HURST, TX — EEM (Eastern European Mission), a ministry that has been providing free Bibles in former Communist bloc countries and surrounding nations since 1961, will now be the conduit, thanks to Publishing Director Scott Hayes, for getting 499 illustrations for the New Testament – nearly two for every chapter – to children and adults everywhere, to help them better understand the Scriptures.
“This project has been an exercise in using the creativity that is a part of being made in God’s image,” Hayes said. “It is our hope that the artwork, which is now available under Creative Commons license (CC by NC), will be further developed and used in ways we have not imagined – all for the glory of God.”
The inspiration to create Bible illustrations arose from the desire to help people of all ages and backgrounds understand the powerful message of the Bible. With EEM’S motto “The Bible. We want everyone to get it” in mind, Hayes and Phelps applied their God given creative talents to bring the stories and teachings of the Bible to life through vivid and engaging visual representations.
“Our hope is to encourage people to explore and understand the timeless wisdom and spiritual guidance contained within the pages of the Bible,” Hayes added. “Whether depicting the calming of the storm, the life of Jesus, or the struggles and triumphs of biblical heroes, the artist’s illustrations offer a fresh perspective and a powerful reminder of the relevance of these stories in our modern lives.”
Hayes believes these illustrations will encourage readers to envision the message within the text, and therefore better understand it. They will also serve as a memory hook to assist in the message moving from the head to the heart as readers meditate on the words. By making the images available free for non-commercial use, the artwork can be used for multiple purposes – in teaching, in Sunday School materials, in small group Bible studies, events such as Vacation Bible Schools or Backyard Bible Clubs, in after school Christian programs, etc.
The project has been a couple years in the making, with Hayes finding time during the early COVID-19 lockdowns to document ideas for the illustrations. As a longtime Bible teacher, he usually had a visual illustration in mind as he communicated about various New Testament passages, so he was able to list these out in a chart with recommendations for the illustrator. Once drawing commenced, it took about a year to complete every illustration.
The images are simple black-and-white line art, which allows them to be used for many purposes, as well as invites readers to color them in. They will be available via download from the EEM website and can be used in just about any way that helps to spread the Gospel, except for being used in products that would be sold for profit. They can be shared online via other websites, and with the reach of the Internet, have the potential to be used all over the world.
“It’s just about sharing resources, which is what EEM is all about,” Hayes said. “There should be no competition, no charge and no one getting any credit when it comes to sharing God’s Word, and that is the heart behind ‘Envisioning Truth 499.’”
More information is available at https://www.eem.org/envisioning-truth-499/, where the images are also available for download.
About Eastern European Mission
Eastern European Mission (EEM) was established in 1961 to provide Bibles and Bible-based materials throughout the former communist bloc countries in Eastern Europe. Today, EEM publishes and prints Bibles and New Testaments as well as Teen Bibles, Children’s Bibles and coloring books, distributing them through a vast network of partner churches and organizations which last year reached 36 countries in 26 different languages.
Source: A. Larry Ross Communications, Official Website