For those looking for something different, Tyndale’s newly published The Holy Bible: Mosaic offers a unique experience to take in the Word.
I recently had the opportunity to review a copy of The Holy Bible: Mosaic. I was intrigued by what it had to offer: a weaving of artwork, Scripture readings, and historical writings within weekly meditations.
Because I am usually drawn to these “extras” as a way to reflect and think about spirituality, my curiosity was piqued.
Not only that, The Mosaic was written in a translation of the Bible that I had never read before: New Living Translation (NLT).
Those who have read my post What Kind of a Bible Coffee Drinker Are You? may wonder what category I fall into. I enjoy all the Bible coffee drinks, but alongside my dominant Bible coffee fix: Cappuccino, with straight up Black mixed in.
So, you can imagine I was a bit unsure about going NLT, since as you know, we all tend to stick with a flavor and prefer it.
When I heard that The Mosaic was a compilation of art, historical writings, and meditative reflections — things that I enjoy — I knew I had to take a look at it myself.
Because you’re reading today’s post, you will also have a chance to get your own copy of The Mosaic and see for yourself! At the end of today’s interview, read how to win a copy of The Holy Bible: Mosaic.
Special Blend Interview: David Sanford
David Sanford is the Executive Director of Mosaic, author, award-winning news reporter and Journalism professor in Portland, Oregon. David and I got a chance to sit down digitally and talk about his latest love, The Mosaic.
I wanted to get the scoop on the faith story behind David’s passion for the Bible — which I did — in today’s chat.
Thanks for taking the time to chat here at Faith Barista!
I love reading the Bible and finding inspiration to reflect on the text. So, when The Mosaic was available for review, I was very curious.
The Mosaic weaves artwork, quotes and meditative considerations alongside Scripture readings.
What was the vision behind placing these “extras” alongside Scripture, rather than publishing a separate devotional?
We wanted to intentionally weave the artwork, historic writings, and contemporary meditation together with the Scriptures. That way, instead of juggling a book and the Bible, the two always go hand-in-hand… Readers can easily flow back and forth from the Scriptures themselves to that week’s artwork and writings.
When I started reading The Mosaic, I dove into the first section which offers weekly devotionals. I learned that each week’s collection of meditations are synched up with the “Church calendar”. I didn’t know that the Church calendar starts with Advent, but it’s been wonderful reflecting on Christmas here in November.
I understand you wrote the meditation for Christmas, Week 1. How did you prepare and how did studying this devotion affect your walk with Jesus?
I’ve had the privilege to spend months overseas trekking through the Amazon, Andes, Alps, Sahara, etc.
Making my way across part of the Sahara was the closest I’ve come to seeing what life might have been like at the time of Christ. If I’ve learned anything overseas, it’s how to wait.
I’m probably the only guy in America who thanks God for the privilege of waiting at a red light or thanks God for the joy of standing in a long line at the post office.
Over the years, I’ve spent a lot of time meditating on what it means to truly wait versus giving into the “faster!” mentality in the Western world. I’ve also gone back to the Scriptures from Genesis to Revelation and asked myself, “What does God want me to understand about waiting?”
It turns out God’s Word has a lot of say about the subject. From Genesis 3:15 on, we find Adam and Eve and millions of other believers waiting and waiting and waiting for the Promised One.
By the time of Jesus Christ, most people had given up. But a few never gave up hope.
Against all odds, God kept his promise at just the right time. We always think “now” is the best time. That’s rarely the case.
One of the first quotes I came across in The Mosaic was from Pope John Paul II. Since I come from an evangelical background, I did a double take. I tremendously enjoy reading works written by those in the Catholic faith, like Henri Nouwen and Thomas Merton. But, I wondered if this Bible was geared for those in Catholic traditions.
Then, I flipped through the other writings quoted and found Cesar Chavez, Robert Louis Stevenson, as well as excerpts from The Book of Common Prayer.
It turns out the writings quoted in Mosaic range the spectrum from Anglican to Mennonite, from Baptist to Orthodox, from Catholic to Presbyterian.
What advice or encouragement would you give readers when reading sources unfamiliar to them (at best) or from groups they may have been told are explicitly ‘wrong’ about matters of faith (at worst)?
When I talk heart-to-heart with many Christians, I hear a growing longing to be connected to the whole Church.
As well, for the past 15 or 20 years there’s been a growing recognition within evangelicalism that the historic branches of the Church share what Rex Koivisto, Ph.D., author of One Lord, One Faith, calls “the core of orthodoxy.”
Furthermore, we’ve finally recognized we have much to learn from each of those branches. Not because those branches offer something new or different, but because they have so many areas of strength. When we draw from the best of the Church, it’s marvelous.
That’s why the name, Mosaic, is so fitting for this Bible and the values it expresses.
Still, if anyone is still nervous, I can assure them that all of the writings included in Mosaic are rock-solid biblically and theologically.
As the Executive Director of The Mosaic, you’ve got to be crazy in love with the Bible. I’d love to hear your faith story. Can you share how the Bible’s taken such a place of personal passion?
I grew up in Seattle. My father is an atheist.
While I was growing up he would lecture me: “There are no rules. Don’t obey anyone. Don’t even obey me.”
When I decided to become a sold-out follower of Jesus Christ at age 13, though, I found out my extended family had a long-standing rule: You can’t be a follower of Jesus Christ.
I began to experience my father’s disfavor, anger, and ridicule. My paternal grandparents disowned me. Not quite what I expected, to say the least.
At that point, I opened my Bible and began reading. Imagine encountering Scripture’s most famous stories for the first time, without any clue what happens next. That was my experience reading God’s Word cover to cover for the first time.
By the end of Genesis chapter 44, for instance, I expected Joseph, Prince of Egypt, to tell his armed guards to slaughter his brothers–men who had betrayed their own flesh and blood years earlier.
Instead, in the first three verses of chapter 45 Joseph barks at his guards, orders them to leave, reveals his true identity to his brothers, and then forgives them. I instantly started weeping. How could I have guessed? I’d never seen that kind of love.
A decade later, two days before I wrapped up my final exams at what is now Multnomah University, God opened up the door for me to go to work for John Sloan, one of the most respected and successful Christian editors of our generation.
Nearly twenty-eight years later, I still love my calling. All told, I’ve seen nearly 400 books and Bible projects published. My wife, Renée, is my witness: My all-time favorite project is the brand-new Holy Bible: Mosaic.
No wonder Scripture’s captivated you!
The Holy Bible: Mosaic is your all-time favorite out of 400!? Why is that?
I’ve had the privilege and responsibility of creating a number of Bible projects. I’m delighted with the way each of them turned out.
But The Holy Bible: Mosaic is the kind of Bible you could give to just about anyone today — and know it would speak to them in a deep, powerful way.
Other ways God inspires me is through art and photography. I enjoy the artwork featured with the meditations and try not to look ahead, in order to enjoy them in the moment.
What is your favorite work of art featured in Mosaic? Why?
There are scores of wonderful works of art in Mosaic, so it’s next to impossible to pick a single favorite. One of my favorites, however, is the oldest work of art, dated c. A.D. 380.
It’s a beautiful Christian mosaic picturing two fish and small loaves of bread. The mosaic is amazingly well preserved.
It reminds me of the boy in John 6:8-9 who offered his sack lunch to Jesus. With those five small barley loaves and two fish in hand, Jesus gave thanks to his Father and then feeds the multitudes.
I remember hearing my first sermon on that Scripture passage when I was a teenager. I went to a very conservative evangelical church that didn’t believe in prophecy today. But one Sunday the senior pastor, Dr. Lowell C. Wendt, stopped in the middle of his sermon and gave a prophecy. In that prophecy, he said that I would feed multitudes with the Word of God. I’ll never forget that experience.
Some thirty-three years later, I believe Mosaic is part of that prophecy come true. What a joy to work on it with so many dedicated brothers and sisters in Christ.
Many are now praying that we’ll have the opportunity to create more Mosaic-style Bibles.
My favorite happens to be the mosaic with two fish and small loaves of bread, too. It represents my love relationship with Jesus – He is the Bread of Life for me and His call is discipleship as a “fisherman”.
Looking back, how did Mosaic have its beginning?
Like most book and Bible projects, it began with a dream. Actually three dreams. I had the original vision.
Tyndale’s Director of Bibles and Reference (Knox Group), Kevin O’Brien, had a similar dream… we both had an amazing “Aha!” moment. Then his colleague Keith Williams, one of Tyndale’s Bible and reference editors, joined us and shared his vision, which we incorporated, as well.
Add nearly a dozen contributing editors, more than fifty writers, dozens of artists and hundreds of writings from every part of the Church around the world over the past 20 centuries, and voilà!
Now that it’s published, what is your vision for how the Mosaic will be used?
The Mosaic Bible features two parts.
The last [section] is the Bible itself, without interruption (except small icons to point out Scripture readings).
The first 340 pages feature six-page “weeks.” Each lists Scripture readings, artwork, and writings tied into a specific week and important theme within the Church
You can start reading Mosaic anytime. Just visit www.HolyBibleMosaic.com to find out where we’re at in the Church calendar that week. Then jump in. You’ll be hooked almost immediately.
The end result is a completely new kind of Bible.
We’re now praying that God uses it in a powerful way in the lives of tens of thousands of readers this fall, winter, and beyond.
Thanks again for stopping by to tell us about The Mosaic and letting us get to know you better, David!
May the glow of God’s Words continue to bless and shine through every word and artistic expression through Mosaic.
Congrats to you and The Mosaic team for a labor of love!
** The Holy Bible: Mosaic Giveaway**
Which inspires you most to reflect on God’s Word: paintings, photograph, music, or writings?
By Sunday 11/22 Midnight: Drop your answer by commenting below — and you’ll be entered into a random drawing to receive The Mosaic! Just check back Monday 11/23 to see if your name has been selected (Be sure to give your email address when you submit your comment, so I can contact you!)