Religion Magazine

A Book of Delights

By Richardl @richardlittleda

I have been reading the Bible regularly since I first received a Gideon New Testament at the age of 12 in Secondary school. That little book started a revolution in my life which would lead eventually to finding a Christian faith for myself. One thing led to another, I was ordained as a Baptist Minister in 1992, and I am never without a Bible. In fact, a Bible is so much part of my working toolkit, that I have to replace them every few years when they fall apart from use. I read it, meditate on it, preach from it, and write books inspired by it.

All this being so, you might think that the addition of another Bible would leave me cold. After all, what can possibly be new? However, in Thea Muir's case, that is not true. Her warm and charming illustrations, drawn out of a place of real hurt and self-understanding, are a precious addition to this version. Who could fail to love a phrase such as 'I am outrageously loved' for instance? As a person who both writes and reads a lot of books, I am ashamed to admit that I usually skip over the front matter. However, the very first phrase inside the front cover of this remarkable Bible really gave me pause:

The things that we believe are like seeds that we plant in our hearts. Our hearts are like fertile soil that grow whatever is planted in them.

The words, like the illustrations which accompany them, are simple, profound and simply profound. I have a feeling I shall look at them again and again. Not only that, but there are also suggestions on activities which might help any reader to feel more certain of the love of God which Thea feels so deeply.

In addition to these activities, there are also wide margins which encourage the reader to add their own illustrations or jottings. In this way, the Bible becomes entirely personal. For those who feel that the Bible needs no enhancement, either from an illustrator or a reader, I would point out the falling levels of Biblical literacy in the UK. We urgently need to fall in love with the Bible again, and Thea might just help us to do it.

A book of delights

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