Maps Distorting Bibles Public domain
Jewish World

Maps Distorting Bibles

Numerous editions of Christian Bibles include maps and charts of biblical lands.


Many study manuals also offer attractive Scriptural maps and diagrams for learning purposes. However, far too many of these “sacred maps” bear deluding titles that convey disorientating information.

The authorized King James Version (KJV) of the Bible, for example, “appointed to be read in churches” (Collins 1957), presents a map with the heading “Palestine in the Time of Christ.” The same label also appears in the New American Standard Bible (Moody 1975). Another edition of the KJV (Thomas Nelson 1984) also features a map titled “Palestine in Christ’s Time.” Surprisingly, even the American English Standard Version (ESV, Crossway 2007) introduces a map named “Palestine under Roman Rule (c. 37 B.C. – A.D. 66).” Here, too, “Palestine” is totally inappropriate within the chronological context. Similarly, a map in the Ryrie Study Bible (Moody, 2012) points to “Jesus’ Ministry in Palestine.” But chronologically, according to the course of events, Yeshua and “Palestine” are not synchronous.

It is odd and misleading to refer to “Palestine” within the first century of the Lord Yeshua. Absurdly, such anachronisms are re-published against the text in Matthew’s Gospel (2:20-21), repeated twice (!),…