Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Kingdom Files: A Barbour Publishing Review

Barbour Publishing
Over the years, I have began many Bible reading plans that start in Genesis in January and then somewhere along the way - usually in Leviticus or Chronicles - slow down to a halt.  The noble effort leaves many of the minor prophets less read than the beginning.  Children's Bible curriculum can also only hit the highlights and miss some of the significant details in the name of giving a good overview of the Bible.

The Kingdom Files

My latest review is part of the Kingdom Files series from Barbour Publishing.  The entire set includes:

Who Is Jesus?
Who Was Daniel?
Who Was David?
Who Was Esther?
Who Was Jonah?
Who Was Mary, Mother of Jesus?

These Bible-based biography books by Matt Koceich dig into the entire life of individual characters, giving a broad perspective and key details to their life and place in the kingdom.  For this review we received Who Was Jonah? and Who Was Mary, Mother of Jesus? The series is intended for ages 8-12, so my 7 year old book worm did just fine.  After he read Who Was Mary, I asked him what he thought.  His response was, "It was good.  You should read it.  I think you'll learn some things!"  It made me laugh, but he was on to something.  The manner in which it is laid out provides a very comprehensive way of learning, something we don't always receive through a lesson or typical Bible reading.  Too often we remember a big event clearly - like Mary giving birth to Jesus or Jonah getting stuck in the big fish - but so much more happened that we should consider.

Kingdome Files Who Was Mary Mother of Jesus

The books begin with a FACT FILE section that lays out key statistics and includes a miniature timeline of events specific to that character.  The middle section is called the ACTION FILE which consists of several chapters discussing the action or events of their life.  This section includes small Clues corners that are sprinkled throughout that helps the reader understand the importance or meaning of certain events.  The last section POWER FILE is filled with "Power-Ups" that are short devotions designed to study further some of the lessons taught through the characters life.  Each one includes a memory verse so that scripture is then connected to the reader's every day life. 

Kingdome Files Who Was Jonah

With my oldest child being 7, I have had a few years to experience a lot of children's Biblical resources.  There is a ton of basic children's Bibles and of course plenty of high school to adult level resources, but the stuff in between isn't always the most helpful.  As my children grow, I absolutely want my kids to learn to study the Bible not just remember some of the big stories.  Bridging the gap between the two is important and often challenging.  These books do a really good job of re-telling the life events and providing information like you would receive in a lesson at church and then applying lessons to our lives.  In Who Was Jonah, I really appreciated the large amount of context they provide for Jonah and the people he didn't want to preach to. Both books do so much more than just teach a Bible story.  For young readers, it's a good combination of scripture and devotion that can truly help them study the Bible more closely as a result.  I am excited to collect all of them and have them be a regular part of my children's curriculum as they advance in their reading.

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