What Do Your Young Kids Really Need to Know About the Bible?...And How to Teach It to Them

Have you looked at a children' storybook Bible lately? I've seen a few that I actually liked, but I have to admit that I'm not crazy about most of them. Why? Because they don't really give kids a good idea about what the Bible really is.

Some of these story Bibles leave out bits of the Bible that don't seem child-friendly. While this might be necessary when it comes to some accounts- especially in the Old Testament- sometimes it means that really important things are left out. One storybook Bible I looked through recently had no mention at all of the crucifixion and resurrection. Really? While I understand that some things might not be appropriate for young children, Jesus' death and resurrection is a pretty vital part of the Bible, in my opinion!

What kids need to know about the Bible
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Bible materials for young kids often focus on topics such as "God Made You", "God Loves You", "You're Special to God." While all of these are true, there is much more to the Bible than that. There is much, much more to God's great story. And we do our kids a disservice when we don't teach them about the whole Bible, about God's plan from beginning to end.

So what do young kids need to know about the Bible?

The Bible is true.

How often do we sit down with our kids and announce that we're reading a "Bible story"? We also call fairytales "stories" and we call picture books "stories. What's the difference when we read the Bible?

The Bible is true. But do our kids know that?

When we read the Bible, we need to be very deliberate in how we talk about it. We need to emphasize to kids that what we're reading is true. Even if the Bible lesson comes from a curriculum book that we're using as reference, we need to let kids know that the account comes from the Bible and that, because of that, it is true.

The Bible is God's Word.

Young kids probably can't understand the concept of the Bible being inspired by God. I can't fully understand what that means. But we can explain to them, in words they understand, that the Bible comes from God. Even though men wrote it, God gave them the words to say.

This is a very important concept to young kids because it helps them to see the importance of what they're reading in the Bible. Because the Bible comes from God, what it has to say is important to us. If kids don't understand this, then the Bible is just one more book you're reading.

The Bible is a history book.

The Bible is the history of God's people, the Israelites. From Genesis to Revelation, we meet characters that will play a part in the history of God's people. We read about creation and how, even though God made a perfect world, people messed it up. We read about how God declared punishment for their sin but, at the same time, promised a Savior who would come and make things right. We read about how the people in Genesis led to the ancestors of the Jewish people. And we read about how God led them to a special place where they could live. We read about their struggles as a nation. And then we read about how Jesus Christ- who had been promised way back in Genesis- comes from the nation of Israel.

When we take the Bible and present it to kids as random, unrelated stories, kids won't see the big picture. They won't see how these "stories" are related and connected.

We don't take our homeschool history curriculum and randomly pick chapters to read to the kids. We read in chronological order and we help kids- through timelines, charts, graphs, and maps- to see how the events of history are connected. The Bible is a history book, and we should treat the teaching of it in the same way.

The Bible is all focused on the gospel message.

Do you know what the core message of the Bible is? It's the gospel. It's not too complicated for young kids to understand. You can sum it up in simple words.

Man and all the earth were created by God to be perfect. Man sinned when he disobeyed God. Because of sin he deserved to be punished, to die and be separate from God forever. God promised a Savior who would take the punishment for men. God chose a nation of people who would be special to him. Out of this nation, the Savior came. He died on a cross to take away the punishment we deserved. But he also came back alive! He went to heaven to be with God. And because he took the punishment we were supposed to have, we can also go to heaven and be with God when the earthly part of our life is over.

It really is that simple. All of the Bible points to Jesus- the need for Jesus, the looking forward to Jesus, the life and death of Jesus, and life on earth after Jesus' death and resurrection.

Every Bible "story" that we tell, every homeschool Bible lesson that we teach, should be pointing kids to that truth.

What kids need to know about the Bible

What's in the Bible?

So, if typical kids' story Bibles aren't teaching our kids these concepts, how are we going to make sure we cover them?

One of my very favorite resources is What's in the Bible? videos. The video series features Phil Vischer- one of the original Veggie Tales creators- as well as animation, puppets, and other visuals. Beginning with Genesis, the videos take kids on a tour through all the books of the Bible.

The series doesn't talk down to kids. Instead the truths of the Bible are presented in an age appropriate way that still gives kids the complete story. As the books of the Bible are presented, kids see how the Bible is connected. And, most importantly, kids are drawn again and again to the central truth of the Bible- the gospel.

Although the series is aimed at elementary aged kids- and probably most kindergartners would grasp much of the content- the humor will also entertain adults. So I love watching these as much as the kids.

We own a few of the What's in the Bible DVDs and have been able to watch others from friends. The videos began to come out right as my children were reaching the age to be "too old" or to need something a little more in depth. If I had been introduced to them when my kids were younger, I would have invested in the set of thirteen videos that cover the entire Bible, and I would have chalked it up to a homeschool curricula expense.

Currently you can get the entire set for $99. That's thirteen videos, each with two twenty-five minute segments. The videos cover the entire Bible from Genesis to Revelation. They include timelines, charts, graphs, maps and other visuals, along with Phil Vischer and the very funny cast of characters that present the Bible to the kids. They'll really give kids a complete picture of the Bible.

If you want to know more about the What's in the Bible DVDs, you can watch this YouTube preview.  (Watch with the kids 'cause they'll love it!)

You can find the whole set of What's in the Bible videos here. Check them out and see if they would be a good resource to help you teach your young kids what they really need to know about the Bible.

What's in the Bible videos for kids



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What Do Your Young Kids Really Need to Know About the Bible?...And How to Teach It to Them What Do Your Young Kids Really Need to Know About the Bible?...And How to Teach It to Them Reviewed by Leah Courtney on 2:00:00 PM Rating: 5

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