How do Sunday school teachers lead children through the stories of Cain and Abel or Judas’s betrayal in a way that reflects the authority of Scripture? Sunday school curricula often glosses over difficult lessons or focuses too much on characters in Bible stories, neglecting God’s self-revelation in Scripture. John and Kim Walton have created this handbook for 175 Bible stories to assist teachers and parents in knowing what each story teaches and how to present it in a God-centered way.
As they work their way through the Bible, the Waltons examine seven elements in each story: focus, theme, application, place in the Bible, interpretational issues, historical and cultural background, and age-group appropriateness. The Bible Story Handbook includes introductory articles on why we teach the Bible, right and wrong ways to use the Bible, and ends with a two-year teaching plan. Every parent and Sunday school teacher will find this unique resource to be invaluable in teaching children to know and love God.
“An excellent resource for anyone teaching or preaching the Bible. While written for teachers of children, the Waltons provide clear and accurate exegetical understanding of the major stories of the Bible that will strengthen any teacher or preacher.”
—Craig Williford, President, Trinity International University
“For too long, Christians have been taught Bible stories as stand-alone episodes that provide moral instruction and encouragement based on imitating human characters in the stories. John and Kim Walton provide welcome correction! The opening chapters show us the real reason for teaching Bible stories—the revelation of God himself—and the big picture of the Bible, into which all the individual stories must fit. Not only teachers of children but anyone who uses Bible stories to teach others should examine his or her use of narrative passages by the guidelines in this book.”
—Starr Meade, Author of Keeping Holiday and Training Hearts, Teaching Minds
“Wow! What a resource! The Waltons provide us with an invaluable tool for the person who teaches the Bible to anyone of any age in any context. The Waltons focus on the biblical story, keeping it God's story, making God the hero of every story, just as the original writers intended. This work is a gift to Sunday school teachers, curriculum writers, and parents who want informed, rich perspectives on the stories within the biblical metanarrative. The Introduction alone provides a vital background for reading the Scriptures. For a scholar like John, with his expertise in Old Testament studies, and someone with the experience of Kim to corroborate on a work of this magnitude is a timeless gift for the teaching ministries of the Church of Jesus Christ.”
—Scottie May, Associate Professor of Christian Formation and Ministry, Wheaton College; co-author, Children Matter
“Ted Ward once asserted that ‘Christian education is neither.’ For generations, the church has outsourced responsibility for Bible learning and faith development to curriculum publishers. However, responsible publishers have never presumed that their material can be much more than introduction to the Bible. If Christian education is impoverished, the church, not the publisher, is responsible. This book looks like a curriculum. It is not. It is a description of a method, with abundant examples, that may assist congregations to become ‘hermeneutical communities’ exercising responsible use of Scripture as they design learning experiences for the people of God.”
—Linda Cannell, Academic Dean, North Park Theological Seminary
“In an effort to make the bible relevant to children, too often curriculum writers and parents have focused on the wrong issue, which does violence to the text as they seek to make it relate to children. Bible scholar John Walton and his wife, Kim, have responded with this volume that speaks directly to the well-intentioned but nevertheless abusive use of the Bible, offering succinct insight into biblical stories, helping parents and teachers find the actual meaning of the text to enable responsible teaching. I highly recommend this excellent book for those who want to teach the Bible insightfully to children and to adults. They help us all to take the text seriously, letting it speak as God intended.”
—Perry G. Downs, Professor of Educational Ministries, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
“All too often we who teach children have come to the Bible with an agenda. We come with a lesson in mind and then search for a Bible story that might be used as a sort of ‘proof text’ for the lesson with nary a thought of the real intent of the passage. This is a wonderful resource for parents and teachers to help them remain true to the biblical text while providing valuable help in communicating truth to children. It can be used as a supplement to classroom curriculum or as a guide in teaching children in the home. I recommend this book to everyone who understands the importance of clearly and accurately communicating God’s Word, especially to the youngest of God’s family.”
—Diane Jordan, Director of Children's Ministry, College Church, Wheaton, IL