The Family Story Bible

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The Family Story Bible

By Ralph Milton - Color illustrations by Margaret Kyle - Woodlake Press - Hardcover - 288 pages

We've looked at many story Bibles and this one by Ralph Milton is our favorite for children from preschool through early elementary school. We found that our kids are very engaged with the fun storytelling and pictures. The book includes over 500 color illustrations.

Here are some of the things that make this our favorite young children's bible:

  • The stories are told with engaging language and imaginative details that make them rival other children's stories. Our children often ask to read from this for their bedtime stories.
  • More stories are included than in most children's bibles: 58 from the Hebrew Scriptures and 67 from the Christian Scriptures.
  • The beautiful color illustrations show people who look like they are from the Middle East.
  • Special attention is given to telling women's stories and handling violence cautiously.

Here is an excerpt from the introduction, written by Ralph Milton:

Reading the Bible is like participating in amateur sport. If you're not having fun, you're not doing it right.

If reading the Bible or this book is a chore, something is very wrong.

Let me explain.

I could give you a dozen important reasons why the Bible in general, and this interpretation of it in particular, would make your life easier, your experiences richer, and your teeth whiter. Believe me, I could bore you for 500 pages on that subject.

But the thing you want to know is how the Bible gets to be fun. Right?

Well, like sports, reading the Bible needs imagination and passion - and sometimes a bit of practice. And it's worth it. Without imagination and passion, sports and the Bible are both pretty boring.

I bring imagination and passion to every story in the Bible. That's my joy when I read the Bible for myself. That's my job when I approach it as a writer....

As a professional writer, my imagination is disciplined, but it is not tamed. I do my research. The details I imagine are checked to make sure they have some textual and historical validity.

I’ve taken a fair number of courses, done graduate work in Israel, and read hundreds of books in order to be able to do this. But still, the imagination that weaves these stories out of the raw material of the Bible is wild and childlike and some people will find that profoundly disturbing. I won't argue with them....

I believe with great adult passion that God wants us to be a joyful, just, and caring people. One of the ways (but by no means the only way) God has chosen to do that is to encourage a particular people (the Hebrews) at a particular time (the biblical era) to record the stories of their struggles and sorrows, their joys and hopes. They collected all kinds of writings - legends, folklore, stories, poems, fiction, history, recipes and laws into a book which we call the Bible. It is a fascinating and delightful book that has often been turned into a dry-as-dust tome by nit-picking academics, insecure preachers, and ignorant media reporters.

But the Bible can be a source of insight and wisdom and fun for adults and children. If we're open, God can speak to us through the stories of the Bible. When God speaks, it's never boring....

One of the best ways for an adult to understand the Bible at something other than an intellectual level, is to read it with children. Some of the adult passion may be missing, but children bring a passion of their own which we can learn from. It is simple and unsophisticated, but it is real....

Let God speak to the child in you.


Here is one of our favorite stories:


Jesus Helps a Sick Girl

Matthew 9:18-19, 23-25 Mark 5:21-24, 35-43 Luke 8:40-42, 49-55

"Please come quick. Please, Jesus," the man cried. "My daughter is very sick. Please come and help her. Please!"

The man's name was Jairus. Jairus was a very important man. He was rich too.

Right now Jairus didn't feel important. Or rich. He felt afraid. "My little girl is dying," he said to Jesus. "Please come to my house to help her."

So Jesus and Jairus hurried toward the house. Before they got there, someone came running. "Don't bother, Jesus. The girl is dead."

Jairus began to cry. Jesus put his arm around Jairus' shoulders. "Don't be afraid, Jairus," said Jesus. "Believe in God's love. And keep walking."

Everyone at the house was in tears.

"Don't cry," said Jesus. "The child isn’t dead. She's just sleeping."

Then Jesus took some of his friends and the little girl’s mother and father. They went inside. Jesus looked at the little girl. She didn't move. Her face was pale.

"My child," said Jesus. Jesus took the girl's hand. "Get up."

The girl opened her eyes. She looked at Jesus. She looked at her morn and dad. She smiled just a little.

"How old are you?" Jesus asked.

"Twelve," she said.

"Twelve!" said Jesus. "When I was twelve I was always hungry. Are you hungry?" The girl nodded.

"Good!" said Jesus. "Why don't we see if we can find you something to eat?"
Format: Hardcover book
Product code: AP9009
Dimensions: 7" x 10"
Length: 288 pages
Woodlake Press
1-2 copies $19.50 each
3-4 copies $19.00 each
5-9 copies $18.50 each
10+ copies $18.00 each
Written by Ralph Milton