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The Bible in American Life$
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Philip Goff, Arthur Farnsley, and Peter Thuesen

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190468910

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190468910.001.0001

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Emerging Trends in American Children’s Bibles, 1990–2015

Emerging Trends in American Children’s Bibles, 1990–2015

(p.225) 18 Emerging Trends in American Children’s Bibles, 1990–2015
The Bible in American Life

Russell W. Dalton

Oxford University Press

Children’s Bibles represent a significant but understudied aspect of the use of the Bible in American life. The variety of ways the stories of the Bible have been retold, illustrated, and packaged for children can help index America’s diverse and changing religious landscape. This essay presents a focused reception history of the Bible. It examines six trends that emerged in American Protestant children’s Bibles and Bible storybooks in 1990–2015. These include presenting Bible stories as fun stories for children, presenting fun-loving anthropomorphic animals, presenting dinosaurs living alongside humans, presenting the Bible as one long story of redemption in Jesus Christ, writing and illustrating children’s Bibles from African-American perspectives, and packaging children’s Bibles for male or female readers. The essay places these trends within the wider context of children’s Bibles throughout American history and notes these trends’ significance for understanding how Americans approach the Bible and emerging trends in American culture and American Christianity.

Keywords:   children’s Bibles, Bible storybooks, African-American children’s Bibles, children’s Bibles for girls, children’s Bibles for boys

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