Jonah, like you’ve never read it before

I was sent a digital copy of the Book of Jonah: Word for Word Bible Comic (NIV Translation) in exchange for a review through the Bible Gateway Blogger Grid. I’m a little late on giving the review, but better late than never!

The Book of Jonah has a special place in my heart. It’s quite simply one of the most beautiful and relatable stories in the Bible. With my family, we’ve heard it quoted from memory, watched it performed at the Sight & Sound Theater, and we’ve even memorized it.

So I seriously jumped at the opportunity to read and review a graphic novel version of the Book of Jonah! I read it to my kids a few nights ago, and I spend some time this last couple days gathering my thoughts about how I should go about this review.

Anyway, that’s a whole lot of introduction to say this: this is the Book of Jonah like you’ve never read it before.

I mean that in both a good and a bad way. The story of Jonah is engaging, and the illustrations that this graphic novel add to the story help the reader to picture what’s going on. At times, the illustrations even add a type of commentary. For example, in the opening verses, there’s an illustration of the people of Nineveh worshiping what they believed to be the gods of fish. I appreciated this attention to detail!

But negatively, it can be easy to miss some of the words of Scripture. In order for it to read more like a graphic novel, some of the words of the Book of Jonah are deemphasized, or almost even invisible because it renders it as grey text on a grey background. I can definitely understand why this was done, as it makes the story flow better as a graphic novel. But it can also, at times, cause the reader to miss something from the story.

Nevertheless, I think this is a great tool. It would make a great gift for those people who enjoy this style of reading and art, and want to see the Bible come alive in this way. It’s available for order at https://www.wordforwordbiblecomic.com/buy

The #1 Bible for Kids

I was sent the NASB Adventure Bible for free as a member of the Bible Gateway Blogger Grid. I’m honored to be able to review it!

It states right on the cover, “#1 Bible for Kids.” Of course, I can’t say for certain whether this is true or not, since I haven’t studied it in depth, nor reviewed every Bible for kids, and I’m definitely the authority on the issue. Nevertheless, I can say that this does appear to be a great Bible for kids.

First, it’s just a fun Bible to flip through. There’s a lot more color in this Bible than in your typical Bible. The colorful headings, illustrations, and occasional full-page Bible study materials add quite a bit to make this Bible enjoyable to look at.

Second, I appreciated the supplementary commentary notes scattered throughout the Bible. While they are certainly geared toward children, I found them to be very helpful in summarizing and teaching biblical truths.

Finally, and most importantly, I also appreciated the text of the Bible itself. The New American Standard Bible is perhaps one of the most accurate English Bible translations that we have today. While it’s sometime a bit “wooden” in how it’s written, it’s one of the best word-for-word translations.

I would wholeheartedly recommend this Bible to children, especially those who are looking for a Bible that will help them to study and grow in their knowledge of God’s word. The NASB Adventure Bible is a great tool!

Dig Deeper

The Bible exists to help us grow in our relationship with God. That’s why I like the NIV Verse Mapping Bible.

As a member of the Bible Gateway Blogger Grid, I was provided (at no cost to me) with three resources to review and enjoy: 1) The NIV Verse Mapping Bible, 2) The NIV Verse Mapping Bible for Girls, and 3) The Verse Mapping Bible Study Journal.

When I heard about these resources, I was confused as to why there was an edition specifically for girls, but not boys. Flipping through the Bibles, I didn’t notice that the girls’ edition was substantially different from the generic edition. But the differences are in the details. The “letter from the editor” is customized for each edition, as well as “how to verse map,” and the specific wordings for much of the supplementary notes throughout the Bible are also different.

Sometimes these differences are insignificant – they merely attempt to use language that will be better understood by a younger audience. But sometimes these differences actually change the meaning of what it said.

In the introduction to the book of Genesis, for example, the girls’ edition states that the author of Genesis is “believed to be Moses.” But the non-gender specific edition states that the author is “almost certainly Moses.” Aside from the fact that Jesus stated that the author WAS Moses (not just “believed to be,” nor “almost certainly”), these different wordings seem to be saying two different things.

Yet Another Bible to Choose From!

I’m so grateful to the Bible Gateway Blogger Grid! I’ve received (for free) so many Bibles from them to read and review through this excellent program! Today I get to review the NIV Study Bible, Fully Revised Edition.

There are so many options today when it comes to study Bibles. It’s really quite overwhelming. For someone who is looking to get a study Bible in order to be able to begin to dig a little deeper, it can feel like a difficult decision.

This NIV Study Bible is a solid choice. It contains many notes on every page, and I found the notes to be helpful in explaining some of the context of the passages I read. There are also many maps, cross references, and book summaries throughout the Bible.

Beyond that, I really don’t have much to say. It appears to be a good study Bible. It’s easy to read, and if you like the NIV, I’d say it’s a good choice!

A Very Different Kind of Bible

I love receiving Bibles to review through the Bible Gateway Blogger Grid! This time, I received a digital copy of The Gospel of Matthew: Word for Word Bible Comic: NIV.

I have mixed feelings about this work. It uses the text of the NIV, so if you like the NIV, it will be acceptable to you on that front. But the main think that makes this a very different kind of Bible from all of the others I’ve received and reviewed is, of course, the illustrations that it contains. Some people would call it a comic book; others would call it a graphic novel. I don’t know which it is, or if there’s a difference. I guess I’m not really the target audience.

Personally, I didn’t gain much from the illustrations. I tended to not even look at them because I was focused on simply reading the dialogue. When I did happen to look at the pictures, I thought that some of them didn’t seem to match how I would have pictured the scene, so I found them a little distracting rather than helpful.

But once again, I don’t really seem to be the target audience.

But to those are into this type of format, I think this could be a really interesting way to read the Bible. The illustrations are high quality. They seem to match the quality of the comic books—er…graphic novels—that I’ve here and there.

Even more than the illustrations, I actually came to enjoy the dialogue-centered approach. Like any graphic novel I’ve seen, the dialogue is prominent in the illustrations, while the rest of the text kind of fades into the background. So it was kind of interesting reading the Gospel of Matthew in terms of the conversations that take place in it.

To be clear, not all of the Bible is complete in this format yet, but I believe that is the publisher’s ultimate goal. As of now, it appears that there are 6 books of the Bible available on their website (Matthew, Mark, Esther, Joshua, Judges, and Ruth).

All in all, I can’t say that I recommend it, but I can’t say that I don’t either. If you’ve always wished you could read the Bible like a comic book, this might be exactly what you’ve been looking for.