When looking for children’s bible books, Jonathan and I have two criteria that all too often aren’t met. First, we want to avoid any pictures of Jesus, and secondly we want all stories to acknowledge that God is the hero of the stories, not the human participants. We were delighted to see Great Kings of the Bible: How Jesus is greater than Saul, David and Solomon passed both of those hurdles.
As the subtitle states, the author sets out to use the lives of the three kings of unified Israel to point to King Jesus as the greatest King. Reju sets the story out in simple chapters that are beautifully illustrated by Fred Apps. Sticking to the facts as laid out in scripture, each king is portrayed in both strength and weakness, and then compared to Jesus, the only perfect king. My children found the stories engaging, the illustrations capturing and enjoyed the repetition of the theme that Jesus was the greatest King of all.
I was disappointed that in comparing the great kings of Israel to Christ the natural comparison of covenant representatives was not included. The book lead us to those conversations with our children, but we were surprised not to find it in the text of the work itself. Additionally, I found the section on Bathsheeba to be a little more detailed than I would have preferred to read to children as young as mine. The overall idea of Great Kings of the Bible is an excellent one, and we are pleased to have it in our library. It sparked some good discussion with the children and happily coincided with their memorizing Christ’s three offices in the catechism giving us another avenue of comparison between temporary earthly kings and King Jesus, our eternal King.
I received no compensation for this post. I was provided an hard-cover edition for the purpose of review. I was not required to provide a positive one. I keep a disclosure statement here.