parables.

Personal/Family Resources for Learning and Celebrating Scripture

Scripture-based daily prayers are an essential spiritual practice we have gladly added to our mornings.

Our favorite guide is called Seeking God’s Face. These moments in the Word, with the Word, are

changing us.

A Family Guide to the Biblical Holidays, by Robin Sampson and Linda Pierce, is even more than

the title claims. Our family refers to this frequently as we anticipate and celebrate God’s seasons.

A brilliant and engaging personal account of one man’s awakening to true Bible study: The Gospel According to Moses by Athol Dickson.

A Day Apart: Shabbat at Home, by Hebrew authors Noam Sachs Zion and Shawn Fields-Meyer, is a treasure trove of quotes and short stories about Sabbath.

The Sabbath, by Abraham Heschel, is an absolute masterpiece.

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“The land is a testimony...