Updated: May 14, 2020
I think I have always loved Bible Stories. When we were kids, my sisters and I loved to hear our Dad tell us Bible stories from his memory. He made sure to use lots of expressions and to highlight the parts of the story that would resonate with us.
As I got a little older, I liked to read our comic-style picture Bible. The illustrations gave faces to names and fuelled my imagination of what it was like to live back then.
Once I was older yet, hearing the stories straight from scripture brought a new level of understanding—and plenty of questions! I began to sort through the more difficult aspects of the stories and dig into biblical history and culture.
There are many ways to enjoy Bible stories
As an adult, I still like to read the stories straight from the Bible. Reading directly from the source is an absolute must.
(Just for clarification: I do not think that the men and women of scripture are fables, but that they were real people who lived on this earth.)
I also enjoy expanding my perspective through responsible Bible fiction. It's fun to see a familiar story through some else's eyes! Some of my favorite authors of Bible fiction are Francine Rivers, Lynn Austin, and Angela Hunt. I have a long list of authors I still want to explore!
There are many ways to enjoy Bible stories, and all of them are relevant to different stages of our life. Artwork, poetry, dance, movies, documentaries, and TV series all help us appreciate the Bible.
The Bible is not a dry collection of moral lessons where every story is summarized with the command to “be good, or else!” There is both heart and emotion. The events of the Bible rival the greatest literature ever written. It's no wonder that the Bible has been inspiring artists of every medium for thousands of years. We may not agree with every interpretation presented by a Christian art form, but then again, I doubt you agree with every Christian you meet either!
How does reading Bible Stories help us?
I have fallen in love with Bible stories all over again through my recent studies and creative writing. I feel like I have grown both spiritually and emotionally through careful examination of Bible stories.
In their stories, I have found peace for pressing questions and have grown in compassion for other flawed Christians who can't keep it all together—people like me.
The Bible is full of stories about people just like us
There isn't a single Bible study that I can't connect to some adventure or mishap that men and women of the Bible dealt with personally. In the Bible, we have heroes and villains, kings and queens, wild prophets, average men and women, children, and even animals woven into the plan that God has for all creation.
Every vice and virtue can be found in the pages of scripture. We find both inspiration and warning in examining the lives of people whose experiences are recorded for us to read thousands of years later.
I find it incredible that when God inspired the content of the Bible, He didn't lay out a list of bare rules. Instead, He filled the Bible with flawed humans who sometimes got it right, but more often stumbled in their faith and needed God's forgiveness and help. Through stories, He gave us a way to connect to this crazy thing called faith on a deeply personal level.
The stories are raw, unfiltered. They aren't a compilation of perfect people, they show what it means to be a follower of God amid our weaknesses. They show that though we are weak, He is strong. Though we are unfaithful, God is always faithful.