Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Bible pictures on the net!

Searching for Bible pictures on the internet can be very frustrating!
When you search Google for 'Bible pictures', it's possible to get to page 80, and still not find what you're looking for! In fact, by the time you get to page 80, you won't find anything biblical at all!

Google is apparently working on 'new search technology' that will only show 'very relevant' web pages that match the search term used. in other words, when you search for 'Bible pictures', you will get a list of sites that actually have Bible pictures! Isn't that what's supposed to happen? Anyway, for those of you who can't wait for Googles new technology to arrive, and for those of you who still haven't found 'The Bible picture website', read on!

Older collections
There are a few sites out there that do contain Bible pictures. These can range from nineteenth century engravings by Gustave Dore, to Flash-cards produced in the sixties! Good as these pictures are, it's very difficult to hold the attention of todays 'Cartoon Network' loving children, (whose attention span has been reduced to two seconds), with black & white engravings by Gustave Dore!
The Bible picture website produces 'new artwork' with todays kids in mind.

Many sites boast 'large collections' of Bible pictures which are usually scans taken from old Bible story books, children's Bibles or very old paintings.
Again these are very good, but there's a problem with continuity, as most of the stories are made up from pictures done by several artists, which means that the main character, whether it be Moses or Jesus, can change several times during one story! The Bible picture website uses one artist per story!

Private collections
Many children's workers know an amateur or semi professional artist who produces Bible pictures for them. Some of these collections are starting to appear on the web. The only problem here is that because the artist, more often than not, has produced the pictures as a favor, or at very low cost. they tend not to have the time to do the proper research required for each story. When I was a professional illustrator producing Bible pictures in my spare time, I had the same problem.

I've added a list of all the Bible picture resource sites that I can find on the web. It's at the bottom of the right hand column. If I find any more, I'll add them too!

Related posts:
Need Bible pictures?
How to use our Bible pictures
Can you help?

Monday, December 11, 2006

Feeding the 5,000

For those of you who think that the 'picture counter' on the right has been stuck on 641, It's not!
It's just that I've been illustrating the 'feeding of the 5,000' in John ch 6, and it's taken longer than usual.

If you need pictures of the 'Feeding of the 5,000 story', click here.

To start with, I wanted to get the scenery reasonably accurate, so I started by looking at maps and photos of the area as well as studying old paintings and wood engravings that were actually done in the Holy land.
The supposed area where this event took place is known today as the 'Golan Heights'

In picture one, you are looking from the high ground, westward across the sea of Galilee. On the opposite shore, some 5 miles away, you can see Capernaum, where the Lord Jesus travelled to the following day.
In pictures three, and four, you are looking northwest, and the River Jordan can be seen in the distance, close to where it flows into the Sea of Galilee near Bethsaida.
If you look at a contoured map of the area, you will see that the slopes rise gently from the Sea of Galilee at this point. This was a large area of grassland, (v10) making it ideal for grazing.

I have drawn both sheep and lambs amongst the crowds, as this was at the time of 'Passover', so there would have been lambs in abundance. In picture four, I show a small child sat with a lamb at her side, like a pet. This is a reminder of how jewish families at 'Passover' were to take the lamb into their home, on the 10th of Nisan, 4 days before it was sacrificed. I'm sure that any children in the family would have grown attached to the lamb during this time, making the eventual slaughter of the animal that much more painful! A stark reminder to them of both the consequences of sin, and how their ancestors were saved only by the shedding of the blood of an innocent lamb!

When I was drawing the crowds of people, I started to think about the logistics of how the food would have been distributed. There could well have been over 10,000 people present as the 5,000 mentioned didn't include the women and children.
Whenever there are plates of biscuits to be given out at our church following a family service, you can guarantee that all the volunteers for the job are the children! I would imagine that children were the same then. So in picture four, I show, alongside the disciples, eager children distributing the baskets of bread and fish.

For more about the Sea of Galilee, click here.