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Oxford Bible Atlas Contextualizes the stories and lands of the Bible through user-friendly maps and illustrations.

The Text in Context

Adrian Curtis

The Settings of Stories

Those who tell stories often set them in a particular time and place. In some works of fiction, where the setting too is entirely fictional, a map is provided to help the readers to follow the story; for example, with J. R. R. Tolkien's trilogy The Lord of the Rings comes a map of ‘Middle Earth’, the setting of the saga. Writers of historical novels are often at great pains to provide an accurate geographical setting, perhaps with a map, even if the contents are primarily fictional. And those who seek to recount the stories of real people and events do so with reference to the locations of the activities described. Therefore it is important for the readers of stories to have an awareness of their geographical setting. This is not simply to enable the reader to plot movement from place to place. The reader may be helped to know whether the setting is in a desert or in a forest, in a frozen waste or in the tropics, in a bustling city or an idyllic rural setting. So an appreciation of the setting may help the understanding of the story. If this is true of other types of literature, it is certainly true of the Bible.

Science Photo Library/Earth Satellite Corporation

The Trustees of the British Museum

Sonia Halliday Photographs (Jane Taylor)

©Corbis (Hulton‐Deutsch Collection)

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