Illuminated Gospels

Crossway will soon be releasing “The Four Holy Gospels,” an illuminated (i.e., illustrated with artwork) edition of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.  I’m very excited about this project–not only as a lover of fine Bibles, but also as one who would like to see art, worship, and the Bible come together more often and at a higher level than we American Christians are accustomed to seeing.  Check out this video about the project, and let me know what you think.  I’m thinking that this will make a really cool Valentine’s Day gift that Jen and I will both enjoy.

About hjimkeener

Education: B.A.: Moody Bible Institute GCTS: Knox Theological Seminary M.Div.: Pittsburgh Theological Seminary Ph.D.: Baylor University Ministry Experience: I have served as a Youth Minister, Associate Pastor of English Ministry, and a pulpit supply preacher. Teaching Experience: In addition to teaching in various volunteer and professional ministry settings, I have taught as a University Professor (Teaching Fellow; Baylor University) and as a Seminary Professor (El Seminario de la Iglesia Presbiteriana de Bolivia). I have also given lectures and sermons in Spanish.
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9 Responses to Illuminated Gospels

  1. Scott says:

    That does look interesting.

  2. hjimkeener says:

    Hey, Scott. Check out a copy when it comes out, and let me know what you think. I’d really like to see more projects combining art and the biblical text. As you may know, I’m a big fan of Gustave Dore, and I’d love to see a Dore Bible in a modern English translation. You can find some antique Family Bibles that have prints by Dore, Rembrandt, etc. But today’s Family Bibles are always very cheaply produced (glued binding with sloppy hardback casing, etc.), and the only art they have, if any, is from Thomas Kinkaid. Don’t get me wrong: there’s a place for Kinkaid . . . but . . . Well, something like this Fujimura project (or a Dore Bible, for that matter) has a sort of . . . gravitas that you just don’t get from a Kinkaid or “Precious Moments” Bible. fwiw

  3. Bonni says:

    This looks very interesting. Fujimura’s art specifically captures the feel of the Gospels; they are not picked out of a “catalog” of existing pictures to match what is written. Definitely a Bible I would like to see.

  4. Carlton Meredith says:

    What a combination, Jim: abstract, non-representational modern art illuminating a reading edition the venerable KJV. Fujimura sounds like an interesting guy. The work I saw in the video struck me as naturally pleasing.

    An interesting philosophical question to explore would be the relationship between a traditional historico-grammatical reading of the Biblical text and the accompanying art. Crossway has gotten the title right, “Illuminated Gospels”; the page layouts I saw looked good. The question naturally follows: Is the art a true handmaiden to the text throughout?

    Speaking of Christianity and art, a friend of mine, Dr. William Taylor, edits a magazine called Connections (sponsored by the WEA Missions Commission). The last issue (September 2010) was actually a double issue entitled “Art in Missions” on the use of all kinds of Arts in missions. You might like to take a look at it. The nice thing about Connections is that it is available online for free (back issues, too), as well as in paper form via subscription:

  5. hjimkeener says:

    Bonni–thanks for stopping by. If you get a chance to look at Fujimura’s project, let me know what you think.

  6. hjimkeener says:

    Carlton–you make some interesting points (though I’m sure some would challenge the view that the words “traditional” and “historico-grammatical” ought to go together, but I digress . . .). In terms of my own tastes in art, I tend to be a concrete/classical sort of guy (Dore, Michaelangelo, and Caravaggio are among my favorites), but I really and truly am attracted to Fujimura’s work, and I definitely think it is well suited for illuminating the text in a new and fresh way. On a related note, Dr. Winifred Neely made the point at a lecture on preaching with imagination a few weeks back that sermon illustrations ought to “do the text justice;” I think the same could be said of art-work illuminating a biblical text.

    I’ll check out the magazine that you mentioned. I’d be really interested to see how people are using art in ministry and worship around the world. Jen is the artist of the family–I’m really sort of a novice. Yet, I do feel that we Protestants should really be thinking seriously about our neglect of the arts and actively trying to find new ways to use the arts to the glory of God.

  7. Pingback: Saint John’s Bible: A New Illuminated Bible | For His Lovingkindness is Everlasting.

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