Bible storybooks

Ralph Milton, Lectionary Story Bible, Years A, B, C. Wood Lake Books, 2007-2009. Illustrated by Margaret Kyle. Milton knows how to spin a yarn. An experienced and gifted storyteller, he draws the listener into the story, even when it deals with difficult subject matter. His easy-going, loving style captivates children and opens avenues for discussion. This series provides Old and New Testament stories for each Sunday of the lectionary cycle.

The Family Story Bible. West minster John Knox Press, 1996. One volume containing 125 stories from Old and New Testaments. Milton tells stories of men and women of the Bible using inclusive language for God in an engaging manner. Margaret Kyles’ illustrations are a wonderful addition.

The Storyteller’s Companion to the Bible. Abingdon Press. This series of books is designed to show all who tell the story how to read and tell stories of the Bible more effectively.

The Children’s Bible in 365 Stories. Lion Publishing, 2001. This children’s Bible presents the Bible narrative in detail and depth. As well as all the well-known Bible stories, it includes poetry, prophets, and New Testament letters.

William R. White, Stories for the Gathering, A Treasury for Christian Storytellers. Augsburg Fortress, 1997. For gatherings large or small, this collection of Christian-related stories will capture the interest and imagination of any listener.

Children of Color Storybook Bible. Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1997. Sixty-one well-known stories of the Bible adapted from the Contemporary English Version and illustrated by Victor Hogan demonstrate to all children that children of color are part of God’s story. Important for every church to have such a storybook available.

Sally Lloyd-Jones, Jesus Storybook Bible: Every Story Whispers His Name. ZonderKidz, 2007. Illustrated by Jago. A well-written, wonderfully conceived and faithful children’s storybook Bible that gets the “big” story right.

Mary Ann Getty-Sullivan, God Speaks to Us in Water Stories. Liturgical Press, 1996. Seven water stories from the Old and New Testaments explore the importance of water for both our human and spiritual life.

God Speaks to Us in Feeding Stories. (Liturgical Press, 1997) The eight stories on the common theme of nourishment in this volume speak to the reality that we are fed spiritually as well as physically and how God uses everyday needs to speak to us.

How-to resources for storytelling

Dorothy Henderson, Learning God’s Stories Together. Wood Lake, 2007. This resource explains and encourages intergenerational theory and practice at its best. Included are twenty story sessions, with suggestions for gathering, telling, talking about and exploring each story and its connection with life.

Pat Griggs, Using Storytelling in Christian Education. Abingdon, 1991. The best practical guide for learning and teaching storytelling. Still a must for every educator.

Storytelling resources

Donald Capps, Living Stories. Fortress, 1998. Capps explains how people “story” their lives inspirationally, paradoxically, or miraculously. Then he shows pastors how they can help people discover their own “stories,” discern their shape and direction, and find new understandings or possibilities.

William J. Bausch, Storytelling, Imagination and Faith. Twenty-third Publications, 1988. The author interweaves spirituality and storytelling to demonstrate the beauty and inspiration of stories.

Maria Harris, Fashion Me a People. (Westminster John Knox, 1989. The author reminds us that the people of a church are the curriculum, and that we need to understand our stories so that we can pass them on to our children.

Barbara J. MacHaffie, Her Story: Women in Christian Tradition (2nd Edition). Fortress, 2006. McHaffie recovers the oft-ignored or submerged stories of women in the Christian tradition, from biblical times to now. The text is supported by a dedicated companion website:

Sean Gladding, Story of God, Story of Us: Getting Lost and Found in the Bible. IVP, 2011. Many books remind us that the Bible is one on-going, unfolding drama, but none are as creatively written as this one, almost like a story itself! For seeing the single, unified story of Scripture of which we are a part, this is one of the more interesting, upbeat and exciting Bible overviews. A DVD curriculum (6 brief videos) is also available, designed to enhance a group reading of book but equally valuable as a thematic survey of the Scriptures.

Brian Walsh and Sylvia Keesmaat. Colossians Remixed: Subverting the Empire. IVP, 2004. A rigorous study of Colossians that illustrates how even New Testament letters are situated in a story and retell the older story of Israel. The authors demonstrate that good Bible study involves God’s story, the counter-story of the dominant culture, and how we carry the story of God forward with fidelity and imagination.

Donald Miller, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: What I Learned While Editing My Life. Nelson, 2009. During the making of a movie based on his life and book Blue Like Jazz, Miller concludes that the story of his life ought to have something to do with a larger story of God in the world.

Daniel Taylor, Tell Me a Story: The Life-Shaping Power of Our Stories. Bog Walk Press, 2001. Taylor’s thesis is that story matters, that our lives are stories, and that storytelling is essentially a religious act.

Tom Boomershine, Story Journey. Abingdon Press, 1988. He offers a series of biblical stories to be learned and explored in a variety of ways. Each story is printed in episodes to facilitate memorization. Exegetical comments are offered, with references to helpful commentaries that explain the meaning of the story in the original context. Each chapter also includes suggestions for ways to connect the story with contemporary experience and to pray with the story.

Bruce Feiler, Walking the Bible: A Journey by Land Through the Five Books of Moses. Morrow, 2001. Adventure, archaeological detection , and spiritual exploration fill this tale of a ten-thousand mile trip by the author, following the stories of the first five books of the Old Testament.


Network of Biblical Story Tellers The Network of Biblical Storytellers, Int’l. is an ecumenical organization whose mission is to encourage everyone to learn and tell biblical stories. The website provides a listing of biblical storytellers by region, who have been certified by the organization. Their annual event offers workshops and storytelling by great storytellers.

General Storytelling Training Nine online sessions designed to teach storytelling to children, but they are applicable and adaptable for improving your own storytelling skills or using with adults.

There are so many wonderful stories and story books. For more ideas, ask your colleagues what book they turn to most often for storytelling or who their favorite storytellers are. Share yours in return.

Mary E. Speedy is a retired certified church educator living in Mechanicsburg, PA.