The Candle Classic Bible: a kids’ book review

I  like discovering a new children’s Bible because I am always trying to teach my kids the story of scripture. There are several good ones on the market.  Because they are aimed at a certain age group, they are all selective in which stories or details they include (sex and violence appropriately sanitized).  Generally children’s Bibles follow one of two approaches. Either they attach life lessons to individual stories (‘the moral of the story is. . .’) or they relate the particular story to the wider biblical story (as the brilliant Jesus Storybook Bible does).

What is refreshing about the Candle Classic Bible is that it does neither of these. It simply tells the stories of the Bible in brief without feeling the need to comment on the text at the end of each episode. This allows for more biblical detail than your typical children’s Bible.  The stories follow the arc of the biblical story from Genesis to Revelation. In this edition, the chapters are divided into ‘365 stories,’ making it perfect for daily reading with your child.  Biblical references for each story (or part of a story are given) so you can easily point your child to the Bible for more detail.

For the most part, this is solid collection and fairly comprehensive.  Because it focuses on ‘stories’ there are gaps in its biblical references.  Occasionally the Bible stories are truncated in a way that I find unhelpful. For example, God tells the serpent after the Fall (the fourth story in this collection), “From now on you will have to crawl on the dusty ground. You will be a special enemy of the woman and her children. You will strike at their heels, but they will crush your head.” While this is essentially the message of Genesis 3,  it obscures the Christological content of this Divine prophecy.  It is not the woman’s offspring in general who are victorious, but Jesus God’s own son come in the flesh.  The apostle Paul picks up on this language in Galatians 3:16 referring to the woman’s singular offspring (seed) rather than plural seeds.  So there could be greater attention to how these stories fit together in the wider biblical canon.

Of course this my ‘adult brain’ critique. My children love this ‘Bible’ and love the pictures.  The stories are brief enough to hold the attention of young children, and allows you to read through several with older children.  My six year old likes to read four or five  stories at a time. I give this Bible four stars because I think it is pretty great (if not perfect).

Thank you to Kregel Publications for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

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