Orthodox Children’s Bible Reader
Greek Bible Society, 2006
Illustrations by Martha Kapetanakou-Xinopoulou, Editorial team leader, Presbytera Katherine Chapekis Sietsema.
Reviewed by Carole Buleza
Alleluia! We finally have an Orthodox Children's Bible Reader in full-color, and wonderful quality. The Old Testament selections number 75 and include seven of the stories of redemption heard on Holy Saturday. I was pleased to see these as they form the context for understanding Christ's death and resurrection. Many of the "types" of the Old Testament, fulfilled in the New, also have a place in this Reader. The three "pillars" of the Old Testament, the law, the prophets, and the wisdom writings are all included in the selections, with excerpts from the psalms and the proverbs of Solomon comprising the wisdom segment. In addition to Sarah, Rebecca, and Leah and Rachel, we have Deborah, Ruth and Naomi representing the women of the Old Testament. The icon-like illustrations are lovely, and the Trinity icon illustrates the story of the angels visit to Abraham and Sarah. You won't find that in a Protestant children's Bible!
On the New Testament side, we have all the stories which became the 12 Great Feasts of the Church, with the exception of those pertaining to Mary. When chronological ordering isn't important, such as for the teachings, and the healing stories, they are grouped so a thematic lesson can be easily planned. Beyond the gospels, we have several episodes from Acts of the Apostles, and finally two selections from the epistles and a selection from Revelation.
All selections are at a 3rd grade reading level; however, they are so well-written, when read aloud, they could be understood by pre-schoolers. The table of contents has not only the name of the story, but also the citation. Finally, several simple and valuable maps are appended. At $19.99 each, or $159.99 for a case of ten, the Children's Bible Reader should be in every home, and every classroom. Available through the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese, "Orthodox Marketplace" (www.store.goarch.org).