January 4th, 2010
NKJV Greatest Stories of the Bible Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2009. 624 pp. $29.99.
I have reviewed children’s story Bibles in the past and have found that in recent years, there have been many excellent children’s story Bibles. In 2008, my family alternated between Sally Lloyd-Jones’ The Jesus Storybook Bible and David Helm’s The Big Picture Story Bible. My family is currently working through Catherine Vos’ The Children’s Story Bible and after a year, we are just now getting to the New Testament. Granted, we have not been able to read every night, but it is safe to say that we have read at least five nights a week in 2009. My wife and I have been trying to figure out what our next step ought to be once we finish The Children’s Story Bible. Enter Thomas Nelson’s NKJV Greatest Stories of the Bible (NKJV GSB).
Unlike other children’s story Bibles (even the aforementioned Bibles), the NKJV GSB is nothing but actual Scripture. Obviously, it uses the New King James Version as its text. The difference between an “adult” Bible (I use “adult” simply to differentiate between a child’s version and an actual Holy Bible) and this particular children’s Bible is the use of book chapters and titles rather than the current book, chapter, verse system found in all of our Bibles today.
For example, Exodus 15:22-17:7 is titled God Provides for His People in the Wilderness. Joshua being named to lead the Israelites is covered in the chapter Moses’ Successor Named. The New Testament begins with Jesus Before Time (John 1:1-18) and ends with Final Victory (Rev. 22).
The editors brought these stories together in a chronological fashion which is different from a canonical order (the order in which the books and stories appear in your Bible). If there is any criticism to be found it is that there is not much from the Old Testament prophets and the New Testament epistles. However, there is enough to introduce both genres of literature found in the Bible.
I am truly excited about NKJV GSB. While you cannot go wrong with the other children’s story Bibles I have mentioned in this article, the NKJV Greatest Stories of the Bible is perhaps the peak of all children’s Bibles. I would recommend starting your children in infancy by reading to them from The Big Picture Story Bible and/or The Jesus Storybook Bible and then advance to The Children’s Story Bible when they are about four or five years old. Once they get to where they are starting to read, I would have them begin reading the NKJV GSB aloud. With these four children’s Bibles, there is truly no excuse for the next generation of children in our churches to be biblically illiterate. Complete with a presentation page and a ribbon for a place marker, this particular edition of a story Bible makes an excellent transition from Bible stories to Bible doctrine and will certainly help to cultivate a love for God’s Word that has been missing in many homes for some time.