- Age Range: 3 - 7 years
- Grade Level: 1 - 2
- Hardcover: 456 pages
- Publisher: Crossway; Redesign edition (July 31, 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1433543117
- ISBN-13: 978-1433543111
- Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 1.5 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 288 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #20,801 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Big Picture Story Bible (Redesign) Hardcover – July 31, 2014
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“Christians parents looking for a Bible storybook they can trust will welcome The Big Picture Story Bible by David Helm and Gayle Schoonmaker. The biblical story is told well and in a way that will compel the attention of children. Parents, grandparents, and others will see this book as a friend as they teach their children the things of God.”
—R. Albert Mohler Jr., President, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
“When serving as a pastor, I frequently purchased and gave this Bible to families with young children in hopes that the parents would read and absorb its message. Here’s a Bible storybook that shows the biblical story from Creation to New Testament—a book that anticipates Jesus in the Old Testament and makes his crucifixion and resurrection the proper climax of the New Testament. My wife and I love it. Our kids love it. I cannot recommend it highly enough.”
—Trevin Wax, Bible and Reference Publisher, LifeWay Christian Resources; author, This Is Our Time: Everyday Myths in Light of the Gospel
“When my son was growing up we read lots of Bible storybooks. But somehow we missed the big story that all of the stories fit into. The Big Picture Story Bible provides a foundation for children (and their moms and dads) to grasp God’s intention for his people to be in his place under his loving rule from the first page of the Bible to the last. What a treasure!”
—Nancy Guthrie, author, Seeing Jesus in the Old Testament Bible study series
“As someone who tries to establish a regular pattern of family worship at the dinner table, I am always on the lookout for good Bible story resources to use with children of all ages. The Big Picture Story Bible is written in a simple way with pictures that reinforce the meaning of the biblical text and often contain details that generate conversation and lead to a deeper understanding of the gospel. Even better, Helm’s redemptive-historical orientation helps even the youngest Christians see the fundamental unity of the Bible and its single gospel message of salvation in Christ. As the title implies, it is an ideal book for helping little people get ‘the big picture.’ I have given dozens of these away as gifts. Highly recommended.”
—Philip Graham Ryken, President, Wheaton College
“This is an excellent book for both children and adults to read to gain the big story line of the entire Bible. The writing is excellent. The illustrations are excellent. The way the author summarizes the broad sweep of the Bible into 450 pages is also, excellent. If you’re planning on getting married and making babies, plan on reading this book to your babies.”
—Justin Buzzard, Lead Pastor, Garden City Church, Silicon Valley; author, Date Your Wife and The Big Story
“A powerfully done, relevant book for parents to teach their children about God. Buy this book and use it with your children.”
—Dennis Rainey, President and CEO, FamilyLife; Host, FamilyLife Today; author, Stepping Up
“This book is an outstanding resource for parents who delight in invading their children’s lives with the gospel. Your children will learn and grow through the marvelous words and pictures, and your heart will be refreshed and comforted again and again with the greatest story of all.”
—Barbara Duguid, author, Extravagant Grace
“David Helm has a pastor’s eye for the grand narrative of Scripture, combined with a father’s understanding of how to communicate that big idea to little minds. Gail Schoonmaker’s delightful pictures not only illustrate the text but also include additional details that invite parent and child to plunge deeper into the richness of the biblical account. Highly recommended!”
—Iain M. Duguid, Professor of Old Testament, Westminster Theological Seminary; author, Numbers: God’s Presence in the Wilderness
“This book is wonderfully illustrated and carefully written. The author labors for biblical precision, emphasizing a big God and the ugliness of sin. David Helm regularly asks questions in the course of the book, proving to be helpful fodder for discussion and interaction with your child. My kids are eager to bring the book to me to read and this gives me great joy as a parent. I am excited to heartily recommend The Big Picture Story Bible.”
—Erik Raymond, Senior Pastor, Redeemer Fellowship Church, Watertown, Massachusetts
“I like how the book is illustrated and how all the stories fit together. We wore out our copy from reading it so much. It’s great for children of all ages.”
—Alexis Raymond, age 10
“I absolutely love The Big Picture Story Bible. It’s full of rich theology for small people. David Helm makes it plain that the Bible is more than a collection of stories; it is God’s story, into which we, his creatures, are called. It faithfully presents the richness and complexity of God’s witness to us in Scripture, without distorted or misplaced emphasis. While there is no substitute for reading Scripture to and with our children, The Big Picture Story Bible is an outstanding introduction to the overarching biblical narrative.”
—Sarah Dahl, blogger, Aslan’s Library
“The Big Picture Story Bible effectively achieves its aim to give children a majestic picture of God. The illustrations will stir children to ask questions about God’s story. This is a worthwhile investment for your children. My family will be enjoying this book for years.”
—Joey Cochran, Pastor of Middle School Discipleship and Communication, Calvary Memorial Church, Oak Park, Illinois
“The questions in The Big Picture Story Bible invite interaction with my children and help them anticipate what is coming next in the story. I enjoy reading this book with my children!”
—Kendall Cochran, mom of three
“I like The Big Picture Story Bible very much. I like how it shows me that Jesus died on a cross and rose again on Easter!”
—Chloe Cochran, age 6
“I like it! I like the pictures. They show me about Jesus!”
—Asher Cochran, age 3
About the Author
David R. Helm (MDiv, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary) serves as lead pastor of the Hyde Park congregation of Holy Trinity Church in Chicago. He also serves as Chairman of The Charles Simeon Trust, an organization which promotes practical instruction in preaching. He is the co-author of The Genesis Factor (with Jon Dennis), a contributor to Preach the Word: Essays on Expository Preaching, and the author of The Big Picture Story Bible and 1 and 2 Peter and Jude in the Preaching the Word commentary series.
Gail Schoonmaker (BA, Wheaton College) is an artist based in Chicago. She illustrated The Big Picture Story Bible and is the author of Big Picture Bible Crafts. She makes her home in the Hyde Park neighborhood with her husband, Keith, and their four children.
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- The language: BPSB skillfully teaches concepts through repetition and simplified words. JSB also uses repetition and non-traditional, untheological words.
- I personally have a hard time getting behind the heavy use of fragments in the JSB. I frequently rephrase to improve the grammar for my children.
- BPSB more fully and accurately teaches the message of each text (e.g. The JSB teaches that Joseph forgave his brothers simply because he couldn't stop loving them. It does not mention their repentance or the period of watching/testing before Joseph revealed himself. BPSB instead emphasizes Joseph's recognition of God's plan in using evil circumstances for good.)
- The language of the JSB is more Arminian than that of the BPSB.
- JSB is longer and contains more Bible Stories. The NT portion of the BPSB is based on the gospel of John and does not contain many of the stories in the synoptic gospels.
- However, BPSB teaches Jesus from beginning to end. There is NO lack of Christ in this book, as another commenter hurriedly asserted. Both books teach Jesus very well.
- BPSB's illustrations are fresh and make the stories of the Bible come to life. Many pages are clearly done in watercolor yet remain vibrant. JSB's are more flat-lined and scribbly and the colors are over-saturated.
- BPSB does illustrate baptism as the pouring of water over the head while standing in a river, which is a con to us baptists. JSB simply shows them standing in the water.
Both books brought me to tears, but BPSB is by far our favorite children's Bible and the one we most recommend to others.
I wish the same carefulness had been applied to the pictures of Adam and Eve. By this point in history, we know that the skin color of our first parents must have been a medium shade of brown, not white. If there is a revised edition of this book in the future, I hope that this important change will be made.
Also there's an amusing mistake in the picture on p. 181. On the platter of food for King Solomon, there's a nice juicy ham! Since he was Jewish, he certainly would not have eaten anything from pigs, who were classified as unclean animals.
Those are my only criticisms. I really like the perspective of the big picture of God's plan and God's love for His people. Thank you to the author and illustrator.
It does a fabulous job of showing how the entire Bible tells one big story by linking individual stories together. Themes like the image of God, God's promise to Abraham, and God's kingship are traced through story after story, with a special emphasis on the ideas of election, obedience, and promise. For example, in the story of Joshua, it says, "Israel promised to be God's people. Israel promised to obey God's Word. If they kept their promises, they would always live in God's promised place" (154). The stories of Jesus come alive as they are connected to God's Old Testament promises. The book reaches a resounding finish in the story of Revelation, where John was overcome with joy because "He had seen the very good ending waiting for everyone who follows Jesus as God's king. God's forever people will one day live in God's forever place under God's forever rule" (449-450).
In a world where biblical literacy is on the decline and most people only know disconnected episodes from Scripture, this Bible makes a huge difference. It packages biblical theology in such a way that keeps the interest of a 2 or 3 year old (few words per page, with bright pictures), teaches older children the heart of the Bible, and offers profound reflections on biblical theology for adults -- all at once! This is one book in which parents will learn as much as their children. The ideal age is probably 4-8, but older and younger children love it, too. The entire book can be read in about an hour and a half, or it's 26 chapters can be read piece by piece.
As important as this book is, it does not intend to be the only Bible your children read. Since it's purpose is to connect the stories of the Bible, it is selective about which stories to include and how much detail to offer. We read this to our kids alongside more detailed children's Bibles so that they are getting the individual stories as well as the big picture.
I could not recommend this Bible more highly. As a doctoral student in Biblical Theology at Wheaton College, I am very picky about children's Bibles. This is hands down the best one I've ever seen.