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LEGO Book Overview: The LEGO Bible

Today I thought I introduce you to an interesting and controversial LEGO book called The LEGO Brick Bible, also called The LEGO Brick Testament, LEGO Testament or LEGO Bible, also known as “The world’s largest, most comprehensive illustrated Bible”. Yeah, LEGO is not just for childish creations, but can handle the whole Big Creation as well!

The LEGO Bible originally started out as a project by Brendan Powell Smith in which Bible stories are illustrated using still photographs of LEGO dioramas. Brendan has been sharing his LEGO Bible creations since 2001 on his website; thebricktestament.com. It originally featured six stories from the book of Genesis and expanded from there. The site now contains over 400 illustrated Bible stories from both the Old and New Testaments, and over 4,500 images of LEGO Bible dioramas, and it continues to grow as an ongoing one-man labor of love.

Since then Brendan published the LEGO Bible in a LEGO book series: The Brick Testament: Stories from the Book of Genesis, The Brick Testament: The Story of Christmas, The Brick Testament: The Ten Commandments are publications that are now almost entirely sold out and are becoming harder to find, but sometimes you can still get used copies.

Although you may have trouble finding the earlier books, The Brick Bible: A New Spin on the Old Testament is available. Below is the official video introduction to this very different LEGO book.

The controversy over the LEGO Bible comes from how the Bible stories are presented – or rather – by people’s assumption of how they should be presented. Seeing an illustrated Bible (especially one that contains LEGO) most people automatically assume it is for children, buying it for their kids and grandkids, only to find out it is not a LEGO book for young readers.

Brendan warns that the original Bible contains material some may consider morally objectionable and/or inappropriate for children, and clearly labels stories in the LEGO Bible that include nudity, sexual content, violence, and cursing (although only in LEGO form).

Another feature of the LEGO Bible some take issue with is presenting Bible stories as they are. No watering down, no hiding the (to our modern mind) disturbing details, or explaining them away. Whether you are a Christian or not, Brendan’s presentation makes you stop and think about what you are reading, and take time to process the information for yourself.

Brendan shares that his goal with the LEGO Bible is to give people an increased knowledge of the contents of the Bible in a way that is fun and compelling while remaining true to the text of the scriptures. To this end, all stories are retold using direct quotes from the Bible. It’s a great read for adults who are interested in the Bible, appreciate excellent LEGO creations, and love illustrated books. It is really a one-of-a-kind, totally unique LEGO book all the way!

There are also some particularly interesting details for LEGO fans: the dioramas seen in the LEGO Bible are created from Brendan’s personal LEGO collection; the pieces come from hundreds of LEGO sets dating from the 1960s to the present. In the few instances where alterations are made to LEGO elements, they are generally simple changes made with a hobby knife or permanent-ink marker. An example alteration is God’s hair: Brendan made God’s white hair by carving a white LEGO helmet piece. The only completely non-LEGO part is the background sky.

I don’t think anyone can appreciate this LEGO book as much as LEGO fans! We are not just reading the stories and looking at the pictures, but see deeper into the creative LEGO building techniques, see little details those not familiar with LEGO would likely never notice and can appreciate the tremendous amount of work that goes into a project like this. Below are the links to the Amazon listings, if you would like to take a look:

{ 13 comments… add one }
  • Jacob February 3, 2012, 2:55 PM

    I don’t want to get too much into relious discussions, but I do like how it tries to show the bible objectively, and does not try to cut out parts of it that are family unfriendly. Honestly, I think that LEGO is a great medium for this, as you can only get so graphic with LEGO minifigues. Honestly the only problems I have with this are due to me either being a purist so I dislike cut/custom parts, or that some of the figures use really old heads when newer ones I, personally, think look better. But really, those are just nit picks.

    • admin February 3, 2012, 5:43 PM

      Jacob, you bring up a really good point; you can get quite graphic and literal with LEGO, without being gory or offending. As far as modifying certain parts, please remember that this project has been going on for ten years. Ten years ago there were a lot less choices for minifigs, minifig accessories, etc. For example there was really no good option to make a bearded, white haired God. If you look at Brendan’s more recent work, he is using more recent minifigs and elements, even “fleshies”! As LEGO evolves, so is this project. It is really worth checking some of the latest chapters on Brendan’s website or at his flickr gallery: https://www.flickr.com/photos/12247552@N08/sets/72157605836556444/
      I particularly like his recent Noah’s arc vignettes. 🙂

  • Maxx February 8, 2012, 12:13 PM

    I have seen the older stuff, nothing of the newer things yet.

    The fact that most complaints come from religious people I find hilarious.
    Did you know that many religious people don’t know that the OLD testament is actually OLDER than the NEW testament, LOL!!!

    But to get back to the story, I love his work, it was one of the first things I found when I came out my dark ages.

    It would be fun to do an even older time frame, like the egyptians or older still, back to the beginning of men.

    • admin February 8, 2012, 2:18 PM

      Yeah, the LEGO Bible definitely ruffled some feathers. But if someone is not a religious fanatic they would appreciate the creativity, artistry and cleverness that went into this project! He could probably work on just the Bible for the rest of his life! But yeah, other stories would be great too! I serisouly considered doing the Bhagavad-gita as it has some great stories and concepts, but I just don’t have the patience. 😳

      • NRG Jay April 10, 2012, 3:41 PM

        Oh i am indian and hindu, so that would be epic! Or maybe the ramyana or mahabharata!! Ive read them both, being hindu, so it would be awesome to see it my fav thing in the world- LEGO!

        • admin April 15, 2012, 12:35 PM

          I would absolutely love to see a LEGO Ramayan and Maha-Bharata! I read them both, and they would be perfect for LEGO! Both texts are full of amazing and interesting characters, heroes and demons, lots of battles, and mystical places – perfect for LEGO! 😉

        • Håkan April 2, 2013, 2:52 PM

          That sounds cool…

          And unlike the monotheist religions, I have heard that there are enough sacred hindu texts to last a lifetime…

  • darkon February 9, 2012, 10:44 AM

    I’ve been on his website before and read most of the stories. The models are great! I love it when Satan turns into the giant firey hydra, or as I like to call it, Satanasaurus! The only thing I found creepy was the Adolph Hitler minifig talking about killing lego Jews, but besides that, this guy does some great models and stories! 😀

  • Umar March 8, 2012, 3:35 AM

    You guys know that I am a Islamic. So I better run from this web!

  • Legomaster April 15, 2012, 11:41 AM

    Hey Admin I got the book for Easter and the only thing the lego group has to do in the book is that is is made with legos. The Lego Group has NOT athorized it or supports it. It has some very inapropriate pictues like lego people giving birth and lego circumsition

    • admin April 15, 2012, 12:27 PM

      Yes, as I have mentioned in the post the book is controversial, not appropriate for children, and it has nothing to do with the LEGO Group. It is a LEGO-fan created project. An awesome one in my opinion that adult LEGO fans can greatly appreciate and enjoy. 🙂

  • Legomaster April 15, 2012, 3:44 PM

    in the book you can see the Jesus minigure’s head on one of the angels

  • Ohhh. I’ve wanted to do this before.

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