You might already realize that I am a fan of Apologia Educational Ministries if you read my blog very often. My daughter and I posted a review of Exploring Creation with Marine Biology just a few weeks ago and that is the fifth or sixth book I have reviewed for the company in the past few years. My younger daughter is using Swimming Creatures of the Fifth Day as her science curriculum, and my oldest son is using Exploring Creation with General Science for his eighth grade year. We love Apologia.
So it’s going to come as no surprise that we love these books: iWitness Biblical Archaeology, New Testament iWitness, and Old Testament iWitness ($14 each) by Doug Powell of Apologia Educational Ministries. Each of these three books is paperback, roughly 100 pages (they are unnumbered), and has a reading level for roughly age 11 and up. My eleven-year-old can certainly read them on her own, but my eight-year-old still enjoys the books and especially the format when I read the books aloud to him a couple pages at a time. I am 42, and I found the material interesting, so I am pretty sure there is no upper age limit.
I wanted to touch briefly on the format of the books first, since that is what appeals to my son most. Then I will come back and discuss each book’s content.
The pages of each book are almost like reading a comic book. Almost, but a little more sophisticated than that I think. Each is designed for visual impact and the illustrations are gorgeous (that’s what I mean about not being exactly like a comic book). However, the text included is fairly detailed information. So the presentation wins over those who prefer to keep their reading on the lighter side and helps students grasp this important topic of historical proof for the Bible.
iWitness Biblical Archaeology covers the detailed archeaological finds which prove the historical accuracy of the Bible, which has been proven in modern times to be astonishingly accurate as archeology has progressed. The book touches on topics such as the flood, the search for Noah’s ark, the Dead Sea Scrolls, the copies of the Old Testament, the locations mentioned in the New Testament, and so on. Did you know that until archeaologists discovered the Nabonidus Cylinder in 1854, the name of Belshazzar (king of Babylon during Daniel’s lifetime) was only known from the Bible?
Old Testament iWitness discusses the individual books, timeline and authorship of the Old Testament, the differences between our Old Testament and the Jewish Scriptures, and brings in some archaeological evidence for the accuracy of the text and inerrancy of Scripture. It also includes the purpose of each Old Testament book.
New Testament iWitness covers the history of the New Testament books, and again covers authorship, accuracy of copies, and the inerrancy of Scripture with archeaological evidence.
My Bottom Line:
Is the Bible really God’s Word? Is what we read really what the men of the Old and New Testament actually wrote? How can we resolve questions such as the Gospel synopsis between each of the four gospels? Did the Exodus really take place?
These are all very important questions for your children to consider as the depth of their faith is formed. These are the questions which will come up in college classes as professors try to pull your children away from God’s Word. That makes the study of these topics of utmost importance.
All of my children have been or will be required to read these books.
I highly, highly recommend these books as an excellent starting point for the study of apologetics.