If you have already had the pleasure of watching a What's
in the Bible video, then you can understand how much my
family has enjoyed the 5th volume in the series: Israel Gets
a King. If these movies are new to you, then a little background
is in order.
Phil Vischer, the creator of VeggieTales, is also the creator
of What's in the Bible. This series begins with Genesis
and works its way through the Bible, teaching children deep truths
about God's Word in engaging ways. The Bible is presented as one
big story of redemption, called "God's rescue plan" in the DVDs.
Each episode is packed with a mix of puppets, animation, and even
some live characters. The episodes include ongoing conversations
with Phil Vischer, clips of children discussing the stories, and
song performances by The Bentley Brothers (whom parents might recognize
as the internet comedians Rhett & Link).
While often silly and hilarious, each show is highly educational.
I'm constantly amazed at the themes Phil Vischer is able to convey
to young children. The truths are not watered down, but they are
explained effectively in a way little kids can grasp firmly. After
watching the first volume, my 4-year-old was able to sit down on
Daddy's lap and tell him all about the Septuagint and the Vulgate.
In this particular volume, there are two parts. Part 1 is called "The
People Want a King!" and it shares the book of 1st Samuel, introducing
Saul and how he became Israel's first king. Part 2 is called "Kings
Make Mistakes Too!" and it shares the book of 2nd Samuel and the
first chapter of 1st Kings, introducing David and then Solomon.
The DVDs also include a Tricky Bits segment, and in Volume 5,
this segment explains the Trinity after mentioning that the Spirit
of the Lord fell on David. I love that it doesn't shy away from
the hard stuff. Children are so eager to learn. Phil Vischer seems
to respect that, and he works hard to help them learn.
While there is plenty of learning, there is also plenty of silliness.
In sharing a flannel graph of the story of Saul sinning, Saul is
shown going "to the Dark Side" and is even given a Darth Vader
mask. It was well explained that this part was not real, but it
certainly was a great (and funny) visual that my kids will never
In the story of David, I appreciated that the DVD didn't shy away
from the topic of consequences for sin. Even though he was forgiven,
David still had consequences for his sins that he didn't escape.
If you're not sure if these DVDs will be a good fit for your family,
the website www.whatsinthebible.com has many samples you can view
online. There are five volumes released so far, and DVD #6 will
release on October 18, 2011.