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4.8 out of 5 stars219
4.8 out of 5 stars
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on 7 March 2011
A wonderful book, with excellent pictures that children will love. The text is clear and the message is easy to understand. I enjoy reading this book to my child
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on 23 November 2012
A book that very cleverly looks like it reproduces the 'big message' of the Bible, but without any mention or concept of nasty subjects like 'sin', disobedience, punishment and responsibility. This will leave readers with a warm fuzzy feeling about God, which may be just what is wanted.

'Sin' is very ably represented as something quite passive, that just happens TO people, sort-of by-mistake, as they wander-away or forget-that-God-loves them. This is far more agreeable than the message we used to hear, that Adam and Eve chose to disobey and rebel against God. Jesus is represented as "singing God's song", which is so much more agreeable to our ears than the more traditional message that he was, like the Old Testament lambs, a sacrifice to pay the price of our sins.

Children will feel good as you read this new slant on things to them. You will be able to discuss with them the difference between the message of this 'storybook' and the message of the Bible at whatever stage you think most wise. However, young children are smarter than many people think; they know all about disobedience at a very early stage, as parents quickly discover, so this may influence the age at which you explain to them the difference.

I hope you find this book as fascinating as I did. There are so many good Children's Bibles out there, and I trust you will choose the very best.
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on 20 July 2012
Me and my 11 week old love this book!! The story is so preciously interpreted and written and the pictures are so colourful and beautifully illustrated. We bought the CDs also and can't wait to start listening to them in the car. A must have for any parents wishing to introduce the bible to their children :-)
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on 20 August 2014
One of the best books I have ever read. Brilliant for children, and even a joy for adults. Captures the spirit of the message, and not just the storyline, but the stories are beautifully written. The illustrations are great and the narration is first class
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on 19 December 2014
Wow! I've read lots of children's bibles but this is by far and above my favourite. I love the story language used and the way every story is brought back to God's rescue plan through Jesus. Can't recommend enough!
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VINE VOICEon 23 December 2007
As I pastor I've just finished preaching an overview of the bible - I'm passionate about getting people to see the big picture. So I was really excited to see this for children. The idea is superb, the tying every story to Jesus is magnificent. Our 4 year old daughter has started seeing the connections already. And that excites me. I love how it fits every story in with the plot-line of the bible.

However I have a couple of caveats.

Since children get so much from imagery I was really disappointed with the artwork. The quality is great, but the content very poor, and underscores misconceptions of the bible, actually making the bible look less believable. Noah's ark is shown balancing precariously on the pinnacle of the mountain, as well as being that silly shape that it is often drawn - nothing like the proportions given in the bible. Jericho is a five house town - not much of a conquest there. Goliath is make to look like a gruesome ogre of fairytale proportions. The people of Israel coming to the Red Sea look like a small Sunday school outing rather than 1.5 million people making the exodus. I could go on. For me, the pictures undermine the very thing the words are seeking to do - they push the stories into the realm of fairy tales.

(A far better set of illustrations are by Gail Schoonmaker in the The Big Picture Story Bible written by David Helm.)

The other caveat is that sometimes Lloyd-Jones is a little loose to the story, making up things that aren't in the passage. For example - Jesus being bathed in a golden light at his baptism, there being three wise men, Jesus winking at the boy who brought the 5 loaves and saying "watch this" and others. It's little things like she says Jacob had to wait 7 years to marry Rachel instead of just a week, like God creating by saying "Hello Light", like using "Papa" for Father - a word which doesn't carry the same connotations as Abba. Like the feeding of the '5000 people', rather than 5000 men, plus a lot more women and children. Like Jesus playing games with children. Like Zacchaeus being so small that he had to take a flying leap to get up into his chair for breakfast.

In one sense they're small things, and it is in the style of other children's books. And therein lies the problem - the bible isn't another children's book. It's true in every detail - so when it comes to a Children's version of the Bible, it should be true in every detail. We owe that to our kids.

I'd prefer not to have to edit the story as I tell it. Growing up, we had the Child's Story Bible by Catherine Vos read to us. Time and time again when we thought she was stretching the text, when we looked up our bibles we found she was exactly right. Since we read it so many times, a vast quantity of accurate bible knowledge was imbibed. That's what I look for in a children's bible.

Having said all that - the links to Jesus often make you stop and praise God for Jesus. We've read it following on from the aforementioned Big Picture Story Bible - which I would heartily recommend. And that's probably the best way - read it along with other children's bibles and correct it as you go.

Looking forward to the revised edition of this potentially tremendous asset.

EDIT - Just to be clear - BUY THIS, but note the caveats!
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on 9 November 2010
I came across this bible when babysitting for a friend's child, and have now bought it for my own children and as a gift for others. The stories are beautifully told - a little poetic licence is taken here and there, largely it adds to the story, but occasionally is not to my taste (eg 'Hello light' in the creation account). As with all children's bibles the stories have been chosen from the bible and therefore there is a lot missing - I find it frustating when teaching sunday school that often the story I want is not in any children's bible! Often I think that difficult stories have been tackled well - eg the story of Abraham being asked to sacrifice Isaac is often one which we gloss over with children, as many adults find it more difficult to comprehend than the children we are explaining it to, I think the author tells the story beautifully - I'm not an emotional person, but more than once have been choked up reading this!

The author is sensitive to her readers, there are areas where she may be accused of glossing over - eg she tells us Joseph was imprisoned for something he didn't do - which I feel then leaves the parent to make a choice if and when to explain further and to what extent. Perhaps it does not dwell sufficiently on the sin aspect of the gospel, although it reiterates in almost every story that Jesus 'rescues' us, but again, that leaves a responsible parent to explain at will - we can't leave the whole job to a children's bible can we?

It is regrettably rare to come across a children's bible as well told, which makes it clear that the whole bible is all about Jesus. I also own the Big Picture Story Bible and I love having the combination of the two as this minimises gaps. It could be made better by adding more stories please!
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on 22 July 2010
I was initially very excited about this Bible. Brilliant! A children's Bible that shows how Jesus fulfills all the promises of the Old Testament, and shows how he is foreshadowed.

And... it doesn't really do that, and it also fluffs the so-called "negative" side of the Gospel: that we are sinners.

To start with, the every story whispering his name ends up mostly just reminding us that God loves us at the end of each story. The big themes in the OT books - like Joseph foreshadowing Jesus, or David foreshadowing Jesus (although brought out a little with Goliath), or the Temple as the meeting place between man and God and Jesus being that Temple, or the Law pointing to Jesus because we can't keep it, and so on - these themes are glossed over, and the stories are simple retellings (some moralising retellings), with the message that God loves us.
The author does bring out these themes a little, and some of the stories *are* really good. Each chapter is a bit of a hit-or-miss affair.

But the bigger problem is the bias away from the "negative" side of the Gospel.

The message that we are sinners in need of forgiveness, that our sin has angered God and he will punish people, blood sacrifices (life for life) and how that relates to the penalty of sin is nowhere to be found. Instead sin is redefined as "forgetting God loves us".
This Bible is symptomatic of the sanitisation of the Gospel to make it more palatable to soft, middle-class people. And then we say "but that's ok, because it's children - they don't need to hear all that icky stuff like total depravity."
How dare we! How dare we decide to pick and choose a version of the Gospel to take to children. How dare we present to them a lopsided Jesus - a Jesus who talks of love, but not justice; a Jesus who offers no explanation for why bad things happen, no explanation for the evil desires in their own hearts, and then ultimately no solution to these problems which they face daily!

I have two small children (4 and 2) and they struggle just as much with sin as I do. And the blood of Jesus which covers over their evildoing is of huge comfort to them. The Gospel gives them a way to understand themselves: why they disobey Mom and Dad even when they don't want to; why they smack their brother or sister and just take what they want; and the world: why houses burn down and cars crash and family and neighbours get divorced .

Jesus said "to such as these (the children in his arms) the Kingdom of God belongs". We must teach children the Gospel. They too can receive the good news with gladness, and be rescued from darkness into light.
(As an aside, it's interesting that while the children are with him, Jesus begins to teach about...Hell! (Check out Mark 9:42!) Jesus thought that Hell was a suitable topic for them to hear - what's wrong with us.)

I also have the Big Picture Bible, which is quite good. What have I been doing for the last six months or so is reading an adult Bible to the children, and explaining as we go. We've read Mark and Genesis - and it has forced me to think hard about certain Biblical concepts and stories, and how to explain them to children. We're now back to the Big Picture bible to remind them again of the "Big Picture" and how everything fits together, before we tackle Exodus! I've been astounded at how much they've understood - and it's reminded me again not to underestimate kids, especially when it comes to understanding the themselves, the world around them, and the Gospel!

I realise that every children's Bible is a compromise, and I applaud the author on what she tried to do. Unfortunately I think that the bias in the Bible is too strong, and leaves one without the Gospel and a very lopsided God-character - which is, indeed, the reason we read the Bible: to introduce our children to our awesome God and entrust that his word will do its work.
Let us remember that it is the Gospel which is the power of God for salvation of those who believe - and trust that God knows best what we need to hear, no matter our age, and teach our children the whole Gospel, both negative and positive. Otherwise I fear we will raise a generation of apostates who see no relevance between their own (messy) lives and the pristine "gentle Jesus meek and mild" Christianity of their childhood.
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VINE VOICEon 18 April 2007
we've been looking for something like this for ages. It is a beautiful bible that our kids love - great pictures and excellently told. But more than that - it conveys the sense of the bible's overarching narrative and tries to keep things in context. So, when Paul's conversion is covered, there's a page summarising some of the things he taught. Some great chapter headings (eg Daniel in the lion's den is called Daniel and the Scary Sleepover - you can't get much better than that). Awesome.
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on 30 January 2014
I like the way that through the telling of the Old Testament, the author Sally Lloyd-Jones introduces the prophetic voices that told of the coming of a Messiah (Jesus).
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