From time to time I receive books from National Geographic Kids to review. I’m always super amazed by the imagery they use and some of the books present really amazing information in a very fun way. Of all of the books I have received from them, The World of the Bible: Biblical Stories and the Archaeology Behind Them might be my absolute favorite.
The Bible is an important book, no matter how you look at it. The Old Testament is studied by Jews and Christians alike. What makes this book amazing is that it takes specific passages from the Bible and then looks at them from a historical and archeological viewpoint. Add in that there are amazing photographs and paintings that transport you to a different time.
The description from the publisher reads as follows: “Have you ever wondered about the real location of the Garden of Eden? Or how Moses could have parted the Red Sea? The World of the Bible takes the reader back to ancient times to revisit classic Bible stories from the Old and New Testaments, learn fascinating facts about biblical history, and explore that same landscape as archaeologists are studying it today. Stories include the Samson and Delilah, Joseph in Egypt, Noah and the Flood, the birth of Jesus, Paul’s conversion, and many more. Classic paintings and photos of the Middle East today enrich the archaeological explanations. Additionally, this book was reviewed by biblical scholars to ensure the most up-to-date and accurate information and includes profiles of important Bible personalities, analysis and explanation of key archaeological sites and maps of the Middle East to provide context to the stories and sites. Kids won’t just revisit classic Bible stories in this book … they’ll dig deeper into the history behind the tales to learn more about the biblical world.“
There are many fascinating bits of information included in the book. For example, we all know the story of Noah and the Ark. I was unaware that flood stories similar to the Noah story are common in the literature of a wide variety of cultures. Although, comically, soon after receiving this book I actually found Pattan’s Pumpkin: An Indian Flood Story from Southern India at our library (review coming soon!). But back to this book, archeologists have found a tablet dating from around 4000 years ago that mentions a Mesopotamian ark story that is strikingly similar to the biblical version.
I remember studying archeology when I was younger, but I’m not sure how much kids today learn about it – so much attention being put on future technologies. But this book shows how fascinating studying the past can be. Scientists of all sorts are quoted in this book, having studied stories which so many believe and trying to find some sort of scientific rationale for them, like the parting of the Red Sea.
This book is an excellent example of art, religion, and science coming together to make for an absolutely fascinating read.
**Thanks to Media Masters Publicity and National Geographic Kids for providing me with a copy of this book to review. All opinions are my own.
Every Wednesday I try to post a non-fiction picture book as part of the Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge hosted by Kid Lit Frenzy. Non-fiction picture books are amazing for helping kids learn. Make sure to check out Kid Lit Frenzy and the linked blogs to find some more fabulous books!