Read Scripture with the Proper Perspective
I had a professor in graduate school say one lecture (and I’ll never forget it), “Don’t look so closely at a rose that you forget how it looks, and how it smells. In the same way, don’t look so closely at Scripture that you forget what it was intended for.” That was in an Biblical Exegesis class, mind you, and as we were looking at the book of Revelation we were asked to read and memorize large chunks of Greek text week after week after week.
Here’s the truth: Sometimes we can get so caught up in a verb’s tense or the “Well, what this word really means in it’s original language is…” that we completely forget the overarching story that Scripture is telling us. Alabaster Co. brings us back to that story, in a way that is beautiful, thought-provoking, and down right inspiring.
About Alabaster Co.
Alabaster Co. has made it their mission to create versions of Scripture that cause readers to pause and visually reflect on what is being shared.
From the Alabaster Co. About page:
Realizing that beauty is a foundational value when talking about creativity and God, they decided to name the company Alabaster, after one of the only times Jesus uses the word beautiful in the Gospels. In Mark 14:1-9, a woman breaks an alabaster jar of incredibly expensive perfume onto Jesus’ head. Many people in the room scoff at her and say what she has done is a complete waste. But Jesus defends the woman saying, “leave her alone, why do you bother her? What she has done is a beautiful thing.” It is this complete act of sacrificial giving which Jesus calls – in the original greek – kalos, which literally means beautiful as a sign of inward goodness. We wanted to have this same level of intentionality and thoughtfulness as the woman did as we created Alabaster.
My friends at Alabaster Co. sent us a stack of their work. I’ve had the chance to spend time with a number of their books (they also have beautiful notebooks, take a look), particularly the Gospels and Romans. I spent time with the books myself but also made sure that I got them in the hands of a few creatives that I know, particularly professionals in the world of church communications. No matter who got the book in their hands, myself included, the response was always the exact same thing – “These are beautiful.” or “These are so nice!”
Personally, I love the simplistic yet creative means that Bryan and Brian use in their work. It can sometimes be difficult to convey what God is trying to say throughout Scripture. We try to sum it up in certain words or in four-point sermons, but we could go on and on about what Paul or Jesus really meant by what they said. The images that chosen to represent the biblical truths are spot on. Some examples that come to mind are the radiating crown used to depict Christ’s triumphal entry, the open fog-filled fields for The Parable of the Lost Sheep, or the bright lights for the Transfiguration of Christ.
If you’re looking for a unique way to experience Scripture – one that highlights the point of each passage at hand – I encourage you to purchase a copy of your favorite book from Alabaster Co.
Here’s a closer look at a few pieces from Alabaster Co.: