Book Review: “The Gospel of John, Photographed” by David Kevin Weaver

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GospelPhotographedHave you ever read the Holy Bible?  Did you read it for your Confirmation or a few passages in your college Theology class?  Have you read the Bible cover to cover or read a verse or a chapter?  Was the last time when you celebrated a union of friends or honored your comrade at their funeral? Have you looked for inspiration to the meaning of living because you were bombarded with negativity at every news update?  David Kevin Weaver, the author and photographer of  “The Gospel of John, Photographed” read Scripture during the recession and was inspired by the upbeat messages in the Gospel of John.  As a self-taught photographer, he travelled unaccompanied to Israel for a two week period during the summer of 2010 with the intention to capture images of modern day Israel that matched meaningful passages from the Gospel of John.  This Benjamin Franklin Gold Award winning book is the finished product of that pilgrimage.

This book is a wonderful coffee table book for the religious follower in your life or one that desires to travel to “the Holy Land”.  The layout of this book was simple.  One page had text in red if Jesus was speaking and black if not.  (The text that correlated directly with the photo had an increased font size.)  The opposite page had a photo.  I found the design helpful occasionally, as some photos were a little bit of a stretch to correlate to the text.  I researched the type of camera used; a Leica D-Lux 4 compact digital camera.  The reviews were favorable.  I expected to be awed by the landscapes and candid photos.  I was disappointed as many of the photos were low resolution, blurry and out of focus.  There were a few thought provoking photos.  One was of a male figure, perhaps a father, leading four girls across the street with a machine gun in his right hand.  Perchance he was protecting them as he escorted them to their schools.  Another one was feasibly an impromptu drum celebration in the Jewish Quarter.  A few portrait-like photos, which with two more seconds to properly pose, would have been striking!

Reading this book was similar to paging through a family member’s Snapfish vacation pilgrimage photo book they assembled.  Some photos, poorly composed and blurry, were included in the book for they remind the traveler of a situation that occurred before, during or after the snapshot was captured.  Other photos were included because they are a composition of an historical space and the overwhelming modern day tourism.  Some depict normal day to day living.  Places where groceries were purchased like the market or the supermarket and where people congregated, like the strip mall, monuments or parks.  The Gospel of John, Photographed is certainly worth a flip though while stomping around the bookstore.  Though I am not inspired to re-read the Bible, I do look forward to perusing though his next photo essay book on his travels relating to The Apostle John.

Disclosure: A free copy of this book was given to the volunteer with the expectation that they’d write a fair and honest review of it.

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by Jill Otradovec

Jill thrives on travel has been fortunate to be a road tripper and train traveler. She’s visited all 48 contiguous U.S. States with the impressive assistance of sofas and floors belonging to friends and family and a fantastic mechanic. Though her current passport has one stamp and a pathetic layer of dust, she is a card holder of the Smithsonian Institution and National Park Service (which have been used this year).

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