Holy Bible Mosaic (NLT)
Those of you familiar with me and this blog will know that to the extent I am critical of another member of the body of Christ, it is only ever for causing division in the body. That is why I was so excited to post about the release of Holy Bible Mosaic back in June. It seems to me Mosaic is an attempt to bridge division and bring the body together.
Here is an excerpt from the Mosaic website:
- Writings from every continent and century of the Christian Church - Contemporary and historical writings from Christians across the globe such as St. Augustine, Charles Wesley, and Henri Nouwen.
- Full-Color Art - Full color art offers another kind of reflective devotional experience, with artwork from contemporary and historical artists.
- Variety of Reflective Content - The content is arranged so that every week the reader has a variety of content for reading and reflection. Each week follows a theme appropriate to the Church season (such as Advent, Easter, etc). The content included for each week includes full-color art; Scripture readings; a historical reading; a contemporary reading; a prayer, creed, hymn or quote; and space for reflection.
- Space for your response to God's promptings - Add your tile to the mosaic-write or draw your response, prayers and questions in the provided space.
And that is only a small sampling of what Mosaic contains.
Before I get in to the substance of the review, I want to mention a few technical matters. First, at 8.6"x5.8" (5.7" for the softcover), Mosaic's size is ideal for personal use. It's not a Bible you have to keep on a coffee table or at home because of its size. It is certainly attractive enough to display openly, but not so bulky that you won't be able to carry it around if you choose.
The paper (off-white for the insert, bright white for the Bible text), the typesetting, and the cover are as attractive as any Bible I've seen in recent memory, and I look at a lot of Bibles.
I have previously reviewed the the NLT Study Bible, so I won't go into an in-depth review of the Bible text portion. As far as the Mosaic material, it is well worth your time, effort and money. The artwork spans from ancient to contemporary and is included with every section.
The scripture readings, essays, quotations, and other material are laid out according to a church calendar: A four week Advent, the Christmas season, a six week Epiphany, Lent, Easter, and 28 weeks of Pentecost. And there is related material for each week of the year.
For example, according to the calendar, this is Pentecost, Week 23, and the topic is "Diversity." The scripture readings are Ruth 1:1-22, Psalm 145, Philippians 1:27, and Matthew 12:46. There is also a "Prayer for the Heart and Will of God" by Thomas A. Kempis (c. 1380-1471), an essay by Derek Chinn entitled "Distinguished by Diversity," quotations from Justin Martyr and Jerome Nathanson, additional suggested scripture reading, an area for your reflections, and more. A different topic is covered each week, including "Blame," "Forgiveness," "Justice," "Apocalyptic Blues," "Wealth," "The Birth of the Church," and many more. Each section, Advent, Christmas, etc., are treated similarly.
Mosaic is not a study Bible, per se, but you will learn a lot by reading it beyond what you would learn from the Biblical text. These particular uses came to mind when I was reviewing Mosaic:
- Obviously, personal Bible study
- Small group Bible studies
- Family Bible studies
- Inter-faith Bible studies
- Sunday school classes
In my interview with Keith Williams, Mosaic's General Editor, I asked Keith to suggest ways pastors and other church leaders could incorporate Mosaic into their church life, and his suggestions were certainly appropriate and well thought out. Click the interview link above to read those.
I don't see Mosaic as a replacement for a good study or life application Bible, but, if your primary reading Bible is the New Living Translation, it could certainly replace a regular reading Bible. What I do see Mosaic being is a magnificent addition to any library and a useful tool for every Christian.
Mosaic is not just another themed Bible, and to lump it in with the vast majority of themed Bibles would do it a tremendous disservice. But, there is without question a theme that threads through this book, that we are all part of one mosaic, and it's a work in progress.
My Other Mosaic Posts:
- NLT Mosaic Coming Fall 2009
- Holy Bible Mosaic Released Today
- Holy Bible Mosaic (It's Gorgeous) and Blog Tour Info
- Mosaic Blog Tour Interview with Keith Williams
- Holy Bible Mosaic Giveaway
Tyndale and NLT Links: