gospel of john_travel ladyDuring the 2008 recession, photographer David Kevin Weaver drew strength from the Gospel of John. This gospel begins with John the Baptist predicting Jesus’ arrival, then goes on to detail Jesus’ public ministry and his very public death and resurrection. It’s a moving story that could not have a more triumphant ending.

When Weaver got the chance to visit Israel, he knew exactly the places he yearned to visit and photograph – the places Jesus lived and died. You can see the results of his trip in his big, beautiful coffee table book, The Gospel of John, Photographed. Text by John the Apostle – though some modern scholars debate this – and photos by Weaver.

  1. This gospel begins with John the Baptist predicting Jesusarrival, then goes on to detail Jesuspublic ministry and his very public death and resurrection.

. Some are literal; a passage mentions bread, we see fresh, gorgeous loaves. Or we read about a fig tree and see a fig tree. Some are funny in a modernized way, like a reference to a donkey set beside a photo of a scooter. Some are more conceptual. A photo of a kiteboarder in the Mediterranean Sea accompanies this passage: “The wind bloweth where it listeh, and thou hearest the sound therof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.” The photo well captures the unpredictability of wind and spirit.

Some of Weaver’s pairings can make a reader think. Such as: “Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed.” Here we see a colorful photo of garbage. Readers of a spiritual bent – and who else reads a book like this – will surely find themselves wondering, are we going after the perishable rather than the enduring? Are we spending our time on the most important pursuits? Or are our lives more like the sack of garbage?

Weaver assembles a portrait of the Holy Land that includes landscapes, street scenes, restaurant, portraits, products, graffiti, signs and businesses. And, of course, the famous sites directly related to Jesus’ life: the Way of the Cross, the crucifixion site, the River Jordan, Nazareth, the Sea of Galilee and many others. Some photos are beautiful enough for travel brochures. Others are way too gritty. Travelers, Christian history buffs and other enthusiasts of world culture will enjoy this up-close, personal look at Jesus’ haunts 2000 plus years later.