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30 review for Word on Fire Bible (Volume 1): The Gospels

  1. 4 out of 5

    Julie Davis

    I am trying to think of the last time I waited so excitedly for a chance to sit down and read the Bible. That's because my new Word on Fire Bibles arrived. We got the evangelization pack which had one leather-bound version and 4 paperback copies. As soon as the box was opened we all began excitedly showing each other various features. It is above and beyond anything I could have asked for myself. I mean to say, they designed a typeface for the pull-quotes. That is my kind of commitment to beauty. E I am trying to think of the last time I waited so excitedly for a chance to sit down and read the Bible. That's because my new Word on Fire Bibles arrived. We got the evangelization pack which had one leather-bound version and 4 paperback copies. As soon as the box was opened we all began excitedly showing each other various features. It is above and beyond anything I could have asked for myself. I mean to say, they designed a typeface for the pull-quotes. That is my kind of commitment to beauty. Even the paperback is really great, which is what I'd expect but I was curious to see for myself. The pages are high quality paper, the gold type is there just as in the leather version. I was wondering if it would stay open in your hand without forcing the spine — and it does! I've dipped in a little here and there and the commentary is as good as the design and thought provoking yet accessible. It truly is, as they said when it was announced, a cathedral in print. Thank you, Bishop Barron! UPDATE: Upon using this daily I am pulling back just the slightest on my previously unabated enthusiasm for the layout. I understand that the commentary is important but it has been emphasized in layout to the point where it can be difficult to follow the scripture when simply trying to read through before turning to the commentary. Partly this is because the commentary is in large san-serif type - not unpleasing to the eye - but it can pull attention away from the scripture if there is lots of it on the page. Partly this is because there is not a common spot to look for the scripture when turning the page. It may begin halfway down the next page, it may be on top, it may begin a page or two later - and only for a few paragraphs. I like all the content but think this is just an unintended visual difficulty in squeezing everything in. I am still using and liking it and recommend it highly, but I did change the rating to 4 stars instead of 5 because of the difficulty it causes me.

  2. 5 out of 5

    booklady

    This was like reading the Gospels again for the first time. I read every page, learned so many new things and poured over the artwork. Fantastic. That it was a gift from a dear friend for my Final Promise to become a Secular Carmelite will always make it all the more special. March 15, 2021: Bishop Baron offers 5 strategies helpful in interpretive reading of the Bible (assuming of course the reader wants* to glean the most from his/her reading): 1) Always be critically attentive to the variety of This was like reading the Gospels again for the first time. I read every page, learned so many new things and poured over the artwork. Fantastic. That it was a gift from a dear friend for my Final Promise to become a Secular Carmelite will always make it all the more special. March 15, 2021: Bishop Baron offers 5 strategies helpful in interpretive reading of the Bible (assuming of course the reader wants* to glean the most from his/her reading): 1) Always be critically attentive to the variety of genres on display in Scripture, i.e., recognize that the Bible is more than just one book, it is actually a library of individual books. 2) While the Bible is a library in one sense, Scripture is also—in another sense—one book. The individual books within the cover of the Bible support each other to all tell the ‘story’ of God’s Love for humankind. 3) The correct interpretation of the Bible is always Jesus’ command to love God above all things and our neighbor for the sake of God. Any and every story, poem, doctrine, or saying in Scripture should be read as ultimately designed to inculcate love of God and neighbor. 4) Distinguish what is in the Bible from what it teaches, i.e., sift the ancient cultural chaff (wind blows away) from the timeless wheat (saved, savored and basis for one’s life). 5) The Bible is the Church’s book. Each of the individual books was culled from dozens of other potential books during the canonization process. January 17, 2021: Received this as a gift from a fellow Carmelite for my Definitive Promise. THANK YOU Lou! This is a stupendous gift and I love it! God bless you! *Hostile readers, and there are always those too, will not gain any good because that is not their intention.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca Shook

    This is beautiful! The inclusion of art made it for me, and I wish it had even more. Perhaps I'd just like to read an art history book focusing on art about faith. I also appreciate the single column text, the leather didn't break while reading it and sometimes the commentary helped my understanding of the Word, and I appreciated the historical commentary. For me, an improvement would be to include modern commentary from other people than just Bishop Barron, but this is his bailiwick so I suppos This is beautiful! The inclusion of art made it for me, and I wish it had even more. Perhaps I'd just like to read an art history book focusing on art about faith. I also appreciate the single column text, the leather didn't break while reading it and sometimes the commentary helped my understanding of the Word, and I appreciated the historical commentary. For me, an improvement would be to include modern commentary from other people than just Bishop Barron, but this is his bailiwick so I suppose it's to be expected. This is advertised as the Bible for those who have never read it, and most theologians suggest starting with the Gospels, and so if you are seeking one to try, I'd give this a go. It is a beautiful volume and I enjoyed learning from it over the last few months.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    So many beautiful features of this bible: first off, the art. I love the art, and I think it's one of the best parts of the Bible! The layout is superb--great paper, and also one column, which makes it easier to read. No footnotes or tiny print or squinting to see what's going on. The essays from Catholic authors and theologians, as well as the bishop himself, enhance the reading experience. I can't wait for the rest of the volumes! So many beautiful features of this bible: first off, the art. I love the art, and I think it's one of the best parts of the Bible! The layout is superb--great paper, and also one column, which makes it easier to read. No footnotes or tiny print or squinting to see what's going on. The essays from Catholic authors and theologians, as well as the bishop himself, enhance the reading experience. I can't wait for the rest of the volumes!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Anne

    Really beautiful. Love the art and the weaving of commentary by lots of voices old and new. It is definitely more thematic and less deep textual commentary but it's very pleasing to read. Really beautiful. Love the art and the weaving of commentary by lots of voices old and new. It is definitely more thematic and less deep textual commentary but it's very pleasing to read.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jeff Miller

    This was such a joy to read through. For starters the effort to bring such a high-quality physical book from the cover, binding, and page. Just aesthetically masterful and meant to be read and re-read without falling apart. Bishop Barron provides the majority of the commentary. There is plenty of commentaries also from the Church Fathers along with later masters of scriptural interpreters. I especially appreciate the inclusion of more modern voices such as G.K. Chesterton and Venerable Fulton J. This was such a joy to read through. For starters the effort to bring such a high-quality physical book from the cover, binding, and page. Just aesthetically masterful and meant to be read and re-read without falling apart. Bishop Barron provides the majority of the commentary. There is plenty of commentaries also from the Church Fathers along with later masters of scriptural interpreters. I especially appreciate the inclusion of more modern voices such as G.K. Chesterton and Venerable Fulton J. Sheen. Since Bishop Barron has always had a focus on the way of beauty and how beauty can be integral to evangelization it is no surprise that the pages include paintings from the masters. What is included with this are helpful keys and interpretation to understanding the artists and what they were trying to achieve with the specific presentations included. Just about everything from the font to the layout was aimed at aesthetical beauty. So looking forward to subsequent volumes to be published.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jens Kristian Wikstøl

    Det er så mye bra her! Kommentarer fra kirkefedre og teologer, utlegginger fra Barron og ikke minst de nydelige artiklene om kunst knyttet til tekstene i evangeliene. Opplevelsen forstyrres dessverre av dårlig grafisk design. Kommentarene og andre innlegg kommer i «hytt og pine», som gjør det vanskelig å fokusere på å bibelteksten. Men alt i alt, en god opplevelse!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Chad

    In my estimates, the Word on Fire Bible consists of approximately 70% commentary and theology and 30% Bible text (the gospels). It’s nearly impossible to go more than half a page into God’s word before you’re hit with man’s word. On numerous occasions throughout, Catholic doctrine feels forced into places it doesn’t belong, especially in regard to the Eucharist. For Protestants and non-believers, this may come across as off-putting as it did for me. In addition to that, Bishop Baron is incredibl In my estimates, the Word on Fire Bible consists of approximately 70% commentary and theology and 30% Bible text (the gospels). It’s nearly impossible to go more than half a page into God’s word before you’re hit with man’s word. On numerous occasions throughout, Catholic doctrine feels forced into places it doesn’t belong, especially in regard to the Eucharist. For Protestants and non-believers, this may come across as off-putting as it did for me. In addition to that, Bishop Baron is incredibly verbose. As someone who majored in English, I’m no stranger to challenging language, but it feels completely unnecessary in a Bible meant for those reading it for the first time. Often Bishop Baron quotes Latin or Greek words then subsequently places their translation in parenthesis. You’re constantly left wondering why he quoted the foreign language to begin with as it serves no purpose in an English language Bible. The feeling I got was that the commentary wants to come across as being smart for the sake of being smart rather than illustrating a meaningful point. Of course, the gospels themselves are excellent. The Bible is also beautiful. I love the opacity of the pages, the gold art gilding, the gold foil stamping on the cover, the black leather (even if it has a cardboard liner) and more. Despite my criticism that there’s too much added text that often comes across as unnecessarily verbose, there was still a fair amount of commentary that added to my knowledge and understanding of the Bible. The analysis of various pieces of famous art and buildings was always a refreshing breather as well. I’m left torn between rating this a 2 and a 3, however I’ve sided with a 3 for now. If you’re already a Catholic, I suspect you will appreciate this Bible more than Protestants and non-believers. However, if you’re new to Christianity, I would suggest reading either the gospels by themselves or another “study” Bible. It’s not to say that the Word on Fire Bible is bad but rather to say that it’s marketing would lead one to believe that it’s for first time readers of the Bible when in reality, it’s meant for those interested in copious amounts of commentary and Catholic doctrine. Which is fine. Just not my personal preference nor what I expected based on their marketing. The best way to summarize my feeling towards the Word on Fire Bible is to say that by the time I reached the book of John, I was thoroughly burnt out and only finished it for the sake of finishing it because I hate the idea of reading 400+ pages only to give up with 20% to go. I sincerely wish I had just re-read the gospels by themselves. I easily could have read through them 2-3 times in the amount of time it took me to slog through the Word on Fire Bible’s commentary.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jason Zimdars

    An absolute masterpiece as an object. Looks and feels premium in every single detail. This is not a Bible for lengthy reading, it's instead broken up by commentary from Bishop Barron and an array of Saints, Doctors of the Church, and more contemporary writers (Fulton Sheen, G.K. Chesterton). Very little goes by without some exegesis or spiritual refection. This is a Bible for understanding the Gospels. It also includes regular interruptions to consider significant art related to the scriptures. An absolute masterpiece as an object. Looks and feels premium in every single detail. This is not a Bible for lengthy reading, it's instead broken up by commentary from Bishop Barron and an array of Saints, Doctors of the Church, and more contemporary writers (Fulton Sheen, G.K. Chesterton). Very little goes by without some exegesis or spiritual refection. This is a Bible for understanding the Gospels. It also includes regular interruptions to consider significant art related to the scriptures. An enjoyable and edifying reading experience. Not to be missed.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Bryan

    I became a Catholic on April 1st, 2017, and I consider becoming a Catholic one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I’m always striving to be a good Christian, sometimes succeeding, sometimes coming up short, but I can feel the Lord guiding and rooting for me. One of the daily habits I’ve developed is reading scripture. I like to follow Bible-in-a-Year plans, and I’ve been pretty good about incorporating them into my daily routine. It’s a centering exercise, bringing my life into focus with the I became a Catholic on April 1st, 2017, and I consider becoming a Catholic one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I’m always striving to be a good Christian, sometimes succeeding, sometimes coming up short, but I can feel the Lord guiding and rooting for me. One of the daily habits I’ve developed is reading scripture. I like to follow Bible-in-a-Year plans, and I’ve been pretty good about incorporating them into my daily routine. It’s a centering exercise, bringing my life into focus with the Lord. I’m always open to different ways of presenting the Bible and its books, and when I came upon this presentation of the Gospels I thought I’d give it a shot. I’m so glad I did, because I couldn’t put it down, reading the whole book in 3 days. The way this book of the Gospels with evangelical supplemental material is set up really speaks to me spiritually. Basically, the author gives homilies on almost every section of the Gospels; homilies that are spiritual and comforting. The Gospels are my favorite part of the Bible, and this is my favorite presentation of the Gospels. God bless all of you.

  11. 4 out of 5

    know1

    Absolutely gorgeous edition. Genuine leather, quality binding and paper. Reproductions of Catholic art and art commentaries are great. Wonderful selection of scripture commentaries from the Church Fathers and other saints, but mostly bishop Barron's commentaries, which are excellent so far (I'm halfway through Matthew). Highly recommended, especially if you like Robert Barron's approach to catechesis and theology and if you're a potential revert or convert to Christianity. If I were to find any Absolutely gorgeous edition. Genuine leather, quality binding and paper. Reproductions of Catholic art and art commentaries are great. Wonderful selection of scripture commentaries from the Church Fathers and other saints, but mostly bishop Barron's commentaries, which are excellent so far (I'm halfway through Matthew). Highly recommended, especially if you like Robert Barron's approach to catechesis and theology and if you're a potential revert or convert to Christianity. If I were to find any drawbacks, the only one that comes to mind is the following. For a New Testament of this quality, book edition so beautiful that it is worthy of passing on through generations, NRSV-CE translation feels out of place. I wish it had been Douay-Rheims or Knox translation. NRSV-CE is excellent if you're non-native English speaker or new to Bible, though. And some (only 5-10%) of Robert Barron's commentaries contain references to present times, which also does not get with the timeless feel of this edition.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Colleen A.

    Wow. This is a beautiful Bible (gospels). I really like the commitment to beauty and quality. I had read the goal was to have about 50/50 gospel to commentary ratio so I was expecting the flow of scripture to be interrupted as others have commented. Before purchasing one of my reasons for buying this was the mention that there would be commentary from the church fathers. There is but it’s very minimal and I was hoping for more from the early church fathers. Most of the commentary is Bishop Barron Wow. This is a beautiful Bible (gospels). I really like the commitment to beauty and quality. I had read the goal was to have about 50/50 gospel to commentary ratio so I was expecting the flow of scripture to be interrupted as others have commented. Before purchasing one of my reasons for buying this was the mention that there would be commentary from the church fathers. There is but it’s very minimal and I was hoping for more from the early church fathers. Most of the commentary is Bishop Barron’s own which is fair since it’s “The Word on Fire” Bible not “The Church Fathers Bible”. The intro by Bishop Barrón also states it is “geared towards those who, for a variety of reasons are not affiliated with the Christian faith…” thus if you are looking for more in-depth theological commentary this Bible may not be for you. Likewise if you just want to read the gospels uninterrupted then this Bible is not for you.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Katie

    This is a beautiful edition of the Gospels. I appreciated the commentaries from Church Fathers, saints throughout history, and more contemporary Catholic figures on scripture. I also loved the sacred art displayed throughout--tied to the Gospel stories they depicted with their details being explained by someone far more educated in art history than I am. The only reason I gave it a four-star rating instead of a five-star is because I thought there were far too many commentaries from Bishop Barro This is a beautiful edition of the Gospels. I appreciated the commentaries from Church Fathers, saints throughout history, and more contemporary Catholic figures on scripture. I also loved the sacred art displayed throughout--tied to the Gospel stories they depicted with their details being explained by someone far more educated in art history than I am. The only reason I gave it a four-star rating instead of a five-star is because I thought there were far too many commentaries from Bishop Barron. I absolutely loved his longer commentaries that stretched for multiple pages, but I could do without some of his shorter ones, which appeared almost every other page. With so many of his short commentaries, I felt my reading of scripture was interrupted and hindered at some points rather than helped. Despite this small drawback, I fully plan on purchasing the rest of the Word on Fire Bible volumes as they are released.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Christine Drumm

    An amazing work that offers a distinct approach to The Gospels of The Bible. A deep and comprehensive examination of the various literary types that are identifiable in The Bible corpus including poetry, saga, history, song, prophecy, and biography. This book aids the reader in understanding the whole story and great drama while also becoming more attentive to the themes and patterns of the entire Bible. The features and format are very compelling with church father and author commentaries. Beau An amazing work that offers a distinct approach to The Gospels of The Bible. A deep and comprehensive examination of the various literary types that are identifiable in The Bible corpus including poetry, saga, history, song, prophecy, and biography. This book aids the reader in understanding the whole story and great drama while also becoming more attentive to the themes and patterns of the entire Bible. The features and format are very compelling with church father and author commentaries. Beautiful and exquisite selections of great art further complement and aid this masterful work. Profoundly beautiful and thought provoking. I can hardly wait for the next editions.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Derek Emerson

    While it seems strange to "rate" the gospels, since I'm a Christian, my writing is actually about this edition. While I'm fairly well versed in scripture, this edition with Bishop Barron's commentary, selections from Church Fathers and more recent theologians, and great artwork and commentary is a great edition. Aimed at those with little background in scripture or faith, Barron is not seeking to present an exegesis of scripture; instead, he is seeking to present the gospels in the context of fa While it seems strange to "rate" the gospels, since I'm a Christian, my writing is actually about this edition. While I'm fairly well versed in scripture, this edition with Bishop Barron's commentary, selections from Church Fathers and more recent theologians, and great artwork and commentary is a great edition. Aimed at those with little background in scripture or faith, Barron is not seeking to present an exegesis of scripture; instead, he is seeking to present the gospels in the context of faith. Nearly half of the text is not the gospels but someone's thoughts on what we are reading, which you can always ignore if so desired! This is a very readable and enlightening edition.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Drew Klassen

    An absolute treat for Catholics and Non-Catholic Christians alike! I can’t wait for the other volumes to release. The splendid NRSV-CE translation of the Gospels printed on ultra premium materials and infused with brilliant commentary from Bishop Barron and great Church minds from throughout history, and analysis of the quality and symbolism of the most beautiful Christian art and architecture through history.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Aaron

    This is a gorgeous Bible, and you can tell that a lot of thought went into the making of it. 1 star off due to a complaint others have had, the commentary can often distract from the actual text. I would not be able to use this as my sole Bible. That being said, I've received Volume II and look forward to reading through it next. This is a gorgeous Bible, and you can tell that a lot of thought went into the making of it. 1 star off due to a complaint others have had, the commentary can often distract from the actual text. I would not be able to use this as my sole Bible. That being said, I've received Volume II and look forward to reading through it next.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Johan Rutgers

    I would absolutely recommend everyone to read the Word on Fire Bible - The Four Gospels. It's a beautiful book with a rich content that ranges from early Church Fathers to more contemporary authors and theologians, not to forget the beautiful artwork and writings from Bishop Robert Barron. I would absolutely recommend everyone to read the Word on Fire Bible - The Four Gospels. It's a beautiful book with a rich content that ranges from early Church Fathers to more contemporary authors and theologians, not to forget the beautiful artwork and writings from Bishop Robert Barron.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Steven Nordstrom

    Maybe the best "study/devotional" Bible treatment I've used in a long time. Presentation of materials is pretty amazing as well. I'll be returning to this one often, and I look forward to the imminent publication of the Acts/Epistles/Revelation volume coming in Jan 2022. Maybe the best "study/devotional" Bible treatment I've used in a long time. Presentation of materials is pretty amazing as well. I'll be returning to this one often, and I look forward to the imminent publication of the Acts/Epistles/Revelation volume coming in Jan 2022.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Adam Sloter

    This is not a “review,” for how can one review the Holy Gospels? I can only say that this journey through Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John was especially meaningful. The word on fire institute has created a work of pure beauty that gives the New Testament the reverence it’s due.

  21. 5 out of 5

    frenchybooky

    So well made ! Beautiful. Very helpful.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Mark Cloutier

    This is a very beautiful volume. All the extra commentaries really add to the book as well, allowing you to see the gospels in new ways.

  23. 5 out of 5

    John

    The reflections and art are beautiful. One chapter a day helped me.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

    Truly a beautiful version of the Gospels. Wonderful translation, font, gorgeous art, excellent selection of reflections. Looking forward to the other sections of the Bible.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    Beautiful artwork and commentary to an already perfect collection.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Alice

    Probably the most beautiful and informative edition of the Gospels that I’ve ever experienced.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Kevin Norris

  28. 4 out of 5

    Peter Somerville

  29. 4 out of 5

    Houston Ingham

  30. 5 out of 5

    Matt

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