Knowing the history of the Bible can inspire kids to dig deep into the Word of God. This guest post from Erika Scrimpshire stresses the importance of knowing the context and story behind the events and heroes in the Bible.
– Jana Magruder, Director of Kids Ministry Publishing at LifeWay
Kids have heroes. Superman, Iron Man, Sofia the First, Han Solo, Rainbow Brite, the Hulk, the Ewoks. We see them in action figures, movies, dolls, apps — everywhere. Mine? Indiana Jones. What I wouldn’t give to venture through Europe and ancient lands solving a mystery of antiquity.
I’ve always been fascinated by history because the truth is, the past can make the present come alive. If I could accompany an archaeological dig in Israel and find buried coins, I would be excited to find something cool. But if I know the story behind the hoards of coins — that would be even more exciting! For instance, if I learn these coins were buried throughout the land when people were fearful of the coming Romans and they buried them like treasure, hoping to come back and find them later — a story develops. I can then see a man fearful and anxious, burying his family’s wealth in a panic as troops approach. It might not be exactly what happened, but knowing a little bit of history can help us understand the facts on hand.
That’s part of what we do in Explore the Bible: Kids. The Bible presents us with events that occur over thousands of years, and knowing a little bit about the historical and cultural context can shed light on the message of the biblical writers. If we read Habakkuk knowing that God actually did send the Babylonians — but that He preserved a remnant — we read the prophet’s words through those lenses. If we read Nahum knowing that God actually did destroy Nineveh — a famously cruel and brutal people even in extrabiblical evidence — we know that Nahum’s prophecy was soon fulfilled.
In Explore the Bible: Kids, we want to provide context that makes the Bible come alive. To inspire kids to dig deep into the Word of God and point them to Jesus. After all, His is the greatest hero story of all!
Erika Scrimpshire is a Content Editor in Kids Ministry Publishing at LifeWay. Transplanted to Nashville from Mississippi, via Texas, Erika has worked with kids in a variety of settings including church/parachurch organizations and as a private school teacher. Erika currently relishes her task as a research specialist for Explore the Bible: Kids.