Faith, Family, Love and Reviews

Book Review: "The Family Illustrated Bible"

on July 28, 2011

The Family Illustrated Bible is a beautiful addition to any Bible collection especially if you have children at home and having a narration of the Bible histories of the Creation, Ruth and Naomi, Jesus Calms the Storm, Peter in Prison and of course all the other historical events covered in the Bible.  Beautifully illustrated, the children will remained engaged while the stories are being read and stay focused.

Scattered through out the Bible are facts about the time period that is covered.  There is some great background information on how the written Bible came to be and even some facts about the books that weren’t included as Inspired Scripture.  These pages are beautifully illustrated and while simple information is given it’s good for a beginner Bible study or as a jumping point for an older child to pursue more independent research on Biblical history.  There are detailed timelines if you’re interested in seeing how other world events played out during the same time as Biblical history.  A thorough index is also included if you are looking for something specific to a subject or person or place along with an extensive table of contents.

I only have three concerns, the first being the removal of Christ from the timeline – instead opting for CE (Common Era) or BCE (Before Common Era) instead of the Christian way of BC (Before Christ) and AD (Anno Domini, Latin for “year of our Lord”).  However, most parents can easily explain this to their older children and continue to use the Christian terms for the passing of time.  There is mention that Paul gave Christianity a new start, some may find fault with this, but I saw this as more of to explain that the first Christians were Jews and after Jesus’ Resurrection and Accession the Gentiles didn’t follow certain dietary and other restrictions instead following the Salvation that Christ taught and Paul sought to make them two distinct groups.  My third is this quote: ” It’s (the Bible) vision of a single, all-powerful God, concerned with individual human behavior, underlies three world religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam.”

Otherwise, this is a beautiful way to give the Bible even more historical basis and understanding, while bringing the stories to life in the hearts of our children.  For older children, as I stated above, some of the cautionary notes I made, can actually be made positive by opening dialogue as to why omitting Christ from the timeline is a grave error and discussing why some think Paul gave Christianity it’s second start and even how Islam does not coincide with a Christian view of Salvation and a loving, just God.

I also think that while New Leaf Publishing  has re-published The Family Illustrated Bible keeping in mind that it was originally published by DK (a secular publishing company) under the title The Children’s Bible.  It all comes down to knowing that originally this Bible was printed by a secular company and to keep the integrity of the original some things had to stay the same.  For my family, this Bible will be much cherished and if my children don’t wear it out we’ll pass it down for other generations to enjoy.


**I was provided a copy of this Bible from New Leaf Publishing Group in exchange for my honest opinion, no other compensation was given or implied.


One response to “Book Review: "The Family Illustrated Bible"

  1. Julie says:

    Very helpful Sarah. I wasn’t particularly looking at this book, but your points made helped me to think more critically when choosing for our children. Thanks!

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