The Bible Story - Volume II
In response to overwhelming demand this second and revised volume of The Bible Story is published. We are thrilled, and overjoyed, because of the enthusiastic acceptance of Volume 1.
Those who have read the first volume know that there has never been a Bible story book like this. There have, of course, been many Bible story books — too many, of a kind. But candidly they seemed, to me, to have no mission, except to entertain children. They seemed to try to compete with the exciting fiction of violence of which youngsters see entirely too much on television — or read in cheap novels or comic books.
These children's Bible story books were a series of disconnected blood-and-thunder stories drawn from certain Biblical incidents. There was no connection between one and another, or with the Gospel. They were shorn of their real meaning. They seemed to me to degrade the Bible in children's minds. The real connection of these Biblically recorded incidents with the meaning and purpose of life — of God's message to mankind — was ignored. Yet all these incidents are recorded in the Bible because they have real and deep MEANING. They teach vital lessons that ought to be made plain to children — and to adults as well!
For years, in my ministry, I felt an overpowering sense of responsibility, mingled with a feeling of inadequacy, for getting the proper teaching to children. It was a frustrating consciousness, for my time was so completely filled in the ministry to adults. I early had come to realize that the newborn infant knows nothing at birth. Humans must learn and be taught. Born in a predominately paganized world, the infant is taught from birth in the customs and ways of society. It would never occur to him to question them. They are simply absorbed — taken for granted accepted. In school the child is not graded on ability to prove whether the teaching is true or false. He is graded on willingness to accept without question, memorize and absorb whatever is taught. Educators have, as Paul wrote, been reluctant to retain God in the knowledge they disseminate (Romans 1:28).
Today's children are born into a confused, mixed-up, divided religious babylon. The hundreds of organized religious denominations and sects cannot agree on what the Gospel is; on who or what God is; on whether Christ was human, divine, or both; whether there is a devil; what salvation is; what or where the reward of the "saved" shall be; or how one may obtain it. Each one seems to take for granted whatever brand of religious belief has been taught him from childhood.
It is ten times more difficult to unlearn error than to learn TRUTH. This, then, is the dilemma that challenged me: children, still today, are being reared in the same old secular pagan philosophies and customs, with the addition of the so-called scientific approach that has arrived with the acceptance of the theory of evolution. This atheists' attempt to explain the presence of a creation without the existence of a Creator has become the basic concept by which all causes, origins and purposes are explained. By the time these innocent children have been inoculated with this anti-God poison and reached maturity, most of them have too much to unlearn before their minds can accept original truth. An inborn prejudice has been set up. And prejudice is an absolute barrier to the entrance of TRUTH into the mind.
But what could I do about it?
Children need, as they need life itself, an awareness of the basic TRUTHS of the Bible while they are growing up! If only we could get to them the knowledge of God — of the Creator and His vast creation — of His authority and rulership over the creation He brought into being and now sustains — of the invisible yet inexorable spiritual laws He set in motion to regulate relationships and produce happiness, peace and everything good — of the knowledge that the Bible definition of sin is simply the transgression of these laws operating for our good — of the basic knowledge of God's purpose being worked out here below, and of His plan for working it out — of the biblical revelation of Christ and what He means to us today — of the vital connection of case histories, incidents, experiences — so often seized upon as material for the blood — and — thunder type Bible stories — with God's overall purpose, and with the Gospel — if only growing children could be possessed of this knowledge, they would not be deceived and misled by the teaching of the secular school systems.
Years ago this realization plagued me. God had called me to an important ministry which He was blessing with rapid and constant growth. But the children were being neglected in this ministry. How could I supply this lack? For years it was a frustrating dilemma. HOW could I get to growing children a real knowledge of God — of the Creator and His vast creation — of His power, authority, and rulership over all He created — of the very PURPOSE in having put humans on this earth — of the vital connection between these Biblical incidents and the meaning of life?
In due time God supplied the man for this important undertaking. Basil Wolverton was a nationally known artist in the United States. His work appeared in more than fifty nationally circulated magazines. He was both an artist and a trained writer. He was converted through The WORLD TOMORROW broadcast many years ago. He was a student and teacher of the Bible. In November, 1958, The Bible Story started, serially, in The PLAIN TRUTH.
But it is not written only for children! We like to say it is written for children from 5 to 105! Mr. Wolverton wrote in simple, understandable language, easily read by children at the nine — to twelve-year-old level, yet interesting to adults as well!
With professional expertness, Mr. Wolverton makes this story-flow gripping and thrilling in plain and simple words. Parents can read this book to four — and five-year-olds, and, with a little explaining, make it understandable and also absorbing and interesting.
The Bible Story is definitely not a series of disconnected stories of excitement and violence with no special meaning. Our purpose is to tell simply, in language children can read and understand, plainly, yet interestingly the story of the Bible itself, beginning at the beginning. A continuous story thread runs through the entire Bible. Not many have ever grasped this amazing yet important fact. Most people read a verse here or a chapter there, failing to properly connect them, or understand the true continuity of the Bible story.
Mr. Wolverton stuck to the literal Biblical account. He has taken author's license to portray certain incidents in conversational style, or to fill in, for purposes of clarity and realism, a few "tomatoes on the window sill." Yet he was zealously careful to avoid adding to, or detracting from, the real and intended meaning of the sacred Scriptures.
The first volume contained thirty chapters.
The present volume picks up the story from there. It is a continuing memorial of Basil Wolverton, who died in December 1978, and is presented to you as a ministry of love, without money and without price. It is our fervent hope that it will bring to you and your children enlightenment, interesting reading, understanding, and abundant blessings from its original and TRUE AUTHOR, Jesus Christ.