This book is much bigger then I was expecting, and is such an excellent resource. It is filled with pictures- both photographs and historically accurate, realistic illustrations. There are not pictures for every reference, so it's not over crowded with un-needed clutter. The illustrations tend to accompany animals, famous people and other words that are best understood with a picture.
There is a lot more to the pictures then mere entertainment, however. It also has diagrams such as a cut-away view of the Holy of Holies, and detailed depictions of many cities. There are charts for the names of God, many of the foods, animals, birds and insects of the Bible, and several Biblical events such as the 10 plagues on Egypt. I really enjoyed looking at all the many, many maps included. You will find maps of the roman empire, Egypt, and all of the Biblical lands at different periods.
Some of the photographs include Biblical locations and artifacts, and also depictions of such everyday things as nails and oil. I like the inclusion of artifacts, which really seems to make the Bible come alive. There are even pictures of many places where Bible events MAY have happened, like the crucifixion of Jesus and the prison where Paul and Silas were held.
Even with all of the great illustrations, this is still a dictionary at it's heart. With pronunciation guides, numbered definitions (where there is more then one usage), and alphabetical devisions. The definitions are easy to read and understand, perfect for kids who are just starting to read the Bible for themselves. There are several other features that make this book special. I appreciate the inclusion of Bible references that lead the learner to a verse or passage where that word is used. Several words have more then one passage included, and this book could even be the basis for a very first self-led Bible study. The charts for comparison of parables, Holy feasts, and names for God and Jesus contain many scripture references and could be the backbone for longer studies.
My house was very, very quiet after I opened this book...
Probably my favorite part of this book is the addition of words and spellings used only in the King James Version. Since I was raised using that version, and I plan to do the same for my kids since it is a part of their heritage, it is so nice to have this feature. Sometimes these words are found with the modern translation, such as 'temperance' being found with 'self-control'. I am a little disappointed by this, since it could make it hard for the KJV user to find the word he is looking for. There are several KJV words that have their own definitions, however, and you can always tell these because they are noted.
All in all, we love this book. It is colorful, accurate, useful, organized, and perfect for kids. I highly recommend it for every Christian family, homeschooling or not. I would spend much more then $14.99 on it, and I am a tightwad. :) It is designed for users from Kindergarton to Pre-teens, but even adults (me... ) enjoy looking through it. You can buy this book from Lifeway Christian Stores.
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