I figured all kids Bibles where the same. Until our Pastor wrote about a specific kids Bible called “The Jesus Storybook Bible.” It opened my eyes to realize most kids Bibles point to the “hero” in the story and not Jesus! Take a quick minute to see what Shawn has to say and maybe picked one up on your way home for your kids, grand-kids, niece, nephews, etc!
“The Jesus Storybook Bible” by Pastor Shawn Smith
Upon becoming a parent, it became obvious that well-written and Biblically accurate children’s Bibles are hard to find. The problem is this: children’s Bibles often isolate small stories and characters of the Bible and use them in ways that they were never intended to be used. For example,take the story of Daniel. Often children’s Bibles will often narrow in on his courage and conclude, “Just like Daniel you have to be courageous. Will you dare to be a Daniel?” Albeit Daniel did show some tremendous courage in his life, but that’s not the point of the narrative! The story of Daniel was used to show how God was still present and working through Israel even in the midst of their exile. It’s a story of God’s provision, not Daniel’s courage.
At this point it may seem that I’m being a bit grumpy, but this is a pervasive problem. When children are taught to see the Bible as a bunch of stories that teach us good morals, they miss the point of the Book entirely. Eventually this kind of Christianity stunts their faith. Rather than learning to cling to Jesus for salvation, children are taught to cling to themselves and their own ability to do the right thing and this sort of Christianity never makes it through the long haul.
All this said, I was immensely excited to come across a children’s Bi- ble last year that avoids many of these pitfalls. The Jesus Storybook Bible is one of the best resources to help both children and adults see what the Bible is really about: Jesus. In the introduction, author Sally Lloyd-Jones explains what the Bible is not before she beauti- fully illustrates what the Bible is. She writes:
“Now, some people think the Bible is a book of rules, telling you what you should and shouldn’t do. The Bible certainly does have some rules in it. They show you how life works best. But the Bible isn’t mainly about you and what you should be doing. It’s about God and what he has done.
Other people think the Bible is a book of heroes, showing you people you should copy. The Bible does have some heroes in it, but (as you’ll soon find out) most of the people in the Bible aren’t heroes at all. They make some big mistakes (sometimes on purpose), they get afraid and run away. At times, they’re downright mean.
No, the Bible isn’t a book of rules, or a book of heroes. The Bible is most of all a story. It’s an adventure story about a young Hero who comes from a far country to win back his lost treasure. It’s a love story about a brave Prince who leaves his palace, his throne – everything – to rescue the ones he loves. It’s like the most wonderful of fairy tales that has come true in real life!
It takes the whole Bible to tell this story. And at the center of the story, there is a baby. Every story in the Bible whispers his name. He is like the missing piece in the puzzle – the piece that makes all the other pieces fit together, and sud- denly you can see a beautiful picture.”
Through reading and learning the Bible this way, children are given to have a bigger, better, deeper, and brighter understanding of the Bible’s remarkable story and its glorious Hero at the center. This book is an amazing resource for parents, grandparents, and even adults who simply want to have a greater understanding of what the Bible really is about. I can’t recommend it enough!