The Beginner's Bible New Edition: A Good Reads Review and Giveaway

I always have mixed feelings about Bible versions made specifically for kids. My concern is two-fold. First, I don’t want to send kids the message that the Bible is just stories, like any other story book. I want kids to know that the Bible is different because it’s the true and inspired Word of God. My other concern is that, occasionally, kid’s Bibles change or water down the message of salvation. I think it’s so important to keep that message first and foremost. After all, that’s really the core message of the Bible.

With those concerns in mind, I was excited to be able to review the new edition of The Beginner’s Bible from Zonderkidz.  This story version of the Bible, especially created for kids six and under, has been around since 1989. It’s recently been updated with new art that will be even more appealing for young kids. As I read through The Beginner’s Bible, I had mixed feelings.

Review of The Beginner's Bible

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The Good…

~ I do love the art. The pictures are colorful and animated and will be appealing to little ones who like bold colors and people drawn like animated characters.

~ I like that each story includes the reference from the Bible. Parents who may not be familiar with the Bible will easily be able to find the original Bible passage because there is a reference at the beginning of each story.
~I like the simple text that young kids may be able to read for themselves. Beginning readers can have the accomplishment of reading the Bible for themselves with the easy-to-read writing style.
~There is a short dictionary at the back that defines words that may be unfamiliar to kids or parents reading to the kids.

And the Not So Good…

~There are key things missing from some of the stories. Right at the beginning, when I read the story of Adam and Eve and the first sin, I noticed that the promise of a Savior is missing from the account. Kids can read how Eve and then Adam listened to the snake and made bad choices. They can read how the snake is punished by being made to crawl on his belly and Adam and Eve are sent from the garden. But the message of salvation and a promised Savior is missing. 
~I believe that the message of salvation is the unifying message of the Bible. The whole Bible points to the redemptive work of Jesus Christ- from the cycles of sins of the Israelites throughout the Old Testament to the life of Christ in the New Testament to the work of the apostles and the early church at the end of the Bible- it all points to Christ. I think that The Beginner’s Bible doesn’t do a very good job of showing that. Sin is rarely addressed in plain terms. And Jesus’ death and resurrection, although in the stories, don’t seem to be a focus.

In Summary…

Would I use The Beginner’s Bible with my kids or preschool class? Yes. But I would make sure to point out that it’s the Word of God, not just stories. And I would emphasize to kids that these stories aren’t all independent stories and events. They are all part of the big picture of God’s redemptive plan. 
I think that kids- even young kids- can be taught this. They may not grasp the connections and the big picture plan. But as they get older and begin to read the Bible for themselves and then move to reading the full Bible, they’ll remember that you’ve pointed them over and over and over to God’s plan for salvation. And one day, it will click.

Learn More…

Review of The Beginner's Bible


You can enter to win a copy of the brand new, updated version of The Beginner’s Bible. (US only) Enter the Giveaway Tools giveaway below.

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