Can I believe the Bible? Is the Bible really the inspired Word of God?
Books that answer these common questions with solid truthful evidence are always welcome additions to my home library. I have a great deal of respect for books that strengthen my faith and the faith of my children.
Apologia Educational Ministries has a new line of books out by author Doug Powell, all about Christian apologetics. We were given the opportunity to review three of the books from Powell’s iWitness series this month including: iWitness Biblical Archaeology, New Testament iWitness, and Old Testament iWitness. (Each book retails for $14.)
The iWitness series consists of five softcover books. (In addition to the books we received there is also Jesus iWitness and Resurrection iWitness coming soon.) These books present deep scholarly material to kids in a fun and colorful way. Readers are invited to investigate for themselves as they follow the author and “witness” various sites, artifacts, and examine manuscripts.
The books are full of intricately designed full-color pages and each book is geared towards kids on a reading level of age 11 and up.
Old Testament iWitness
The Old Testament iWitness book explores how the Old Testament came together. It explores who wrote the books and where they came from. Readers discover that the Old Testament is historically accurate as well as the difference between the Hebrew Bible and the Old Testament.
Topics include: Manuscripts, Copying, Canon Criteria, Tanaka, Canon Formation, Septuagint, Torah, Prophets, Documentary Hypothesis, Covenants (And Near East Treaties), Nevi’im, Major Prophets, Minor Prophets, Ketuvi’im, The Scrolls, Wisdom Books, History Books, Intertestamental Period, Apocrypha, Vulgate, Apocrypha Acceptance, Apocrypha Canonization, Dead Sea Scrolls, Archaeology, New Testament, and Timeline.
New Testament iWitness
The New Testament iWintess book explores why the church accepted certain groups of writings in the New Testament over others and why the church recognized but did not “pick” the books. It also talks about the church fathers and how the books of the Bible were copied.
Topics include: Councils of Hippo and Carthage, Canon Criteria, Athanasius, Eusebius, Church Fathers, Muratorian Canon, Marcion Canon, The Gospel, The Apostle, Apostolic Fathers, Apostolic Age, Synoptic Problem, Hymns and Creeds, Rejected Books, Canon Certainty, How It Was Copied, Number of Copies, Copying Methods, Differences in the Copies, Manuscript Families, Textual Criticism, and Recovered Text.
iWitness Biblical Archaeology
The iWitness Biblical Archaeology book explores the artifacts, sites, and things that have been left behind that backs the truth of the Bible. This was probably the most exciting book out of the three, for us. The evidence shown in this book either backs up what is found in the Bible or gives us background information to better understand biblical history.
Topics include: The Flood, Looking for Noah’s Ark, Egyptian Chronology, The Exodus, House of David Inscriptions, YHWH Inscriptions, Israel Inscription, Sennacherib’s Siege of Jerusalem – Finds at Nineveh, Sennacherib’s Siege of Jerusalem – Finds at Jerusalem, Old Testament History, Dead Sea Scrolls, Oldest Old Testament Copies, Oldest New Testament Copies, Hadrian and Constantine, Jesus’ Judges, Jesus’ World, Jesus’ World – Jerusalem, New Testament Locations, New Testament Inscriptions, and The Burial Shroud of Jesus.
Usage and Thoughts
My son and I read a few pages of these books each day in the morning as part of our Bible time together. My son is a little younger than the recommended student reading level so I read the pages aloud while my son followed along and looked at the pictures.
Our favorite book was the iWiness Biblical Archaeology. We learned a lot of interesting things from this book and had some good discussions about Noah’s ark and other interesting subjects.
I found the layout of the pages a bit too busy for me. I also found that some of the text in places was difficult to read. My son wasn’t very excited about the subject matter. I’m not sure if it was because he was under the recommended age or if it was just not interesting to him.
I don’t know of many Christian apologetics books for kids so I do think these are a good starting point for a child who wants to learn more about the Bible. I think it’s important for my children to know why they believe what they believe and how to defend their belief system.