Painting Luke's Gospel

The Incarnation

Unlike most traditional images of Jesus’ birth, Iain was keen for this painting to reflect what birth really looks like. Traditional images of this moment can feel naïve and can seem to deny the incarnation; God in a real human body. Jesus being born as a completely vulnerable person is one of the ways God chooses to identify with us.

The painting was based on a photograph by Chris Hoskins, taken at the birth of his second son, Eli. Chris is known for his Scottish landscape photography and his humanitarian work with charities like Tearfund.  When Iain first saw the photograph, he was struck by the power of the image and was strongly reminded of the birth of his own children. The image depicts an occurrence which is simultaneously every-day and unique.

The birth of Jesus

In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to their own town to register.

So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them..

Luke 2: 1-7 (NIVUK)


Gospel Sketchbook download

The Gospel Sketchbook download helps you start exploring the Bible through visual art.

The Incarnation: Gospel Sketchbook Download
Painting Handout

Explore this painting in more detail with our free PDF including colour-in section.

The Incarnation: Painting Handout Download
Gospel Bible Study

This study considers both the Biblical text and the painting on which it is based, encouraging participants to think about how to apply the Biblical text to their context.

The Incarnation: Bible Study Download

The Portrait Gospel

The Gospel of Luke uniquely illustrated by Iain Campbell

The Portrait Gospel is uniquely illustrated by Iain Campbell. By using modern day Glaswegians as his models, Iain’s compelling paintings bring 21st century life to the words of a first century disciple.

Copies of The Portrait Gospel are available to buy in person from St George’s Tron Church, Glasgow.

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