Tuesday, October 14, 2014

iWitness Book Set by Apologia {Crew Review}

I love reviewing the products from Apologia Educational Ministries.  They usually are interesting to the boys and I learn a ton from them as well.  This new product is not exception.

I received three books by Doug Powell from Apologia Educational Ministries:

Each of these books sells for $14 are are suggested for a variety of ages (My 8.5 year old really enjoyed most of them), but they do have a reading level of at least 11 years old.

The purpose of these books is to provide evidence and explanation for the reasons for our faith. Researchers, scientists and educators have been pouring over Biblical evidence for several centuries, and these books make a convincing argument that our faith is grounded in the reality and veracity that Jesus was who He said He was -- God's Son sent from heaven to die for our sins. You can read more about author Doug Powell at the Apologia website.

How we used these books: The boys and I used these books as add-ons to our Bible studies during the review period.  They are each a little different in their focus, but the three fit together nicely.

I let the boys pick which they wanted to read first, and they chose Biblical Archaeology.  This book does a wonderful job of explaining how archaeology has proven the historical accounts of the Bible.   More than half of the book focuses primarily on Old Testament discoveries.  Main topics include:

  • The Flood
  • Noah's Arch
  • Egyptian Chronology
  • The Exodus
  • various inscriptions (house of David, YHWH, etc)
  • Old Testament History
  • Dead Sea Scrolls
  • Oldest Old Testament Copies
  • Hadrian and Constantine
  • Jesus' World
  • The Burial Shroud of Jesus
Luke was particularly interested in this book, and I think Levi would've been a bit more interested if it included additional definitions and explanations -- such as "What is a bulla?" (It is a seal.)  There were a few pages that seemed to repeat themselves (as if they had originally been in separate books and were later combined into this one volume), but I think that was only apparent to me.  

The next book the boys wanted to read was New Testament iWitness.  This book answers the many questions asked about where the Bible came from -- who its authors are, why the books included were chosen (as opposed to the many others that occasionally make the news), and how differences between copies are reconciled.  I really enjoyed reading about how different books of the Bible were categorized by Eusebius in 432 AD and the origins and fates of the extra-Biblical books.

The third book, Old Testament iWitness, is similar to the New Testament book.  It explains the authorship of the OT books, differences between it and the Hebrew Bible, short biographies of the major and minor prophets and a little on archaeological finds from the Old Testament periods.  The book explains what a covenant is and how it differs from a contract. What I found most interesting, however, was the history of the Apocrypha books.  

I'll admit that I didn't read much of the Old Testament book to Luke or Levi right now;  I'm not sure that they would find the Apocrypha section as interesting as I do.   

Outside of adding a glossary of terms, there is not much I would change about these books.  They are visually appealing, so those who wouldn't open up a textbook might find them inviting to pick up for short periods of time.  I'm glad to add these books to our reference library and we  will continue to dig into the Bible and discover God.

To read what other Crew members thought, please click Schoolhouse Reviews.

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