Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Bibles for Children - Some Advice from Al Mohler

Dr. Albert Mohler recently gave some helpful suggestion for children’s Bibles and for reading to children:

HT: The Reformed Parishioner, Theosource


Graham said...

I have The Jesus Storybook Bible and would have to say that I would be willing to give it to you in order to hear your thoughts on the content. I do not understand how the author can use statements like "God says" and no where in the Bible does God say what is being written. How is it that we can quote God without quoting him? Is it because its a paraphrase that its ok?

Doug Smith said...

I'd be glad to take a look at it. The only one of the above that I actually have for myself is Vos's. She adds in some explanatory sentences here and there, but it is a Bible storybook and not a translation. I would have to see more of the book you mentioned to form any (potentially) meaningful thoughts on it.

RC said...

How is the Vos book? I have often thought of picking it up and it has been highly recommended to me.

Doug Smith said...

I like Vos alright. She adds in some editorial explanations and applications here and there which wouldn't be appropriate for a translation, but are fine for a children's Bible. She occasionally relates a passage in the OT to Christ, which I think is a good thing. It looks like it gives a better diet of a distilled Bible than some childrens' Bibles. It doesn't cover every little thing, but it includes some stories that others might skip over (I guess it's the challenge of applying the 'all Scripture is profitable' in 2 Tim. 3:16 to children!). Another big plus is that the lady who produced the book had a good theological background. She wasn't writing from the vague kind of background many popular Christian/childrens' works are coming from today. I would definitely recommend The Child's Story Bible if you have school age children.

We're in Judges at this point. I would like to find something simpler as I have three children under age 4. I know they don't understand much of what I'm reading (they are learning the names of Bible people, though) and it will be a while. But I want to be in a regular pattern of family Bible reading now so it won't seem out of place when they get older. So, I do want to check out the other two works for myself.

Doug Smith said...


I won the Jesus Storybook Bible in a contest, and while I have some appreciation for what the author is trying to do, I believe I am in agreement with you about the method. I don't really think some of the paraphrasing is appropriately presented as a quotation. Not only is there a significant rewording at times but there is also a significant amount of interpretation going on (yes, even translations have some degree of this, but I'm talking about reading stuff into the text that at the best is only speculation).

However, I have read all the way through the Big Picture Story Bible and think it is great!

Doug Smith