Not-So-Nice Bible Stories: Gory Deaths (Concordia Publishing House [CPH] 2016) is for ages 11 and up—that includes adults—and has fun getting down to the nitty gritty as it unpacks the details, difficulties, inquiries, and implications of the Bible's most horrid demises.
Consider: Jael killed Sisera by hammering a tent stake into his head. Jezebel was thrown out a window, trampled, and eaten by dogs. Judas hanged himself. Death in the Bible is sometimes gory. Really gory.
But the grisly deaths and mass killings point to a final gruesome death on the cross and how God provides His Son as a rescue from eternal death. Readers learn about the historical and factual contexts of some of the Bible’s nastiest deaths and how God works in our ugly, messy world to not only punish sin but to rescue sinners who desire His help. Each chapter concludes with an explanation of the biblical event in question and how it points to Christ as Savior.
Along the way, readers will ponder questions, recognize biblical and cultural parallels, and learn a ton of cool stuff about related topics.
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Icky Sticky, Hairy Scary Bible Stories (Concordia Publishing House [CPH] 2011) collects 60 short story-poems and surprising Scripture sayings into the strangest, silliest kid's Bible book around.
Dusting off little-known stories and showcasing well-known stories in a new light, this 128-page book is an unpredictable romp through the Bible. Whimsical line art by illustrator Tuesday Mourning will make kids (age 5 and up) smile and gawk. Filled with whiny prophets, stinky feet, snakes and pigs, and bugs to eat, Icky Sticky, Hairy Scary Bible Stories shows that God is alive and active in our often messy and frightening world.
No matter what our problems, God is always there to reach into the muck and pull us out. We are never too icky, too sticky, too hairy, or too scary for Him!
Click here for Icky Sticky, Hairy Scary fun.
Arch Books: The popular Arch Books series retells Bible stories in a 16-page rhyming format for children ages 5 through 9.
Where Is Jesus? (CPH 2016), illustrated by Linda Pierce, presents the story of the boy Jesus in Jerusalem (Luke 2:41-52) from the perspective of His mother, Mary.
This Arch Book shares not only the excitement of a trip to the Holy City but also the distress of Mary and Joseph when twelve-year-old Jesus goes missing during their trip. They search for three days without success.
Ultimately, where else could they find their boy, God’s Son, but in His Father’s house, the temple? And the amazement continues as Jesus stuns the wisest teachers of the day and submits to His parents’ will to return home. He sets an example for us of obeying both God and those people God had put in authority over Him.
Nicodemus and Jesus (CPH 2014), illustrated by Yoshi Miyake, retells the story of Nicodemus from the Gospel of John (3:1-21; 7:40-52; 19:38-42), with an emphasis on Jesus as Savior of the world.
Nicodemus's journey is amazing. This member of the Jewish Council first came to Jesus at night, too afraid to ask his questions where he could be seen. But the encounter changed him enough for Nicodemus to later step into the public light and aid in Jesus' burial.
Just as this hesitant inquirer was transformed into a bold actor of his faith, so God transforms those who believe in His Son to live in the light of love and service to Him and others. The true words of God's love and the gift of eternal life will never fade away.
The Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard (CPH 2012), illustrated by Ed Koehler, shares Jesus' classic parable from Matthew 19:30-20:16.
This earthly story with a heavenly meaning presents a vineyard owner who hires men throughout the day and promises each a fair wage. Ultimately, all are given the same--those who worked only an hour and those who worked the whole day receive a full day's pay.
Likewise, our generous God gives all His children the same heavenly reward, whether faith begins early or at the last minute. And for each and every one, it is more than we deserve. God's gift is great for all who joyfully toil for His Kingdom.
The Father's Easter Story (CPH 2011), illustrated by Chris Wold Dyrud, mines Matthew; Mark; Luke; and Galatians 4:4-5 for the compelling story of Jesus' life, death, and resurrection from the viewpoint of God the Father Himself.
Through this book, Jesus is revealed as the Father's beloved Son sent as gift into our world to suffer and die for our sins. God's love for us holds nothing back, including the joy of seeing Jesus raised back to life on Easter.
The Father sent Jesus to bring us life, and that life is full of love that never ends!
Jesus Shows His Glory (CPH 2008), illustrated by Bill Clark, explores the story of Jesus' transfiguration from Matthew 17:1-13; Mark 9:2-13; and Luke 9:28-36.
Watch as Peter, James, and John gaze in wonder when their Master, Jesus, shines with glory. Be amazed as special guest stars Moses and Elijah the prophet appear beside Jesus. Listen as God the Father speaks astonishing words from heaven.
Then see the connection as the confused disciples realize that this glimpse of Jesus' glory is what all believers will experience forever in heaven.
Get Up, Lazarus! (CPH 2003), illustrated by Michelle Dorenkamp, tells the amazing true tale of the raising of Lazarus from the dead.
Starting with the news of Lazarus's sickness and Jesus' mysterious delay in going to His friend, John 11:1-44 unfolds in this book. Four days after Lazarus's death, Jesus finally arrives and meets Lazarus's grieving sisters. Moved to tears at His friends' death, Jesus does the impossible and brings Lazarus back to life!
Soon after, Jesus Himself dies and comes back to life, preparing the way for us to live lives where death is not the end.
Big Books: Each 16-page Big Book measures 15" x 18" and shares a Bible story through big, colorful pictures that leap off the page and simple language. Great for classroom use or in chapel.
Coming and Going at Pentecost (CPH 2013) tells the story of the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost to the apostles and early believers in Christ gathered together. God's bold message of salvation in Jesus Christ that they shared with the crowd that day brought an abundant harvest of believers and continues to do so to this day.
Little Learner Bible Story Books: The Little Learner series retold Bible stories in prose.
Jesus Teaches Us to Pray (CPH 2005 [out of print]), illustrated by Joel Snyder, unpacks the meaning of the Lord's Prayer in a way that children can understand.
This journey through Jesus's words about prayer is grounded in Matthew 6:5-15 and Luke 11:1-10 and the disciples' request for Jesus to show them how to pray. Not only does He tell them how, but He also gives them an outline of what to pray for that reveals the generosity of God's love for us.
In this simple prayer, God still teaches us to pray and promises to hear us every day.