Friday, October 17, 2014

Apologia iWitness Review (Eye-Witness? The Bible iWitness)


Biblical history is fascinating, particularly when used as part of your apologetics. And now Apologia Educational Ministries has come out with a new iWitness series of books to help explore the eye-witness facts that support the veracity of the Bible. We were sent three books from the series to review: iWitness Biblical ArchaeologyNew Testament iWitness,  and Old Testament iWitness.

The books are thin volumes of 64 pages each, with glossy, full-color (Somewhat busy) pages. This is a two page spread from the Old Testament iWitness book~ you can see that there is a LOT going on here! 
The books present a considerable amount of very interesting information that may answer many questions before they are even asked. How were the books included in the Canon of Scripture chosen? Why weren’t the Apocryphal and other historical Jewish books included? How are the texts for translation chosen? Do we have any degree of certainty that Noah’s Ark was real, and if so, where it may have landed? There are some bits about other things like the Shroud of Turin that I found fascinating.
    
Middlest on Old Testament iWitness: He was struck by how meticulously the Hebrew Scribes copied the Bible, not even one word at a time, but one letter at a time, counting the words, counting the letters, and counting to the middle of each book to be certain that they didn’t forget anything.  He was amazed to learn how the “change over time” argument doesn’t hold water based on studies of the Dead Sea Scrolls and the accuracy of manuscripts from 1000’s of years later.
    
Eldest~ on iWitness Biblical Archaeology: She has been enjoying how well this book ties in with her current study on Bibilical Archaeology. She was particularly intrigued with the portion on the flood and the search for Noah’s Ark. There were facts and photos that she had never read before that opened up more interest in those topics.
     
I found New Testament iWitness to contain a lot of information on the process of translation, and how decisions are made on which texts were more likely to be the most reliable. In the final analysis, given the evidence, we can be certain that 99.5% of the Bible we read today is true to the original text, with any variations being minor and not of any major doctrinal concern.


Pros~ Very interesting information that answers a lot of questions before they are even asked. How did we get the Bible? How can we conclude that the books included in the Bible are the Word of God, and that others *not* included in the Canon of Scripture are not. 
Our only con: the Graphic layout
While the fonts used are very interesting, they are somewhat difficult to read, even for those with young eyes... Both of my older children found the text type to be more than they wanted to deal with, and they preferred that I read the text to them!

With all of the background busyness, this could be a difficult book for someone who prefers a clean page to look at. There are those who can’t process information with that much distraction, so I wouldn’t recommend it in that case.


On the other hand, my youngest was engaged in looking at all the background graphics as I read to his siblings, although he was somewhat disappointed that the text was too fuzzy OR in a language that he couldn’t understand… ;)

If you or someone you know is interested in learning how we can be sure the Bible contains eye-witness accounts, you may find that the iWitness books are just what you are looking for. 

Side note: the author, Doug Powell graduated suma cum laude with a Masters in Apologetics from Biola University in 2007.

You can visit Apologia online: Facebook, Twitter, Google+ , and Pinterest
Not So Nutty Nitty Gritty 
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Blessings~



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