What’s in the Bible? And Why Should You Care?

Look out, Larry the Cucumber.  You’re about to be challenged by the blue-haired, bespectacled Sunday School Lady.  She’s a stickler for historical and theological accuracy, and she won’t go easy on you—or on the young viewers you both share.

What’s in the Bible is Veggie Tales creator Phil Vischer’s newest offering.  While Veggie Tales began by retelling familiar Bible stories in order to teach general lessons about virtue and morality, What’s in the Bible teaches just what the title indicates—what’s in the Bible, why it’s there, and why you should care.  Vischer and a cast of hand puppets (including the aforementioned Sunday School Lady) are out to teach the Bible, the whole Bible, and nothing but the Bible, using popsicle sticks, a flannel graph, timelines, and pirates.  Far from distracting from the message, these verbal and visual antics hold the viewer’s attention while Vischer and his brightly colored costars lecture on complex historical and theological topics not normally offered to the very young.

Veggie Tales has enjoyed a large and varied audience—so large and varied, in fact, that its own success has sometimes eclipsed its intended purpose.  Vischer himself states in the introduction to the first episode of What’s in the Bible that his original passion for teaching children about the Bible soon waned under the pressures of running a very successful business.  What’s in the Bible is his attempt to reboot the conversation that began with Veggie Tales.  It’s a conversation that has benefitted from Vischer’s time away from the Veggie Tales empire; while What’s in the Bible is targeted at a slightly younger audience, its factual content will challenge the most seasoned Bible quiz guru.

Parents who look forward to Veggie Tales style humor may be disappointed by this series—but their children won’t.  What’s in the Bible isn’t likely to attract the college-aged crowd in the way that Veggie Tales did—this is completely and intentionally a show for kids.  The first time I watched the show (thank you to Tyndale for providing me with a free review copy), I was disappointed.  The jokes, I thought, were flat, the antics predictable, and the information far above most young viewers’ heads.  Next I watched it with a group of kids, ages 2-6.  I was wrong—they loved it—and it has since grown on me.   The puns and running jokes that I found groan-worthy delighted my young companions, who were hours later still referencing what they’d seen and heard.

This is not to say that the series is only funny to preschoolers; parents who grew up in the evangelical Sunday School subculture will find plenty to appreciate and reminisce over even if the frequent quips make them groan.  In one regular segment, a puppet newsroom features clocks showing the current time in London, New York, Tokyo, and… Wheaton.  In “A Pirate’s Guide to Church History”, a pirate puppet details such things as the church councils that led to the Biblical canon we have today, and the reasons why Protestant, Orthodox and Catholic Bibles are not all uniform.  The timeline he references stretches from Jesus Christ to Billy Graham.   The inclusion of a flannel graph, Sunday School Lady’s indispensible companion, will amuse those who grew up with this Sunday School staple.

Biblical illiteracy among all ages is an increasing problem in a culture dominated by screens rather than books.  Vischer states that 65% of young church goers will leave the faith by the time they start college, and he hopes his attempt to teach through television will help young minds access the information they need to interact intelligently with the “most widely known, least widely read” text in history.  Let’s hope he succeeds—and if he doesn’t, let’s hope that at least Sunday School Lady will find a way to empower the saintly women whose Sunday School ministries are so important.

Those of you who wish to view the newly-released inaugural episodes of this thirteen-DVD series are in luck—on Monday, April 5th, we will give away two free copies to randomly-chosen members of our Facebook fan page.  Your children—and their Sunday School teachers—will thank you for entering. ‘

Published by

Rachel Motte

Rachel Motte is a freelance writer, journalist and editor specializing in social issues, educational affairs, and international religious freedom. Her work has appeared at CNN.com, The Evangelical Outpost, The New Ledger, the Daily Caller, and in Jonah Goldberg’s recent anthology, Proud to Be Right. She is an alumna of Biola University, the Torrey Honors Institute, the Leadership Institute, and the World Journalism Institute. Rachel may be reached at rachel[at]rachelmotte[dot]com.

  • http://tosnobekon.ru Nikolas

    Thanks Rachel!
    I was in children’s Christian service, and I know, how small children love histories from the Bible which are presented in game.
    I am not a pity can see Veggie Tales, as I live in Russia.
    Forgive for my English.

  • http://www.bluesquidproductions.com Doug

    I’m really excited about this project!

    I hope God blesses them with success!

  • Kathy R

    Our family can’t wait for these videos. We think they will be great tools to help us to teach the kids more in depth about the Bible. http://www.whatsinthebible.com

  • Teresa

    What’s in the Bible is definite competition with Veggie Tales, especially the newer Veggie Tales.

  • Lauren

    I’m excited about this. It may be different than VeggieTales, but understanding the whole point of the Bible is more important than individual stories and values. http://www.whatsinthebible.com

  • http://www.jjweichert.blogspot.com Jared W

    I’m excited to see this new series with my 3 girls. http://www.whatsinthebible.com Phil Vischer has done some great work.

  • Jill

    I’m excited about this series. The trailer is hilarious – exactly what we’ve come to expect from Phil Vischer, and teaching biblical literacy is so important! Check out http://www.whatsinthebible.com

  • http://www.homewiththeboys.blogspot.com Erin

    We LOVE our what’s in the Bible DVDs! Very entertaining – even for my 4 and 2 year olds AND us as parents! And great info as well!

  • http://leiacellaa23.blogspot.com Princess Leia

    I am so looking forward to seeing these! I’m hoping the Easter Bunny will drop them by our house! Oh wait! I _AM_ the Easter Bunny! Score!

  • http://calumhenderson.com Calum Henderson

    Glad to hear that when you watched the DVD with kids they actually enjoyed it, I too thought that it might just be better for an older (8-12) audience.

  • http://www.whatsinthebible.com Joanna

    This is a must check out! My children 3 & 5 love it. Bentley Brothers songs are a great learning tool. Though the kids will never know it until they absent-mindedly singing these one day and they realize they know what each book of the Bible is about.

  • Amanda Elven

    I love how much my two year old is learning already! I was skeptical when I first saw these characters on Jelly Telly (www.jellytelly.com) but I was amazed when my 2 year-old started begging me to watch every day. He has learned so much through those loveable puppets and I have to admit that it has taught me tons as well. In my opinion, this is a must watch!

  • http://www.taramcclenahan.com Tara McClenahan

    I am so excited about getting these DVDs for my Little Guy! He asks to watch the YouTube previews over and over!!! http://www.whatsinthebible.com

  • Kyle

    This series is put well together and every child should see it…

  • http://lovemy3ms.blogspot.com Rhonda

    I’ve seen both of the DVDs that are currently available. I’m blown away by all of the information in them. I’m even learning! But I’m even more blown away by how they are making my kids ask questions about the Bible. Honestly, I’m surprised just how much my 2 year old loves them. And my 9 year old is now wanting to read the Bible for himself to see what else happens (one of the perks of not having the next DVD available yet?). One of the things I love about Veggie Tales is the music and this series falls right in line on that level. The songs are clever and enjoyable and singable. Can you tell I like these DVDs?

  • Danny

    These are gonna be awesome, I loved Veggie Tales and I’m sure I’m gonna love this even more. I love Jellytelly!


  • http://www.brimfulcuriosities.com Janelle

    We’ve watched several VeggieTales movies but I’m really looking forward to introducing my children to this newest http://www.whatsinthebible.com series. The DVDs look perfect for young children, and I’m happy to hear that your testers enjoyed the shows.

  • http://incredibooks.com Jordan Smith

    What’s in the Bible looks like it’ll be great for the young and the young at heart. I’m very excited to see what comes of it!

  • John Buxbaum

    I’m right there with all these other fine folks. The Whats in the Bible DVD’s are sooooo great. My boys just love them (and they are fun for us too!)
    check em out at http://www.whatsinthebible.com

  • Michelle Stramel

    These DVDs sound wonderful. My 4 year old son loved Veggie Tales and Jelly Telly. These are just what I need to help him understand more about the Bible. They have a great site at http://www.whatsinthebible.com

  • myndi orr

    I cannot wait to get the entire series after reading all about it and seeing the trailer! God is soing amazing things through Phil and his crew! WOW! http://www.whatsinthebible.com

  • Donna

    I am so excited to get the entire line of videos as they are produced by http://www.whatsinthebible.com! I am such a fan of Phil Vischer. I can’t wait to get hold of the curriculum too!

  • Luzpinoy007

    There is a new book … The Bible Dilemma: Historical contradictions, misquoted statements, failed prophecies and oddities in the Bible

    The Bible Dilemma is a compilation of Bible verses that shows the following:
    1. Historical contradictions, inconsistencies and
    discrepancies within the Bible and with recorded history
    2. Failed promises and prophecies
    3. Misquoted statements within the Bible
    4. Borrowed and alluded statements within the Bible
    5. Borrowed and alluded statements from non-biblical sources
    6. Stories and legends similar to the Bible
    7. Who are the gods mentioned in the Bible
    8. The 72 names of God derived from the book of Exodus
    9. The nature and character of God as depicted in the Bible
    10. Scientific errors and arguments
    11. Conflicting arguments within the Bible about Jesus Christ
    being the Messiah
    12. Non-existing books or books that may have been lost through
    time that are mentioned in the Bible
    13. What the Bible says about salvation
    14. Doctrines and belief systems concerning Jesus Christ
    15. Catholic dogmas about Mary
    and it also touches on the following topics:
    1. Saint Paul and the New Testament
    2. The trial of Galileo Galilei
    3. Joan of Arc and the Biblical Clothing Law
    4. The Legend of the Wandering Jew
    5. King Henry VIII and the Book of Leviticus
    6. The Liberty Bell and the Book of Leviticus
    7. Hitler and the Spear of Destiny
    8. Psalm 46 and the name of Shakespeare
    9. Clarence Darrow and the SkopesTrial
    10. The Tyndale Bible
    11. Hyram Abiff and the FreeMasonry

  • Sergiosilva77

     Você sabia que existe um santuário armado no céu descrito literalmente no cap.5 de APOCALIPSE.
     Que existe um grande mar acima e nós,descrito no cap.1 de genesis.
     visite nosso blog tem vídeos mostrando tudo isso.
     Esses vídeos foram feito de acordo como está escrito sem mudar sequer uma vírgula.
     Veja e comprove!