Tag Archive for: Immerse: The Reading Bible

Immerse: The Reading Bible Wins 2022 Bible of the Year Award

Our flagship resource, Immerse: The Reading Bible, has won the ECPA (Evangelical Christian Publishers Association) Gold Medallion Award for 2022 Bible of the Year!

The Gold Medallion award is a highly sought-after recognition in Christian publishing, akin to a Pulitzer Prize or Oscar award. The ECPA gives the award each year to books and Christian resources in a number of different categories. See all of the winners here.

It’s a thrill to see such an out-of-the-ordinary Bible win this prestigious award. Six volumes, no chapters, no verses, no fancy notes or features. Just the Holy Scriptures with room to breathe.

Click here to learn more about Immerse

Immerse Featured on the Bible Review Blog

Tim Wildsmith from the Bible Review Blog recently published a video review of Immerse: The Reading Bible on his website and YouTube channel.

Before Tim recorded this review, we had the chance to sit down with him to share the history behind Immerse and the vision for how it can transform individuals and communities. We think he did a great job of articulating those things in this review, as well as pointing out the various features and benefits of Immerse.

NLT Immerse Reading Bible – Full Review

Episode 5: How to Make a Reader’s Bible w/ Christopher Smith

In Episode 4 we outlined the deficiencies of the Modern Reference Bible. But what’s the alternative? What could the future of the Bible look like?

Christopher Smith joins us to talk about the work and research that goes into the creation of Reader’s Bibles – Bibles which remove all of the modern additives and replace them with literary structures which actually honor and display the natural contours of each book. He and Glenn tell the story of how they met to create The Books of the Bible, a Reader’s edition which became the precursor to Immerse: The Reading Bible.

The Rev. Dr. Christopher Smith is a writer and biblical scholar who is also an ordained minister and served local churches as a pastor for nearly twenty years. He has an A.B. from Harvard in English and American Literature and Language, a Master of Arts in Theological Studies from Gordon-Conwell, and a Ph.D. in the History of Christian Life and Thought, with a minor concentration in Bible, from Boston College, in the joint program with Andover Newton Theological School. He was heavily involved in the design and creation of Immerse: The Reading Bible.

After Chapters and Verses: https://amzn.to/2Sx2R5l

High School Bible Teacher Shares How Immerse “Reinvigorated” His Class

My name is Ben Tameling, and I am a Bible teacher at Grandville Calvin Christian High School. I am writing to express my enthusiasm for the Immerse: The Reading Bible series created by the members of the Institute for Bible Reading and published by Tyndale Publishers. For the first time this semester, I used the Kingdoms book for my Old Testament Survey class and the Messiah book for my New Testament Survey class. In both cases, it reinvigorated my teaching and my students’ approach to the Bible. What struck me so positively from this experience are the following three qualities.

First, my students and I really appreciated and enjoyed the “user-friendly” format of Immerse. I had several students remark that reading the Bible this way felt less intimidating. As a Bible teacher who personally loves reading and studying the Bible, this comment blew me away at first, but then I began to see where students were coming from: all of the study notes, cross references, and footnotes in many well-meaning “study Bibles” end up distracting young people from actually reading the text itself. Reading both a large portion of the Old Testament and all of the New Testament using this format helped students focus on the grander narrative. The introductions to each book gave us helpful historical and cultural context for each book, but then we were off and running, uninhibited by the clutter of so many gigantic Study Bibles.

Allowing students to “immerse” themselves in Scripture allowed me as a teacher to let students’ observations and reactions drive the class.

Second, I enjoyed having student discussion lead the class rather than my own preconceived agenda. I still did and do a lot of planning, whether it be formulating “unit maps” to help introduce major concepts in biblical books, summarizing key learning targets, or putting together “recaps” to help students review together, to name just a few things. But allowing students to “immerse” themselves in Scripture allowed me as a teacher to let students’ observations and reactions drive the class. As their guide, I encouraged them to ask questions continually as they read and for them to share those in small groups, whole class discussion, and in their weekly journal reflections that I required. This last technique was a great way for me to keep up with students as they read, dialoguing with them along the way and prodding them to keep asking great questions as they sought to connect the dots throughout the Story. In short, it was fun to explore a balance between pouring a foundation for them to build off of and then letting them go to work as they read and shared their own perspectives.

Third, going along with the above points about the user-friendly format and the student-driven dialogue, I believe using Immerse has allowed students to work toward a more holistic understanding of the Bible rather than see it as a series of disconnected “devotional chunks”. In my experience using Kingdoms, students could now approach the account of the Israelites entering and then exiting the Promised Land as part of a Story, more like an absorbing, tragic novel rather than a tedious textbook. Likewise with Messiah: suddenly all of the teachings and miracles of Jesus flowed together into a discernible storyline conveyed similarly yet differently by each Gospel writer. And rather than rush as a teacher to try and make each and every passage “applicable”, it was fun to watch students make connections between then and now themselves.

All in all, I am so glad that I was made aware of Immerse: The Reading Bible and can’t wait to keep exploring ways to integrate it into my other classes, refining and honing my own skills as a teacher to help open up the Bible to students, and in turn being blessed by what they teach me through this experience of reading communally.

In Christ,
Ben Tameling
Bible Teacher
Grandville Calvin Christian High School

Immerse: The Reading Bible is Finished

This week our team is celebrating the completion of Immerse: The Reading Bible, a project we’ve been working on with our partners at Tyndale House Publishers for the past eighteen months. Immerse: Prophets arrived from the printer in late February and rounded out the six-volume set, which represents our best work yet in the “reader’s edition” Bible category.

Click here to buy the full set at 25% off

Immerse: The Reading Bible contains several new innovations compared to our previous work with reader’s Bibles:

  • We used scientific research on the length of the reading line, number of characters, margin size, and font size to find the optimal balance for the most comfortable reading experience.
  • A fresh book order in the prophets, the order of Paul’s letters, and the order of the four gospel groups in the New Testament
  • Custom watercolor cover artwork commissioned specifically for Immerse
  • Brand new sections in the back of each volume explaining how each type of biblical literature works, and how the smaller stories of the Bible work together to create the grand narrative

The first two volumes, Messiah and Beginnings, have already found significant traction within churches across North America as part of the Immerse: The Bible Reading Experience church campaign.

“Immerse is spreading organically from church to church as early adopters tell stories about positive experiences reading Immerse: Messiah,” said Doug Knox, Sr. Vice President and Group Publisher at Tyndale.

Using the six-volume set, churches are invited to read through the entire Bible together over the course of three years, given they read through one volume each spring and fall. Many pastors don’t want to wait that long. “Immerse recommends a cycle of two modules a year, but we had people asking, ‘What’s next?’” pastor Chris Morrison told us, “So we started Beginnings right away. I can’t believe it, but we just finished reading Leviticus. And we’ve had great discussions!”

The Spanish edition of Immerse, Inmersión: La Biblia de lectura, is close behind the English version. Four of the six volumes have been printed, with the last two scheduled for completion later this year. All of the church campaign materials have been translated as well.

“IFBR and Tyndale are delighted to witness the seeds of a global Bible reading movement taking root,” says Knox, “We expect to see a thousand more churches enroll over the next twelve months.”

While the Bible itself is finished in English, much work remains to complete the accompanying church campaigns for all six volumes. We are raising money to produce the preview videos that go along with each week’s reading and help the reader become familiar with the historical and literary context of what they’re about to read. Messiah and Beginnings videos are finished, but we still need to create videos for the final four campaigns — 32 videos total.

Check out the video for Messiah Week 6, introducing the Jewish perspective of Matthew’s gospel:

Immerse: Messiah Week 6 (Matthew)

These videos are an integral part of the Immerse experience. If you’d like to support our work to finish them for all six volumes, we’d really appreciate if you head over to our Donate page and make a gift. Thanks so much!