The Bible Story

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A set of 10 blue books
The current edition of The Bible Story set

The Bible Story is a ten-volume series of hardcover children's story books written by Arthur S. Maxwell[1] based on the King James and Revised Standard versions of the Christian Bible. The books, published from 1953–57, retell most of the narratives of the Bible in 411 stories. Compared to the source material, the stories are sanitized for young readers, and gloss over elements Maxwell apparently found inappropriate for a child audience (there is, for instance, no mention of circumcision despite the relative prominence of this rite in the Bible text).[2]

The books have been marketed in the United States for many years by placing the first volume, which covers the first part of the Book of Genesis, in doctor's offices with postage prepaid postcards included for readers to order the set or ask for more information. Originally written in English, the books have been translated into French and Spanish (as Las Bellas Historias de la Biblia), and a new revision has been made based on the New International Version (NIV) translation of the Bible.[3]

The Bible Story is jointly published by the Review and Herald Publishing Association and the Pacific Press Publishing Association, both closely associated with the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Although Arthur Maxwell himself was a Seventh-day Adventist, The Bible Story has received numerous endorsements from both Catholic and Protestant clergy alike.[citation needed]. The Seventh-Day Adventist slant is discernable especially in passages that deal with the Sabbath, which receives its own chapter ("A Day to Remember") in the first volume of the series. Here Maxwell elaborates on how God revealed the Sabbath to Adam and Eve:

He blessed the Sabbath so it would be a blessing to them. He set it apart as a holy day not for Himself, but for them. Even now six thousand years later, all who keep the seventh day holy, find a blessing in it that others never know!

As is evident from this quote, Maxwell also presupposes Young Earth Creationism with a literal six-day creation taking place six thousand years before the present, in accordance with Ussher chronology. The introductory chapter to the first volume encourages the reader to reflect on the origin of animals, humans and the earth itself, asking where everything came from. Scientific views are then dismissed as "strange ideas and suggestions", before the reader is pointed to the Bible account as the only trustworthy source:

Many great men have tried to explain these things [i.e., the origins of lifeforms and the planet itself]. They have come up with all sorts of strange ideas and suggestions, but most of them are far from the truth. In only one place - the Bible - will you find the true story. If you will open this wonderful Book, you will find that the very first part is called Genesis, meaning "the book of beginnings." Here you will find the answers to your questions about where everything came from.

At the end of the chapter, Maxwell asserts that human lineages go back to God and not to some monkey, thus explicitly dismissing the theory of evolution in favor of creationism.[4]


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