Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Writing in the sand!

The latest Bible picture story to be added is the 'Woman caught in the act of adultery' (John 8). If you need pictures of this story, click here. The story takes place in one of the sandy floored courts adjoining the main Temple. I presume that the flooring was sand, as the Lord Jesus stooped down to write in it, and what He wrote could clearly be read by those who stood around. According to Jewish law, it was unlawful to write even two letters on the sabbath day, but it was acceptable to write in dust! (shabbat 7:2, 12:5)

There's been lots of speculation as to what the Lord Jesus wrote in the sand that day. Some suggest that it was a list of sins, others suggest that it was a list of the names of those stood around. I often wonder if it was something like, "This is a list of the sins committed by......", and then He stopped writing and waited for someone to cast the first stone.... no one dared! For whatever reason, the Bible does not record what was actually written.

In picture 2 the pharisees are pointing with the finger of their left hand, (The hand with the phylactery strapped to it!) emphasizing their confidence that the full weight of the Law supported their accusations. In fact, the Law stated that both the woman, and the man should be stoned, but where was the man?

In picture 3 you can see the accusers starting to leave, beginning with the eldest first. The older we get, the more honest we should become about our sinfulness before God.

This story contains 5 pictures and brings the total picture count to 656!

Posts on other Bible stories
Blind Bartimaeus
The Rich Young Rular
Crucifixion part 1
Crucifixion part 2
On the road to Emmaus
The Nativity
Raising Lazarus

Monday, February 19, 2007

A Good Read!

I'm reading an excellent book that I came across recently by Anne Punton.
'The World Jesus Knew' is full of very useful information for Bible artists.
Anne Punton worked for CMJ , (Church's Ministry among Jewish people), for 12 years in Israel, which explains her knowledge of Jewish culture and traditions.

She goes into great detail on Biblical clothing, the construction of buildings, the methods and tools of agriculture, the landscape and climate of the Holy land, and lots more. It's one of those rare reference books that you can't put down! If you're illustrating the Bible, you need this book!

You can obtain copies easily from Amazon. It's published by Moody .
ISBN 0-8024-2480-5

I recently found out that CMJ, (in the UK), owns a collection of 300 year old 'biblical' costumes. I've been emailing them to see if they would release photos of them, either via their own website, or this blog. This would be an excellent reference resource for Bible artists. Although 300 year old clothing is by no means ancient, apparently, middle-eastern clothing changed very little in the period between.
I've no had replies to my emails as yet, but I'll keep trying!

Posts on other helpful books:
The Great Bible Discovery series
Finding Harold Copping
The Bible Story
The Splendor of the Temple