With its striking sofa-in-a-field cover image, can The Way do today what it did for 1970s Jesus Revolution? Christian Marketplace International Client Manager, Eric Siewert, recalls his encounter with a revolutionary Bible.
Everyone had a couch. It didn’t matter if it was yours or not...
It started in secondary school. We’d go over to friends’ houses and congregate in the living room; piling onto couches and wherever we could.
Then, for summer music festivals, we’d throw old couches onto the back of a pick-up truck and set them down in fields in front of stages and at our campsites. At university, our couch centred lives continued; everyone had a couch. It didn’t matter if it was yours or not.
Home is where your couch is
When we bought our first home, my wife and I went couch shopping. We had the house for a few weeks before we picked up the couch, but when we brought the couch in, set it down, and sat in it – then we were really home.
Launched in the 1970’s, The Way was revolutionary for its inclusion of real people’s photos on the cover. The aim of that Bible was to reach real twenties and thirties in a way unlike anything else in print. It did just that, climbing all the way to the top of the bestseller charts. Now, in 2012, The Way takes that same approach for this generation of twenties and thirties.
We get to sit on a couch with God, to converse with him, and learn."
Of the recent modern English Bible revisions, The Way is the one that reminds us God isn’t scary. He is complicated. And sometimes we just need to wrestle with him because what the Bible says feels wrong to us. Yet The Way opens up space to respond. We get to sit on a couch with God, to converse with him, and learn.
A focus on the grey places
In a unique format, The Way places real people’s stories - their confusion and their angst, within the stories of the Bible.It pulls on raw monochrome images; putting the focus on those places in the Bible that are grey, and hard, and messy.
Through QR codes, (ask your nearest teenager or smart phone user) The Way pushes deeper into the stories we’ve heard all our lives, linking them to online resources for deeper explanation, exploring our world through the Creator’s eyes, and make it real.The Way doesn’t look for the clean answer.
It’s actually beautiful when you start to see things as God intended.”
It admits that sometimes - often, the stories and lives of the Bible don’t make sense. “Yes”, it says, “This is hard, but it’s actually beautiful when you start to see things as God intended.”
This is the Bible with a couch mentality. It takes the idea of friends coming together - sitting and talking, and packages that idea into a Bible. It says, “This doesn’t have to be overwhelming or beyond you. Let’s talk about it. Let’s sit with it. Let’s wrestle with its Author. Let’s not be just ‘OK’ with passages. And let’s fall in love with its Creator.”
This Bible brings people together, lending a hand with the struggle of carrying it – the struggle of understanding the Bible. The Way is my first couch in my first home: scary, overwhelming, and yet, home.
• Have you got a memory that links you to your best loved Bible translation? Can you relate it to a piece of furniture or a key time of your life? Tell us.
March 14th, 2013 - Posted & Written by The Editor