The DANGERS of The Picture Bible
By David J. Stewart
"And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures..." —2nd Timothy 3:15
God gave us His Word, i.e., the Word of God; NOT a picture book! The Picture Bible is very dangerous to children today, because it effectively inoculates them from the true Word of God, and leaves out critical teachings in the Scriptures. Every child should have a King James Bible. But you say, "Oh, the King James Bible is too difficult to understand." Really? ... All Timothy had was Hebrew and Greek!!! Any child who is old enough to read can understand John 3:16!
"The Picture Bible" is published by David C. Cook Publishing, 1978 (ISBN-13: 978-0-7814-3055-5/ ISBN-10: 0-78143-057-7). The rear cover of the book states that over 3,000,000 copies are in print worldwide. This is so tragic! No wonder apostasy has increased exponentially!
The Sinfulness of Sin and Condemnation Under God's Law Are Avoided!
In 2nd Timothy 3:15 the Apostle Paul reminds Timothy that "FROM A CHILD" he had "known the HOLY SCRIPTURES"!!! To begin with, The Picture Bible doesn't quote even one Scripture from God's Word. It was the "Holy" Scriptures that made Timothy WISE UNTO SALVATION...
"And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to MAKE THEE WISE UNTO SALVATION through faith which is in Christ Jesus. " —2nd Timothy 3:15
There can be NO genuine repentance toward God without the guilt and condemnation of sin which God's Law brings. Romans 3:19 makes this clear: "Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become GUILTY BEFORE GOD." Oh sure, the author of The Picture Bible makes reference to the Ten Commandments and such; but the convicting power of God's Word is NOT present in The Picture Bible. There is NO salvation in The Picture Bible. "Why" you ask? Because there is NO condemnation of sin, no mention of the awfulness of sin. The book does not provide an opportunity for children to be saved. No explanation is given how to become "born again." The book presents Nicodemus and Jesus talking in cartoon form, but no mention is made about how to be born again. On page 579, we see Jesus and the Samaritan women talking in cartoon form, but no mention is made of her sins. This is bad. The Picture Bible is biased in its content, clearly trying to avoid teaching a child about personal sin, guilt and the condemnation upon all mankind under God's Law. This is why I believe parents should give their child the pure Word of God. Forget the picture stories that avoid sin, judgment and Hell.
Missing Fundamental Doctrines of the Christian Faith
The term "Bible" is very misleading to young children, who genuinely think The Picture Bible is God's Holy Word (which it is not!). The Picture Bible is nothing more than an introduction into RELIGION!!! As I read through The Picture Bible, it quickly dawned on me that the most important doctrines of the Bible were all missing; namely, the deity of Jesus, the Godhead, the awfulness of sin, the precious literal liquid blood of Jesus, the virgin birth and so many others. It is dangerous to give your child The Picture Bible, because their minds are going to be filled with filtered Bible stories, WITHOUT any doctrine, conviction or life changing Words. All of the stories in The Picture Bible are biased towards the neoevangelical slant of the author's theological position.
In the back of The Picture Bible is an index of Scriptures made into cartoons throughout the book. You won't find any Scriptures listed dealing with Christ's deity, His blood sacrifice, the inspiration of the Scriptures, the awfulness of sin, et cetera. On page 54, concerning the mob of angry homosexuals in Genesis 19 about to break down Lot's door and rape the guests, The Picture Bible simply attributes the homosexuals as saying, "They look as if they'll cause trouble. Let's run them out of town." Do you see what I mean? The Picture Bible hides the fact of sin, and prevents children from seeing the awfulness of sin, and thus, their need for salvation in Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:24,25).
The Picture Bible No Better Than Jehovah's Witness Cult Literature
"And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God..." —2nd Timothy 3:15,16
Timothy grew in the Lord because of his knowledge if the Scriptures. Pictures may be like candy to children, but this is exactly why The Picture Bible is so dangerous. Honestly, it's no better than the colorful literature that the Jehovah's Witness cult publishes. The Picture Bible makes no mention of Hell, Hellfire or the damnation awaiting all Christ-rejecters. I searched through various New Testament passages dealing with Hell, and then looked for something in The Picture Bible and found nothing. On pages 550-551 of The Picture Bible, we read about the angel announcing to Mary that she was going to give birth to God's Son. Shockingly, no mention is made of the VIRGIN BIRTH.
Ironically, the trademark used for The Picture Bible is "FAITH KIDZ," which is certainly misleading. Romans 10:17 states, "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing BY THE WORD OF GOD." The Picture Bible cannot increase a child's faith in Biblical Christianity, because the Word of God is NOT present. The Bible says that a child's faith comes by hearing the Word of God; and not by looking at cartoons. The only thing that The Picture Bible is going to give children faith in is apostate RELIGION!
How can a child's faith in the God of the Bible be increased when you avoid the topics of sin, hellfire, and judgment? How can a child draw nearer to God when The Picture Bible doesn't uplift the deity of Jesus, the Godhead, the precious blood atonement, the virgin birth, et cetera?
Honestly, The Picture Bible is extremely ecumenical (i.e., acceptable by many different religions). The Picture Bible wouldn't be offensive to many false religions today; including: Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses, Seventh-Day Adventists, Catholics, Lutherans, Church of Christ, Unitarian Universalist, United Methodist Churches of Christ, and many more. In sharp contrast, the Word of God offends all these groups, which is why they follow their own teachings instead of God's Word.
I recently read several reviews on Amazon.com concerning The Picture Bible. There were about 97 reviews, nearly every one of them were highly positive of the book. The problem is that most people look at what the book is, rather than what it is NOT! Nothing can replace the precious Word of God. God's Word is the incorruptible Word, i.e., the seed, which brings forth a new life in Jesus Christ (1st Peter 1:23). The Picture Bible cannot make a child "wise unto salvation" as the Word of God did for Timothy. Children need to be taught about sin, judgment and Hell. Children need to be taught the fundamental doctrines of the Christian faith. The Picture Bible is bad news, because it presents an ecumenical philosophy to children, which causes them to forsake Biblical Christianity and adhere to apostate religion instead.
To the unsaved, the Bible is nothing more than a collection of fables and stories with a moral application. Unbelievably, the man whom Christians can't seem to praise enough these days, C.S. Lewis, was an unsaved heretic who denied the Scriptures. Lewis believed the Book of Job is "unhistorical" (Reflections on the Psalms, pp. 110), and that the Bible contained "error" (pp. 110, 112) and is not divinely inspired (The Inklings, p. 175).
"I have the deepest respect for Pagan myths, still more for myths in the Holy Scriptures."
— C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain, p.71
In effect, The Picture Bible inoculates a child from the truth of God's Word. The Bible is much more than just a Book of cute stories and moral lessons, It is the Written Words of Almighty God, our Creator, and Savior. We are warned in 2nd Timothy 3:5 about ungodly men in the last days, who will give the appearance of being Christians, but will deny the POWER of the Gospel...
"Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away."
We read in Romans 1:16...
"For I am not ashamed of THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek."
The Gospel (i.e., good news) is that Jesus Christ came to save us from OUR SINS. The Picture Bible makes references to God's people defeating the enemies of God, but what about personal sin? A child is never confronted with the issue of sin! This is something that ONLY the genuine Word of God can do. Whereas the author of The Picture Bible didn't dare offend any parents by addressing the issue of sin; the Bible is the most offensive Book on planet earth. God doesn't trim His message, or compromise His stand against sin, to appease the wicked apostasy in the hearts of today's generation. Children need the Words of God; NOT the words of men. Hebrews 4:12 states...
"For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart."
The Picture Bible cannot do that! It may be more entertaining, but it cannot cut to the heart, cause GUILT, and bring the conviction of the Holy Spirit like the genuine Bible can. Most parents don't want their precious little child to experience GUILT over wrong doing, i.e., sin; but without it there can be NO SALVATION! A child who isn't old enough to understand that they've sinned against God cannot be saved, for salvation is coming to Jesus Christ to be forgiven of sins. I do believe that a 5 or 6 year old can understand this truth, which is why I hate The Picture Bible, because it presents a bunch of cute Bible stories to children without showing them their personal sinfulness (as the Bible does). Christianity is NOT religion! Christianity is a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, which begins with us realizing that we are dirty, rotten, hell-deserving sinners in need of a Savior!
Christianity is NOT a philosophy, nor an organization, nor a culture, nor a business, nor a cute set of morally uplifting stories—It is a personal relationship between an individual and Jesus Christ. This relationship begins with the new birth, i.e., being born again (John 3:3). The way to be born again is to come to Jesus as a GUILTY hell-deserving sinner, under the condemnation of God's Law, believing on Him as the Son of God who shed His precious blood to wash away our sins. We are sinners, and Jesus is the Savior — It's that simple! Eternal life is a free gift (Romans 5:15; 6:23). Salvation is receiving; not giving. God gives it to us freely as a gift, if well simply receive it through Jesus Christ...
"But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name."
Why give a child a wishy-washy, compromised, misleading "picture bible," when you can give them the trustworthy, inspired, and preserved Words of Almighty God?
Ye Must Be Born Again! | You Need HIS Righteousness!