I'm excited to introduce a set of resources from GlossaHouse publishers that make language learning a lot more fun: The Illustrated Hebrew Bible and The Illustrated Greek Bible.

Carmen Imes at Glossa House Booth
Talbot School of Theology professor Carmen Imes showcasing one of her illustrated volumes published by Glossa House

Each volume includes the unabridged Hebrew or Greek text of Scripture embedded in lively illustrations by Keith Neely. At the bottom of each page is a fresh English translation that follows the word order of the original text as closely as possible so that readers can easily locate a gloss for unfamiliar words. Think “graphic novel” meets “language school!”

To date, the published Hebrew volumes include Genesis, Exodus, Joshua, 1 Kings, Daniel (Hebrew & Aramaic), Job, and a single volume that includes the Hebrew short stories of Ruth, Esther and Jonah.

The Decalogue page in Carmen Imes' volume
The Decalogue page in Carmen Imes' volume "Illustrated Exodus"

The Greek volumes available now include Daniel, Mark, John and Acts.

As a special bonus, you can read Mark in Latin!

I'm personally invested in this project, having spent dozens of hours preparing the Exodus volume. It was a tangible way for me to commemorate 6 years working on the Decalogue (a.k.a. Ten Commandments). I believe my GlossaHouse English translation is the first to reflect the natural reading of the Hebrew in Exodus 20:7 that recognizes its metaphorical underpinnings: “You shall not bear the name of YHWH, your God, in vain.” For the 200-page justification of this translation, you can read my published dissertation or for an easier read that explores the biblical-theological theme, check out Bearing God’s Name: Why Sinai Still Matters. I’ve also produced the translation of Psalms for the forthcoming Illustrated Psalms volume.

Do these volumes make you drool but you’re not sure where to start? Start with the book you need to read for another class or project you’re working on. Alternatively, Exodus is good for Hebrew beginners, and Job offers a challenge for those needing intermediate practice. My Talbot colleague, Dominick Hernandez, produced the volume on Job after writing his dissertation on it.

The Burning Bush page in Carmen Imes' volume
The Burning Bush page in Carmen Imes' volume "Illustrated Exodus"

These volumes make fantastic gifts for the language nerds in your life. They would also work well for:

  • Hebrew or Greek Reading Courses — Professors could require or encourage students to buy these editions to more rapidly increase fluency. Visual cues make reading more natural.

  • Hebrew or Greek Exegesis Courses — Students can opt to use these instead of BHS for class because they include the entire Hebrew or Greek text of Scripture.

  • Individuals wanting to retain biblical languages or increase reading fluency — A page or more a day would be a great way to keep up your languages through the new year!

  • Homeschool families — Children studying biblical languages at home will love these books!

  • Jewish families raising their children to read and speak Hebrew and know the Hebrew Bible.

Other volumes currently in production include Judges, Samuel, Psalms, Matthew and 1,2,3 John, plus Latin versions of Genesis and Mark.