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328 pages
Dec 2011
New Growth Press

The Gospel Story Bible: Discovering Jesus in the Old and New Testaments

by Marty Machowski

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The Gospel Story Bible by Marty Machowski is targeted at young readers, but it does not present a watered-down version of the Scriptures. In condensed one-to-two page summaries, this book summarizes and analyzes the key stories of the Bible, including very gritty episodes that are usually glossed over in most children's picture books. In this book we read about the slaying of animals to cover the naked bodies of Adam and Eve, the murder of Abel by Cain, the tenth plague that killed all firstborn sons in Egypt, the punishment of Moses for disobeying God, the sin of Samson and his subsequent death as he killed thousands of Philistines, the execution of John the Baptist, and, of course, the crucifixion of Jesus. This is biblical realism seldom seen at this level, yet it is done with accuracy, finesse, and clarity. Children are told why sins have consequences, but also about how the love of Christ can provide healing and salvation to a lost world.

This book is also filled with many heart-warming episodes, most notably the touching love story of Ruth, the joyous event of Hannah giving birth to a long-desired son, the curing of Naaman's leprosy, the birth of the baby Jesus, and the triumphant entry into the holy city on Palm Sunday. Many of the parables of Jesus are retold and explained in simple language and amplified with colorful artwork, such as the four soils the seeds fell on, the hidden treasure, and the wise and foolish builders. Additionally, focus is given to the Lord's Prayer, the Beatitudes, and the Sermon on the Mount.

With each two-page spread, there is a lesson title, a reference in which that story can be found in the Bible, then the lesson summary itself, and some colorful drawings that illustrate the action and events in the narrative. This is always followed by a "Let's Talk About It" listing of three specific questions that allow a youngster to give feedback on what he or she has just been taught.

This book does not conclude with the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. It goes on to tell of the ministry of the disciples, the evangelistic outreach of Paul, and even offers insights on understanding what the gifts of the Spirit are and how to embrace them for personal ministry. This is a well-written, sophisticated, theologically-sound book that would be good for children ages 5 - 10. It is best used with an adult who can respond to any difficult passages children may wrestle with emotionally or intellectually. Dr. Dennis E. Hensley,

Book Jacket:

It is easy to forget Jesus in the midst of frantic schedules, family squabbles, and conflicting priorities. But the truth is that he is the hero of every story, including these ordinary ones. This is why Marty Machowski puts God's plan of salvation in Christ on continuous display in The Gospel Story Bible. The easy-to-read storybook introduces your family to many captivating people, places, and events from the Bible's Old and New Testaments, showing how each one ultimately points to Jesus.

As you share these Bible stories together, you and your family will meet Jesus and learn a new, life-changing way of recognizing Christ as the hero of every story. Vibrant illustrations by A. E. Macha, child-friendly discussion questions, and Scripture references accompany each narrative to help you lead your family in exploring the Bible. You will be delighted to discover how easily even a young child can understand the original text of a story that he or she has already come to love. Ideal as a storybook for your preschooler, a devotional for your grade school student, a refresher for the adult believer, or an introduction for the new one, The Gospel Story Bible is also a companion to Long Story Short: Ten-Minute Devotions to Draw Your Family to God and the forthcoming Gospel Story Sunday School curriculum.