Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Bible Illuminated: The Book New Testament Published by Forlaget Illuminated Sweden AB Product Description:

A homeless man walking. A soldier preparing for combat. A mother nursing her newborn child.

Never before has a publisher illuminated the Bible with such an array of striking, even provocative contemporary photographs. Wrapped in an arresting cover, Bible Illuminated: The Book: New Testament presents The Bible in a full-color, glossy magazine format, set in running text with no verses, inviting readers to step into the Bible and experience it in a whole new way.

The Book, using the Good News Translation as approved by the American Bible Society, will introduce believers and non-believers to a culturally relevant, accessible Bible and will encourage dialogue between people from all walks of life.

When was the last time you picked it up and read it?

When picking this up I had nothing to compare or contrast it to. But all of a sudden I found myself interested in exploring the Bible, in a context I could appreciate. Having a background in design I was instantly attracted to the concept for this book. I will be reviewing this book based more on the design aspects, because that is what i know!

Though the symbolism might not be as easy for me to understand compared to someone with a good knowledge of the Bible I still enjoyed trying to make the connections between the quotes and imagery. I found this translation of the Bible surprisingly simple to understand. I was expecting to have to do a lot more deciphering to understand it. That makes it all the more attractive to read, I can just read it!

Bible Illuminated is literally a magazine and a thin one at that! It actually reminds me of NEED Magazine, which is a humanitarian magazine with breathtaking photography and powerful stories. Both Bible Illuminated and NEED Magazine are laid out beautifully, no clutter only the essentials.

A few pages into Bible Illuminated, you see the below image of what I will assume is a mother and child. This image hasn't left my mind since I first saw it.

I love how Bible Illuminated tells a complete story using all sorts of imagery including celebrities, historic events, strange fashion-like photography (see below image) and computer festivals among other things! I like how each section for the most part, used it's own specific theme for photography to separate it from the others. That definitely added to the idea of a magazine with different stories or sections.

It was very helpful for me to have quotes pulled out but for consistency it would have made more sense to stick with maybe large quotes and highlights and gotten rid of the red quotes and black boxed quotes. Too many ways to do one thing gets a little bothersome. Also because this is literally a magazine it's a little hard to read without fearing I would damage it, I think maybe a slightly thicker cover would help make it easier for reading it wouldn't flop around as much. Magazines tend to slip right out of my hands and land on the floor!

I know that the Old Testament is set for release in 2009. I hope this will not be the final book from The Illuminated World. I would be very interested to see if they will continue on this project with other religious texts. That would be amazing.

I know some people are questioning this version of the Bible, but for me I find it fascinating. Honestly, I can't think of a more attractive way to be presented this text, but then again that's just me! I know I will definitely be exploring Bible Illuminated for years to come. This is a fascinating piece that deserves multiple readings.

Read my earlier sneak peek here.

4/5 Stars
Review copy provided by publisher


  1. wow. thats a whole new side of the bible i haven't seen! i looked at this when buying a bible for myself for my birthday. it looked interesting but i ended up choosing something else. now im not sure that was the best choice!

  2. Anonymous1:34 AM

    I really did find that image of mother and son - compelling..but the 2nd pic - not to my liking .. but the hands are beautiful - whosoever they are!

    I think I hear really cool things about it :)

    hope u treasure it for years to come!

  3. Wow.. Thanks for the review.

  4. Well maybe next time I go to the stand bookstore I can look around for you. Don't think that will be for a while though. What books were you looking for?

  5. Wow, that second picture is....weird. lol

  6. Anonymous10:19 AM

    Hey! I feel like I have been gone a week or! Life has been insane.

    About the book...the second photo, what is that hanging outside the bowl. It's it really a head?

  7. sharonanne, i was just looking for a teen girl's bible. something i can connect to. maybe i could write in it what i think, idk, just something along the lines of that. thank you!

  8. Alea, thanks for the wonderful review!! I really was curious to know the opinion of someone not too familiar with the Bible. Despite my being uncomfortable with some of the pictures, the more I look at it, the more I think about it, and the more I discuss it, I appreciate it more.

    I also wish the cover was a bit thicker. And then some of the words were smudged with fingerprints, just like a traditional magazine. I'm obsessive about the condition of my books, and I was upset that the cover was already torn and wrinkled from the mail. If it was an actual book, it probably would've held up better. Ah, well.

    Diary of an Eccentric

  9. Anonymous11:35 AM

    this is a great concept,and I like the excerpts I've seen.

    It's too bad that the quality is not better, to stand up to wear and tear. Perhaps the publishers feel that the magazine format will make it more approachable?

  10. thatonegirlemily- My guess would be that it would compliment another Bible.

    veens- Yeah the second image is creepy! I think I will enjoy it, it's a great and interesting resource!

    keri mikulski- Sure thing!

    sharonanne- I left you a message over on your blog a few days ago :D

    amee- It is isn't it!

    J. Kaye- LOL! Monday is going to be weird for me, I have Jury Duty I'm going to be missing the internet! They said i could bring my laptop but I don't have a proper carrier for it so i think I'll just bring some books!

    It took me awhile to figure the image out but my best guess is that it's either a duck or a goose and she's breaking it's neck off?

    anna- Thank you! This has been a really fun experience! Yeah I agree, mine came with a big slit down the middle in the cover and first few pages and the spine was a little smashed on the bottom too. I'll just have to be very gentle with it.

    dawn- It's pretty smart isn't it! I think you are right, it does make it approachable but also disposable!


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