This morning, as the children awoke at 6:30 am (why, O Lord, do they get up early on the weekends and late on weekdays?) and just could not keep quiet, I lay in bed thinking about the day to come. This is my favorite early-morning tactic–I don’t have to get up yet, but I’m not being so lazy as to go back to sleep. (Actually, once I wake up in the morning, it’s very difficult for me to go back to sleep. My mind goes into third gear right away. Anthropapa, however, stays in first gear and in fact easily slips all the way back into neutral.)
I thought, let’s go out to eat for breakfast…we never do that, it will be fun! And so I chivvied Papa out of bed and the kids into their clothes. We went to the local diner, where we ate enough to feed three times as many people. Literally, the kids at scrambled eggs, bagel with butter, bacon, sausage, home fries, and pancakes, plus milk. Growing, I tell you!
Anyhoo, as we were sitting there ruminating after we were done, SillyBilly mentioned how he really wanted another bible. Grammy had given them a kid’s book of bible stories long ago, and it had been so well loved that it disintegrated. We just hadn’t replaced it yet.
Oh-so-conveniently, there is a Barnes & Noble right next door to the diner. Funny, I wonder what put that idea into SillyBilly’s head???
The problem Papa and I have always had with kid’s bibles is that they are usually cartoony, and they either over-simplify or distort the stories. It’s not like I want the full book of Revelation in there, but really, do we need to call the Ark of the Covenant “God’s special box”?
The other problem is that Rudolf Steiner wrote a lot about the bible, Jesus, and the gospels. What he wrote is rather…unconventional. He believed Jesus was not divine until the baptism. He believed that Lazarus and the boy of Nain were not literally dead, but were going through an initiatory experience. He believed that Satan and Lucifer are two distinct beings. I could go on. The point being that if we are to go along with these ideas in anthroposophy, then traditional bibles don’t quite give the right pictures.
Note to self: find an illustrator and write your own anthro kids bible!
So, we have always looked somewhat askance at the bible offerings at the book store. But given SillyBilly’s deep love of the bible stories, and it being Palm Sunday and all, we caved and bought a bible. A truly old-school one, the Golden Children’s Bible.
Things I like about it: the pictures are real paintings and not cutesy cartoons (they are pretty old school, though not as bad as (that funky one I remember looking at in the dentist’s office when I was a kid, with the Eve with long, teased blonde hair like Brigitte Bardot. Thanks Anthropapa for alerting me to this dangling sentence!). It has many more stories than just the Creation, Noah’s Ark, and Jesus’ birth. The text is a nice compromise between the King James version and modern language.
So far today we have read: the Creation, Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness, parts of the Sermon on the Mount, Rebekah and Isaac, Jonah and the whale, and the Passover and expulsion from Egypt. If my throat weren’t sore from this lingering cold, I would probably have had to read the whole darn thing to them!
I know that in the Waldorf curriculum, Old Testament stories are meant to come in third grade, and right now I should really be telling them fairy tales. Which I do also. But they seem to eat these stories right up, and honestly, if I can encourage them to “be kind to each other like Jesus says,” how can I go wrong?