Saturday, March 22, 2014

The Adventure Bible Handbook

The Adventure Bible Handbook -- A Wild Ride Through the Bible by Robin Schmitt and David Frees, illustrated by Craig Phillips, published by Zondervan.

I'm sure you've noticed a trend towards comic-style books and graphic novels lately.  Well this comic-style Bible handbook has maps, photographs and works of art that help flesh it out -- making it very visually captivating.

The story line is sure to be a hit too -- with time travelling kids working together to rescue their father as they see first hand stories from the Bible brought to life.  

But I do have some reservations.  One of my concerns is the over-simplification of the 7th commandment:  "Keep your thoughts and actions in check.  Be self-controlled.  Remember your body is a temple of God."

This is something that my kids would instantly notice.  I guess the authors figured they would modify the 10 commandments to be kid specific, but I would like it better if it stated the 10 commandments directly ie: "Thou shalt not commit adultery" and then explained it or made it kid specific afterwards.

Another concern of mine is a picture of Ezekiel and the dry bones that come to life that is a bit graphic for younger or more sensitive readers.  My kids are the type who get creeped out by visuals at times when other kids might not bat an eye

Aside from these minor concerns there are some errors that keep me from recommending this handbook whole heartedly.  I don't think my kids would notice them, but I don't want my kids repeating them as facts either.  Some mistakes that other reviewers have mentioned include: who Absalom's mother was, the list of the Kings of Israel and the Kings of Judah being reversed, implying that the Bible was written in two languages originally and not three.

When I have a book based on the Bible I really want it to be true to Scriptures and factual so I can trust what I'm putting in my kids' hands.

The book lays out clearly what sin is, but I wish it was more direct about the solution to sin.  Yes, references are made early on in the book that there had to be "a sacrifice to fix the problem"  and great detail is given to Jesus' death and resurrection, but I wish there had been a clear section answering Nicodemus' question "What must I do to be saved?".  The Beatitudes, the Lord's Prayer and the Apostles' Creed are all here, but the steps to becoming a Christian have been overlooked.

This book is one that I would recommend only as a supplement to a Bible and not as a Bible itself.  Kids who are unlikely to open a Bible might be willing to start with a comic-style story book and then hopefully use it as a springboard to look at the Bible more in depth.  But unfortunately, many kids will likely read this book for entertainment and leave it at that.

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book through in exchange for my honest review.

~❀~ Chelsey ~❀~


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