Kids’ Bible Dictionary

Kids’ Bible Dictionary, by Jean Fischer
(Barbour, 2009), pb., 159 pp.
Ages 8-12

This is a colorful and well-illustrated dictionary which aims to define and explain key people places and things which children will encounter as they read the Bible. Each entry ends with scriptural references where you will find the word or concept.

The author is careful in her definitions, knowing she is writing for children. For example, in the entry on Tamar she states that Amnon “behaved badly toward her” (2 Sam 13). I think that is well done.

This will be a fine resource for helping children as they read the Bible. It is not as theologically deep, however. This is tricky with a children’s resource, but I think the notes and information in the ESV Children’s Bible are a good example of more theological depth while still being accessible. For example, the entry for “propitiation” does not refer to God’s wrath. Instead the word is defined as “a way of making things right.” Now, on one level I am just glad they have an entry on propitiation. But, then it would be better if it explained that the reason things needed to be made right is that God, being holy, is angry with sin.

Also, the entry on “salvation” was less than what I hoped for. It focuses on us being “cleaned up” with much less emphasis on our guilt and the punishment we deserve. It is also “decisionistic”, telling children to pray a certain prayer (words given), saying, “Pray this prayer: … Now you have received salvation!” This concerns me because it can suggest to children that salvation is just a mechanical process.

In the end, this is a useful resource, though more is needed in theology.

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