Behind the Scenes » In the Beginning…

How did The Brick Bible come to be?

Artist, and creator of The Brick Bible, Elbe Spurling grew up in the suburbs of Boston, MA, and attended the local Episcopal church where her mother was superintendent of the Sunday School. At home, her favorite toy was LEGO (though she was by no means a child prodigy). By age 13, all her childhood toys had been packed away in the basement as she prepared for adulthood.

Spurling attended Boston University, graduating with a degree in Philosophy & Religion. It was during the course of her studies that she first read the Bible from cover to cover and was routinely shocked by how little of the Bible’s content was being taught in church, and how few of its stories most people seemed to know. It was then that the germ of an idea formed: surely it would be a good thing if there was a way to get more people to read and consider the content of the Bible!

Not until moving across the country to California did Spurling return to the world of building with LEGO as an adult. After some preliminary projects like an 8-foot tall skyscraper and a Roman-style colosseum, Spurling decided to try to recreate some famous Bible scenes in LEGO. Starting at the start with the Garden of Eden, with cute little plastic versions Adam, Eve, God, and the snake, it became clear that this beloved children’s toy could be precisely the right medium with which to retell all the stories of the Bible.

The project was an immediate hit beyond her wildest imagination, and soon after her website’s launch with six of the earliest stories from Genesis, newspapers and magazines around the world were sharing good news about The Brick Bible. The attention and praise spurred Spurling to keep building and photographing additional stories, and before the year was out, she had landed a publishing deal to release a series of print books.

The endeavor to illustrate the entirety of the Bible would keep Spurling for the next dozen years with regular updates to the website and the release of seventeen Brick Bible print books that have been translated into nine different languages.