Friday, October 06, 2006

The Day of Atonement

Every now and then, while illustrating a Bible story you notice something special. Something that you probably wouldn't notice if you were just reading the story.

When illustrating the 'Day of Atonement' I noticed something different about the 'Ark of the Covenant' when comparing it to the other items of furniture in the Tabernacle. The gold rings through which the poles were passed in order to carry each item of furniture from one location to another were fixed at the 'top' corners of every item except the Ark. The rings on the Ark of the Covenant were fixed on the four 'bottom' corners!

I thought about this for a while, then I realised that when the Levites went to pick up the Ark, they had to 'bow down!'
Also, this made the Ark the only item of furniture that was carried above shoulder height and therefore was the only item to be seen by the whole of Israel as they were marching!

Most pictures (on the internet) of the 'Ark of the Covenant' show the poles in the wrong position. This is a common mistake, made also by the makers of the Harrison Ford film 'Raiders of the Lost Ark'.
A common mistake made by Bible artists when illustrating the 'Day of Atonement' is showing the high priest entering within the veil wearing his ephod! When the high priest entered the 'Holy of Holies' he only wore his white linen garments. This is a hard detail to find, but it is there.
Image ©

Related posts:
The contents of the Ark
Covering the Ark

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

How to use our pictures.

There are many ways to use the Bible picture sets available from 'The Bible picture website'.
If you need Bible story pictures quickly, and have access to a digital projector, you can download the pictures directly from the site. Displaying the pictures as a powerpoint show via a digital projector is the best method for larger groups.

If you don't have access to a digital projector, you can order any of our Bible picture sets in A3 poster form. The posters can then be displayed on a flipchart easel. This method is more suitable for smaller groups.

The A3 posters can also be laminated and used outdoors for beach missions etc.
If you have a good A3 printer, you can always download the pictures from the website and print them out yourself!

We also provide '3D Bible picture sets' available as downloads or posters. I've used these in our church childrens club. We gave each child a 3D viewer and taped the 3D posters to a flipchart pad. They really hold the childrens attention!

The picture above of the crucifixion scene was printed onto a canvas (about 8' high by 12' long) and used by a church in the south of England as a backdrop for their Easter day service! If you have used our pictures in other novel ways, share it with us by leaving a post!
To download the picture above, free of charge, Click here.
There is also a free sermon outline to go with this picture here. Notice that the Cross is reflected in the breastplate of the Roman Centurion!

Related posts:
Need Bible pictures?
Bible pictures on the net!
Can you help?

No more domes!

All Bible artists love their dome topped buildings! I know I do.
In-fact, a village just doesn't look biblical without a few domes scattered around..
Very rarely will you see a christmas card of Bethlehem without domes!

I was told many years ago however, that buildings around this period, didn't have domes! At least not in Israel.
This was confirmed to me recently in an email from Todd Bolen, professor of biblical studies in Jerusalem, and author of the excellent website

So, domes were architectural features that were added after the 'New Testament' period!
It's back to the drawing board for me, and no more domes!

Related posts:
Being Roofless!
What did Herod's Temple look like?
Houses in Bible times

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Illustrating a Bible story

Before you start to illustrate a passage from the Bible, You need to read the passage first!
Not just once, but many times. Why?. Because there are things that you will need to know that won't be obvious after just one reading.
e.g. What time of day is it? What was the weather like? Does the story take place inside or outside? If it's inside, what type of building is it? If the story is outside, what is the location? How many people are present? How old are they?
Is there a custom mentioned that you will need to research? Is there an item mentioned that you will need reference for?
These are questions that you don't generally ask when you read a Bible story, but you need to, when you're illustrating one!

It's amazing how many Bible illustrators don't ask these basic questions.
(I admit it, I've made a few mistakes in my time!)
I have children's Bibles that show Jesus walking on the water, on a bright sunny day! (It was night!), and the sea in the picture was like a sheet of glass! (There was a storm going on!) Not that it would be any easier walking on water when it was calm!
I have Bibles that show the parting of the Red sea in the daytime! (This event was also at night!)
How old was Daniel when he was in the Lions Den? Most childrens Bibles will show him to be anything between a teenager to around 30 years old. He was actually 80-90 years old!
When illustrating the life of a Bible character, you need to take note that 10 or 20 years can pass in-between chapters! Remember to check the dates in the margin.
These are all basic mistakes that could have been easily avoided by a closer reading of the text.

After making notes of all the relevant points above, it's time to start looking for references! I will deal with gathering references in a later post!

Related posts:
More Biblical costume reference!
Which Bible clothing colors should I use?
Gathering Bible References
Bible Research
Easy mistakes to make!
Bible study aids
Being Roofless!
No more Domes!
What did Herod's Temple look like?
Houses in Bible times