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Book Reviews > Bible, children > Genesis: A Commentary for Children; Exodus: A Commentary for Children; Leviticus: A Commentary for C

Ray VanNeste

Ray VanNeste
Director of the RC Ryan Center for Biblical Studies and Assistant Professor of Christian Studies

Genesis: A Commentary for Children; Exodus: A Commentary for Children; Leviticus: A Commentary for C
Nancy E. Ganz
Details: 2002, Shepherd Press, Amazon.comISBN: 0972304606
Posted: July 13, 2004

The folks at Shepherd Press (publishers of Tedd Tripp's parenting material) have provided us with another great resource for children. The author, Nancy Ganz, is the wife of Richard Ganz, who has authored a number of books.

These three volumes are the initial releases in the Herein is Love Commentary Series intended for children. Anyone attempting a commentary for children who is then willing to start not only with Genesis and Exodus but also Leviticus is deserving of our commendation! The books are not typical commentaries but they do take a passage and provide explanation and application while working straight through a book. In narrative portions the stories are summarized and retold with appropriate illustrations. Each lesson also includes references for parallel readings in both testaments and a teacher's guide which includes hints for visual aids, a memory verse, review questions, a prayer, psalms to sing, and an outdoor activity.

In her introduction to the volume on Genesis Mrs. Ganz explains her decision to write these books and how she approaches the task:

"I decided to write this book when I was sitting in the National Arts Centre Theatre in the capital of Canada. The National Ballet Company of Canada was performing The Nutcracker and I was thinking, "The world takes a silly little story like this and tells it to the children so beautifully and meaningfully that they remember it for the rest of their lives. The church takes the most beautiful and meaningful story ever told- the salvation of God's people- and somehow turns the most exciting events and amazing facts in all human history into unimaginably boring lessons. How is this possible?" It was that thought in that moment which motivated me to write this book in this way. …

In this book, in these lessons, I have humbly endeavored to begin this task, the task of telling the children of God's wonders, the task of declaring to them God's righteousness, SALVATION and faithfulness, the task of revealing to them God's Truth, His great Mercy and His steadfast LOVE."

Mrs. Ganz does a good job in keeping before the reader how the entire Bible is the unfolding of God's working in redeeming for Himself a people (in this way it could be helpful to many teaching and preaching to adults!). If you, like so may others, have struggled with the shallowness, blandness and triviality of so much of the material produced for children this may be what you have been looking for. The books are well suited for use in family devotions, Sunday school, or as Bible curriculum in Christian schools.

Ray Van Neste

Union University