A Bible-ific Day

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?



Filed under Anthroposophy, Books, Family, Food, Parenting, waldorf education

8 responses to “A Bible-ific Day

  1. Nana

    I think it is important to give the children the opportunity to hear the stories they ask for. The Children’s Bible obviously resonated with them, even if they are only enamored with the enchanting stories.

    The meaning behind the stories will reach a deeper level of their consciousness, especially if you discuss it with them.

  2. Loved your entry! My kids love the stories from the Bible. My son’s favorite blocks for grade 3 have been those involving the OT stories in some way. I would love to see Jakob Streit’s book illustrated – that would be fun.

    I love that while the stories are for the children, the anthros is for us to ponder. I have spent many hours pondering and praying about Steiner’s writings and how they apply to me.

    Many blessings.

    Melisa Nielsen

  3. Nana: Yes, the deeper meaning is always there for when they are ready.

    Melisa: Welcome and thanks! I have a copy of Jakob Streit’s book And There Was Light that does have some nice illustrations–the 1976 edition from Walter Keller Press. But it’s not a “picture book.” I’ve read to my kids from the first section about the seven days of creation, and will move on to the others when they are older.

  4. I don’t like the “dumbed down” children’s bibles either. I’m glad you found a good one.

  5. In Germany, children are taught a mixture of Old and New Testament. Lily loves the stories, but is slightly sceptical. She told us once that the Bible was wrong because it left out the dinosaurs!

  6. Dawn: Now I just need to find a life of Buddha that’s not too wordy or cartoony.

    Charlotte: In this bible they depict the dinosaurs under the fifth day of creation.

  7. susiej

    I have had this problem all of my life as a Mother. I was reading an old, ancient, (I’ll have to check the date) Bible that was my Grandmothers.. because it had great old-fashioned illustrations and did not talk down to my children. It’s pretty good… except it has Old English — and I found myself translating a bit of it.

    But I too, drift between fairy tales, myths, and Bible stories and never have time to fit them all in. I lay awake in bed at night and realize that really don’t know all the stories in the Bible, and Lord, what will become of them!
    I’m checking out your Bible…

  8. Bex

    Put me down for one of your bibles! Xxx

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