My copy has arrived, we've flipped through it, and . . . honestly? I love it. Bible Illuminated: The Book is printed in a magazine format, with heavy, shiny pages. It is absolutely beautiful and has a wonderful feel. Looking at it is much like flipping through a magazine. The photos are stunning, although some definitely could be considered offensive or a little off-putting. I was surprised, though, to find that they don't bother me when I'm looking through the actual book. The photos jibe well with the subject matter; a verse that relates to each photo is often either highlighted on the opposite page or printed on each photograph. Here's a good example -- the 3-pack holy family set. Funny photo, but what on earth does it have to do with the Bible? The verse highlighted on the opposite page says this: "It does not matter! I am happy about it--just so Christ is preached in every way possible, whether from wrong or right motives."
There are no verse numbers and the print is tiny. It's aimed at a younger population, near as I can tell. Small print is probably not a big problem for the younger set; but, my husband can't read the text, either through his bifocals or with the glasses perched on his head (his usual method). I can read the print just fine, but my eyes do become tired reading tiny print, these days. The real question, I suppose, is whether the look and feel compel those who flip through to sit down and actually read the New Testament. In my case, the answer is "Yes". I really wanted to sit down and read -- and I found myself doing exactly what I do with a magazine. First, I flip through, look at the photos and read captions. Then, I go back and read.
My husband said, "No, I don't have any urge to read it because I can't." He also mentioned the fact that a magazine has blazing headlines, throughout. He said he'd have liked to see some large headings that indicate topics (such as the Sermon on the Mount or names for each of the parables). The names of individual books are bold and beautiful. Topic headers are small, though.
Neither of my kiddos -- the target audience, I assume -- are around; but I'll ask the youngster to flip through it when he comes home and will update you on his impressions, later on. Kiddo actually prefers his gift Bible from the church over the study Bible I bought him and he does read his Bible, sometimes just for fun. He doesn't like a lot of frou-frou. But, the eldest is very visual and I'll have to ask him to see if he can find a copy to flip through. Curiosity and all that.
While this magazine-like New Testament may be considered just another way to earn a buck, by some, I'm hoping that it will reach out and yank in some of the younger crowd, encouraging them to read the Bible. My favorite part of this book: Eight Ways to Change the World. Bold photos with "Eight Ways to Change the World" written in a corner and a paragraph or two about how a single change could improve our world were what moved me the most. I found myself flipping through eagerly, wanting to know what was next. What other things can we do to make our world better?
I like this very visual new version of the Bible. It makes me stop and think about life, meaning, and our world. And, isn't that the whole point? Flip through it, if you're interested. One forewarning: There are a few disturbing images. I would not have set a copy of this book out on a table, with young children in my house. But, that's really an individual judgment call.
The arrival of this book and a whopping fine new camera lens caused progress on my other two reviews to skid to a halt. Please bear with me; I'll try to get those two posted by tomorrow. Right now, I've got to go commune with the cat. She's getting old and needs a friend to warm up her cold paws. Happy Wednesday!