Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Three iWitness books from Apologia Educational Ministries (Schoolhouse Review Crew review)

We received this for review purposes!

Product Links:

Vendor Information Link: Apologia Educational Ministries

Age Appeal: reading level is ages 11 and up, it will appeal to many people

Format: paperback book

Price: $14 each 

iWitness Books-001

Are you looking for books for children and adults that can teach more about Biblical archeology and the New and Old Testaments.  iWitness Biblical Archeology, New Testament iWitness, and Old Testament iWitness will do that and encourage the read to want to learn even more.

iWitness Biblical Archeology contains information about:

  • the Flood and Noah’s Ark
  • Sennacherib’s Siege of Jerusalem
  • the Dead Sea Scrolls
  • the oldest Old Testament copies
  • and more!

Old Testament iWitness contains information about:

  • Canon Criteria
  • different prophets
  • Covenants and Near East Treaties
  • the Intertestamental Period
  • and more!

New Testament iWitness contains information about:

  • the Synoptic Problem
  • rejected books
  • copying methods
  • manuscript families
  • and more!

Doug Powell, the author, has a Master of Arts in Christian Apologetics from Biola University.  He is also a graphic designer, musician, and an app developer.  Here is an interview with him that does an excellent job of describing the books.

Our Experience: 

It is always fun to learn more about the Bible and the Bible version that we read, which is why I was excited when we were chosen to review these three books.

I feel it is very important to learn as much about the Bible and its history as possible.  These books began to teach and inform us about Biblical history that we knew nothing about.

I decided to use these books both for ancient history and Bible study.  We would read a little bit of each book every day.  We read iWitness Archeology first, then Old Testament iWitness, and finished up with New Testament iWitness.  B and C enjoyed it when we read these books and I hope it encourages them to learn even more.

Mama’s Thoughts:

  • My favorite book was iWitness Biblical Archeology, because I have been interested in archeology for many years.  I am very strong in my faith, but I do enjoy seeing and reading about archeological proof of the existence of different in the Bible, like the Taylor Prism which talks about about Sennacherib’s invasion of Judah.  It also helps to have concrete proof when discussing the Bible with others who are not of the same faith.  I do wonder if there is a reason there is not a lot of archeological evidence, perhaps we need to take more on faith and not archeological evidence.
  • That faith comes into play with the book, New Testament iWitness.  The New Testament also took a lot of faith, because there are a lot of different versions and some books were accepted and some were not.  It was interesting reading about the different church fathers and learning about what books they did and did not accept.  My favorite part of this book was the section describing the different manuscript families.  it was interesting to learn that the King James version is a Byzantine text type, which is not as reliable as the Alexandrian text type, which is the most reliable and what modern Bible translations are based.
  • Old Testament iWitness was also a great book.  I really enjoyed learning about the different parts of the Bible and how meticulous the scribes were at copying.  I liked how the author, Doug Powell, included different archeological evidence as well.
  • All three of these books have wonderful illustrations and photos which support the text.  I do with the font of the text had been different.  It was very difficult for me to read some of t he passages, because I had a difficult time figuring out the individual letters in the different words.

B’s Thoughts (boy, age 10, officially in fifth grade):   

I liked the iWitness Biblical Archeology book the best.  I liked it, because I liked learning about the facts that back up the Bible.  I really liked the section, “Looking for Noah’s Ark.”  It would have been very nice to have an index, table of contents, and page numbers in this book.

Old Testament iWitness was my second favorite.  I liked learning about how they copied the copies of the Bible.  It was very interesting to learn about how carefully they copied it.

New Testament iWitness was also interesting and informational.  I really liked the section called “Synoptic Problem.” “Rejected Books” was cool.  It was fun to learn about the different manuscript families, like Byzantine and Alexandrian. 

In all three books it would have been easier to read if the text had been in a different font.

These books are very good for people of all ages.

C’s Thoughts (girl, age 8, officially in third grade):

My favorite book was iWitness Biblical Archeology.  I liked it, because I like history. 

These books are good for people of all ages.

Dad’s Thoughts:

I enjoyed the iWitness Biblical Archaeology book by Doug Powell.  The photos added to the informational text to create a vivid picture of the time and place of each topic discussed.  Enough information is presented to both satisfy your curiosity and leaving you with a passion to dig further into each topic.  Each archaeological find mentioned reinforces biblical scripture.  It's good to know that the Bible is trustworthy and true in all that it teaches us.

iWitness Biblical Archaeology is great to have around for young readers or just as a quick reference in biblical discussions.  It's well worth your investment of cost and time.

I enjoyed New Testament iWitness and Old Testament iWitness.  The history of how the Old and New Testaments came into being is quite interesting and informative. Though some of the terminology may need to be explained to younger children in an easier way for them to understand, I believe that they can grasp the concepts of how different books were or were not selected to be in the Bible.

Powell has produced more enjoyable books that have been well laid out with text, pictures, drawings, and graphs. They will be another resource for our library.

Mama highly recommends!

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