Children’s Bible Misses the Point

A couple of weeks ago, I was wandering around a Waldenbooks book store that was in the mall, and for fun, I decided to check out the children’s Bibles. I remember getting one when I was a kid, and I was more enthralled by the drawings of the people and the animals with huge eyes than the actual stories. Really, I was curious as to how simplified the stories would be, and if there was any improvement in the illustrations.

But one of the Bibles I found made my jaw drop. It had all of the traditional stories of the Bible–Creation, Noah’s Ark, Jonah and the Big Fish, Jericho, Birth of Jesus and all of his Miracles–except for one important and crucial story: the Death and Resurrection.

Anyone who has ever been a Christian in their entire lives knows that those two events in the life of Jesus are the whole reason there is such thing as Christianity in the world today. It’s one of those things that can be boiled down to an “If you only learn one thing today” statement: If you only learn one thing, it’s that Jesus died and rose again to save us from our sins.

Simple. Easy. It’s in the Apostle’s Creed even: I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, our Lord… was crucified, died, and was buried. On the third day, he rose again, and ascended into Heaven.

So why is it missing from this childrens’ Bible?

I’ll admit, sometimes it’s hard to talk about the death of Jesus. We have to deal with it for 40 days of Lent. It’s a tough topic to preach on, and many people have to actually force themselves to go to church during Lent. And I’ll also admit that trying to explain something as complicated as death and resurrection to small children will take a lot of creativity.

But imagine what that kid is going to think the first time he or she hears about the crucifixion of Jesus. He or she will probably turn to the parents and say, “What are they doing to Jesus?”

“Oh, they’re crucifying him. It’s part of the life of Jesus in the Bible.”

“No it isn’t.” And out comes the children’s Bible, which ends with Jesus performing a lot of miracles and living a happy life.

Hopefully this child is taught about the Crucifixion before they see Passion of the Christ for the first time. It could be disastrous going into that blind.

How can such an important aspect of a religion just be left out of a Bible? It’s a question I’ve been tossing around in my head every so often since I saw that Bible. It’s like Scientology without Xenu. It’s like Buddhism without the enlightenment. It’s like Harry Potter without wizardry.

A s’more without chocolate is just a sticky, burnt marshmallow between graham crackers, just like a Bible without Jesus’ death and resurrection is just a story about a nice guy that did a lot of cool things for different people.

When you leave out the most important part of the story, you take out the entire reason the story existed in the first place. For those with or expecting children, check your children’s Bibles. Make sure you’re giving them the full message.

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3 Responses to “Children’s Bible Misses the Point”

  1. freethinkep Says:

    For a child, I don’t think that the crucifixion of Jesus would be the most important part. From my understanding, the whole point of “Children Bibles” is to give children a message about morals. I’ve always equated them to Aesop’s Fables, you read a cute story and you learn something about how to behave or not to behave.

    I don’t think people would be comfortable with having young children reading about how their god was stoned, beaten and then finally nailed to a piece of wood till he died of his injuries. I think that would make the Children’s Bible very children-unfriendly.

    • While I agree that the crucifixion might not be the most important part, I don’t agree that children’s Bibles shouldn’t include it. I’ve seen several children’s Bibles portray the crucifixion very tastefully by not going into a lot of detail, but enough for the point to be made. Also, while the crucifixion isn’t most important, what IS important is the Resurrection, and in the children’s Bibles that I’ve seen, the focus has usually been on the Resurrection.

      The crucifixion is portrayed as either a close up of Jesus’ face or as a distance silhouette of the three crosses on Calvary in the Children’s Bibles I’ve seen. And I believe that children should know that other than His miracles, Jesus is able to defeat death and rise again. That fact alone makes the “end” of Jesus’ life just as important at the beginning.

  2. Humm..thats really interesting…Im pretty sure the one I had as a kid had the death and resurrection in it….I think thats kind of odd..If its done tastefully..or at least sorta mentioned..how odd..

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