The Brick Bible: A New Spin on the Old Testament

( 26 )

Overview

Brendan Powell Smith has spent the last decade creating nearly 5,000 scenes from the bible—with Legos. His wonderfully original sets are featured on his website, Bricktestament.com, but for the first time 1,500 photographs of these creative designs—depicting the Old Testament from Earth’s creation to the Books of Kings—are brought together in book format. The Holy Bible is complex; sometimes dark, and other times joyous, and Smith’s masterful work is a far cry from what a small child might build. The beauty of ...

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Overview

Brendan Powell Smith has spent the last decade creating nearly 5,000 scenes from the bible—with Legos. His wonderfully original sets are featured on his website, Bricktestament.com, but for the first time 1,500 photographs of these creative designs—depicting the Old Testament from Earth’s creation to the Books of Kings—are brought together in book format. The Holy Bible is complex; sometimes dark, and other times joyous, and Smith’s masterful work is a far cry from what a small child might build. The beauty of The Brick Bible is that everyone, from the devout to nonbelievers, will find something breathtaking, fascinating, or entertaining within this collection. Smith’s subtle touch brings out the nuances of each scene and makes you reconsider the way you look at Legos—it’s something that needs to be seen to be believed.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The subtitle for Smith’s curious and curiously powerful graphic novel, which recreates scenes from the Old Testament using Lego bricks and photographing them, is something of a misnomer. As Smith points out in his introduction, part of the reason he took on this project was because of his surprise over how few people have actually read the Bible. Although there is certainly humor in seeing this treatment (the circumcision scene in Genesis is painfully funny), in the main Smith plays it straight. In that sense, it really isn’t a “new spin” but an off-kilter way of retelling it. Picking up some of the world-weary humor that Larry Gonick perfected for his Cartoon History series, Smith relates one degrading spectacle after another. God is a vengeful and cruel being, forever disappointed in and savagely punishing his chosen people when not demanding that they invade neighboring cities and slaughter every last one of its inhabitants. Funny or not, there is a grindhouse flick’s worth of blood, corpses, enslavement, rapine, and decapitations, all of it cribbed straight from the good book itself. It’s an eye-opener. The Old Testament took 10 years to pose; hopefully it won’t take another decade for the New Testament. (Oct.)
Wired.com
“A whopper of a book. Whether you’re religious or not, you can probably appreciate the time and effort it took to piece together all of these scenes.”
GeekToMe.com
“What Brendan Powell Smith has done with LEGOs goes beyond remarkable; it borders on genius.”
Los Angeles Times
“Entertaining.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781616084219
  • Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing
  • Publication date: 10/1/2011
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 236,320
  • Product dimensions: 8.40 (w) x 10.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Brendan Powell Smith is an artist known for his divine use of LEGO bricks. In this medium, he has produced nearly 5,000 illustrations, retelling more than 400 stories from the bible. His website, bricktestament.com, has received accolades worldwide. Smith is the author of three Brick Testament Books: Stories from the Book of Genesis, The Story of Christmas, and The Ten Commandments. He lives in Mountain View, California.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3
( 26 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(13)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(9)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 26 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 21, 2011

    The Lego and The Book

    Brendan Powell Smith employs a unique medium to depict bible scenes: Legos. I found myself fascinated, standing at the bookstore looking through "The Brick Bible" with its many colorful renderings of the Lego scenes that Smith posed. I'm familiar with the Bible, but it's been a long time since I've opened one. I couldn't help but by the book and bring it home with me. Although not a comprehensive treatment of the entire Old Testament, it does focus on many of the key stories, scenes, locations, individuals, and lessons found therein. Smith has a witty approach to his rendering of biblical scenes. He's not shy to address the most innocent and virtuous, to the more dark and heavy stories of the Bible. How else could one treat the Old Testament, but to include the entire spectrum of these stories. "The Brick Bible" opens or reopens the door of inquiry into this ancient text. I hope that a New Testament version will come out soon.

    9 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 29, 2011

    A True Work of Art

    The Brick Bible illustrates much of the Old Testament of the Bible using Lego. The book primarily focuses on the story of the Israelites from Genesis to beyond King David.

    The Brick Bible employs a straightforward and readable translation of the text, and in the interest of continuity compresses or combines some redundancies such as the two accounts of Genesis (Genesis 1 and Genesis 2). However, the translation for each story and image is consistent with other modern English translations such as the New King James Version.

    The Lego illustrations are artistly crafted and detailed, and are straightforward depictions of the narrative of the Bible stories included in the book. There are obviously some editorial decisions in how to portray various images (such as the look of surprise and horror on Isaac's face as he realizes his father intends to sacrifice him...), but there appear to be no significant liberties taken, and the images stick to the narrative as described in the text. [The author's online "The Brick Testament" does feature some modern-day illustrations for the Laws of Leviticus and Deuteronomy and the New Testament book of Revelation, none of which are not included in The Brick Bible book.]

    Depictions of violence in The Brick Bible are greatly attenuated by the limitations of Lego blocks. Blood and gore is represented by small red transparent Lego blocks, which is comically tame compared to the more graphic depictions often encountered in traditionally illustrated comic books ("graphic novels") or video games.

    One notable omission in The Brick Bible avoids explicit depictions of sexual situations in the narrative. Rather than illustrating Lego people in sexual poses, the book employs clever visual circumlocutions to imply the activity.

    Overall, The Brick Bible is a wonderfully crafted work of art and sure to delight and engage believers and non-believers alike.

    8 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 20, 2011

    Highly recommended!

    This is an amazing triumph that brings the wonderful lessons and stories of the Old Testament to life through the joyful tool of Legos. Filled with photographs, including many in color, this book is masterful in both its constructions and its story-telling. Just as the innumerable translations of the Bible have made it a spiritual presence in the lives of billions of human beings, so the language of Legos offers the chance to captivate and inspire new audiences with the legacy of the holy book. Entertaining, transporting, and highly recommended!

    8 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 20, 2011

    Amazing

    I can't imagine having the patience to create the whole Old Testament in Lego form ... but I'm glad somebody did. This book is almost 300 pages of Old Testament stories illustrated by Lego scenes. I've been reading the Bible for 20+ years and had to take a course on the OT to graduate from my college, but I have to admit there are some stories I'd totally forgotten until I flipped through this book (do you know who Sisera is? Didn't think so). After seeing the stories in Lego form, I'm not likely to forget them anytime soon. I know a few folks who would have done better in that OT class if they'd had this book to study with!

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 4, 2012

    A great way to read the best book ever written...The Bible!

    Although the pictures seem graphic, they are just depicting what the text says in the bible. Yes, if you have ever read the bible you would know that there is violence in the bible! If you feel comfortable sharing all of the Old Testament with your children then this book is a great way to introduce some of the most famous bible stories. It is not sugar coated so review the stories before sharing. I am hoping Brendan Powell Smith writes a New Testament version too. I would be the first in line to purchase! My 9 yr old son reads this book every night before bed! I love that this book has replaced other less "appropriate" books such as Captain Underpants :-). Thank You!!

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 1, 2011

    DO NOT buy this book for children

    I bought this book in the store thinking that it would be a cute way to introduce the bible to my kids until I got it home. I started looking through the book and they the pictures were very inapproiate for children. They were very graphic with blood and violence that a child should not see done with toys. While the pictures in this book were created by legos this book is diffently not for children.

    6 out of 17 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 23, 2012

    Not for the young ones, or anyone else, for that matter!

    As a Sunday school teacher and parent, I totally loved the Manga Messiah series, Picture, and Action bibles, so I bought this thinking it would be another great way to get God's Word into my kids life. Wow, was I wrong!!! I can't even let my 9 year old son read it, my older sons were disgusted, and I am deleting it off my nook. It basically depicts God (a lego man) as a lusty, violent warmonger, personally killing opponents in all the wars, as well as well as any and all disobedient followers. It is bloody and sexually explicit in word and photo (i.e. dismembered, naked, bloody minifigs, and even soldiers checking a minifig woman's virginity!). I know my Bible very, very well, and this "poser bible" nastily warps and edits selected passages, while intentionally ignoring the ones showing God's love, grace and forgiveness towards Israel. This book gets it all wrong - just say, "get behind me Satan" and buy one of the other kids Bible books I mentioned earlier.

    5 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 29, 2012

    WARNING: NOT A CHILDREN'S BOOK

    I have to say I am extremely disappointed that there is not a sticker or warning on the cover of this book stating it contains adult materials (nudity, sex, swear words). My 10 year old saw this book on a bible/religious book display next to the Lego toys this past weekend and purchased it. I soon found out (from his Catholic school principal) how very inappropriate the book actually was. Essentially my child had been passing around Lego porn at school.

    The book was well done in general, but just be warned it is an adult book. I will be returning my son's.

    5 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 28, 2012

    NOT FOR CHILDREN

    Is this being advertised as a children's book?
    I flipped through this book inside b&n, found very adult themed lego pictures>
    such as sex, gore, violence.

    NOT FOR KIDS

    shameful book this is - no warning label or nothing.

    5 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 25, 2012

    A truly fascinating representation of The Bible. The author's u

    A truly fascinating representation of The Bible. The author's use of Lego characters as a vehicle for his message is very effective and original.

    Is this book appropriate for children? That depends on whether or not you are comfortable with your child reading The Bible. Its images of sex, blood, and violence are drawn directly from The Bible's text. The two are no different in terms of content.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 12, 2012

    NOT FOR CHILDREN (sex, violence, incest) - Great book but author

    NOT FOR CHILDREN (sex, violence, incest) - Great book but author's website is better because there the complete lego bible can be read, I still highly recommend the book for the artistic merit.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 4, 2013

    My son - 6 years old - is a fun of lego and chose this book. Whe

    My son - 6 years old - is a fun of lego and chose this book. When we start reading it together I realized the material IS NOT for children. Angels raping women, men getting drunk and having sex. All this with lego figurines!!!!!!!! Unfortunately what has been seen cannot be unseen. I just hope those images won't linger in my son's mind. This book should not be marketed as a book for children because it is not. Book stores should be held accountable for this deception.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2012

    Jonah varian says:

    If you love christ and legos this is a great book for you

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 20, 2012

    This is a very interesting book. Page by page, Brendon P. Smith

    This is a very interesting book. Page by page, Brendon P. Smith retells the Bible Lego style. I highly recommend it!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 15, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    THE BRICK BIBLE: A NEW SPIN ON THE OLD TESTAMENT as told and ill

    THE BRICK BIBLE: A NEW SPIN ON THE OLD TESTAMENT as told and illustrated by Brendan Powell Smith is an interesting Religion/Art/Lego’s. A colorful, imaginative, version of the Bible, the Old Testament actually using Lego’s to demonstrate the various scenes. The author uses Lego bricks to portray biblical scenes as he tells the various Old Testament scripture as accurately as possible. I enjoyed the whimsical artwork,but do be aware some scenes may be offensive,as it depicts killing,and other things,but the author does bring the Lego characters alive as well. Please be aware, that to me “The Brick Bible” may not be appropriate for all young children, it has graphic scenes as well as is explicit while telling the scriptures. Some parents may find it offensive, while children may enjoy the various ways in which the author as created scenes using Lego characters. My 12 year-old grandson loves Lego, but has not read “The Brick Bible” as yet. While, it is an interesting take on the Old Testament, it is explicit and graphic. It is worth a look at to me,but others may not feel the seem way. I do feel that “The Brick Bible” is NOT for young children! It is deceptive,not for young children! More for adult Lego fans than for children. Received for an honest review from the publisher.
    (This product is not sponsored, authorized, or endorsed by the LEGO company.)
    RATING: 3
    HEAT RATING: *Too explicit for young children,but for adults not so much*
    REVIEWED BY: AprilR, Courtesy of My Book Addiction and More

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 25, 2013

    I read it and im only 10 years old!!!!

    It is for children, you just have to be MATURE.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 19, 2013

    New way to see the Bible!

    Wonderfully imaginative and entertainingly riveting for my grand nephew who had never been acquainted with the Bible before. What a great way to introduce it! Applause!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 21, 2013

    Lego brick (bible)

    I flipped through this book at barns & nobel i'm only 10 and even I could pick out mistakes alot of mistakes if you belive in a bunch of balony this is for you. If you belive in the truth and that God loves you try Olive Tree.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 20, 2012

    Written by an Atheist! Not the perspective I want my kids to rea

    Written by an Atheist! Not the perspective I want my kids to read. Will be returning to the store. 

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 13, 2012

    To masquerade this poor interpretation as a Bible (let alone for

    To masquerade this poor interpretation as a Bible (let alone for children) is ridiculous, horrendous even. It is neither complete nor accurate. keep in mind that the author is himself an atheist, and this comes out in his [mis] interpretations of the Bible.
    The Lego idea is clever, and would be great if it weren't undermined by willful misunderstanding & ignorance of the Bible's actual message.  In fact, actual excerpts from the Bible are conveniently trimmed and re-worded to fit the author's desires (you can compare to an actual Bible for yourself).  It is pretty clear to me that Smith's main goals in this project were not at all to create an accurate (or even theologically educated) rendition of the Bible, but to amuse himself and others who have the same bitterly anti-theist views as himself, as well as perhaps even to persuade other readers to this view, by clever (and sometimes subtle) deception if nothing else.  
    If you subscribe to Smith's same feelings and would like to set aside truth, accuracy, and understanding and get a good laugh, by all means get this book (though be aware of Lego violence & sexuality--at least in the online version).  
    If you have any intention to actually understand what is in the Bible, please choose differently. For those looking for a children's Bible, I highly recommend the Jesus Storybook Bible.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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