Lion Hudson commissioned a set of sixty illustrations for 'Simply the Bible', a clear and simple introduction for anyone who finds the Bible a bit daunting, or simply wants a brief overview. The Bible isn't one book: it’s an anthology of many different kinds of book or writing, including history, poetry, stories, legal codes, proverbs and sayings, apocalyptic visionary descriptions, hymns, letters...
Genesis: in the beginning
Although traditionally identified as an apple, the fruit that Eve and Adam ate is never defined. It could have been a banana for all we know.
Exodus: the flight out of Egypt
Exodus is an escape story. The title of the book means ‘exit’. (It comes from the Greek title Exodos Aigyptou which means ‘departure from Egypt’). Moses leads the enslaved Israelites out of Egypt to freedom.
1 Kings: a lesson in leadership
The book of Kings is a documentary, taking us from the death of King David through the reign of Solomon and on to the splitting of the kingdom into two separate nations, with their many kings and rulers. The northern kingdom (Israel) makes a poor start when its king (Jeroboam) creates a new religion, erecting two golden calves in a bid to rival worship at Jerusalem.
Job: why do good people suffer?
A dark, brooding psychological drama (shot in black and white, possibly with subtitles). It’s a meditation on one of the most profound of all human dilemmas: why do good people suffer? Set in the time of the patriarchs, the book takes the form of a dialogue between Job and his not-so-helpful friends.
Proverbs: the beginning of wisdom
It's about the shaping of character. A book founded on the idea that people can change, that wisdom can be learned. In our increasingly shallow culture, Proverbs is a corrective, urging the reader to carefully consider the world around and collect, cherish, celebrate wisdom: 'Go to the ant, consider her ways, and be wise. Without having any chief, officer, or ruler, she prepares her bread in summer and gathers her food in harvest.'
Ecclesiastes: everything is pointless
What’s the point, asks the teacher. And he finds that there isn’t one. Ecclesiastes is one of the most surprising books of the Bible; a cynical, weary summary of the apparent pointlessness of life. The ‘teacher’ looks at all of life – everything under the sun – and concludes that everything is futile, pointless, vain.
Song of Songs: I’m in love with a Shulamite girl
It’s a love song. Think soft-focus, candlelight, champagne, wedding-night bliss and a lot of heavy breathing. The girl from Shulam ♥ the King. The King ♥ the girl from Shulam. There's quite a lot about doves and gazelles.
Isaiah: a threat and a promise
It starts with a message of condemnation: judgment is coming. But then, there is restoration. And one day the Messiah will return … only he won’t be what you’re expecting!
2 Corinthians: we get knocked down, but we get up again
We're afflicted, persecuted, weighed down and attacked. But we never give up, never despair, never lose heart.
Colossians: don't be fooled
Paul's readers in Colossae seem to have been lured into following a pick’n’mix selection of beliefs, traditions and special holidays. Paul writes encouraging them to free themselves from such snares.