Eight Illustrated Bibles – Bring the Bible to Life!
One challenge for deaf ministry leaders everywhere is to help the Deaf understand God’s Word for themselves. Illustrated Bibles bring the Bible to life before the reader’s eyes, making the text accessible to a much wider audience.
Many Deaf people have difficulty reading with understanding, so it’s great to have support materials on hand – illustrations, videos, specialized dictionaries, and more. A few months ago on this blog, we shared a link to the Deaf Bible project, a Sign Language interpretation of the Bible for the deaf.
Today I’m sharing a list of illustrated Bibles you may wish to use to enhance your teaching and share with your Deaf. I fondly remember reading through several different illustrated Bibles and Bible story books as a child. The words meant so much more when I could follow along with pictures.
The words meant so much more when I could follow along with pictures.
Before getting into the list, here are a few caveats:
- Deaf Adults are not Children. Before recommending an illustrated Bible to deaf adults, note the style of the illustrations. Several of the books I list below are illustrated with a mature style that will be more acceptable and useful for adults.
- Illustrated Bibles are not actually Bibles. It is important to teach your church that illustrations these are simply aids to understanding, not exact representations of Holy Scriptures. Illustrations can add detail to the text not originally present, and many of these illustrated Bibles summarize or leave out portions of the text.
- Author bias matters. Some of these works were produced by authors and illustrators who do not hold to a literal interpretation of scripture or who have doctrines that might influence their interpretation of the text.
- Watch out for immodesty. Be sure to review particular stories (e.g. Adam and Eve, David and Bathsheba, Samson and Delilah) before handing a book to your young people. There is a long Catholic and Protestant tradition of “acceptable nudity” in sacred art, which I personally reject.
- I don’t endorse any of these works. Since I can’t personally verify that each of these works is free from questionable images or content, I leave it to you as ministry leaders to do your own homework before recommending anything to your deaf members.
The eight illustrated Bibles included in this list stand out for their broad Biblical coverage and quality. I hope you can find something here to help you in your ministry!
Written by Iva Hoth; illustrated by Andre Le Blanc.
Publisher’s Description: For years, The Picture Bible has delighted young and old. Now updated with interesting new features, including “Did you know?” fact pages, time line, story listing, maps, and more, kids will love the great stories and action pictures of the newly revised Picture Bible. God’s Word will come alive for hours of family reading enjoyment.
Newly designed with a fresh cover, text, and maps, this Scripture makes an ideal first Bible for young readers. Though the full text for 233 stories is provided, children can follow the colorful pictures and storyline without having to read every word. A perennial best-seller, The Picture Bible is loved by young and old, and has proved to be an excellent way to improve children’s reading skills.
Edited by Doug Mauss and illustrated by Sergio Carelli
Publisher’s Description: Here’s the most complete picture Bible ever! And it features a captivating, up-to-date artwork style – making it the perfect Bible for today’s visually focused culture. The Action Bible presents 215 fast-paced narratives in chronological order, making it easier to follow the Bible’s historical flow – and reinforcing the build-up to its thrilling climax.
The stories in The Action Bible communicate clearly and forcefully to contemporary readers. This compelling blend of clear writing plus dramatic images offers an appeal that crosses all age boundaries. Brazilian artist Sergio Cariello has created attention-holding illustrations marked by rich coloring, dramatic shading and lighting, bold and energetic designs, and emotionally charged figures. Let this epic rendition draw you into all the excitement of the world’s most awesome story.
ICB or NASB text; illustrations by Keith Neely
Publisher’s Description: The frame-by-frame format style and realistic images help illustrate the actual Scriptures, which helps to carry the reader easily through each story like a movie. The realistic style we used also leaves an unconscious impression that these were real people doing real things.
We did not use a cartoon or graphic style, often viewed as art for children, because it would have left the impression that the story is a fantasy, and NOT the truth from God. Also, we could have rendered the illustrations more carefully and beautifully but then they would have taken attention away from the real star, the word of God. So we used a more classic style that we hope will appeal to adults as well as children.
Edited by Claude-Bernard Costecalde, Illustrated by Peter Dennis
Publisher’s Description: Explications of particular passages and clear explanations of key words are backed up by extensive maps, works of art and photographs.
By Selina Hastings, illustrated by Eric Thomas
Publisher’s Description: Written in conjunction with educators, scholars, and religious advisors, this retelling of favorite Old and New Testament stories retains the original feel and poetry of the Bible while appealing to contemporary young readers.
DK’s Children’s Illustrated Bible features some of the best-known Bible tales, including, the Birth of Jesus, Jacob’s Ladder, Noah’s Ark, and the Resurrection, written especially for children in a clear, easy-to-understand tone. A “Who’s Who in the Bible Stories” section and quotations from the King James Bible, listed by chapter and verse, add even more value to this unique resource.
By Mary Batchelor, Illustrated by John Haysom
Publisher’s Description: With more than a million copies sold, this classic Scripture provides an ageless Bible story for every day of the year. It’s a perfect addition to any Sunday school room or children’s church program.
An imaginative arrangement, preserving the on-going interest of a serial . . . The illustrations are excellent . . . and will hold the listener’s eye if the book is being read aloud . . . This selection provides a built-in continuity which other collections lack.”—Church Times
“Written in a lively, easily understood style which still retains the dignity of the original . . . The luminous artwork is realistic, expressive and well-researched in detail.”—School Library Journal
“Many children’s books retell Bible stories. This is one of the best for its factual, sensitive and imaginative approach. The stories are allowed to speak for themselves in a panorama of scripture from Genesis to Revelation, and each is beautifully and imaginatively illustrated. [Here is] storytelling par excellence, clear, uncomplicated, concise, superlative.”—Churchman
“The selections are just the right length . . . After using this book for several months, I can enthusiastically recommend it for families with young children.”—Christian Home and School
By J. Emmerson-Hicks
Publisher’s Description: Lead your child into a lifetime love of the Bible with this colorful storybook. With nearly 300 beautiful two-page illustrations to capture even the youngest child’s imagination and heart, this vast collection of the Bible’s most-loved stories is just right for sharing together or reading alone throughout the day.
The Illustrated Children’s Bible is the perfect picture and storybook for young ones and an ideal first reader your children will treasure.
Illustrated by Jose Miralles
Publisher’s Description: The world’s greatest book, beautifully illustrated and written in a clear, simple style for children, has been approved by an editorial board consisting of leaders from the Protestant, Catholic, and Jewish faiths.
Have you used any of these picture Bibles? Do you have another illustrated Bible to recommend? Share in the comments for this post!