Children’s Bible

jesus_storybook_bible

I absolutely love the Jesus Storybook Bible. I’m reading it to my kinders right now, and they love it too. The prose is gorgeous, the pictures beautiful, and the image of God spot on. I’ve found much healing even as an adult with a long history in theology.

One thing I particularly love about it, is which Bible stories Sally Lloyd-Jones selected and how she told them. Some kids’ Bible curricula want to tell the most awkward Bible stories. Teachers get no explanation on why the heck we need to know about David and Bathsheba, and little guidance on how to define circumcision or prostitution without turning the class into sex ed.

I haven’t had to deal with any of that so far, and we’re already out of the Old Testament.

Lloyd-Jones does leave out David and Bathsheba, and Tamar, and Rahab the prostitute, but interestingly, she includes a whole chapter about Leah.

Growing up, I always heard the scandal that was Jacob, Rachel, and Leah told this way: poor Jacob, he got stuck with ugly, bitter Leah and had to work another seven years for his true love!

Lloyd-Jones hardly gives a nod to “poor Jacob.” She instead focuses on Leah, “the girl no one wanted.” I love, love, love how she taps into Leah’s mindset. She presents Leah as a woman despised for her lack of beauty, a woman who keenly felt the pain of being unwanted and unloved. And she presents God as a God of compassion, who reaches out to comfort Leah and give her the great honor of being the great-great-great-etc.-grandmother of Jesus.

There are so few Bible stories that resonate with women’s concerns, particularly today’s women’s concerns, and I thought Lloyd-Jones was wise and right to retell Leah’s story in the way she did. Again, I highly recommend this children’s Bible, even for grown-ups!

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7 thoughts on “Children’s Bible

  1. Bethany

    I don’t think I’ve ever looked at our copy of this. Probably because of the mildly creepy pictures? :) Shame on me for judging a book by it’s cover (and I can definitely think of creepier Jesus portraits…)

    I never really thought about how everyone always pitied Jacob (although, tough break for thinking you married your true love and it’s the SISTER. Ugly or not!!) but I find that thought about Leah refreshing.
    This also brings back some akward children church conversations about polygamy! *facepalm*

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    • Bailey Steger

      Aw, I kind of like the pictures! Their noses crack me up. :D

      Honestly, I wonder how much Jacob actually even interacted with Rachel, or if he was just infatuated with her. So I don’t feel *too* bad for him. ;)

      Ah, yes, polygamy! Everyone’s favorite Sunday school topic!

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  2. Abigail

    I love this book! I read it a few years ago and remember especially appreciating the sympathetic focus on Leah and explanation of how God loved her even though no one else did. It does bother me that this book is not always biblically accurate in the details, like with oversimplifying certain stories or extrapolating details that were not in the text, but the gospel-focus and amazing writing make up for that.

    One of my favorite things to laugh about is my experience going through Genesis verse by verse in Sunday school when I was eleven. The pastor decreed that Sunday schools were going to go through the Bible in six years, and somebody fell asleep on the job of providing appropriate children’s resources. I don’t have the faintest idea what the younger classes were doing, but in my fifth and sixth grade class, our mild-mannered, mid-sixties Sunday school teacher took us through every single verse in Genesis. It was very… educational. I don’t know how she endured teaching chapters like Genesis 38 with a straight face and without having a seizure, but she had raised three teenagers to adulthood, so I’m sure that helped.

    I am grateful for the way that she handled these topics, remaining respectful of our innocence without being squeamish or passing over passages. I partially credit her for my respect for Scripture and ultimate development of a healthy sense of sexuality. I cannot tell you how many times I would think about sexual issues, feel guilty, and then tell myself, “If Miss Pam could teach those stories from Genesis in a fifth and sixth Sunday school class, it must be acceptable to think and talk about this stuff!” So, all that to say that even though the Bible can be terribly awkward when teaching children, there are benefits!

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    • Bailey Steger

      Yeah, she does embellish a bit. I don’t think her embellishments point to a wrong interpretation, but they definitely do add to the text that’s there. So clearly, going verse by verse through Genesis is needed too. ;) That is so funny, by the way. I think it’s awesome that Miss Pam’s careful exposition made such a difference in your life — even with the awkward parts!

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  3. Elizabeth Erazo

    Oh I live this one too. We read it together during Advent. She weaves all the stories together to point towards Christ so it’s very fitting for the season.

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