This one is definitely an “easy-to-read” Bible! Not only that, there are pictures on every page! What can be learned from this “study Bible” is not what the Greek word for so-and-so means, there are no charts of the Kings of Israel or anything like that, this study Bible teaches the reader that among the other popular and overused and often abused interpretations of Scripture, the main reason the stories of the Bible are written is to teach us about the One God promised to send to crush the Serpent’s head. And that’s all it teaches.
That’s also what preachers are supposed to base all their practical application and character studies on, too. How easy it is to forget. I can testify just in trying to write Sunday School and AWANA lessons for elementary age children. How much more is it necessary to keep in mind when the moms and dads are being preached to by the “teaching elder” (Ephesians 4:11; 1 Timothy 5:17).
Modern Christians have plenty of the other kinds of “headknowledge” about dates, locations, and name meanings, but most forget (in word and action, which are the ways that count), no, neglect, that which is “of first importance” according to Paul (1 Corinthians 15:3-4).
Bob Hayton of Fundamentally Reformed, in his post, “The Storybook for Preachers,” quotes Dr. Tim Keller as saying, ““I’d urge ministers to buy it and read it for themselves. It will improve their preaching.” That’s what hooked me, and that’s why I bought it. Sure, I’ll probably tackle one or two of my younger children (who are well into chapter books by now) and force them to listen to one or more of these stories on occasion, and any grandchildren the Lord may send my way someday will certainly benefit from it, but in the meantime this children’s book is mine! I’m also going to buy a copy and donate it to my church library, and I suggest you do the same. But some of you more daring (yet gentle and respectful–see 1 Peter 3:15) sorts may like to sweetly give a copy to your pastor with a copy of Keller’s quote tucked in as a bookmark.
One of my new favorite old radio shows is Haven Today, featuring the warm, fuzzy and comforting tone of Reformed radio man, Charles Morris (think Steve Brown, but not as funny), features a few recordings of Jesus Storybook Bible author, Sally Lloyd-Jones (I wonder if there’s any relation to D. Martyn? I suppose if there were, it would have come up), reading her Christ-centered children’s Bible stories. There are a lot of other interesting videos and links related to Sally and her book on the “Going Deeper” section of Haven Today’s homepage (on the right sidebar toward the bottom). Check out The Jesus Storybook Bible Sampler, and buy a few copies. We need to encourage Christ-centeredness in Christian publishing!