If you’re a Christian parent like my wife and me, you want your kids to know the Bible. Most Christian parents have multiple Bible story books laying around the house — fruit of their experimentation to find one their kids really love. But I’ve been consistently disappointed by the total lack of Christ-centeredness in most kids’ story Bibles. Wise publishers know they can market the same material to Jewish, Christian, Mormon and quasi-religious parents as long as they steer clear of any Jesus-as-Savior implications. And even good evangelical publishers tend to turn Bible stories into moralistic lessons (David beat Goliath, so you can defeat the “giants” in your life too) instead of drawing the connection to God’s plan of redemption (Through the intervention and courage of one deliverer (David/Jesus), the many are rescued from oppression and certain death).
It was with great skepticism, then, that I opened a package from my mother-in-law a few weeks ago to find The Big Picture Story Bible. But my skepticism quickly melted away as soon as I began reading it to my kids. This is the story Bible I’ve been searching for all my life. Rather than taking stories from the Bible as isolated, moralistic lessons, it traces the redemptive-historical arc of Scripture from Genesis to Revelation. Bible stories are placed within their context in redemptive history – God’s kingdom coming “on earth as it is in heaven.” I can’t even describe how rich and engaging this book is – even I’m seeing connections in Scripture that I’ve missed. If you are a parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, or if you’re looking for a good birthday gift for a kid who’s just learning to read… this book needs to be on your short list.
This story Bible isn’t just theologically rich; it’s kid-approved. My 4 children complain each night when we put it down: “Daddy, can’t we keep reading?” A children’s Bible story book that will help your kids love the Bible… need I say more?
Leave a Comment
Let me add “The Jesus Storybook Bible” to this recommendation. It shows Jesus in the OT in a great way, and the artwork is excellent.
Bob, how have you navigated changing bibles with your kids? We’ve gone through 2 now (our boys are rough on them) and I don’t want our kids to think that there are just different bibles that are fundamentally different, but our 9 year old has even said “this story wasn’t in the other bible”, etc. . . .I”m trying to figure out how to best explain that one.
Will we be able to buy this at church? If not anywhere in town we can get it? Thanks guys.
Aaron, read from a “real” Bible regularly, that way they’ll learn to revere the Bible. Then explain to your kids that a Bible story book is just a book that re-tells the stories from the Bible in language that’s a little easier for kids. That’s what we do and my kids have never been confused… we have a dozen Bible story books laying around the house right now.
Mike, we don’t have this at the CD resource table yet, but we may add it to the list if there’s interest.
Got to agree with Aaron. The Jesus Storybook is incredibly well done. My daughters love it and the way that Lloyd-Jones shows how “every story whispers His name” from creation on is fantastic. Of course she gives props to her Pastor – Tim Keller – for showing/teaching her how it is all about Jesus…
Thanks Bob! We completely identify with this. Angela and I just bought the first Bible storybook for our 1-year-old daughter. Based on the variety of storybooks/Bibles we looked at, it seemed as if we were always faced with a choice between content and comprehension (although reading Bible stories to our 1-year-old is more about forming the habit for us than her comprehension at this point).
This is what we were looking for.
Are you kidding? That’s great. Dave Helm is my pastor (from the church I was a member of my years in Chicago before the Line. In fact, Dave gave Aaron a copy for his kids when I joined the plant).
If you want to offer it at the resource table, I have to hooks up for you at Crossway 🙂
Hooley, any and all hook-ups, inside connections, etc are always welcome
PS where was my free copy? Huh? Your pastor WROTE this book and I had to get it from my mother in law? Then again, you did bring us some tasty Peets so let’s just call it square
I bought both “The Big Picture Story Bible” and “The Jesus Storybook Bible” for my niece and nephew at the recommendation of a pastor from Omaha Bible Church a couple yrs ago.
My sister (as she is the one reading these books cover to cover) loves the Big Picture Story Bible for its message. However, I disliked the illustrations, especially that Adam & Eve are white & blond.
As for The Jesus Storybook Bible, the illustrations are much better, really great. However, my sister struggled a bit with how much of an emotional spin Lloyd-Jones gives to the Bible accounts. For example, in the creation story, God’s heart was so sad that Adam & Eve left the garden, he had to figure out a plan to woo them back (Instead of focusing on God’s plan & sovereignty).
I wanted to buy Egermeier’s Bible Story Book for them at Leigh’s recommendation but I haven’t done so yet.
I have done a little bit of research on Children’s Bibles for our Children’s Ministry and ended up with “The Big Picture Story Bible” on the “to buy” list. After hearing people talk about “The Jesus Storybook Bible”, I looked into that one as well. Amazon has a really good review of it written by a pastor. One of his critiques is that the pictures in the book “push the stories into the realm of fairy tales.” Attending the Children Desiring God conference earlier this year taught me that the pictures we show our children of Jesus and of biblical stories are extremely important and should be viewed critically with Christ-centeredness and accuracy in mind.
Here’s the link to the “Jesus Storybook Bible” review:
Thanks for the info. I look forward to checking it out for our kids and family to share and talk through together!
Thanks Sarah for the linked review – his take on the illustrations was interesting, i’ll have to go back & look. I think his discernment regarding the overall message of the book was similar to the things my sister was pointing out to me.
[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by T.C. Judd and Matt Lane. T.C. Judd said: Fantastic resource! RT @CrosswayBooks: Looking for a children's Bible? A nice plug for the Big Picture Story Bible http://bit.ly/15wN8v […]
I have heard great things about The Jesus Storybook Bible. My dear friend Heather in Lubbock, TX (who is the deacon of children’s ministry at her A29 church and a preschool teacher) bought a copy for each of her students last Spring as a going away present. This was a public school! What a bold step of faith…I hope all the kids had the opportunity to read it and be shown the Gospel.
I ordered this from Amazon the day I read your post. We have a lot of different Children’s Bibles, but WHAT FUN this one is!! I look forward to reading it every night with my girls (ages 6,8 and 10) It is so great that they all 3 of them stay interested. We have ALL learned much from reading this gem of a book. Thanks for the info!