Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Are Any Children's Bibles Any Good?

click for article in MSNBC: NewsweekNewsweek online has an article now on new attempts by publishing houses to produce Children's Bibles that are less cheesy, more state of the art. They also want to cash in on the huge Bible market, with all its many niches--a market now apparently worth $400 to $600 million!

Here is a quote from the article: "We hear all the time how cheesy children's Bibles are," says Craig Walker, an executive with Scholastic Books, which recently published [a Children's Bible] with the American Bible Society. ..."[We launched] a massive, five-year undertaking to make sure the pictures and the text were as accurate as could be."

Illustration of the Joseph Story from God's People

I would think the challenges to doing a really good job would be immense. You would have to fight back the unconscious influences of Cecil B. DeMille, fight like the dickens to avoid "moralizing" which Children's Publishers love, but the Bible almost never does, and above all, how do you work with Children on the Bible's very-adult subject matter? The Bible tackles head-on all sorts of subjects that we often try to "protect" children from, at least when they are very young.

Do any readers have thoughts or opinions on this. I think it would be fascinating to hear from people on this! Here are two of the new books that the NewsWeek article discusses:


Blogger Eliz F said...

VERY interesting. One of my favorite talks at the SBL was about how the portrayal of David and Goliath had changed in children's illustration over the years...before the mid-nineteeth century, quite a few graphic illustrations were around in children's bibles with David holding up Goliath's gory severed head in triumph, but those petered out after the 1860s, and from then on the usual depiction became David with a sling. The presenter's thesis was that this coincided with public executions being banned in England in the 1860s.

Yep, that group of presentations, "The Bible and Death," caused me to miss your Saturday a.m. presentation Dr. Cook! I was crushed to miss you, but just could NOT resist "The Bible and Death..."

Wed Nov 29, 07:49:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger S and C said...

Well, you hear my ideas all the time; much better that you heard something new and fascinating! ---S.

Wed Nov 29, 07:59:00 AM GMT-5  

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