CPH has some wonderful Bibles, especially our premier line of Bibles:
The Story Bible for ages 2 through kindergarten;
Faith Alive for fifth through eighth grades;
The Lutheran Study Bible for high school through adulthood.
But you might notice there is one group missing—where is the Bible specially designed for children in the first through fourth grades? The Story Bible is wonderful, pulling 130 Bible stories directly from the Bible. But we don’t want to make children wait until the fifth grade to get the whole Bible in their hands and help them learn where to find the popular, well-loved Bible stories.
When I set off to design features for this age group I considered the wide spread between a six-year-old and a ten-year-old. So as we worked on the various features in this Bible, we worked to reach the whole spectrum. Children in first and second grade are working on their reading, so adults can read the narratives to them; or even better, the children can read the Bible stories to their parents, grandparents, and younger brothers and sisters. In fact, that’s what I pictured when writing the 125 narratives. I saw children reading these great accounts of God’s love while their younger brother or sister sat on their lap studying the pictures.
We wanted to share the full story of God’s love for His creation, especially humanity, from Genesis to Revelation. So we chose 125 stories from the Bible, with an emphasis on those that tell us about the life of Jesus Christ, God’s Son, our Savior. That is only right.
At the same time, I wanted to provide a sense for where the various Old Testament stories fit in with each other. For instance, was Noah’s flood before Moses received the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai or after? Who came first, Joseph and his brothers or King David and his brothers? In the narratives, we set out to tell the story step by step in order.
I’m especially excited by the artwork created so lovingly and carefully by professional children’s illustrator Lon Eric Craven. Each illustration is packed full of meaningful details and symbols that bring our faith story alive.
Another important feature for the older children is Big Questions and Big Answers. Our children are inquisitive, wanting to learn all they can about their lives and the world around them. But often pastors, teachers, and parents don’t know how to answer questions they are hearing from the world around them—especially the questions that challenge the Bible. In this feature, I wanted to provide some simple basic answers that leave room for faith to guide their thinking when they encounter the tough questions in high school and college. These also provide parents with some ideas for how to answer those questions, and where they might look for further information.
Speaking of parents, one special feature was designed especially for parents. "Parent Connections" follows the introduction to each book of the Bible. These pages remind parents about the important part they play in the spiritual development of their child, and remind all of us that our children’s earthly accomplishments will mean nothing if they lose their faith along the way.
When children of this age read in their very own Bible—not just books made up from great stories collected out of the Bible—they begin a lifelong habit of feeding on God’s Word, learning more about Jesus Christ, their Savior. And the Holy Spirit builds on the foundation for their life of faith that He first laid in their Baptism. The Growing in Faith Bible will help your children do just that: grow in faith, and grow in understanding their Bible.
By the way, this is the perfect Bible for parents who feel intimidated by the thought of reading the Bible and have no idea where to start. Sit side-by-side with your child and learn what God says to both of you as you share time in His Word together.
Pastors can use The Growing in Faith Bible to get ideas for children’s messages, to lead Sunday School opening services, to let features such as “Big Questions and Big Answers” guide them deeper into preparing the children in their care for the doubt and skepticism they will face from the outside world.
I was delighted to write the features for this Bible, and found my own childlike sense of wonder grow as I looked at God’s revelation in Scripture through the eyes of my son, and even my own childhood. That is probably the most important thing for me: that the parents and children who read this Bible will see Jesus more clearly and be equipped to share their Savior with their families and friends.