You know we had a moment a couple of months ago about a simple Bible story, and how it just hadn’t been right because the version I read to T was not the same as how it had been told at church? (if not, I’ve put a link in so you can catch up if you want.) Well I’ve started reading a book with T to begin intentionally finding out about the Bible together, how we got it the way it is, how it has been translated, how old it is etc. So that we can begin to understand why the stories can be told in slightly different ways, with slight changes to phrases and so on. Accepting that amount of flexible thinking may well prove difficult for T but it won’t happen at all without some creative support and exploration!
The book we have started reading together is ‘All about the Bible’ by Lois Rock & Anna Leplar (Lion Publishing). It’s a great introduction, really lovely illustrations, and a summary at the bottom of each section before you move on & find out more. I found the sections are just the right length for T, and each we have read so far has sparked more specific questions she would love to find out about. T really loves detail, and if something interests her she can focus with determination to find out answers and facts, not satisfied with half truths or general information.
So, considering the number of (really very good) questions she is asking as we read I am preparing a scrapbook for us to fill with all the answers (and probably more questions) as we go! I hope a scrapbook style will appeal to busy fingers that like to get messy, and love to write. I hope it will also feel like a secure and growing collection of answers that she can the refer back to as we carry on the adventure of faith.
The first question I’m working out how to scrapbook with her is ‘but Mummy why is it called the Bible?’ Where did the word Bible come from? I thought this might be a good starting place as it will have an answer!
The word ‘Bible’ seems to have begun as a Greek word for writings on a papyrus scroll (‘Biblion’), probably named because Egyptian papyrus was brought through the port in a city called Byblos. The Greeks started using the word Biblion to talk about any scrolls whether they were on papyrus or not, so the word began to mean something written down, as ordinary as our word ‘book’. As early as 150 years after Jesus died the collection of writings precious to Christians (which included the writings already precious to the Jews and the letters and Gospels being written down about Jesus) was being called ‘Ta Biblia’ (The books), still at that time in Greek. In the Middle Ages people speaking Old English were using either the word Biblia (learnt from people speaking latin) or Bible (from people speaking French, and this was shortened from the earlier French word ‘Bibliothek’) over the years that followed it became simplified and only one word was kept – ‘Bible’, with a pronunciation somewhere between the Latin and the french! (with help from New Bible Dictionary, IVP and Online Etymology Dictionary.)
I think she’ll find that really fascinating, I hope it will be enough detail to satisfy!!
So after tea tonight, all being well (goodness doesn’t that phrase cover a lot of possibilities) I will share that with T, and we can create a page or two in her scrapbook about it. I won’t post till we’ve done it, then I can show you a picture or two…
Needless to say, she loved doing that page this evening! She tells me her next question is, how old are the stories in the Bible? I wonder how specific she will expect the answers to be!