Lots of Versions Out There
Trying to find a good Bible storybook to read to your young children is often a challenge. Some aren’t much more than “Jesus loves you” messages – page after page – with a few baby cherub pictures thrown in. And children, as well as adults, need to hear that message. Then there’s a variety of other versions that add value in other ways. And, of course, it’s hard to beat simply reading a regular version of the Bible to your child. However, I believe a good children’s Bible storybook can shepherd you children in very helpful ways.
A few years ago I came across a set of Bible stories I have read to my children ever since. These stories come in a ten volume set, entitled, The Bible Story by Arthur Maxwell. You can learn more about the book and the author by clicking here.
The series covers the entire Bible. No story, (I’m pretty sure), has been left out. Because the purpose of God’s Word is not always to give us every detail of a person’s life (example: Jesus’ childhood), the author respectfully (and, I think, faithfully) “speculates” about such things. He never makes up things a Bible character said or did. And if he’s just exercising a little “imaginative wonder,” he clearly communicates that.
The pictures are fantastic. Very colorful. My kids love the pictures as well as the stories. We bounce back and forth between an Old Testament volume and then a New Testament volume.
One of the things I like most about the series is that it was written in the 1950s. I know there is no golden era of the Christian faith, however, I really like the fact that this is not yet another children’s book trying more to be “relevant” to the child than faithful to the text. Who needs that? The author gives a faithful rendering of the story (with many bits and pieces of the actual biblical text interspersed throughout the story). His winsomeness has given my children a real love for the stories and a deep desire to hear them again and again. You can’t beat that.
Here’s the link again to the website that sells this series:
The Bible Story
More than four hundred stories in ten volumes covering the entire Bible from Genesis to Revelation
by Arthur S. Maxwell
I encourage you to buy this series at once and begin reading the stories to your children. You won’t regret it. It’s an impacting and fun way to shepherd your children. And as I said earlier, you just can’t beat that.
Caveat: The author is a Seventh Day Adventist and his view of the Sabbath is apparent to the discerning reader. But those who do not share his view can take the time to explain why they celebrate the Lord’s Day on a Sunday instead of a Saturday.
Finally, let me add a children’s catechism would be a good addition to begin shaping your child’s theology.
Grace and Truth,