What struck me first about this book is the quality of the art - National Geographic quality photographs that are poignant, fascinating and provocative. The pictures give an emotional punch to text that absolutely intends to make you feel something. Sometimes the pictures can add depth, like a picture of a child's hands holding one small fish - that somehow helped to feed the 5,000. Pictures of poverty and of those people who have tried to make positive changes in this world also help to illustrate the principles that Christ was trying to teach in this book. Putting Christ's teachings and stories from his life into a modern context like this can help people understand what many have already discovered: despite the fact that Christ lived 2,000 years ago, the New Testament can still change people's lives for the better.
The format is like a magazine, in several ways. Several pages are exclusively photographs, the text is in columns like a magazine with paragraph headings that summarize and give you a sense for that section's message. Certain powerful and familiar scriptures are highlighted, as if with a yellow highlighter. I like that it is lovely enough to sit on a coffee table but portable enough that you could roll it up and fit it in a backpack. I think the magazine style may reach out to people who otherwise may not pick up a different version of the Bible.
Of course, there are a number of translations of the New Testament out there, I don't even know how many. And while I personally wouldn't choose this version for my own scripture study, I see that it has value and I've enjoyed reading it. It introduces Christians and non-Christians to the doctrines of Jesus Christ in a way that might be more appealing than the more formal and precise language of the King James Version. This book is a good read for both those who are being introduced to the New Testament as well as those, like me, who already love the New Testament and are always pleased to see Christ's teachings made applicable to modern life.
The publishers have very graciously given me one copy to offer as a giveaway!! Sorry, I'm limited to addresses in the USA or Canada. In the early morning of Monday, November 10th I'll use random.org to choose a winner from the comments on this post. If you are so inclined, I'd appreciate you passing on the news about this giveaway - it really is an amazing book. Please include an email address where you can be contacted if you win!!
If you are here from the giveaway carnival, click here to get back home :)