Eyewitness: The Visual Bible Experience is an illustrated Bible storybook for grownups. The goal is to use story-telling and art to make the Bible stories and people as vivid and as real as possible. It covers 39 stories from the Bible. They were carefully curated by the author and were considered the most essential stories that give the reader an overview of the Bible’s message. It has large illustrations on one page and text on the other, or text placed into a window over the illustrations. This layout draws me into the stories.
The book itself is a hardcover edition with extra-thick semi-glossy paper. The paper does have a glare under direct light, but it’s easy enough to find the perfect angle to read it. It has no glare under indirect light. It’s sewn and includes a dust jacket. The overall size is 11 1/8″ x 8 5/8″ x 3/4″ and it weighs 2lbs, 8.6oz.
The stories were written by Jeff White. It isn’t actually Scripture or a paraphrase. Instead, it’s the Bible stories told from a first-person perspective. Each Bible character is telling their story, regardless of the author of the book. They’re accurate to the events in Scripture. It isn’t meant to take the place of reading the Bible, but rather, to help you visualize the biblical stories.
The writing itself is vivid and you feel like you’re hearing the person from the Bible. The writing includes detail and emotion. Each story has a heading, the author(s), and the Scripture reference. When multiple people are telling the story, each one is identified as you’d see in a script for a play.
About a third of the stories have an extra encounter with the Bible character at the end where they talk more about their experience with God and give more insights into the stories and topics. Also, a third of the stories focus on the women in the Bible.
Eyewitness: The Visual Bible Experience contains 120 illustrations using several art styles. The artwork is from 16 international artists. This diversity brings in lots of art styles and different ways of picturing the settings, people, and objects. This ensures the characters are not “Americanized”, which is something I appreciate.
Even though the book doesn’t have a consistent art style (even to the point of drawing the same person in different ways), the artwork fits the character of the book and the stories. I actually like seeing the different art styles throughout the book. It keeps it from looking the same from one story to another. Just one might have been fine, but I prefer a lot of styles to just a few styles. Most of the illustrations don’t attempt to recreate everything in detail, but rather, to give the impression of the setting or event. It looks epic and it fits the story.
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Eyewitness: The Visual Bible Experience is a fun book to read. The physical book, writing, and art are beautiful. All three draw me in and make me want to read it and share the experience with others. It was written and drawn with adults in mind. It doesn’t hold back on stories that cover violence, sex, depression, death, and other topics that are difficult to deal with when talking to children. The book makes a great introduction to the Bible for first-time readers and it’s an excellent book for those that just want to visualize the most crucial Bible stories, which I find helps with reading and teaching. I highly recommend Eyewitness: The Visual Bible Experience for young adults and above.
Group Publishing provided this book in exchange for an honest review.