A couple of years ago a friend introduced me to the resources available at the Bible Project. It may be that I am late to the party, however I have found myself turning to them increasingly often in recent months. If you are not familiar with the work of Timothy Mackie and Jonathan Collins, they describe themselves like this:
“The Bible Project is a Portland based non-profit that utilizes short-form, fully animated videos to make the biblical story accessible to everyone, everywhere. We create videos, podcasts, and study guides that explore the Bible’s unified story by focusing on its overarching themes and each book’s literary design. We are committed to understanding the Bible in its historical context and communicating its wisdom for the modern world.”
Initially, it was the Read Scripture video series that impressed me. Each short video uses animation to summarise a biblical book or theme, engaging with complex ideas in a way that is not only creative but also logical and thoughtfully structured.
More recently, I have been enjoying the podcasts that form the basis of the new animated video series. If you have listened to Rabbit Room podcasts or attended Hutchmoot, the conversational style will feel familiar. There is an immediate sense that you have stumbled into a conversation between two guys with a genuine friendship and an infectious passion for the Bible.
The more I study the Old Testament, the more captivated I am by the layers of story within it, not only painting a stunning picture of the heart of God and pointing to Christ, but laying the groundwork for a proper understanding of the New Testament. As an adjunct professor of Hebrew and Old Testament, Tim’s knowledge of the Hebrew language and culture bring a fresh perspective to the Biblical story, peeling away the centuries of Greek thought that often cause us to miss ideas central to both the Old Testament and the teaching of Jesus and the New Testament writers.
With such a rich focus, it would be easy to become purely academic, producing something that is inaccessible to the general public. The beauty of the podcasts is that Tim and Jon manage to present strong, scholarly work in a way that leaves room for humility and natural humour. The video below is an introduction to the work of the Bible Project and the rest of their resources are available at their website www.thebibleproject.com.
Heidi Johnston is the author of Life in the Big Story and is currently the Rabbit Room’s only Irish contributor. She studied law at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland and now, amongst other things, teaches a class on “Poetic and Wisdom Literature of the Old Testament” at Belfast Bible College. Heidi is passionate about getting people to engage with the Bible and has a fascination with the book of Deuteronomy.