You need to know about the BibleProject
If you’ve not yet browsed the BibleProject’s free library of resources, stop what you’re doing and go browse BibleProject.com!
Seriously, other than perhaps the free tools available at NetBible.org, the BibleProject is the best collection of free Bible study resources online that I know of.
Not only do they have video overviews for all the books of the Bible, they also have some excellent videos devoted to key words and themes in Scripture.
Plus, their “How to Read the Bible” series is simply fantastic.
I’m serious, if you’re brand new to the BibleProject, then, before you bother reading the rest of this review, go take a look around at the BibleProject website!
The BibleProject coffee table book!
OK, for those of you who are still here (or if you’re jumping back in now that you’ve browsed BibleProject.com), I’d like to let you know that you can support the BibleProject by purchasing items from their store, including their amazing (and very large) coffee table book, now in its third edition!
The first thing you need to know about this book is that it is enormous. It weighs around 5 lbs and measures 19 inches tall, 12 inches wide, 1 inch thick.
But, wow, this is a beautiful book. And it’s filled with some great information about the books of the Bible!
After the Foreword (by Francis Chan) and Introduction (by Tim Mackie), the rest of the book is devoted to displaying paired essays and posters for each book of the Bible, plus an Old Testament Overview and New Testament Overview.
As explained in the front matter, the order of the Old Testament books in this edition of the coffee table book follows the tripartite “TaNaK” order of the Hebrew Bible:
- Law (Torah),
- Prophets (Neviim), and
- Writings (Ketuvim)
Honestly, the Old Testament Overview essay and poster are probably worth the price of the book alone! For a free taste of what I mean, watch the Old Testament Overview video.
Interspersed throughout the book are pencil sketches by Tim Mackie in the “storyboard” state they were in before they were turned into the finished book artwork. These offer a neat glimpse into the creative process at the BibleProject.
True to BibleProject form, the essays are accessible and informative. The posters are gorgeous. Together, they form a very helpful resource for grasping the overall form and content of Scripture.
My one quibble with the book is its size and layout. Yes, I understand why the book had to be so big, and laid out horizontally, in order to let the intricate artwork of the posters really shine. But it is a bit unwieldy to sit down and actually read the thing!
Nevertheless, I have benefited from reading the book essays and looking at the posters before, for example, beginning a new book of the Bible in the course of the Daily Office Lectionary. As my kids get a bit older, I’m looking forward to using these posters to help them get to know the content of Scripture better and better.
To address the size issue, I think it would be fantastic if, in addition to this large-format book to showcase the posters, Mackie and the BibleProject produce a brief paperback “How to Read the Bible” book with the content of the essays. Just an idea!
If you’ve got at least 19″x12″ of room in your house and you’d like to support the BibleProject and own a beautiful physical display of the BibleProject’s resources, then this is the book for you!
(FYI: They also sell a book of just the posters!)
Disclosure: I was provided a free copy of this book by the publisher for an honest review.