“From the man who made vegetables talk (and sing and dance and tell Bible stories) comes an engaging new series that walks kids through the entire Bible!”
One of the most memorable scenes in Tyler Perry’s movie “Diary of a Mad Black Woman” depicts of of Perry’s many characters, Joe, complaining about how boring the Bible is and pretending to fall asleep as soon as the Bible is opened. As funny as that scene is, unfortunately its humor stems from just how close Perry’s depiction is to real life for many, many people. Phil Vischer has long sought to change that sad fact, first through the wildly popular “Veggie Tales” and now through his new project, “What’s in the Bible?” His goal? To “see the world’s most amazing book come to life for a new generation.”
As I sat down with my two children, ages 13 and 6, to watch the first two episodes on a preview copy Tyndale House so graciously sent me, I honestly had no idea what to expect. Within minutes, we were all hooked! Unlike “Veggie Tales,” which is an animated series, “What’s in the Bible?” uses muppets, which is at once unique for children and a bit nostalgic for parents. Visher has combined his characteristic side-splitting humor with a level of depth and teaching never before seen in children’s productions. For example, not far into Episode 1: In the Beginning, my 6 year-old was rolling on the floor laughing to a singing pirate while my 13 year-old was learning from that pirate about the Septuagint (Greek translation of the Old Testament) and why Protestant, Catholic, and Orthodox believers have different numbers of books in their Old Testaments. Later on in the same episode, Buck Denver and the other characters teach about some of the attributes of God (e.g., he is creative), the reasons God created us (e.g., to take care of the earth), and differing opinions about the age of the universe (old-earth and new-earth creationism). There is no doubt that very few children will have had the benefit of being exposed previously to such a wealth of information about Scripture and God’s unfolding plan of redemption. In short, “What’s in the Bible?” manages to be insanely funny while at the same time teaching at a depth that will doubtless make many parents blush as they learn alongside their children.
Lest my words lead you to think the material presented here is over the head of Vischer’s intended audience, let me assure you it is not. All the teaching points presented are done so in manner and in such a way as to be understandable by children in the 8-12 year age range. Younger viewers will be captivated by the music, muppets, and humor, even though they will probably not understand everything in the episodes. Older viewers might initially be put off by the muppets, thinking them childish, but if they will give these episodes a chance, I have no doubt they will walk away knowing much more about the Bible than they did before.
All in all, the more times I watch these videos, the more I am amazed! Phil Vischer has definitely hit a home run with “What’s in the Bible?” I look forward to many more hours of going through the Bible with Buck Denver and friends!
Curious about “What’s in the Bible?” and want to find out more? Check out the website www.whatsinthebible.com or www.tyndale.com to learn more. You can also follow @whatsinthebible on Twitter or check them out on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/WhatsintheBible)
Stay tuned for more posts on Friday, including a video teaser, coloring pages for kids, and a chance to win one of two FREE “What’s in the Bible?” episodes (courtesy of Tyndale House)…be sure and check back then!