When speaking or writing of accounts in the Bible, I hesitate to use the phrase “stories of the Bible.” There are stories in the Bible, but sometimes the connotation of the word “story” indicates something that is fictional. In fact when I looked up synonyms of the word “story” the majority of the words listed were words meaning “a fictional event” such as “legend” and “fairy-tale.” I’ve heard people say of the Bible, “that is a good book of stories, but nothing more.” Or even, “the New Testament recounts real events, but the Old Testament is just a bunch of myths.” We need to remember that the Bible is not a fictional storybook but a true account of things that have happened.
When considering if the Old Testament speaks of true accounts or not we need to remember that Jesus spoke of the things written in the Old Testament as having really occurred. For instance in John 3:14 Jesus said, “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up.” In Number 21:4-9 Moses lifted up the bronze serpent, according to God’s command, so that those who had been bitten by the fiery serpents could be healed.
The apostles also spoke of events in the Old Testament as being factual. For example in 1st Peter 3:20 Peter speaks of Noah and the “eight souls who were saved through water,” referring to the flood story of Genesis chapters 6-8. In 1st Corinthians 10:1-10 Paul writes about events in the Old Testament and then concludes with the following statement in verse 11: “Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition.”
When we share the Bible with children we need to make sure that they understand that the Bible speaks of real people and real events. I am going to start a weekly series of “Bible Stories to Share with Your Children” with the overall first focus being on the stories of the Old Testament. Be watching for the first entry over the Biblical account of the Creation.