Friday, November 6, 2015

The Story of God's Love For You by Sally Lloyd-Jones (book review)

Our family really like "The Jesus Storybook Bible" by Sally Lloyd-Jones. I was really excited to review "The Story of God's Love For You" by her. What I didn't know is that the text from each is exactly the same. Exactly the same. 

I was reading a very critical review on Amazon for "The Jesus Storybook Bible" (and by default "The Story of God's Love for You") and I thought the reviewer brought up one point I really hadn't thought of before. 

In this text, the author really takes some liberties from the Bible. The story of Leah and Rachel from Genesis 29-30. Lloyd-Jones says that Leah "wasn't beautiful at all (some though her quite ugly). The Bible says "Leah's eyes were weak, but Rachel was beautiful in form and appearance" (Genesis 29:17 ESV). Not exactly the same, but perhaps that's me being nit-picky. 

Then in this text, "The Terrible Lie" about the Garden of Eden, it says: "'Does God really love you?' the serpent whispered. 'If he does, why won't he let you eat the nice, juicy, delicious fruit? Poor you, perhaps God doesn't want you to be happy.'" The Scripture really says, "He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You[a] shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’” But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” (Genesis 3:1b-5). Again, just not exactly the same. 

While I understand that writer's do take liberty with historical events and such often, I feel like, especially in these two instances, this takes away or adds elements to the Bible. Was Jacob really only in love with Rachel for her beauty? Did he disdain Leah because she was ugly? I don't think that's exactly how it worked and it's not really the point. Their father's betrayal of Jacob to marry off his older, unmarried daughter (Leah) and then get so many more years of work from Jacob seem to be more on point. In Genesis, I guess I never took away them  thinking God didn't love them but they thought God was keeping something from them (He was) that was good (it wasn't). And that broke their trust. I don't know. I'm not a theologian, but these just don't sit well with me.

image from BookLook
I believe "The Story of God's Love For You" is meant to be for older readers while "The Jesus Storybook Bible" is meant for preschool age, I think you lose a lot by taking away the illustrations. The illustrations in "The Jesus Storybook Bible" are pretty and charming. Without them, I just didn't like this even more. 

Maybe this is the children's Bible for you. Perhaps it's not. I'm still looking for one I'm in love with. Luckily, I have Princess to buy many Bibles for! 

Disclaimer: I received this book in order to write an honest review. Others' opinions may differ from my own but I claim my own opinions. 


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