At a young age children love listening to stories and turning through pages in books. They excitedly point at pictures even before they can put words together to describe what they are thinking and seeing. But where should a parent who loves Jesus begin exposing children to the life-changing stories and truths found in the Bible?
Christian parents desire for the curiosity and interest of their children to be directed toward God and the book he has written to young and old alike.
Two recently released titles provide parents tools to teach their children about the Bible. Crossway offers “A Family Guide to the Bible” by Christin Ditchfield as a family-friendly look at Scripture to help parents make teaching it a part of everyday family life.
According to Ditchfield, the book is not intended as an exhaustively-detailed resource, but is written to be user-friendly for families. “‘A Family Guide to the Bible’ was written to help busy parents, grandparents, and teachers with the basics: what’s in the Bible, where to find it, and how it all fits together,” Ditchfield said. “It’s intended to be simple, family friendly and easy to understand and follow.”
The book begins with three short chapters, each detailing an important aspect of studying Scripture. Chapter one addresses the history of the Bible and explains how Scripture was canonized. Chapter two examines the authority of the Bible and looks at the unity, accuracy, history and prophecy of the Bible and how these elements serve to prove the inerrancy of Scripture. Chapter three discusses the message of the Bible and how that message runs from Genesis to Revelation in a cohesive theme.
Following the opening chapters, Ditchfield lays out a book-by-book overview of the Old and New Testaments. These overviews include the book name, author, audience and setting, as well as key verses or passages and vocabulary words to know. Other sections include: “Where to Find More on the Story in the Bible,” which details how the story continues in other passages; “Did You Know?” which highlights important facts; and “Making the Connection,” which shows the link between the Bible and modern-day events.
Following the book-by-book overview, Ditchfield includes a chapter on how to study the Bible, including how to choose a translation and how to use other biblical resources, such as a Bible dictionary, encyclopedia and concordance. She also includes study tips for personal Bible study and family devotions, as well as Bible reading plans.
The final chapters of the book are reference guides with a chapter titled “Where in the Scripture to Find Everything,” which includes references for finding stories from the Old and New Testaments that everyone should know, Bible heroes, the miracles and teachings of Jesus, as well as where to find verses for specific life events. Ditchfield also includes a chapter of biblical maps and a chapter listing additional Bible study resources, such as books, maps and charts, software, movies, and online resources.
“I Want to Know About the Bible” by Christina Goodings exposes readers to many of the treasured stories of the Bible beginning in Genesis and continuing all the way through to Revelation. The book, published by Lion UK, gives a simple overview of stories, characters and themes that provide parents with an easy way to share with their children about the Bible.
Informative insights on how the Bible was written are included throughout the book in feature boxes. In one example, Goodings describes how thousands of years ago some of the first stories in the Bible were told by grown-ups to their children. She writes, “In this way, they were treasured long before they were written down.” The feature boxes also cover topics like languages used for original writings and information on biblical writers. The beautiful illustrations by Jan Lewis depict everything from the Ark of the Covenant to a map showing the Apostle Paul’s journeys and the destinations of some of the letters he wrote.
Goodings’ approach in writing “I Want to Know