#116 ~ Bible Illuminated: The Book (New Testament)

November 6, 2008 at 12:42 pm | Posted in Books, LIfe, Reading, Religion | 16 Comments
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Bible Illuminated: The Book

I have 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 the same size as a W magazine and it reads like a magazine, too.  It is much less formal than a typical Bible.  It doesn’t look or feel like one, and that’s what makes it feel as if I am coming to the text for the first time.  I very much liked the text clean of verse numbers and references and the pictures make it magnificent.

I like having the option to read the New Testament both in its standard format as well as in this modernized version.  It gives me a separate text depending upon why I’m choosing the read the Bible.  As a Roman Catholic, I’ve been taught to look for the imprimatur, which means that the current book is considered error free in regard to doctrine and morality by the Church.  If I wanted to study the Bible, I would choose one with that seal.  Bible Illuminated, which does not carry an imprimatur, is much more conversational and the pictures provide something additional and enriching to bring to prayer.

I have not read the entire translation yet, but what has stood out to me thus far is Mark.  How can it not with a wonderful picture of Muhammad Ali working out at the beginning.  It caught my attention right away and stayed on my mind while I read it.  Over the days leading up to the election, there was one quote highlighted in red that I kept reading:

If a country divides itself into groups which fight each other, that country will fall apart.

It has been my prayer that our country, which seems to have moved away from civil discourse to trade increasingly ugly and personal insults with each other, will change.  We cannot continue on demonizing each other and survive.

Bible Illuminated is just what I needed to freshen up my spiritual life.  It appeals both to my heart and to my eyes.  It is a new and exciting way to look at the New Testament and the teachings of Jesus Christ.  I would have to say that in the new age that we are about to enter that it is just about perfect.  I would encourage everyone, whether you are young or old, new to the Bible, estranged from it, or its constant companion, to give this version of the New Testament a try.

In 2009, there will be a Bible Illuminated version of the Old Testament will be published.  If it is anywhere near as spectacular as this, I’ll be first in line for that.


To buy this book, click here.


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  1. Wow! Sounds great, Jennifer. I love the quote you chose – very fitting these days.
    It’s definitely something that’s been speaking to me.

  2. sounds like you are enjoying it.

    I’m going to get it!
    Thanks! Let me know what you think.

  4. Yay! I haven’t had a chance to read it yet, but my review should be coming…
    I’m glad I have you in my Google reader. I’ll be looking for it!

  5. This version of The New Testament sounds fascinating. I am anxious to get a copy!

  6. That looks interesting! Keep in mind, though, that there is a difference between a ‘translation’ of the NT and a ‘paraphrase.’ I’m guessing this version is a paraphrase based upon that cool quote. It doesn’t make it any less valid or interesting, just know it’s not based on the original NT Greek. Just an FYI.

    Thank you for clarifying that because you are absolutely right. I appreciate your comment because that is an important distinction.

  7. Why does it have a photo of a smeary eyelinered eye on the cover? Doesn’t that seem weird?
    The truth is that life is messy – and so is most people’s eyeliner. 🙂 Seriously, I understand what you mean. This is a slick, artsy, “catch your attention” publication. In that way, this makes sense to me. They are definitely taking a chance with this cover and the cover to the Old Testament edition coming out next year. What appeals to some can have the opposite effect on others.

  8. As a Roman Catholic myself, I was happy to come across your review. I have a copy of the book and reviewed it recently as well. I found some of the pictures uncomfortable (especially the cover of their upcoming version of the Old Testament) but I think it is a great resource for generating discussion and reviving your prayer life. Great review!

  9. I’ve heard alot of good things about this book, it sounds thought provoking.

  10. Great review! I’ve picked up this Bible out of curiosity the other day and think the photos and highlights really help draw readers in.

    And the quote you mention just goes to show how poignant the Bible is today. I actually saw a few of the “Daily Illuminations” on bibleilluminated.com</a that pulls photos from the day’s news stories to show this point.

  11. I can’t wait to obtain a copy of this one. Thanks for the great review!

  12. […] From the Mixed-Up Files Ex Libris Cafe of Dreams DanielDoo Old Musty Books Cheryl’s Book Nook The LIterate Housewife Review AndiLit Pop Culture Junkie The Book Nest inthelouvre.org Rethos.com Diary of an Eccentric […]

  13. […] From the Mixed-Up Files Ex Libris Cafe of Dreams DanielDoo Old Musty Books Cheryl’s Book Nook The LIterate Housewife Review AndiLit Pop Culture Junkie The Book Nest inthelouvre.org Rethos.com Diary of an Eccentric […]

  14. is that the all seeing eye on the cover? and whats that symbol? thats strange dont you think? isnt the all seeing eye the eye of lucifer? (just curious)

  15. Thanks for this. I really appreciate your perspective. I’ve also put in my 2 cents about the project, for anyone who may be interested.

    Grace and Peace,

  16. As someone who has also tried to present religious themes in a popular format (the Vatican board game), I really looked forward to the “Bible Illuminated”. I think it has arresting images that at times made me reflect but at other times seemed irrelevant to the verse selected. The format was also inconsistent in that after the Gospel of Matthew, they seemed to have largely dropped the yellow lining of verses-perhaps on the grounds that the other scriptures were Synoptic-but they are actually very different. They could have adopted a consistent format throughout.

    So I would say interesting but a near miss.

    Comment by Stephen Haliczer Ph.D. January 8,2009

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