Laura Bartlett from Tyndale asked me to participate in the 10-week Holy Bible: Mosaic Blog Tour participated by 50 blogs. Be sure to enter the New Epistles Contest here to win a free copy of this brand new bible. I will be sending out to the winner an authorized certificate for a free copy redeemable at any Christian bookstore.
Holy Bible: Mosaic is based on the 2007 edition of the New Living Translation (NLT). The NLT is amongst one of my favourite gender-inclusive translations. It is very easy to read and understand, and yet, accurate. The New Living Translation has already become a standard translation for today. I predict the NLT will become one of the top modern translations of the 21st century—becoming what the NIV was for the 20th century.
The artwork in Mosaic is another big part of this bible. I have found the artwork very stimulating to my visual senses. It is very colorful and exudes with beauty making this one of my favourite aspects of the Mosaic. The artwork includes both ancient and contemporary, ranging from Asian, African, European, North and South American. The layout in this front section makes it easy on the eyes. There is a lot of empty space, ancient crosses, and color to highlight the varying font types. This is very well done, for which I hail my felicitations and adulation. It’s a beautiful layout that is aesthetically pleasing to one’s sense of sight.
When I first examined the bible from a top-down perspective, one of the first things that stood out for me was its diversity in art, contributors, and meditative readings. If there’s one word that describes this bible is: “diversity.” The lectionary’s readings are also diverse. Regarding this lectionary, the readings are related to a theme. For Pentecost, Week 23, the readings focus on a theme, which happens to be on diversity: Ruth 1:1-22; Psalm 145; Philippians 1:27-2:11; Matthew 12:46-50. It includes a one-year lectionary of readings (52 weeks) of which I am curious to know if it was originally developed for the Mosaic.
The contributions that give this bible its distinctive flavour are all located in the front of the bible. Scripture itself is located in the second half of the bible. Some of the contributions are original and are written by Christians throughout the world from different cultural and theological makeup. I have found that some of them can also be challenging because of these differences in culture and theology. Diversity can bring a new and refreshing perspective. Here is one such contribution from the diversity theme that reflects a view of my own human nature:
In 1 Corinthians, Paul suggests that it is human nature to gravitate toward people who are like us. Sometimes we maintain this habit by preferring to be with others who mirror us culturally, racially, economically, etc. In this way, I have found, I can reduce the likelihood of conflict and find others more willing to validate my opinions. I protect and reinforce my own identity through an easier, more comfortable option. But God is calling me to so much more. Jesus destroyed the barriers that keep me from engaging others (Chinn, p. 299).
What also makes the Mosaic interesting is that there are also historical readings and poetic reflections from theologians and luminaries from the historic ancient, medieval and post-reformation church. They vary in theological traditions, including well-known figures like Albertus Magnus, Thomas à Kempis, John Calvin, Teresa of Ávila, Julian of Norwich. Authors of readings from the ancient church include: John Cassian, Augustine of Hippo, Ambrose of Milan, Basil the Great. Even the Didache and St. Augustine’s Invocation are a few of the ancient meditations scattered throughout the 52 weeks of readings. There are also some of our more contemporary theologians: Charles Haddon Spurgeon, Andrew Murray, John Wesley, Alexander MacLaren, Witness Lee, Watchman Nee, Karl Barth, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Charles Hodge, Horatius Bonar, and more.
The Mosaic contributors include some of today’s most contemporaries whom I have never heard of, e.g., David Sanford and Rex Koivisto of Multnomah University; Pastor Bill Senyard of New Life Church. This makes the contributions very diverse—ranging from people who are unknown, and even, completely unknown, including editors and contributors for Creedo Communications who developed this bible for Tyndale.
Regarding the text of holy scripture itself, there is a center-column reference feature. Personally, I find this to be a useful feature because I research related passages of texts. The font of scripture is just large enough to be read comfortably in good light, but personally, I do wish the font size were a tad bit larger. I like the font size that’s in the NLT’s basic hardcover edition. However, this is only a minor concern for me.
Well, Tyndale, I say “Fine work” on this bible. The Holy Bible: Mosaic is amongst one of the most unique bibles I have seen of late. There are combined elements of simplicity, beauty, and diversity. This is why this has to be one of the most aesthetically pleasing bibles my hands and heart have embraced in the past several years.
Other Holy Bible: Mosaic material is also available from Amazon:
- Devotions for Advent: 9781414335780
- Devotions for Lent: 9781414335810 (Available January 2010)