Book Review Of The Spirit of God Illustrated Bible

by Jack Wellman · Print Print · Email Email

Here’s a look at the new children’s Bible called The Spirit of God Illustrated Bible by Doris Wynbeek Rikkers.

In the Beginning

The book, The Spirit of God Illustrated Bible, is a great resource for a young child. and even a brand-new Christian. It covers the basics of the redemptive plan of God from the beginning to the end, and this book pay’s special attention to One of the Three Persons of the Trinity, and that’s the Holy Spirit. Naturally, the book begins with, “In the Beginning,” as it shows the Spirit of God’s involvement in the creation. Even though it is not a strict translation or a version like the King James Version, ESV, or NASB, it does a good job in retelling the main points of each major event in the Bible. I believe this book will not only capture a child’s attention, it will hold it. I believe the children will be captivated by the beautiful and accurate illustrations by Fernando Juarez. He does a marvelous job in joining history, experiences, and important biblical figures together, making it come to life. The illustrations are so beautiful that I believe it will grab the child’s attention and then they’ll be curious enough to read about what’s going on, so this book should encourage the child to want to know more about God and the Bible. There are over 40 powerful stories about God’s Spirt; His power and His presence, and these stories can remind the child that the Spirit of God is as faithful as Father God and the Son of God; through good times and bad.

Old Testament Accounts

I noticed that the book covered some of the most important accounts like with Adam and Eve, Noah, Abraham, Moses, King David, and many in the New Testament, and every character comes to life in the vivid illustrations of Fernando Juarez. As I reviewed this book, I found it hard to put down because of the captivating images and illustrations. The illustrator has done an excellent job in showing what it was like being there, as he includes images of the people’s wardrobes, what the land was like, and what some of the customs were. From unlikely heroes such as Gideon to the shepherd boy, David, these biblical accounts will leap off the page and into the children’s mind. A Bible like this can help children incorporate these accounts into their own life, applying it to their situations, but it can also build a treasure trove of moral lessons. They will remember these stories long after this book is gone, but what a great gift it would be for a child of Christian parents, or any child for that matter. It could be the beginning of the Spirit’s work in that child’s life.

Understanding the Gospel

When you get to the New Testament, most children would have already been exposed to the gospel through Abraham’s believing God and God’s accounting that as righteousness to him. When the author says that God called Abram (later, Abraham), it simply says Abraham believed God and went. That belief was the same thing as trusting in God, and of course, when we trust in Christ, we are saved, but as the author rightly says, it is the Spirit’s work in us that draws us to God (p. 40). Where the New Testament begins (p. 211), it incorporates all four of the gospel accounts in regards to the coming of Jesus, His birth, and His youth, but it also includes important elements from each of the four authors of the gospels, like Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. In other words, it gives you a broader perspective of Jesus’ work while here on earth. The fact that the book is called The Spirit of God Illustrated Bible gives away part of its purpose, and that is to show the work that the Holy Spirit does in the life of a believer, and what He does in the church. Often, the Holy Spirit is overlooked, which is sad because He also is God of very God. He is Co-equal in power, glory, and honor just as the Father and the Son are.

Turning the Page

I had to ask my wife’s opinion, as she was a 4th grade teacher for 32 years, plus she is a mother and grandmother, and she’s read to our own children since before they could read. What she loved were the illustrations and simple reading, but the images captured her attention the most. She also said that at the end of each chapter, it gives a reassuring word about God’s being with them, indicating that whatever happens, God remains faithful. That’s just what a child needs to know, and toward the end of the book, my wife noticed that they encouraged the child by telling them that each one of us can do something for God, because God’s Spirit will give “you the ability to do great things for God” (p. 310). Most importantly, it invites the child to come to Jesus and put their trust in Him. That may be the single, greatest purpose for which this book was written. If my wife recommends this book, and I highly value and respect her professional opinion (and one as a mom!), then that’s good enough for me to buy one for my own grandchildren.


What is highly unique about this book or Bible is that it weaves the Spirit of God’s work into the stories throughout the Bible, and as we know, all Three Persons of the Trinity bring us to Christ. The Father draws us (John 6:44), the Spirit calls us and convicts us, and then the Spirit testifies of Christ (John 15:26), Who saves us through His sinless life, His death on the cross through His shed blood, and His resurrection. These are things that the Apostle Paul called, “the order of first importance” (1 Cor 15:3-5). If you want your child to use this Bible as a literal translation, you won’t want it. Rather, I suggest a regular version of the Bible but include this Bible as an introduction to the Old and New Testament. The wide spine rests easily in the lap and you don’t have to fight it to keep it open. As a grandfather, I would highly recommend this book as “story time” to help the child or children incorporate the Word of God in into their hearts. Even though it’s not a literal translation of the Bible, it is an accurate depiction of the people, places, times, and events. I believe it will whet the appetite for the Word of God in a child. Even for me, it was hard to put down, and that must be special because I may have a shorter attention span than a young child does!

Rikkers, Doris Wynbeek. The Spirit of God Illustrated Bible. (Grand Rapids, MI: Zonderkids Publishing, 2018).

Here is some related reading for you: Who or What is the Holy Spirit? A Bible Study

Resource – Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), Crossway Bibles. (2007). ESV: Study Bible: English standard version. Wheaton, Ill: Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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