This summer, as the boys and I are gearing up for our first year of our 3 year Bible survey with Bible Road Trip, we decided to read a book about the Bible’s journey through history.
Linda Finlayson’s Guarding the Treasure: How God’s People Preserve God’s Word is a fantastic resource for children ages 7-12! My boys have been uncharacteristically still during our read-alouds as we’ve explored the stories of people throughout history who have defended, translated, and spread the Word of God.
Guarding the Treasure was published in 2011 by Christian Focus Publications. To date, I have not read one children’s book by Christian Focus that I have not loved. You can see a table of contents for the book, as well as an excerpt, on their website here.
My favorite place to purchase Christian Focus books in the United States is Grace & Truth Books. Their prices are wonderful and their shipping is prompt. I love the selection they offer.
OK! I was going to tell you about how much we love Linda Finlayson’s engaging book!
Guarding the Treasure mixes narrative biographical stories with short articles explaining history. Ms. Finlayson takes us all the way from the writing of the Scriptures up to present day translations. Children are introduced to some of God’s “authors”, as well as to historical figures like Athanasius, Jerome, King Alfred, John Wycliffe, Martin Luther, William Tyndale, William Whittingham, Laurence Chaderton, William Carey (and a host of missionary translators), and Cameron Townsend.
Each story is told in the form of a narrative. Children have the opportunity to live a scene from the history of the Bible’s preservation, translations, and its spread throughout the world. Each narrative section is followed by a brief article explaining some interesting fact about what we’ve just learned. For example, the chapter about King Alfred includes an article entitled “Who Are Those Guys With the Funny Names?”. Ms. Finlayson briefly introduces children to each of the scholars that assisted King Alfred in his translation efforts. Her language is inviting and interesting. My children have greatly enjoyed her short articles.
Following each narrative chapter, there is a shorter chapter that explains the history involved to bring us to the next moment in time in the Bible’s journey. These chapters are highly informative and engaging; not the dry history of my childhood readings.
The boys and I have studied each of the men Ms. Finlayson highlights as we’ve gone through history. Even so, the unique focus of Guarding the Treasure on the preservation of God’s Word has allowed us to place our studies in a different context. It has made our education richer, and added another dimension to our perspective.
Guarding the Treasure is book 1 in a new series: Defenders of the Faith. I have no idea what the rest of the series will cover, but count me in as an enthusiastic new fan! I might even be willing to stand in line at midnight for the next new release.
~ Danika Cooley
Danika Cooley is a children’s writer with a love for God’s Word, history, wisdom and small people. Her work has appeared in magazines including Focus on the Family’s Clubhouse and Clubhouse Jr.; Upper Room Ministries’ Pockets and Devozine; CBH Ministries’ Keys for Kids, and Cobblestone Group’s FACES and Odyssey. Her work also appears in Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Magic of Mothers and Daughters.