BibleWorks 9 - The New Moody Bible Atlas

Written by Michael Hanel on June 30th, 2011

[See more here.]

Ever since BibleWorks 7 (I believe), BibleWorks has shipped with its own map module that allows users to see important geographic detail and make their own maps for pedagogical and other purposes. In BibleWorks 9 that map module is still there, but they’ve also added another map resource to the main program, The New Moody Bible Atlas by Barry J. Beitzel (2009). Obviously Bible atlases will never go out of style as they help familiarize readers not simply with geography but the changes of peoples, places and boundaries that have taken place over the millennia. The reason one especially values this resource in addition to the normal BibleWorks map module is that this is not simply maps or geographical pictures. It also provides the narrative. Yes the pictures are there, but it also explains the physical and historical geography of the world of Palestine.

I won’t add much more comment on The New Moody Bible Atlas as a resource itself. If you want to learn more about it you can see some of the following links: examples of reviews of the book can be found here, here, and here; it is also noted here, and compared with several other recent atlases here. Needless to say, for a high-quality book that retails for $50, it’s a great deal that it’s included in the base package of BibleWorks 9, no unlock necessary!

Now to tell a few features about its implementation in BibleWorks 9:

An example of the high quality, high resolution images is shown below. In this picture you can see three things that I want to point out.

  1. The picture in the bottom left is the “default” size of the images/maps in BibleWorks’ version of The New Moody Bible Atlas. They are relatively small so that it’s easier to navigate and so the text around them is easier to read, especially if you have a small monitor.
  2. However when you put your mouse cursor over any one of the images, they instantly grow in size to something that you can actually read. That’s the picture on the top left.
  3. If you then actually click on one of the blown up images, the image will be loaded in a pop up image viewer (this is the large version in the center of the screen that I’ve placed over the image from #2, so you can see resolution quality). Images are easily exportable to the clipboard or to files by a right click on the image. Images can be zoomed in and out and the quality of the images is such that they support incredibly fine detail.

Another feature of The New Moody Bible Atlas is the standard linking of Bible verses so that whenever you put your mouse over them, you get pop ups of the Bible text of that verse. This also means that these references will show up in the Resources Tab in BibleWorks so that if you are working in the Browse Window you can immediately see whether that verse is referenced in The New Moody Bible Atlas even without opening it up. You can also see the easy navigation with links to “Previous” and “Next” pages.

Included in BibleWorks’ version of The New Moody Bible Atlas is an index of maps and index of images, so you can quickly scroll through all of the images the book contains even without scrolling through the whole book. This is a huge time-saver if you know you want a certain image but don’t want to click through the whole book. Thus in addition to simply having pictures of maps, The New Moody Bible Atlas also has images of archaeological sites, geographical features of the land and other relevant illustrations and pictures. The image below seems especially fitting as an example of the photography included. It is a picture of the Greek Orthodox monastery of St. Catherine, the original home of Codex Sinaiticus.

Also included in the BibleWorks version are indices found in the book, the map citation index and the general index, which are linked back to the maps and pages cited, something that makes finding things in the module even easier.

Overall then, BibleWorks 9 adds to the package another high-quality map product, this time in the form of The New Moody Bible Atlas. This atlas includes well over 100 new high-resolution maps and images of the Holy Land that will no doubt be useful to those who study the text of the Bible.

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