A Sneak Peak @ Bible Illuminated

October 27, 2008 at 5:15 pm | Posted in Books, LIfe, Reading | 8 Comments
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I had the excellent good fortune to get a sneak peak at what I feel is the most moving version of the New Testament I have ever seen.  While there is much to be said for all of the references and other information provided in traditional versions of the Bible, it can seem like static.  Bible Illuminated: The Book, a Good News Translation of the New Testament published by the American Bible Society, is stripped down in comparison.  What it doesn’t have in references, cross-references, maps, etc., it more than makes up in gorgeous, controversial, and thought-provoking photographs.  Here, a picture is worth a thousand words about God, His Son, and all of his creation.

I have only seen Bible Illuminated in PDF form, but I keep going back to it.  From what I can tell, it has an almost glossy magazine feeling.  The titles as are typically found in the New Testament remain, but the verses are not numbered.  This really gives it a sleek look.  It doesn’t break apart the text.  It gives it more flow.  It gives the text a more conversational tone.  There is much to think about and discuss, be that within yourself, with your God, or with your friends.

Throughout the book, text is emphasized on the page either in red (not necessarily the words of Christ) or highlighted in yellow.  The highlighted text generally points to a photograph.  What I love the most about these photographs is that it can spark meditative thought.  There were several instances where the verse and the associated photograph caught me off guard when I first made the association.  Others are simply beautiful.

While it is true that you would be hard pressed to locate John 3:10 in this format, I would argue that you would read this version for different reasons entirely.  This book invites exploration for those new to the Bible and encourages experienced readers to look upon this text in a new way. I wish I had this when I taught youth ministry back in my 20s.  This will not sit around catching dust and it is sure to create a great deal of conversation. It gives new life to the Good News.

The wait to see the real thing is almost over.  Bible Illuminated hits the book stores tomorrow.  Click here to buy it from Amazon.  Better yet, run to your nearest book nook, buy a warm beverage, pick up a copy of Bible Illuminated, sit back, and drink it all in.  Let me know what you think.  I’d love to talk about this.



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  1. I can’t wait to get a look at this. I teach an argument class this semester, and we do a whole unit on visual literacies and understanding pictures as “texts.” This particular version of the Bible would be an amazing discussion piece, and maybe inspire some students, too! I can’t adopt it as a text, but I might mention it in passing and see if any of them snatch it up.

  2. I checked it out on Amazon.. took a look at the “look inside” feature and you are right…very different look. It’s visually stunning.

  3. This is on my to be bought very soon list!

  4. That Revelation picture totally freaks me out.

  5. I received my copy of Bible Illuminated earlier this week. I spent much of last evening looking it over, and I’ve been pondering it ever since. I hope to review it this weekend. Looking forward to your thoughts after you receive the hard copy.

  6. […] now had my copy of Bible Illuminated for two weeks and I absolutely love it.  The PDF copy that I mentioned last month did not do it justice, but it did give me a good indication of how it would feel and read.  It is […]

  7. This looks amazing!

    Has anyone picked up a copy yet? I’d like to know how the pictures look off the screen.

  8. […] now had my copy of Bible Illuminated for two weeks and I absolutely love it.  The PDF copy that I mentioned last month did not do it justice, but it did give me a good indication of how it would feel and read.  It is […]

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