[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_wp_text text=”The Crux is not a Bible per se. It is a tool. It’s a way for you to better understand the whole story of the Christian Bible in brief. Think of it as something like a cheat-sheet Bible, or the Cliff’s Notes version, or even The Bible for Dummies. It’s something that will help you see the big picture of God’s involvement in the world, and connect His story to your own story today.

We began working on The Crux in response to the large number of people in our local church who simply couldn’t understand the Bible. People would try to read it, find it difficult to understand, and then get discouraged and quit. Others would read it and then fail to see what ancient Israel has to do with modern-day America, or what Jesus’ teachings have to do with the issues of contemporary life. Still others couldn’t connect the First Testament (concerning the story of ancient Israel) with Jesus of Nazareth (whose own story is told in the first four books of the Second Testament). We wanted these kinds of people to be able to quickly read and understand the big story of the Bible, and God’s mission and purpose throughout. To do that, we selected pieces of the Bible and sewed them together into the book you’re holding in your hot little hands: an illustrated, annotated, abridged, and harmonized version of the Christian Bible.

We’ve also done a little work to make the text of the Bible (within The Crux) easier to understand. We’ve cobbled together selections of the most-readable English translations (NIV for the First Testament, NLT for the Second Testament writings, NCV for the Gospel excerpts) and we’ve replaced old measurements (cubits, etc) and units (denarii, etc) with contemporary ones (miles, dollars, etc). We’ve also unified the stories of Jesus contained within the four gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John) into one grand story. This kind of unification has often been done before and results in a gospel ‘harmony.’

We did this with some reservation, however, because we believe that each of the four gospels (as they were written) tell the story of Jesus from a slightly different perspective and with a slightly different audience in mind. To harmonize them into one big gospel does them a disservice; however, we felt that – for this project – a gospel harmony was the best way to tell every credible story about Jesus in one place. Finally, we’ve added all kinds of illustrations and maps to help readers engage the story viscerally – to get excited about the narrative and use their imagination to “see” how things really were – as well as some short introductions to the major sections of The Crux that will serve to knit the whole work together.

We hope that you enjoy The Crux and that it drives you to pick up a complete version of the Christian Bible and read it lovingly from cover to cover.”][/vc_column][/vc_row]