Conscious Bible Stories?

Hi there,

I am looking for bed night stories about the bible for my sons. They are both in kindergarten. I want to teach them about the old testament, but I am looking for a version that is more conscious. Which means a version in which for example Cain and Able don’t kill each other, instead working through their misunderstandings. I want to teach my boys compassion and loyalty.

What do you think about a kids’ books edition of the bible that has a more conscious approach? Do you know a copy like this? Would you buy the bible with a more modern, conscious perspective?

Thank you so much for your thoughts!



Welcome to the forum!

There are a lot of difficult stories in the Bible, but no, I would not buy a version that said Cain and Abel worked out their differences, because that’s not what the Bible says. If I feel a story is not appropriate for my kids (and there are many that are not!) I would simply omit them, or buy a Bible storybook that doesn’t include them. There are a variety of children’s Bibles out there that are intended for different age groups.

I think it would be doing my children a disservice to tell them the Bible says something it doesn’t say. If I find a story problematic for their age, I will either add some of my own explanation for them (“It was a different world back then”), or just set it aside for the time being.

I would agree about wanting to teach kids compassion. But many figures and stories in the Old Testament are simply not meant to be moral lessons, so I don’t want to try and force them into that mold (though I know many of us experienced Sunday school lessons that tried to moralize everything). The “Telling God’s Story” curriculum from Well-Trained Mind focuses on Jesus for the first few years, and I like that approach. Some stories may be best saved for after they have a good foundation of knowing who Jesus was and how love and compassion were his foundation.


I agree-tough one. My sons were rather shocked at the stories (particularly in Judges) that we had not told them about. However, I think that they understand why. Regarding the Cain and Abel story, when they’re older a good moral may be that we all have a tendency to blame someone else for what we can’t control, and for what doesn’t seem fair.

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Ask for recommendations on a children’s story Bible, that omits the gross stuff. In Sunday school we never had any stories about the foreskins taken from slain Philistines, for some reason.

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Not easy to pull that off in any family friendly way using flannelgraph medium.


Instead what about paralleling the stories with other stories.

Cain and Abel is a story where a brother lets jealous reign in his life. But with Jacob and Esau, we see them working through the things.

Or Delilah and Sampson is a story where a woman is a bad gf/wife ( not sure what she was ). David and Bathsheba is a story where a man is a terrible man. But Esther and Ruth are both stories of very good women. Ultimately the OT is messy and it’s either something you are ok with kids knowing about or either it’s something you hold them off on and either choice is fine. Way before the Bible was a collection of texts these were stories being handed down orally and I am fairly positive that not all stories were shared with all people. A father probably did not read a lot of it to his kids.

I’m hoping you know that most of us are not here to change the Bible into what we want it to say. We instead want to show that it says something different than what some people claim it says.


That’s a great goal! Good for you!

I look forward to what you can teach us on this forum.

The Jesus Storybook Bible is neat. Also God’s Mighty Acts by Starr Meade. But these books contain selected stories, not Bible stories completely rewritten as moralistic, didactic lessons.
The Bible is what it is.


She was a Philistine seducer, sent to discover the source of Samson’s strength and bring about his downfall. Samson always struck me as more horny than holy, but kids love the story. The joke about the opera *Samson et Delilah * is that at the end he really brings the house down!



I have read that a lot of progressive Christians like the following storybook Bibles. Maybe something would work for you!…/dp/1773430416

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You may also want to check out Meredith Miller,

She talks a lot about the how to teach the Bible to kids, and age appropriate stories, etc.

Some examples: (Meredith Miller on Instagram: "The first 8ish years I was in kids ministry, I taught and wrote Bible lessons with one goal: ✅application. It was the way it was done, something well-intentioned gone amiss. All too often “application oriented" lessons meant I needed a PRINCIPLE to tell kids to apply. And that principle was based on the actions of the HUMAN. But the HUMANS are not the HEROES. God is.")
[A post about “humans are not the heroes of the bible”]

Here’s a highlight with some “bible story breakdowns”)


That is what I came here to recommend. Also in a recent book club session I attended with NT scholar Michael Bird on his new book Seven Things I Wish Christians Understood about the Bible, he mentioned that The Jesus Story Book Bible had done more to educate his incoming freshmen Bible students than any other book and it was a noticeable difference.


It’s so different than the moralistic, didactic Kenneth Taylor children’s bible that my girls grew up with which I greatly redacted.

It’s also good to keep in mind the effect of the stuff we use with our kids, when they are older.

Oh, gee! I can’t not think of the person in the JSB doing cartwheels for joy when Jesus came to teach. What a wonderful image.


Thank you! There are great book examples!


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