Wednesday, June 25, 2008

ESV Illustrated Family Bible looks to be a classic

Crossway has hit another home run with the ESV Illustrated Family Bible, illustrated by Zbigniew Freus. I was immediately taken with the idea of this niche Bible -- to provide families a Bible to share with their non-reading, or early-reading children. I love some of the great story Bibles out there, but obviously, they are Bible stories, not Scripture. How to jump your toddler from storybook Bible to full-length Bible? Most publishers have focused on the attractiveness of the Bible to the child, formatting them to resemble a fairy-princess purse, a treasure chest or a toy of some sort, rather than focusing on how to make the Scripture itself most accessible to young readers. Crossway has come up with a way to do just that.

The Illustrated Family Bible contains 270 carefully-selected passages of Scripture -- from Genesis to Revelation, focusing heavily on the life and death of Christ. The passages are presented in a stunning format with full-page color illustrations, which excellently accent the given passage. I love the prophetic praise song of Hannah of I Samuel 1-2 illustrated with a beautiful young Hannah and her young child. About half of the book is the New Testament, largely depicting the life of Jesus. Freus does a masterful job depicting the Christ. The passion account is woven together from all 4 gospels, one right after the other, in one seamless storyline. It's outstanding. As an adult who has read these passages many times, I was gripped by both the text and pictures, compelled to read on.

The book concludes with John 20 "Now Jesus did many other signs. . . which are not written in this book", which seems to me a most fitting conclusion for a Bible of this sort. Our hope in reading Bible stories, and selected passages to our children is that a hunger will be created in them for more of Christ! I highly recommend this outstanding Bible to all Christians -- reading it will build your love for the Word.


Sarah said...

This looks excellent, Gret. I will have to check it out. We just bought a Bible story devotional book to read with the girls, which I really like--but as you said, so many of them do not use or focus on Scripture, just on "dumbing it down" for children, so to speak. Do you guys sell this one?

Gretchen said...

Why, yes, we do! Of course! :)

James and Christen said...

Sounds great! I can't wait to get a look at the illustration in person!

Jana said...

Thanks for the tip Gretchen! It looks great. I 'll have to check it out. Hope you are having a great summer!