This is an amazing book, the likes of which we rarely see today. It is designed to be read by the parent with the child (ages 5+). Sturdy with a hardcover, there are over 300 pages of easy-to-read biblical text, full colour plates and commentary on the painting or sculpture. There are excellent column notes providing further information, possibly more suitable for older children or adults as it discusses Biblical concepts and imagery,
The paintings, photographs of ceilings, manuscripts, murals and sculptures chosen are interesting but I had difficulty in finding a rationale for the choice which is predominantly, but not exclusively, pre 19th century. All the stories chosen will at least be familiar to some adults. One other criticism might be the choice of paper for the images. A gloss paper may have been preferable since often a level of sharpness and clarity of the painting was lost with the use of a matt finish.
However with Christians‘ knowledge of the Old Testament so sadly lacking, this is not only a helpful family book, but one which can be used in those sometimes challenging all-age church services and addresses, with wonderful opportunities to project the image on a screen. It will have 3 benefits: open the whole congregation to a new appreciation of religious art; familiarize everyone with major Hebrew Scripture stories; and finally offer an opportunity for exciting and creative exegesis with which all will be able to engage.
Also available in German:
Suzanne E. Lier:
Reise durch das Alte Testament.
Die fünf Bücher des Mose. Ein Lesebuch für die Familie mit Bildern der Kunst
Verlag Bibel und Kunst, 2013