The Beginner’s Gospel Story Bible
By Jared Kennedy
Children’s Bibles are a dime a dozen. Over the years, I have seen so many in various forms. Some have select Bible stories (such as this one), while others have the full text of the Bible. However, there is one thing that many story Bibles lack: points, stories, and illustrations that point to Christ, (as the entire Bible itself points towards Christ). Making a “Christ Connection” is a vitally important part of ministering to children.
The Beginner’s Gospel Story Bible not only has “Christ Connections,” it does not disappoint.
The Book Itself
The book itself is a sturdy, well made book. Everything about it makes it inviting and engaging, and not just for children. My wife and I have thoroughly enjoyed reading from this to our children (ok, her more reading and me more listening). And the illustrations, cover-to-cover, are on point. Trish Mahoney, who illustrated God Made All of Me, once again masterfully illustrates the Bible Stories in The Beginner’s Gospel Story Bible in such a way that you almost want to see them come to life!
There are fifty-two carefully chosen narratives from Scripture, aimed at introducing children to Christ through giants of the faith in the Old and New Testaments. From Genesis to Revelation, from the fall of Adam to the propitiation of Christ, Jared Kennedy has done a wonderful service in taking these stories and making them accessible and understandable to children. The only thing that I can find at fault in this Story Bible is the occasional poor paraphrasing of Scripture. What I mean by that is, for example, it says that Satan said, “God’s rules are silly.” In no place in Genesis 3 does it say that God’s rules are silly. While the intent clearly is to make the text understandable for a young child, the term “silly” does the text an injustice. I know some won’t read this review beyond this point, however, overall, it’s a high-quality work that will positively affect many for the Kingdom of God.
The Beginner’s Gospel Story Bible makes the connection from looking at the text to pointing to Christ seamless and understandable, and most importantly it is done in such a way that we see Jesus as the Savior. In Story 16, we see the story “The Snake on a Stick,” from Numbers 21:4-9. The people complained, God sent snakes (Numbers 21:6) among the people, infecting and killing many of the people. When the people finally realized what they did, they confessed their sin to Moses and asked him to intercede for them. God told Moses to make a snake and set it upon a pole and everyone who looked at it would be healed. It then seamlessly goes on to discuss ways that we sin and complain and then the Christ connection comes in the other referenced verses, “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.” (John 3:14–15).
Overall, this is an excellent tool for the Christian parent or other persons who take care of Children. The story telling ability of Jared Kennedy combined with Trish Mahoney’s illustrations make for a most engaging and edifying Story Bible. I highly recommend this for families with young children to teach them the stories of the Bible.
Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by New Growth Press for me to review.