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The Barnabas Family Bible
101 Bible Stories For Families To Share
by Martyn Payne & Jane Butcher
Publisher:Barnabas imprint of BRF
This delightful book has been written for parents, grandparents, godparents, or anyone privileged with the care of children, to share their faith through interactive Bible stories, craft and prayer activities. It is a treasure trove of ideas. Beginning with the story of creation in Genesis the authors have selected passages from the whole Bible right through to Revelation and the creation of the new heaven and new earth. It is a joy that they have delved outside of the more common stories told to children to give a good overview of the whole faith journey of the people of God.
On opening the colourful and inviting cover the reader will discover that each story is printed on a double page spread and has a variety of ingredients. It begins with the Bible passage helpfully printed out from the Contemporary English Version. There is a suggestion for something visual, some commentary which may best be digested by an adult in advance and re-told at the time in a way which is age-appropriate for the children present. There is also a number of questions to help everyone engage with the passage and apply it to their own life, an activity idea, a prayer idea as well as a key verse and a link to a related story in the other Testament.
As always space is limited and for that reason there are no illustrations to help younger members of the family to engage with the story but this could be arranged in advance by using specially developed younger children's Bibles, or by finding pictures online.
No time scale for each session is suggested. My concern would be that people may feel that they have to cover a story a day and/or all the ingredients in one sitting and therefore may view it all as too much like hard work. However, each story could be a project for a week's worth of family Bible times or something special for a family evening once a month, in which case it could become a real highlight of family life/time with Grandparents/ godparents and others.
As well as the introduction outlining the authors' thinking behind the book there is at the back of the book a series of short helpful articles offering guidance, support and practical advice on how to grow faith and develop disciples at home.
The authors' intention is to create interesting and exciting family Bible times and they have produced an excellent resource to help with that.
Reviewer: Christine Leach (28/01/15)