Do you remember when you learned that God was actually part of a trinity, but still one God?
It’s not an easy concept, and many of us who have been believers for years or decades can still struggle to completely understand how these three complete entities, the Father, the Son, and the Spirit, can still be part of the One Living God.
There is a reason why Jesus asks us to have the faith of a child. We tell them and they believe. They may ask a few questions but ultimately, they don’t need the hard evidence and facts to accept that what we say is true.
In my experience, the Holy Spirit is the most complicated to understand. God the Father we understand as the Creator of all things. Jesus the Son we understand because he came to earth, walked among us, and died in our place. But the Holy Spirit? It’s not a physical thing that we can see, but it’s depicted in scripture as a dove, a mighty wind, and fire. We are told the Spirit lives in us, moves through us, and guides us.
So how do we teach all this to our kids in a way they might understand?
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The Spirit of God Illustrated Bible contains more than forty stories from both the Old and New Testaments to showcase how God’s Spirit has been around since the beginning of creation and moving through the events of time to guide us, inspire us, and strengthen us.
Typical children’s Bibles depict the major events of the Bible in kid friendly terms. They skip certain parts and focus heavily on others. For instance, most children’s Bibles begin with the creation of the earth, creation of Adam and Eve, and the fall. Because this Bible only focuses on events relating to God’s Spirit the fall is left out. It moves immediately from the creation of Adam and Eve to the story of Noah.
This Bible also leaves out the actual birth of Jesus, and everything in between the Last Supper and the Resurrection, which while understandable for the concept of the Bible, still seems a little odd.
The wording choices in some of the stories left something to be desired. In the creation story, after the animals and plants have all been created, it says “the seasons changed and seeds scattered and grew into plants” (p21). This makes it seem as though creation took longer than the six days stated in the Bible. The next chapter focuses on the creation of man and the way it is written (the wold was finally ready) makes it sound like the earth was around for at least several seasons before man was created.
Despite not including some stories, it also includes or elaborates on stories that are whittled down or skipped over in other children’s Bibles. In the chapter about God asking Moses to build the tabernacle it actually mentions Bezalel, the craftsman that carved the ark of the covenant and other pieces for the tabernacle. The Spirit of God gave him the skill and confidence to work and create these incredible pieces to honor God. This is a detail that is often missing from other children’s Bibles.
The illustrations in this Bible are beautiful, detailed, and unique. While they are cartoons they feel more alive than the one dimensional drawings in other children’s Bibles. The colors are vibrant and I enjoy the depiction of the Spirit working on the person or people in the story as curly wisps so it’s easy for the child to see whom the story is focusing on.
Overall, I think this is a beautiful Bible and a great addition to a family library. It would be very helpful for showing your kids how the Spirit has been working through God’s story since the beginning of time and offer a chance to do a family study. I wouldn’t, however, use it as the only Bible choice because of the significant stories that are missing and the liberties the author takes by changing some of the stories.
How do you teach your kids about the Holy Spirit?
Do you have a favorite children's Bible?