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The Gospel Story Bible: Discovering Jesus in the Old and New Testaments Hardcover – December 5, 2011
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I could speak at length about how much I recommend Marty Machowski s books to churches and indeed I do, along with books from a long list of other authors. But Marty s resources for families and children also appear on a far shorter list that places them in a more significant category for me: they are books that I actually use in my home. Again Marty has provided us with a God-centered, Scripture-grounded, gospel-driven resource that orients the minds of children toward the wondrous works of God. --Timothy Paul Jones, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Family Ministry, Southern Seminary; editor of The Journal of Family Ministry<br \><br \>Marty Machowski gets the gospel and knows how to transfer it to kids in a way that delights the soul and engages the mind. The Gospel Story Bible is a treasure for parents of young children. But it s not just for children Marty traces the gospel through the Bible with crystal clarity and traction for all ages. Few pastors I know are this skilled in making the glories of Scripture so accessible in narrative form. It s a must buy. --Dave Harvey, D. Min. Sovereign Grace Ministries; author of When Sinners Say I Do and Rescuing Ambition<br \><br \>More good news for parents (and grandparents)! Marty Machowski has once again delivered an excellent resource to help us lead children spiritually. The Gospel Story Bible explains the storyline of Scripture from Genesis to Revelation in 156 chapters, with vivid illustrations and thoughtful discussion questions for each reading. I fully anticipate that as you read this to your children (or grandchildren), you will be amazed together at the grace of God revealed in Scripture. --C.J. Mahaney President, Sovereign Grace Ministries; author of The Cross Centered Life
Marty Machowski gets the gospel and knows how to transfer it to kids in a way that delights the soul and engages the mind. The Gospel Story Bible is a treasure for parents of young children. But it s not just for children Marty traces the gospel through the Bible with crystal clarity and traction for all ages. Few pastors I know are this skilled in making the glories of Scripture so accessible in narrative form. It s a must buy. --Dave Harvey, D. Min. Sovereign Grace Ministries; author of When Sinners Say I Do and Rescuing Ambition
More good news for parents (and grandparents)! Marty Machowski has once again delivered an excellent resource to help us lead children spiritually. The Gospel Story Bible explains the storyline of Scripture from Genesis to Revelation in 156 chapters, with vivid illustrations and thoughtful discussion questions for each reading. I fully anticipate that as you read this to your children (or grandchildren), you will be amazed together at the grace of God revealed in Scripture. --C.J. Mahaney President, Sovereign Grace Ministries; author of The Cross Centered Life
About the Author
Marty Machowski is a Family Life Pastor at Covenant Fellowship Church, a Sovereign Grace Ministries church in Glen Mills, Pennsylvania, where he has served on the pastoral staff for twenty-three years. Marty leads Promise Kingdom, the children s ministry of Covenant Fellowship. He is the author of Long Story Short: Ten-Minute Devotions to Draw Your Family to God and the Gospel Story Sunday school curriculum. He and his wife Lois and their six children reside in West Chester Pennsylvania.
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Top Customer Reviews
The project is a great one! To tell the entire story of the Bible and show how every story points toward Jesus and how all the "individual" stories are really part of one larger story. Excellent!
The stories are based on the ESV translation, which is my personal preference.The stories are very close to the actual Scripture, with only a little bit of "commentary" added.
Each story is only one or two pages, so it's a great length for reading to younger children.
Each story combines portions of Scripture which might otherwise be under several headings, which gives a nice overview of the entire story without it being too long. For instance, the story of the birth of Christ includes both the wisemen (which is only recorded in Matthew) and the shepherds (which is only included in Luke) which then makes one bigger story to help children see the whole picture.
The book is incredibly colorful and the pictures are unique. These are not your typical "Sunday school" drawings.
In the beginning of the book are wonderful suggestions on how to use this as a resource with your children. I especially appreciated the author's suggestion to use this book as a launching point to read the same story in Scripture.
While the notes in the beginning indicate that this would be best used with preschoolers or younger grade school students, I actually think this would be better-suited for older grade school students. At that age, however, I think a "young readers" Bible would be the best option.
The author uses big words that most preschoolers will not understand. Many of the terms and phrases are fairly abstract and would go over most kids' heads.
While I LOVE the idea of tying each story to the gospel and pointing to Christ (even from the Old Testament), the "commentary" that was added to each story was often complex--mentioning multiple people in one story (such as Paul said this and King David said that) or attempting to explain the Trinity in one sentence as a tie-in to the story of creation. It was at times difficult for me to follow, so children would no doubt have similar struggles.
The structure of the stories was another concern for me. Twenty-six (excellent!) stories were taken from Genesis. However, the birth of Christ was covered in one story. I would have liked to see it broken up into a few other pieces - for instance, the angel appearing to Mary, the birth of John the Baptist, etc.
The layout of the text is not very kid-friendly. The text is small and all on one page. I think it would be better for each story to be 4-6 pages in length so the text could "breathe" a little bit. The font size may make it difficult for children to read without help.
Each story included three questions for discussion. It seemed that most of the questions were actually in regards to the picture without tying it into the story, which is the most important part.
The pictures were very complex and interesting (which was great for me as an adult). However, I think they are too complex and abstract for young children.
Overall, I like the concept of The Gospel Story Bible. However, with the tie-in from Old Testament to New Testament being so complicated, I would not recommend using this with young children. This could be a great resource for family worship with older grade schoolers or even pre-teens since the stories are so concise and would give a launching point for much deeper discussion. For younger children, I would recommend another resource. A curriculum based on this story Bible is forthcoming, so that may help unpack some of the deeper topics mentioned.
1. Illustrations (done by A.E. Macha)--I am used to seeing cutesy, cartoony illustrations of various kinds in the story Bibles that I have read to my kids. These are fine and I like them. However, the illustrations in this book are more like art than cartoons. There is an illustration for each story, and my kids love looking at the pictures. They are colourful, but not your typical children's bible story illustrations--which I find as a positive.
2. "Let's Talk About It!" After each story, you will find this section, which usually includes three questions. Two of them are general questions about the story, but I find the third usually gets them thinking. For instance, after Story 9--God Makes a Covenant with Abram, these are the three questions. "1. How many stars can you count? 2. What did God promise Abram? 3. How are you and I like the stars in the sky?" This really created some good discussion on the part of my husband and kids. It really helps bring the discussion around the main part of the story--Jesus. Which brings me to my third favourite thing about this book.
3. The Gospel--Just as the title suggests, Machowski brings the Gospel to light in every story. For instance, in this same story--Story 9--Machowski says this, "If we believe that Jesus died for our sins and that God raised Jesus from the dead, our faith will be counted to us as righteousness just like Abram's was." He brings and ties the Gospel in to every story, which is very important for us as we want to teach our children the complete truth of God's word, and how the Gospel is connected to the entirety of Scriptures. This is very good, and I find has really helped aid the discussion.
4. It's a jumping off point. What I like is that these stories are short yet concise. They give us a jumping off point in discussing with our kids the truth of God's Word. We have young elementary aged children, and these stories allow us to centre the discussions we have with them on what is important...the Gospel. And he also includes where in the Bible he is getting these stories, so you can always go to the Scriptures as well and read the Chapter(s)/part of the Chapter(s) if that is what you wish.
Again, I would recommend this for sure. I'm thankful that we purchased this, and I would definitely recommend this book to anyone looking for a devotional to read to their children.