What's in the Bible is the latest effort by Phil Vischer and Tyndale Publishing to help walk kids and families through the entire Bible. It is planned as a 13 volume series. Based on the first four volumes, my family will own all thirteen eventually. I will find a way to purchase them. Each volume consists of two episodes, plus special features.
Volume 1: In the Beginning --teaches about the Bible as a whole, and covers Genesis.
Volume 2: Let My People Go -- mostly teaches about the book of Exodus.
Volume 3: Wanderin' in the Desert -- teaches the rest of the Pentateuch.
And introducing... Volume 4: Battle for the Promised Land. This title covers the books of Joshua, Judges and Ruth.
Episode 1 - Finally, the Promised Land. This episode is about the book of Joshua, and it covers the four different sections of the book. I appreciate how they cover more than just the exciting stuff - the battles at the beginning. They at least touch on the entire book. There is a comment made about how the section where they are dividing up the promised land by tribe might be pretty boring for us, but this was very important to the Israelites.
Episode 2 - Circle of Misery. This episode covers the book of Judges and Ruth. It includes a song naming all of the judges. The main idea presented has to do with the apostasy cycle (yes, they use the word apostasy). This is one of the things I really, really like about What's in the Bible. They do use big words, explaining them in ways that are understandable even to my youngest kids. They aren't dumbing things down in their explanations. There is also a great popsicle stick puppet section on Ruth.
So, while I'd rather not bring this up, there is something I do have to mention about this volume because I am disappointed. The opening scene for each episode is with a little kid puppet named Michael, who is sitting in the backseat of the van. Off-stage is his younger brother (Michael talks to the brother) and his mother. Mom is putting in the DVDs for the two boys to watch while they are on their way to Grandma's house, if I remember right. Michael has been one of my absolute favorite characters, even though I don't like the tone he uses with his mother.
Until this volume. This episode, he has a huge conversation with his baby brother about SpongeBob underwear. Why is this necessary? Not only that, but in the second episode, Cap'n Pete (who is up in an air balloon) has to use the bathroom. So everybody keeps talking about how he is singing extra short songs because he needs to go to the bathroom. Why? Can't we get through a children's show without this level of humor? Only my four year old found any humor in this at all.
I don't recall potty jokes in the previous volumes, and I hope this is going to be something they do not continue. One big reason I wanted to mention this, though, is if Volume 4 is your first introduction to What's in the Bible, you need to know that the bathroom humor is not typical.
The positives definitely outweigh this negative though.
The clip below shows part of how the book of Joshua was introduced.
Let's ask the real experts for their opinions though. In their own words, well, minus any lisping. And I'm trying to punctuate the way they talk.
Katrina (4) - The songs are my favorite part. My favorite guy is Cap'n Pete because he was having funny songs in the air balloon. I learned that Ruth was saved by a redeemer. I want to get Buck Denver #5 for my birthday! (Mom note: so she doesn't have the title down yet... and I think Buck Denver is her favorite character, but she insists... and she does really, really love the songs.)
Richard (6) - I liked the first episode when they talked about the Israelites and how they had to fight, fight, fight through the second section of Joshua. My favorite character is Chester and his popsicle stick puppetry. He makes me laugh, and I like that we never get to actually see him. I can't wait to see the rest of the series.
Thomas (9) - I really like What's in the Bible because it is entertaining but it isn't using stuff like fairy tales -- it is using the real Bible. My favorite characters are Clive and Ian because they are the funniest. I didn't know much about all of the judges until I watched this episode. There's even a song that gives all the names of the Judges, but I haven't learned it yet because they have pretty weird names. Except Deborah and Samson.
William (11) - What's in the Bible is a great series for kids because it is teaching about the Bible in a way that is funny and entertaining. I like how they are teaching me how the books are split up. The first three DVDs talked about the Pentateuch, and now we are starting the historical books. I think this is good for people of all ages.
Connor (13) - I found it quite entertaining, although I expected more from them, as I anticipated the same type of intellectual humor of the first three volumes, and was disappointed with juvenile potty humor. I studied Judges in the past and learned about the cycles that the Israelites went through in that time, but the "Wheel of Apostasy" used to illustrate this in the video is far more memorable and it certainly made the concept understandable even for my youngest siblings. I especially like Ian, as he is funny and he always comes up with good questions. His question in this video was why God wanted all those people already in Canaan to die. Plus he's fun to imitate. (Mom note: you should hear the teen Boy Scouts when they start quoting all these lines from What's in the Bible. It is pretty hysterical.)
Mandatory entry: Watch the video (above, or there are more at YouTube) or visit the What's in the Bible website, and tell me something you learned that intrigues you. Why do you want to win this?
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And... this giveaway will close on October 31 at midnight Mountain Time. I'll draw a winner and make a reasonable effort to notify them on Monday. If I cannot contact the winner, or do not hear back from the winner, I reserve the right to choose another.
Disclaimer: I received this DVD and coupon for free from Tyndale House Publishers, in exchange for my review. No other compensation was received. The fact that I received a complimentary product does not guarantee a favorable review.