Monday, April 10, 2017

A Review of What's In The Bible With Buck Denver

What's In The Bible Review  | scriptureand.blogspot.com

A Review of What's In The Bible With Buck Denver 


More than a year ago, I made an investment in teaching my children the Bible.  I'm always on the lookout for good resources for Bible education.  "The word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword" (Hebrews 4:12) and "All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness" (2 Timothy 3:16).  Why would you neglect such a powerful book when training your children? 

There are many children's Bible education resources today.  Lots of story Bibles, children's Bibles, songs, videos, apps, and books.  I have lots of resources and many ways to teach my children about God's Word.  I love all of the options available, but it's important to be discerning and involved in your child's Bible education.  Your children might learn about the Bible in Sunday School and you might provide books and videos, but the parent is ultimately responsible for making sure that their children understand the message that God is sharing with them.  All resources are a starting point for discussion.  It is important to teach children by example to evaluate everything that they hear and read against Scripture.  That's one reason that I love this series.

I had heard about What's In The Bible previously but hadn't thought too much about it.  When I saw a good sale on the entire set of DVDs, I decided to buy it for my children for some summer movie Bible education.  We had previously spent a summer learning the order of the books of the Bible, but I wanted to move deeper into what the Bible said.  So, we started Friday What's In The Bible movie nights where we watched the videos together and talked about them afterward.  

The series is educational, yet fun. It's quirky, yet funny. It focuses on the big picture, yet includes the most important details (educational theory encourages having a big picture on which to hang the details so that it all ties together).  It teaches the basic overall view of the Bible, yet even those with much Bible experience will probably learn something.  It takes all of the books of the Bible and tells their story without missing how it is part of the bigger story.  It teaches some deep theology including big words in a way that even my nine-year-old could understand.


What's In The Bible Review  | scriptureand.blogspot.com

What Is What's In The Bible With Buck Denver?

What's In The Bible With Buck Denver is a set of 13 DVDs that takes you through the entire Bible. It is made by Veggie Tales creator Phil Vischer whose vision moved from sharing Bible stories with children to teaching them the whole Bible.  The first nine DVDs are about the Old Testament and the last four about the New Testament.  Each DVD contains two episodes that are approximately 30 minutes long.

The characters in the series are Phil Vischer and quite a few puppets.  They utilize humor, music, virtual flannel graph, popsicle stick theaters, and animations to both entertain and educate.  Besides giving overviews of all of the books of the Bible, they focus on some important stories and answer important questions.

What Is Great About It?

All of the different things thrown in to amuse and teach encourage both understanding what is in the Bible as well as how it all fits together.  The songs and visuals will help everyone remember what they are learning.  The series is enjoyable but will create a lasting panoramic impression.



All of the great songs, awesome visuals, and humor you loved from Veggie Tales adds to this overview of the Bible.  I agree with Phil Vischer that many children (and adults) today are biblically illiterate.  A synopsis of the Bible is a great place to start.  This survey will then provide a frame of reference for further Bible study and will keep the reader from being overwhelmed and confused as they study deeper.

What To Watch Out For?

There were a few times when I disagreed with the videos.  For example, when they discussed the inspiration of Scripture, they said that "God breathed these ideas into people, who then wrote the different books of the Bible.  God inspired them to write and they chose the words.  It's God's truth communicated through people's words."  I'm not sure if I'm understanding them correctly, but it seems that they are saying that the ideas come from God, but not the exact words (concept inspiration but not verbal inspiration).  I'm not intending to get into a doctrinal discussion here, but I felt that they were minimizing the importance of the exact wording in the Bible and giving room for the biblical authors to make mistakes.  However, Jesus believed that the Scripture is important down to each individual word (Matthew 22:41-46; John 10:34-36), the tense of the verbs (Matthew 22:29-32) and even each letter or part of a letter (Matthew 5:18).  

Anyway, there were a few times when I didn't agree with the videos or when I didn't feel that the videos explained something fully.  Sometimes I wished that they hadn't brought up certain controversial topics that I thought were unnecessary and other times I felt that they didn't fully answer questions to avoid controversy.  However, I do understand the difficulties for What's In The Bible and believe that they are well-intentioned and try to stay true to Scripture.  I believe that the issue of verbal inspiration mentioned above is the biggest issue that I saw.

So, what do we do when we didn't fully agree with the DVD?  We stopped the DVD and discussed why we didn't agree with the video.  Honestly, when my husband and I discussed it later we felt that it was good for the children to see us evaluate resources using the Bible.  It's important to measure everything against the truth of God's Word.  There is no magic substitute for teaching our children about the Bible, just tools that we can evaluate and use.  I felt that this tool was valuable for its educational value in spite of its errors.  In addition, I found values in its errors as a way to teach my children to examine a message using the Bible.

Who Is The Best Audience?

As mentioned, our whole family watched and appreciated What's In The Bible.  It is probably geared toward elementary aged children, but I'm sure preschoolers and middle school aged children will easily benefit from this as well.  As I said, watching this together as a family would be great so you can discuss what everyone is learning.


What's In The Bible can be purchased for home use.  I've seen it available in church libraries.  It can also be used as part of a homeschool, Sunday School, or small group curriculum.  You could have church movie nights (Group viewing licenses are available for reasonable prices).  I can easily picture an adult small group (if they have a sense of humor) watching this and learning a lot.  



What's In The Bible Review  | scriptureand.blogspot.com


If this is being used in a Sunday School or small group, I recommend the Church Edition because it turns the videos into a 52-week Sunday School curriculum which includes videos and activities designed for small groups of children in grades 1-4.  There are other optional volumes that would boost it to a 60-week curriculum.  There is also a more condensed version available for Vacation Bible School curriculum in both a Traditional VBS plan and a Family VBS plan which includes the adults in the learning.



What's In The Bible curriculum  | scriptureand.blogspot.com


Where and How is What's In The Bible Available?

You can buy these videos at What's In The Bible's online store.  They are available for purchase individually or as a complete set.  They are also available for purchase or rental (a great way to check it out) on iTunes, Amazon Instant, Google Play, and Vimeo.  You can also view them through a subscription to Jelly Telly which is a streaming service that includes videos from Veggie Tales, 321 Penguins, What's In The Bible, Owlegories, and more.

Are There Any Other Resources Available?

What's In The Bible has a great website with many resources.  There are more than 900 free printables including coloring pages, family activities, flash cards, popsicle stick theaters, and verses of the day.


What's In The Bible resources  | scriptureand.blogspot.com


In addition to these free resources, there are coloring books (both hard copies and digital downloads) available for purchase.  You can buy CDs of the music and sing-a-long DVDs.  There are also some activity packs available for some books or sections of the Bible.

Conclusion

I found What's In The Bible With Buck Denver videos to be a useful tool in teaching my children the Bible.  They enjoyed them and better understood the overall message of the Bible and how each book fit into that message.  I would recommend it for other families as well.



What's In The Bible  | scriptureand.blogspot.com



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**This page contains affiliate links, meaning that I receive a commission if you buy these products by clicking on the links above.  However, this post is not sponsored and I really do love these products.  I purchased this series on my own and joined the affiliate program because I love these videos.  Click here for my affiliate disclosure.  Scripture And... is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.**

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