The Tree of Life in Children's Bibles?

Hi there, have you ever noticed that in most Children’s Bibles there is no mention of the Tree of Life anywhere but lots of attention is given to the Tree of the Knowledge of Good & Evil? I have only come across one bible so far that mentions the “Tree of Living Forever” and it is really good, except it is for younger children ages 3-5.

Why do you think there such little emphasis on the Tree of Life? I think it is because there is such little appreciation and understanding of the fact that Human beings were created Mortal and actually needed the Tree of Life in order to live forever. I’ve often asked people, “If we were created immortal, why the need for the Tree of Life?” Genesis 3:22-24 seems clear enough…

Would appreciate your thoughts!

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I think kids Bible’s are meant to project simple ideas in a way that kids can understand at a young age and I feel the idea of tree of life, life, death, and immortality are a bit to complex for the young 3-5 year old mind. The simple idea of Adam and Eve doing something wrong (i.e. eat of the forbidden fruit from the tree) is a simple tool as the kids at that time will already be learning about right and wrong. That’s just how I see it. It shows that humanity had a rule to follow and we disobeyed and thus it resulted in a broken relationship.

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Quinn,

I agree that for the 3 year old it is much too complex. But for the 5-7 year old (the age of my 2 oldest children) I actually think the theology behind the Tree of Life is quite simple to understand and enables the child to better understand the hope of Resurrection. I know that my two oldest have a basic grasp on it already.

When I say “Childrens Bibles” I’m thinking of all bibles for children up to ages 10 or so. Phil Vischer (Veggie Tales) just wrote an excellent Childrens Bible and I’m quite enjoying reading it to my children, but unfortunately he misses the Tree of Life altogether.

The Tree of Life was only for those of age 3-5? :smile: Sorry about that … couldn’t resist; I know what you meant. And welcome to the forum, Chris.

That is interesting that the tree of knowledge gets all the press. Quinn could be right, that maybe the children’s versions editors just don’t want to get into any more weeds, so-to-speak?

Hahaha good catch!

And thanks, I’ve really appreciated Biologos over the years.

I’m not so convinced that editors are trying to avoid getting into the weeds. From the research I’ve done in this, my sense is that most approach the Garden Story with the interpretive lenses that places no stock in the Tree of Life and its significance (most are unintentional - few are intentional). Thankfully, guys like the Bible Project are bringing its significance back into Biblical Theology with some of their recent video/work.

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Welcome to the forum, and good question. I just perused the nearest children’s Bible I could grab, which was the Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd Jones, and indeed there is no mention of the Tree of Life, either in the Genesis or Revelation sections. In fact, the way the text is worded it sounds as if the problem is simply “leaving the garden” itself, as if it alone was what provided Adam and Eve’s safety.

Thanks for drawing attention to that – I hadn’t noticed it before, but I think your explanation does make sense. The Tree of Knowledge of Good & Evil does seem to be where the action is, so for a condensed narrative it has a larger function, but I’ll have to keep that in mind when reading to kids.

Good observation.

Children’s Bibles also usually have David killing Goliath with the stone, not by chopping off his head after knocking him out. I can’t imagine why they would cut decapitation from a children’s Bible…

:stuck_out_tongue:

In all seriousness, though, I think that Christians tend to forget about the Tree of Life because, in much of our theology, there’s a lot of focus on sin, and therefore the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.

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Have you seen that mock children’s illustrated Bible that shows the bear mauling the children who were mocking the prophet, etc? It was pretty funny.

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I agree. Instruction should be age-appropriate. Young children simply cannot grasp abstract concepts.

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Now I need to find this! Thanks for bringing its existence to my knowledge.

It is called “The Awkward Moments (not found in your average) children’s bible.” I don’t own it, I just read about it. And it’s definitely not for children.

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