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'Beauty Is Important in Our Understanding of Who God Is': College Students' Millennial-Worthy Bible Reaching Thousands

03-14-2019
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Courtesy: Alabaster Co.

A pair of college students have created a Bible made for millennials by millennials.

 Alabaster Co. matches artistic design with God's timeless word to appeal to today's image-hungry culture. 

The concept, which quickly caught the eye of thousands of people online, was created by two college students who once knew very little about God or the Bible. 

Brian Chung and Bryan Chung (not related) did not become Christians until they attended college at the University of Southern California. 

"My parents are Buddhist. I went to a Catholic middle school and went into college agnostic. I got reached out to by some nice people who happened to be Christian. They were a part of this group called InterVarsity," Brian told CBN News. 

InterVarsity is a nationwide campus ministry that focuses on bringing the gospel to college students and professors. 

For Brian, it was the beginning of a life-changing relationship with Jesus. 

"I decided to follow Jesus," he told CBN News

Brian and Bryan both became Christians but didn't really know how to read the Bible. 

"When I received my first Bible, I was a little intimidated...I didn't know where to begin," Brian explained. "For me, as someone that was new to faith, as someone that was a designer, I thought, 'Could this be done differently?'"

The pair believe this generation is asking 'What is beautiful?' without realizing that the Bible is the answer.

 

"We're constantly on our phones, consuming media through Instagram, through Facebook. We judge a company by the beauty of their website. We love restaurants that are designed well. So we thought, 'What would it look like to turn an already beautiful story - the story of Jesus - into a beautiful reading experience?'"

That's when the pair launched Alabaster Co. through a Kickstarter campaign in October 2016. Their first project was Alabaster: The Bible Beautiful, and completely redesigned the four Gospels into individual books with compelling images and art. 

Alabaster - The Bible Beautiful from Bryan Chung on Vimeo.

The young entrepreneurs transformed the Bible into a millennial-worthy tactile experience. They thought about everything from how the paper should feel in the readers' hands to the spacing of the images on the pages. 

"One of our biggest goals is to show that beauty is important in our understanding of who God is," Brian said. 

The company has expanded beyond the four gospels and redesigned Proverbs, Psalms, and other books. 

People are being transformed by scripture every day. 

"The things that give us the most joy are the emails that come in saying, 'Hey, I have a friend that didn't consider themself a Christian and they started reading your Bible.' Or, 'My marriage wasn't doing very well and we read one of your Psalms books together as a couple and it's been so helpful for our marriage.'"

While Alabaster Co. is a new take on presenting the Bible, Brian believes they've tapped into the Church's historic role of portraying and revealing beauty to the world. 

"In the past, in the Church, art has played a very strong and high role with the Renaissance paintings and the stained glass windows. So, we wanted to put art again at the forefront of showing the world how beautiful God is."

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