The Visual Word Review

Book Review: 

Ever since I discovered Bible Project five years ago, I have been a huge fan of graphical representations of Scripture. So when I heard of The Visual Word: Illustrated Outlines of the New Testament Books by Patrick Shreiner and Anthony Benedetto, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it!

The Visual Word is “a visual representation of the literary structure of each New Testament book.” It comes in 8.5 by 11 inches hardcover with gorgeous gold and blue designs adorning its pages.

The book has 25 chapters for the 27 books of the New Testament (John’s epistles are together). Each chapter has a book synopsis on the right page and a graphical outline on the left page that features its primary theme, major divisions, and sublime icons for each division. These sections are further explained in the chapter’s remaining pages to supplement the graphics.

Schreiner wrote The Visual Word for three main reasons. First, to help Christians read their Bible contextually—how each verse, passage, and chapter fit into the book’s narrative. Second, to take advantage of the power of visual aids to deepen our understanding of the Bible, and third, to remember the flow and basic outline of New Testament books.

I am glad to report that Schreiner succeeds on all accounts! The graphical layout and succinct descriptions help to see and better understand the structure and themes of each Bible book. Not to mention it gives an appreciable aesthetic pleasure. I also enjoyed the overview of the books and the concise descriptions of each of the sections. I discovered a few things I hadn’t noticed in my previous readings.

I only wished the book was a bit more visual. I expected the book to be primarily graphical, but the word descriptions of each section take the most space.

Nevertheless, I am well pleased with this book and highly recommend it. Schreiner and Benedicto did an outstanding job with the detailed breakdown of each book and the stunning illustrations. I will surely return to this book repeatedly, as I have often done with the Bible project book and videos.

Moody Publishers graciously gave me a complimentary copy for an honest review.