Book Review – The Big Picture Story Bible

Grasping the continuity of the Bible is difficult, even for adults.  It’s easy to read it as many separate stories, each one written to reveal something about God but not necessarily connected to one another.  But to view the Bible like this is to miss the “big picture,” the story line that is hidden in the pages, waiting to be discovered.  That story line is the Christ-centered story of redemption.

In The Big Picture Story Bible, David Helm and Gail Schoonmaker simply yet superbly tie together the major stories of the Bible and show how each of these stories continually point to the fulfillment of God’s promise of redemption.  The book begins with creation and the Fall, showing how Adam and Eve, who were once joyful in the fellowship of God, disobeyed.  But, even from the very beginning, “God gave Adam and Eve a hint that he would not always be angry with them.  God promised that one day someone would come and crush Satan’s power over people. But that day was a long way off.” (pp.48-49) Through the stories of Noah, Abraham, Joseph, Moses, David, the prophets and other, we continually read the reminders of God’s promise.  By the time you get to the New Testament, there’s a great expectation that surely something is going to happen and soon!  “What a very big day! What God had promised to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and David had arrived in the birth of Jesus!” (p.256-257).  The book tells of Jesus’ ministry, his death, burial and resurrection.  It closes with another promise that Jesus would return again and that “God’s forever people will one day live in God’s forever place under God’s forever rule.” (p.450)

David Helm and Gail Schoonmaker take what is often simply told as individual Sunday School stories and writes the story of the Bible in such a way as to make it accessible to children. Each page is filled with colorful drawings that beautifully, yet simply illustrate what is happening.  The book does take a few liberties in describing some situations, like giving the background for why Caesar decided to count all the people in his kingdom.  Additionally, many details about Biblical events or stories are not covered, but are briefly mentioned, if at all.  But keep in mind that the purpose of this story Bible is to look at the big picture and, as a result, many smaller details or stories may not be mentioned.

Every family with young children should have a copy of this story Bible.  It certainly gave me a great reminder of how the Bible all fits together.  The Big Picture Story Bible is an excellent way to teach how the whole Bible is about God, how each story builds to the coming of Jesus and how even today, we wait for the final chapter to be written in the story of redemption.

(A huge “Thank you” to Crossway for providing a copy of this book for review through their Homeschool Book Review Program.)

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