Engage Through Art - Resources
Art and the Bible—Biblica
This series of three short articles is a quick introduction to how art can become a means of understanding, interpreting, and experiencing Scripture.
3 Ways the Arts Can Aid Scripture Engagement—American Bible Society
This brief article is a good introduction to how the arts might help people interact with the Bible.
Art Inspired by Stories in the Bible—Art and the Bible
Looking for a painting that goes with a particular passage? This website is a collection of hundreds of paintings that are linked to their corresponding Bible passage. Information is provided about each painting.
Redeeming the Arts: The Restoration of the Arts to God’s Creational Intention—Lausanne Occasional Paper No. 46
The Lausanne mission organization has produced this paper to recognize the arts as strategic to the life and mission of the church in the context of faith and redemption.
Spark and Echo Arts
This website has as its goal to create “the world's largest multi-disciplinary illuminated Bible with a piece of visual, performing or literary art covering every passage of the Bible.” On the website, contemporary musical, visual arts, performance arts, writings (e.g., poetry and short stories), and mixed media (e.g., short videos) resources are available on selected biblical passages. The artistic styles of the artists on the website are diverse. The selection of biblical art on this website is continually growing.
The ArtWay website contains a large collection of artwork by Christian artists. Not all the pieces are strictly scriptural depictions (though many are), but all are distinctly biblical in that they portray Christian values, concepts, and spirituality. Mediums included on the site range from painting and sketching to sculpture and even architecture. Links to other websites of Christian art are included.
He Qi Gallery
He Qi is a Chinese Christian artist seeking to make Christianity, which can seem Western and inaccessible to the Chinese people, more relatable by creating accurate visual representations of biblical passages using Chinese art forms.
Christians in the Visual Arts
Christians in the Visual Arts (CIVA) is an organization that supports Christian artists and provides opportunities for other believers to engage with these artists’ works. Little actual art is available for viewing on the site, but there are resource pages containing extensive lists of books pertaining to faith and the arts as well as locations and dates for CIVA galleries and exhibitions.
The Return of the Prodigal Son by Henri Nouwen
In The Return of the Prodigal Son, Henri Nouwen describes how God was able to touch his heart and change his life through the work of Dutch artist Rembrandt van Rijn. Years of meditating on one painting, The Return of the Prodigal Son, allowed Nouwen to make many discoveries about himself and his heavenly Father and see his heart and calling in a new light. As readers, we are guided through his thought process and development and are able to see the impact Scripture may have on us through art.
The Book of Psalms & Doorposts by Timothy Botts, calligrapher
Artist Timothy Botts has spent his career illuminating biblical texts, hymns, spirituals, and poetry in vibrantly hued calligraphy. His artwork is predominately text with expressive colored backgrounds, giving viewers the opportunity to engage with the written words of Scripture not only mentally but also visually. Botts expresses the meaning of the passages not only through the language itself but also through the forms and colors of the words.
Who Are You, My Daughter? Reading Ruth Through Images and Text by Ellen Davis and Margaret Parker
Davis and Parker collaborated to create this beautiful and thoughtful illustrated translation of the book of Ruth. Twenty detailed woodcut prints appear alongside Davis’s personal translation of the complete Hebrew text and her inductive insights into the meaning of the passage.
Contemplative Vision: A Guide to Christian Art and Prayer by Juliet Benner
Juliet Benner leads readers through a process of reflection and prayer similar to what Henri Nouwen practices in his contemplation of Rembrandt’s The Return of the Prodigal Son (see above). Each chapter focuses on a single piece of art and encourages the reader to consider the biblical passage depicted in new ways. Readers may enjoy the biographical information about the artists included in the book. Contemplative Vision is a good source for someone who wishes to engage Scripture through art with an author guiding him/her through the process.
Dwelling with Philippians: A Conversation with Scripture Through Image and Word by Elizabeth Halstead, Paul Detterman, Joyce Borger, and John Witvliet
While most Scripture-based art depicts images of narrative portions of the Word, the authors of Dwelling with Philippians tackle the process of depicting the ideas and concepts of a letter. The book is a collection of high-quality art, poetry, prose, and quotations that will help the reader to engage visually with Paul’s deeply theological writings. Not all art pieces in this book are strictly based on biblical accounts, but all have been chosen for inclusion for their spiritual themes and value for personal reflection.
Beauty Given by Grace: The Biblical Prints of Sadao Watanabe by Sadao Watanabe and Sandra Bowden
Artist Sadao Watanabe once said of his prints, “I would most like to see them hanging where people ordinarily gather, because Jesus brought the gospel for the people.” Through his work, in which familiar Scripture narratives take on a beautiful Japanese flavor, believers are able to see faith traversing cultures. While the four essays in this book are primarily focused on biographical information on the artist and critiques of his work, over 80 pieces are presented in vivid colors alongside corresponding passages from the English Standard Version of the Bible.
Art that Tells the Story by Christopher Brewer and Michael Witmer
The book gives believers a bird’s-eye view of Scripture through art, quotations, and corresponding verses. Beginning with a section depicting Creation, the story continues on through the Fall, Redemption, and Consummation. Artistic mediums range from pencil sketches to sculpture, and styles range from abstract to highly realistic. Intriguing essays on the importance of art in evangelism and Christian faith in general are combined with the artwork to make Art that Tells the Story an excellent tool for Scripture engagement through art.