The Land and the Book is the result of over 40 years of missionary work in the Bible lands by William M. Thomson. To picture the scenes and scenery of the Holy Land, and to portray the manners and customs of the present inhabitants that illustrate the Bible, is the main object of the work. But to do that right, one must have seen and felt them; as this the author has done through many years of adventure, and whatever of life and truthfulness there may be in his illustrations is due to that fact. In these volumes, he takes the reader “through that ‘good land’ of mountain and vale and lake and river: to the shepherd’s tent, the peasant’s hut, the palace of kings, the hermit’s cave, the temple of the gods—to the haunts of the living and the sepulchers of the dead—to muse on what has been and converse with what is, and learn from all what they teach concerning the Oracles of God.” A large part of these pages was actually written in the open country. On seashores or sacred lakes, on hillsides or mountaintops, under the trees or the shadows of great rocks—there Thomson lived, thought, and wrote.
Rich with scriptural landmarks and filled with hundreds of beautiful pen-and-ink illustrations, Thomson’s The Land and the Book has been a popular classic for over 100 years. Learn more about the people, places, and historical events behind the text you’re studying. Incorporate pictures, illustrations, and graphics into sermons, school papers, or Sunday school lesson plans. Whether you are a student, pastor, scholar, or layperson, the 3-volume Land and the Book is a must-have resource for Bible study or reading.
William M. Thomson (1806–1894) was educated at Miami University and Princeton Theological Seminary. He began missionary work in Beirut, Syria, in 1833, and a year later he and his wife relocated to Jerusalem. His wife died in childbirth during the Palestinian civil war of 1834, and Thomson returned to Beirut with his infant son to continue his work. In 1835 he opened a school, a church, and a seminary for boys. In 1843, the school was moved to the village of Abeih in Mount Lebanon for safety, and he resumed teaching, preaching, and making extended missionary tours in Syria and Palestine despite the dangers they entailed. He took a two-year respite in the United States and then returned to Beirut in 1859, where he remained for the next 17 years. His actual connection with the mission in Syria covered a period of 43 years and 5 months.