How to Explain What a Bible Is to Grade Schools

Even young children can comprehend most of the teachings of the Bible.

The Bible, as Christians believe, is God's love letter to humankind. It is holy, infallible and powerful to change lives. The Bible begins with the account of God's creation of the world in Genesis, and ends with an apocalyptic vision of the end of this world and the creation of a new world in the book of Revelation. In between are books of law and prophecy, poems and proverbs, life and miracles of Jesus, and the beginning of the early church. Explaining this well-loved but sometimes intimidating book to grade school children might seem like a challenge, but most of it is plain enough for children of all ages to understand.

Choose a child-friendly version of the Bible. It may help to use a children's Bible, a Bible comic book or Bible paraphrase when teaching children profound truths about a powerful and loving God. Modern versions such as The Living Bible or The Message use contemporary translations that are easier to understand.

Explore creation, history, laws and unbelievable miracles that are contained in the Old Testament part of the Bible. Children love to hear stories about ordinary people doing extraordinary things. Explain that the Old Testament is the sometimes-happy-sometimes-sad story of God's relationship with ancient Israel.

Turn to the New Testament to introduce the grade school children to Jesus, recognized by Christians as both man and God. Use any of the first four books of The New Testament for illustrative stories of Jesus' life, miracles, death and resurrection. Explain to the children that Jesus is the closest friend they'll ever have.

Read and explain to your grade school students how the church started after Jesus died and returned to heaven. The book of Acts and the letters of Paul to different churches tell stories about how Jesus' friends told other people about God's love and salvation. These people who believed that Jesus is God became known as Christians.

Mary Strain's first byline appeared in "Scholastic Scope Magazine" in 1978. She has written continually since then and has been a professional editor since 1994. Her work has appeared in "Seventeen Magazine," "The War Cry," "Young Salvationist," "Fireside Companion," "Leaders for Today" and "Creation Illustrated." She earned her Bachelor of Arts in English from Oglethorpe University in Atlanta.