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Blog / He Reads Truth Bible: An Interview with John Greco and Ryan Myers

He Reads Truth Bible: An Interview with John Greco and Ryan Myers

John Greco

A Bible formatted with an artful design intended to appeal specifically to men, from its typeface to theological memos for increasing Bible literacy to color-coded genre identification for each book of the Bible to colorful infographics, charts, and maps.

Bible Gateway interviewed content director John Greco (@johngrecowrites) and creative director Ryan Myers (@uberryan) about the He Reads Truth Bible (B&H Publishing, 2019).

[Read the Christian Standard Bible (CSB) translation on Bible Gateway]

Ryan Myers

What makes this Bible specifically directed toward men?

Ryan Myers: This Bible is a companion to the She Reads Truth Bible and is a natural extension of the global He Reads Truth community. While nothing inside these pages is reserved specifically for men, every design decision was made with our end user in mind. Whether it be the cover color/textile decisions or the interior typography choices, I’m confident that men (and probably women!) will find this Bible both useful and beautiful. It’s really a striking book, both inside and out, and I hope that it inspires others to break the norm and make Bibles more beautiful, because they deserve to be.

[Read the Bible Gateway Blog post, She Reads Truth: An Interview with Raechel Myers and Amanda Bible Williams]

How does this Bible showcase the inclusion of Jesus in each book of the Bible?

John Greco: We believe the best interpreter of Scripture is Scripture. That’s why each book of the Bible features a daily reading plan with supplemental Bible passages designed to help readers make connections across history and genres, and between the testaments. When you read Scripture in this way, you discover that the whole story of the Bible points to Christ.

We’ve also incorporated some great theological extras throughout the He Reads Truth Bible. Many of these, like “Job and Jesus,” “The Book of Nehemiah and the Life of Jesus,” and “Christ in the Psalms,” make the numerous connections to the Son of God even more explicit.

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Why did you decide to not include a map section in the back of the Bible as has been typical with other Bibles?

Ryan Myers: Context is key when it comes to adding supplemental content. Placing the maps adjacent to the passage it’s related to increases the likelihood that the reader will utilize the content and that it’ll provide them better understanding of what they’re reading.

What information do the full-color timelines convey and how do they help a person understand the Bible’s message?

Ryan Myers: We don’t often have the benefit of seeing the overlap of biblical history and global history in one book or how the stories of two seemingly unrelated characters in the Bible were actually happening at the same time. These timelines seek to bridge this informational gap, hopefully providing the reader a better contextual understanding of Scripture and how it fits into the bigger story of God’s plan and purpose.

Click to enlarge the Genre Guide

Explain the “Genre Guide” and associated color codes included this Bible.

Ryan Myers: The genre color guide is another great example of our pursuit of biblical literacy. It’s possible that a lot of readers don’t know that each book of the Bible falls into a specific genre. These color codes are a quick reference to decipher the genre of book you’re reading. Understanding this framework provides insight into how to approach a specific book of the Bible depending on its genre. A historical book should be read differently than poetry.

Click to enlarge the Languages of the Bible infographic

Explain the “Languages of the Bible” infographic included in the Bible.

John Greco: It’s an amazing thing that every word of Scripture was breathed out by God (2 Timothy 3:16), but it’s even more amazing that the thoughts of an infinite mind could be expressed in human language. The “Languages of the Bible” infographic shows, book by book, which languages were used to write the Bible.

The Old Testament was given to the people of Israel, so it’s primarily written in their native Hebrew. Aramaic was used selectively in some later texts as the empires of Babylon and Persia began to dominate the landscape of the ancient Near East and the common language of the Jewish people living in exile changed. By the time of the New Testament, the Roman Empire had brought Greek culture and language to the region. The writers of the New Testament used Greek to spread the good news of Jesus near and far. But there’s also a considerable bit of Hebrew and Aramaic transliterated using Greek letters, revealing Jesus’s first-century Jewish context and the Old Testament soil from which the gospel sprouted.

Click to enlarge the New Testament Use of the Old Testament infographic

Explain the “New Testament Use of the Old Testament” chart included in the Bible.

John Greco: Every book of the New Testament contains references to the Old, but it can be easy to miss the significance of these quotations and allusions—and some of them can seem downright strange to modern readers of the Bible. The “New Testament Use of the Old Testament” chart in the He Reads Truth Bible provides categories for thinking about the various ways New Testament writers made use the Old Testament. Not only is this chart a helpful interpretive lens, but it also demonstrates the unity of the Bible. Though the 66 books that make up the Bible were written by dozens of people over more than a thousand years and in three different languages, God is telling a single story throughout. That’s why there’s such a strong connection between the Testaments.

Does the extreme heft of this Bible and its estimated 3-inch thickness pose a challenge for readers, such as causing restriction in its mobility?

John Greco: It is a big Bible. I just measured my copy, and it’s closer to two inches thick, on par with many modern study Bibles.

We want this to be a Bible guys will pick up and read every day. So, when we designed the He Reads Truth Bible, we made the strategic choice to use a single-column text setting and a generous font specifically designed for Bible reading. We wanted the reading experience to be enjoyable, more akin to sitting down with a great novel than slogging through an encyclopedia. We also included wide margins for note taking, and we’ve kept all the charts, maps, infographics, and timelines on their own pages so that nothing would compete for the reader’s attention while they’re engaging with the Word of God.

How should a man use this Bible to get the most out of it?

John Greco: Our mission at He Reads Truth is to see “men in the Word of God every day,” and that’s why we created the He Reads Truth Bible. For the man who’s already a daily reader of Scripture, the unique design of this Bible and the numerous extras throughout will enhance his experience. If a man is new to the Bible or has struggled to be a daily reader, the book introductions and the reading plans act as a guide, connecting passages and drawing out themes that might otherwise be missed. The result is deeper engagement more quickly so that daily Bible reading goes from something we know we ought to do to something we look forward to.

Our hope is that this beautiful Bible would become a personal treasure to every man who owns one, marked up with notes and prayers and tattered from daily use.

What is a favorite Bible passage of yours and why

John Greco: I’m glad you said “a” favorite passage. It’d be hard to pick an absolute favorite! Lately I’ve been reading through 1 & 2 Kings, and I keep coming back to 1 Kings 18, where Elijah challenges the prophets of Baal to a contest on Mount Carmel. There’s such lavish grace in this passage. When you think about how the people of Israel had rejected the true God in favor of Baal, it’s an act of love that God chose to show up that day with fire from heaven to silence their doubts and direct their hearts toward him, the source of life. They deserved judgment but got an encounter with the living God instead. It’s really a picture of Christ. All of us deserved to be left in our sin, but God the Son decided to show up instead so that, like those ancient Israelites, we might also proclaim, “The LORD, he is God! The LORD, he is God!” (v. 39 CSB).

Ryan Myers: Last year, the He Reads Truth community read the book of Exodus during the Lenten season. Coming from a creative background, I loved seeing the emphasis on the design of the tabernacle and the extent of God’s instructions to the Israelites with regard to what they were supposed to do as well as how they were supposed to do it. The book of Exodus takes 13 chapters to explain in great detail God’s design for the tabernacle and all of its contents. That’s 40% of the book of Exodus! But it was not without creativity. This passage culminates for me at the end of Exodus 28:2 with these words: “…for glory and for beauty.” God is a creator. And we are made in his image. And so, we create for him, for glory and for beauty.

What are your thoughts about Bible Gateway and the Bible Gateway App and Bible Audio App?

John Greco: Bible Gateway is a gift to the church. Being able to access the Word of God for free, from anywhere, and in so many translations is a privilege that previous generations of saints could have scarcely imagined. Thank you for what you do.

Is there anything else you’d like to say?

John Greco: If you’re new to He Reads Truth, I want to invite you to join us over at and on the He Reads Truth app, where you’ll find daily reading plans, devotionals, and community. We’d love to have you! [He Reads Truth (@HeReadsTruth) and She Reads Truth (@SheReadsTruth)]

Bio: As the content director for She Reads Truth, He Reads Truth, and Kids Read Truth, John Greco has the best job in the world. He wakes up every morning hardly believing he actually gets paid to study Scripture and write about it. He is the author of Gospel Here and Now: Your Life in the Story of God, Manger King: Meditations on Christmas and the Gospel of Hope, and Broken Vows: Divorce and the Goodness of God. John and his wife, Laurin, live south of Nashville, where they daily wrangle their three small boys and dream of someday being the ones who get to take all the naps.

Ryan Myers is chief operating officer of He Reads Truth, She Reads Truth, and Kids Read Truth. As creative director of the He Reads Truth Bible, and in all of his creative efforts, Ryan finds joy in using design and detail to elevate function and understanding, particularly when it comes to God’s Word. His creative résumé spans the MoMA celebrated Helveticards project, the full collection of print and digital products from the She Reads Truth family of brands, and the curation of an impressive and growing shoe collection. Ryan and his wife, Raechel, live with their two children south of Nashville, Tennessee.

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