My Bible: God’s Word for Me is the latest Catholic children’s Bible to be released. For some time, it felt like we had so few choices when it came to children’s Bibles, and now it seems like we get a new one each year. So, what makes this one different than all the other ones on the market? Let’s open it up and see.
This Bible itself is divided into four sections – Old Testament, New Testament, Prayers, and Maps. Of the 31 Old Testament stories, 14 of them are from Genesis and 7 are from Exodus. This leaves 10 stories for the other 42 books of the Old Testament – 1 on Ruth, 1 on Samuel, 1 on Saul, 2 on David, 2 on Elijah, 1 on Isaiah, 1 on Jonah, and 1 on Judas Maccabeus. This is not a direct criticism, as the Old Testament can be tough to read for any age. I do appreciate them including a story on Melchizedek and Judas Maccabeus, as those two are often overlooked stories for children.
There are 36 New Testament stories with the first 22 being dedicated to the Annunciation and Jesus’ life and ministry. The next 6 stories focus on His Passion, with the following 6 focusing on His Resurrection and His time with His disciples until Pentecost. The final two stories highlight the Conversion of Paul and Revelation 22 or Jesus’ Second Coming. I would have liked to see more than one chapter dedicated to Paul, as he wrote about half of the New Testament.
The section on Prayers was pretty standard and gets no criticism from me. Your child will learn basic Catholic prayers as well as the Mysteries of the Rosary. The Maps section contains four maps – Journey of Abram, Route of the Israelites, Roman Empire, and Israel at the Time of Jesus. I feel this too was a missed opportunity for Paul, as we could have had a map of his missionary journeys. Overall, this is a fine Bible for introducing your children to the Bible and reading to them or getting them to read it every night. It has a good tone and structure of stories and the illustrations complement the Word without distracting from it.
A Little Camel for Baby Jesus is a lovely Christmas children’s book that tells the story of a boy named Joel, who was the son of the king’s stableman. It was his father’s job to prepare the caravan for his king, and this caravan was going to be a special one. This king and two others were following a star that would lead them to the King of Kings. Little Joel went with them as well, and on his journey, he carved a wooden camel, which he was preparing for the King of Kings. When it was finally finished, Joel was very pleased, but in a location nearby, he heard a baby crying. He was then faced with a difficult decision, give this baby the wooden camel to calm him down or save his gift for the King of Kings. You’ll have to buy the book to see the resolution, but this is a cute story and one to put under the tree for Christmas.
Saint John the Baptist: A Voice Crying Out In the Desert is a graphic novel telling the story of one of the greatest saints in the New Testament! The book begins by taking some liberty with his story by introducing us to Zechariah and Elizabeth one year before John’s birth. In this chapter, we get an introduction to the Israelites, the prophet Elijah, and learn of his prophesied return. This would be foreshadowing for John the Baptist, the new Elijah. The following chapter gives us John’s birth foretold, his birth, and his escape with his parents to the desert when Herod ordered all baby boys killed.
Chapters Three through Five show us John’s growth in the desert, his ministry, and the Baptism of Jesus. Chapter Six address his false imprisonment and beheading. The last chapter focuses on Jesus and His Ministry, which is appropriate, because that was John’s whole mission…pointing people to Jesus. I am a huge fan of graphic novels, and this one is truly awesome for tweens, teens, and this mid-30s dad as well!
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Copyright 2019 Stuart Dunn
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