What do talking vegetables and fabric puppets have in common? They are both great ways to teach children about the Bible.
In his new project, “What’s in the Bible?” “Veggie Tales” co-creator Phil Vischer takes on the task of bringing Bible truths to families. With the release of the fifth DVD in the series, Vischer hopes to bring Christian teachings into homes in a dynamic and engaging way.
“When I started working 'Veggie Tales,' I discovered it was a really great way to retell key Bible stories and teach key Christian values,” Vischer said, “but it wasn’t a good way to explain the entire Bible. The Bible is the most widely known and least widely read book in the world yet this book holds the keys to understanding our lives.”
Realizing that a firm gospel foundation would benefit families, Vischer sought to help kids understand who wrote the Bible, why it can be trusted and what difference it can make in their lives.
“This is the most important project I think I could be involved in right now,” he said. “We are going to walk kids through the Bible all the way from Genesis to Revelations.”
After studying at St. Paul Bible College outside Minneapolis, Vischer and his colleague, Mike Nawrocki, released their first Christian video, a “Veggie Tales” film, in 1993. Audiences clamored for more, and now more than 45 vegetable-based Bible stories have graced the screen.
With the growing success, Vischer founded Jellyfish Labs, a media company in Illinois, in 2005 to create entertainment that would help children and families learn about God. In a partnership with Tyndale Kids, a religious publishing company, Jellyfish Labs presented the first of 13 “What’s in the Bible?” DVDs in March 2010.
The DVDs were an immediate success. Parents and kids alike fell in love with the cuddly characters and catchy songs that speckle each episode. “What’s in the Bible?” is a Mom’s Choice Award gold recipient for being among the best family-friendly media products and services.
The “What’s in the Bible?” series now boasts five entertaining DVDs. Each DVD holds two 30-minute episodes. The videos delve into Bible stories and even “tricky bits” like why was it OK for the Israelites to kill the people of Canaan. The videos play like Sunday School lessons set to music. They are fast-paced and cover a wide variety of biblical topics.
(Mormons should note that there are a few discrepancies with Latter-day Saint doctrine, such as an explanation about God behind without parts and passions. But they are few and far between.)
Exciting characters like a law-abiding pirate, two safari brothers, a Sunday School grandma and a piano-playing priest bring laughter and creativity to Christian teachings.
“It’s like treating a vitamin deficiency,” Kay Wyma, a mother of five and author of the mom blog The Moat, said. “Kids absorb the flow of the Bible, who wrote the books and when, stories, eras and how people, history, poetry and more tie into the story. My husband and I are indulging in remedial Bible 101.”
“What’s in the Bible?” volume 5 focuses on three of the most influential kings of Israel: Saul, David and Solomon. The puppet teachers delve into the reason kings were appointed in the first place as well as each king’s personal relationship with God. From David’s humility through his mistakes to Saul’s arrogance and anger, children are shown how they can make their own connection with their Father in heaven.
“What’s in the Bible?” is a wonderful way to expose children to the Bible and let them have a little fun while they are at it.
Melissa DeMoux is a stay-at-home mother of six young children who lives in West Valley City, Utah. You can email her at [email protected] or follow her adventures in motherhood at demouxfamily.blogspot.com.