I want to thank Christian Focus Publications for providing me with a copy of 66 Books One Story by Paul Reynolds in return for my honest opinion.
There are a lot of books in the world. Few are as exciting to me as the books that help children understand Scripture better.
I don’t think there is any substitute to Scripture itself. However, it can be difficult for children to discern the overall storyline of Scripture when their understanding of the Bible consists of seemingly isolated hero stories. When kids think the Bible is really about the people within its pages — Samson, Ruth, or Noah — they can miss the true meaning…..
Paul Reynolds has written a wonderful book that can be used in morning devotions, at family worship, or read by older children (8-12) on their own. 66 Books One Story: A Guide to Every Book of the Bible (Christian Focus Publications, 2013) is a 235 page overview of Scripture.
Each chapter is just three pages long, making it the perfect length for a family devotion. The books of the Bible are covered chapter by chapter with the exception of Genesis and the Psalms, which required two chapters, and 2 and 3 John are combined in one chapter.
- A short phrase introduces the theme of the book.
- A brief introduction explains the storyline, who wrote the book, and when it was written.
- The overview contains a few numbered paragraphs which basically condense the content of the book. These paraphrases initially threw me as the paragraphs are inside of quotation marks, but they are not direct quotations. When Mr. Reynolds does quote the Bible directly, it is in red italics. I suppose this is just a stylistic issue. However, if you plan to hand this book to your child, I think it is important to explain where the overview is directly quoting the Bible and where it is not.
- The “Learning From” section is, in my opinion, one of the gems of the book. Each chapter has three learning points, each of which contains a truth from Scripture (and an explanation of that truth), 3 Bible references to study the truth stated, and devotional questions to discuss with your children. Here’s what I love about the Bible truths that are explained: they focus on God and His qualities. Mr. Reynolds does discuss how those qualities affect us, and how we are called to follow God, but his primary focus is on God’s sovereignty and holiness. The focus is not on biblical characters and their personal qualities.
- There is a “Salvation Thread” section which explains how each book of the Bible points to Christ and to God’s plan for redemption.
- Each chapter ends with a key verse for memorization.
Throughout the book, Jeff Anderson has contributed well-done pen and ink drawings. For those who are concerned about violating the second commandment, you will not find any portraits of Jesus in this book, just those of disciples and followers.
The author, Paul Reynolds, is an assistant pastor at First Baptist Church of Grand Cayman. (The church Thabiti Anyabwile pastors.) His is also a father of two.
66 Books One Story is a wonderful resource for families. In just over two months, your children can have a deeper understanding of each book of the Bible, and of Scripture as a whole. Most importantly, they would walk away with a new appreciation for Who God is and what His plan for us entails.
You can find 66 Books One Story at
- Amazon: 66 Books One Story: A Guide to Every Book of the Bible
- Christian Book: 66 Books, One Story: A Family Guide to Every Book of the Bible
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- Words About God to Help You Worship Him by Nicholas Choy
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- Bugs: Big and Small God Made Them All by William Zinke
- 44 Animals of the Bible by Nancy Pelander Johnson
- The Priest with the Dirty Clothes by Dr. R.C. Sproul
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~ Danika Cooley
Danika Cooley is the author of When Lightning Struck! The Story of Martin Luther (Fortress Press, 2015), Wonderfully Made (CF4K, 2016), and Bible Road Trip. Her work has been featured in internationally-recognized children's magazines over 150 times.