Since moving into our new house earlier this year, I’ve been trying to build up our book collection (because we have room for bookshelves now. Yeah!). I was so excited when my family was given the opportunity to review 3 books from Apologia Educational Ministries, because I knew they’d most likely be something that we would greatly enjoy, and would be quality books. We received iWitness Biblical Archaeology, New Testament iWitness, and Old Testament iWitness. The books themselves are great for any age, but the reading level is for around ages 11 and up. Each book costs $14 at the time of posting.
iWitness Biblical Archaeology is approximately 64 pages long total, and begins by defining archaeology, and how it fits into the Bible’s history and proves the accuracy of Bible accounts. The topics covered range from Noah’s flood and ends with Jesus’ burial shroud, and also include Dead Sea scrolls, New Testament locations, The Exodus, Jesus’ judges and world, plus several more . Most topics are covered over 2 pages, while a few are either 4 pages long or just 1 pages. One thing that makes these 3 books fun in unique is the way they are presented. The pages are done in a sort of scrapbook/postcard style. There are pictures of people or things that are related to the current topic, along with short but informative tidbits of information. The pages are very colorful and lovely to view.
New Testament iWitness is similar in length to the previous book (all 3 are generally the same length) and discusses different topics as well, such as who wrote the New Testament, if any books were left out, criteria for books that are included in the NT, if it has changed, and how it was handed down. This book is also presented in a scrapbook format, but doesn’t really have photographs. Instead the pictures are more like paintings and drawings. Some of the actual topics covered are Church Fathers, the Apostolic Age, Hymns and Creeds, Rejected Books, Copying Methods, and lots more.
Lastly, but certainly not least, is Old Testament iWitness. This book, like the others, is presented in a scrapbook format and includes lots of colorful pictures, drawings, and paintings. It covers how the OT differs from the Hebrew Bible, who authored the books, and how they were collected. Topics discussed are Vulgate, Apocrypha, Major and Minor Prophets, Canon Formation and Criteria, Archaeology, Dead Sea Scrolls, and of course more. There’s also a really cool timeline in the back. I love timelines, because you can research the topic and time and at least have some semblance of accuracy there.
When I first saw and heard of the books, I thought they’d be good to incorporate into our Group Time around the table. I tried to do 1 topic per day since they’re fairly short reads. However, since there are so many nice pictures and paintings in the book, and the books aren’t large, it was hard to hold the book up enough for everyone to see them well, and the book would have to be passed around. These books would be put to better use to read on one’s own, so you can really look at the graphics while you’re reading. I think from now on I’ll let the kids read them as part of their scheduled reading time.
I’ve enjoyed reading these books with the family. There’s tons of info in them that I had never heard before. My only real complaint is that some of the fonts are hard to read well. I’m read really well, and some of them were difficult for me to comprehend. Aside from that, the books area great History addition to your book collection!