Geocoding the Bible

The folks at OpenBible.info have geocoded the Bible. In other words, they went through the Bible and found the latitude and longitude of nearly all the places mentioned.

They’ve produced satellite maps and KMLs (for Google Earth) for every book in the Bible that mentions a place, and KMLs for every chapter. Even better, all the data and maps are available under a Creative Commons license.

Jonah provides one of the best examples of how maps can help you study the Bible:

The map shows Joppa in modern Israel, Nineveh to the northeast in modern Iraq, and Tarshish far to the west in modern Spain.

Jonah starts out near Joppa. God tells him to go to Nineveh, so what does Jonah do? He heads to Tarshish, about as far away from Nineveh as he can get. Knowing this geography reinforces the comic aspects (in a literary sense) of Jonah’s character.

They also have an intriguing blog post (with pictures!) that highlights the changing geography over time in the Bible.

Full disclosure: a Crossway staff member helped develop the site.

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