This 1936 map shows the area of the Dutch East Indies, on an equal scale and overlapping on a map of Europe. The purpose of this image is to make the reader aware of the size of this remote colonial region and it symbolizes the magnitude of the evangelical task that lies ahead.
The inset map of the Netherlands at the top left helps to put the geography of the Dutch overseas territory into perspective. This perspective is enhanced by the use of the text box that compares the 6 million inhabitants of the Netherlands with the ‘approximately 60 million’ of the Dutch East Indies. Depicting the size of Indonesia in relation to the Netherlands and Europe clarifies the diversity of existing local languages in Indonesia to the reader, as a result of which the publication of the Bible 'in whole or in parts in 33 languages' by the Dutch Bible Society is more admirable achievement.
The language map was published in The Dutch Bible Society 1936 (Amsterdam 1936) and was folded in the back of the book. The Dutch Bible Society was founded in Amsterdam in 1814 and, in addition to providing Bibles within the Netherlands, quickly focused on the translation and distribution of the Bible in the colonies, especially in the Dutch East Indies. From 1823, special linguists were trained to work in this colony. In 1879 a revised and improved version of the Bible appeared in Malaysian by H.C. Klinkert (1829-1913), whose name is prominently displayed on the map.