In the introduction to The Visual Word, the author asks “What is this book?” I’m not sure myself. It’s a blend of stylistic icons representing the major divisions of the New Testament books coupled with brief summaries of those divisions. The author suggests various uses for it, from an aid to devotional Bible reading, to a help for pastors planning their sermon series, to a textbook for college and seminary students. I’m afraid that by trying to avoid being too niche, it is too broad and is unsatisfying as either an art book, coffee table book, or New Testament survey.
The author admits the outlines in The Visual Word are “an initial proposal.” It seems like the book is as well. The icons used to graphically depict the divisions of the New Testament books are beautiful and elegant, but I would have appreciated more of an explanation of what they represent. The author and illustrator clearly put a lot of thought into them, but I’d like more information than “Easter eggs shall be found. Even the details are important.” Some are obvious. Others are not. I wish each graphic had a description to explain what each detail means — I’m confident the artist explained them when he submitted his drafts.
The book seems like a bit of an experiment, but one that could be refined into something better. I hope to see a second edition in the future.
Disclosure of material connection: I requested and received a review copy of this book from the publisher.