Sacred Art Series - The Holy Gospels of St. Luke and St. John Imitation Leather – Large Print, December 1, 2014
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The Text is GIANT PRINT, probably a minimum of a 14-16 pt. or larger font by MS Word standards...
There are no footnotes, as that is the way that, W.R. Bloomfield wanted it so that there was nothing to distract the reader from the Gospel text, and gorgeous illustrations. Also the Challoner Revision of the Douay-Rheims Bible has very few footnotes and reads a lot like the RSV Bible that is loved by Many Catholic and Evangelical Christians.
I find it beautiful in that I can sit in Prayer and just look at the pictures that are from, I'd like to believe the old churches in Europe. Some are a little dark, but that would have been due to the use of incense and candles, and both produce smoke that has a tendency to darken the pigments used by artists to paint pictures.
The pages are a heavy "Magazine slick" type of paper that causes the illustrations to stand out beautifully. I would have included several pictures of the artwork, and font but the option to share pictures is unavailable at present.
The most impressive feat, however, is the editing. Even if the book wasn't so well made it would be well worth the price just for the content. I never understood how the format of a standard bible hindered reading until I read this book. The text is straightforward and accurate to the original, but without the archaic spellings. The font is large and clear. The removal of the verse numbers and footnotes helps me concentrate on the story in a way that I have never been able to before. Each gospel is broken up into episodes, with clear titles and subtitles marking the chapter and verse, e.g., The Baptism of Jesus (Luke 3: 21-22) and The Parable of the Sower (Luke 8:1-18). Other than typographical marks such as commas, periods, and quotation marks, there are no other markings on the text. At first, you may think this austerity is unnecessary, but you will soon find yourself lost in the story, rather than the "text". I think this is the way it should be.
The choice of artwork is phenomenal. I liked to think that I appreciated sacred art, but I see now that I really did not. With the artwork side by side with the sacred accounts I can now see the true beauty of the artwork and understand what the artist was trying to convey. This will greatly help my prayer life. As I meditate on the life of Christ, I can now recall these great masterpieces of sacred art.
My only complaint is that the book lacks page numbers. This is perhaps a small concern because you can mark your place with the ribbon and use the episode headings or artwork for reference. The choice of only including the Gospel's of John and Luke, which may seem peculiar at first, is, I believe, a good decision. The book is not a reference bible, so a comparison of the other books of the New Testament is not its intent. Yet, the inclusion of one synoptic gospel (Luke's) and John's Gospel gives a thorough account of Jesus's life that helps you to focus on it. Plus, this makes the book easy to carry and handle, especially for smaller hands. (I took the book to a doctor's office and it didn't feel like I was going to a bible study.)
Of course, I have written this review from my perspective. The truly great thing about this book is that it really does appeal to younger readers. My seven-year-old daughter picked this book up to pass the time while she had to wait on the couch (I won't tell you why). To our delight, she eagerly read many pages and has asked to read it on her own on other occasions. She's reading Sacred Scripture! This is not the limited re-telling of a children's bible. There is no way she would have done that with a standard bible.
I am very pleased with this book. I plan to buy it as a gift for my god-children and younger family members, as well as older friends and family who may need a fresh re-introduction to the greatest story ever told! I hope the publisher releases more books of the bible done this way.
While I am far from 7-17 years of age, and well beyond
the easy reader stage... the size, the format, the visual
richness... lends this Series to Sustained Lectio Divina
that is an extended period of time focused on particular
book(s) of the Bible. In this case, the Gospels of Luke and of John.
It is an unhurried text... I don't know that its possible to speed
through it. I'm hoping the Sacred Art Series will continue with
other selections from Scripture. And I encourage you to consider
the "slow way" through Luke and John.