I bought a book for my niece and nephew for Christmas this year. Nothing shocking about this; I was buying them books before they were born.
But this year I picked up what is, I believe, the most well written, theologically rich storybook Bible I’ve ever seen.
The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones and illustrated by Jago is an exceptional storybook for both children and adults. The reason for this is that, unlike most storybook bibles that read like a collection of disjointed short stories, this storybook Bible reads like a chapter book. It is designed to teach the grand narrative of Jesus to even the youngest listener. Each story refers to previous ones and, more importantly, points to the future plan of God.
The following excerpt is from the account of Noah and the flood. It is one of my favorites so far because it shows both the quality of writing and the depth of the theology.
The first thing Noah did was to thank God for rescuing them, just as he had promised.
And the first thing God did was make another promise. “I won’t ever destroy the world again.”
And like a warrior who puts away his bow and arrow at the end of a great battle, God said, “See, I have hung up my bow in the clouds.”
And there, in the clouds– where the storm meets the sun– was a beautiful bow made of light.
It was a new beginning in God’s world…
God’s strong anger against hate and sadness and death would come down once more– but not on his people, or his world. No, God’s war bow was not pointing down at his people.
It was point up, into the heart of Heaven.
Beautiful word pictures and well crafted foreshadowing make this a story pleasing to both the heart and the head.
While the book itself is excellent, the Deluxe Edition is even better. Included is a 3-CD set of audio CDs with the entire storybook narrated by British actor David Suchet. The words come to life listening to him! We’ve spent the evening listening and following along and it has kept the attention of a 22 month old, a 21 year old and a 32 year old. Multi-generational to be sure.
What this storybook proves is that the story of Jesus does not have to be “dumbed down” for children. And adults don’t have to feel silly enjoying a children’s book.
As CS Lewis once stated, “A children’s story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children’s story in the slightest.”
The Jesus Storybook Bible is a good children’s story.