Why do you include images of Jesus in your books?

Why do you include images of Jesus in your books?

We respect and appreciate the many convictions in the body of Christ, and can understand why some would hold to a view that an image or picture of Jesus is in violation of the second commandment. We do not want anyone to go against their conscience, but wanted to briefly explain our position:


1. The second commandment forbids creating a 'carved image' and bowing down to it (Exodus 20:4). This was specifically given to keep Israel from becoming like the nations around them (Psalm 96:5), and Israel broke this command many times by creating idols in various forms (Exodus 32). This command is restated many times in various forms, and it always relates to bowing down to an image of a false god or idol (Leviticus 26:1).

"You shall not make idols for yourselves; neither a carved image nor a sacred pillar shall you rear up for yourselves; nor shall you set up an engraved stone in your land, to bow down to it; for I am the Lord your God." Leviticus 26:1


2. We believe there is a great difference between creating a false idol to worship, and creating an illustration of Jesus to help children understand a true Bible story (1 Thess. 1:9). What God forbids is creating an image that limits him or does not represent him, such as an animal (Romans 1:23).

"[They] changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things." Romans 1:23

3. For John, it was very important for Christians to understand that Jesus had come in the flesh (1 John 1:1). Jesus is 'the image of the invisible God' and the 'Word made flesh' (Col. 1:15, John 1:14). It was not his outward appearance that was most important, but his perfect life, teaching, and sacrificial death (Philippians 2:7).

"[Christ Jesus] made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men." Philippians 2:7


4. Our intent with having illustrations of Jesus is to help children understand the Gospel story. Books that only show Jesus' hand or give him a shining face can at times cause more confusion than clarity.


5. These images are not intended to become an object of worship, but to point towards the only one who is worthy of our worship (Revelation 5:12).


6. As all of the commandments are restated or clarified in the New Testament, the intent of the second commandment is expressed again in not worshiping false gods like the Gentiles (1 Corinthians 12:2). The result of idolatry is sinful living and rebellion (1 Cor. 10:7). Again, this seems much different than seeking to fulfill Deuteronomy 6:7 by creating resources that help children understand the Bible.

"...these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children..." Deuteronomy 6:6b-7a


7. The New Testament never forbids making a picture of Jesus. Instead, it tells us to set our mind on Christ (Colossians 3:2). It teaches us to 'let the word of Christ dwell in you richly' (Col. 3:16). This was our goal with creating our storybook Bible, and do not believe illustrations that align with the Bible's teaching are in violation of the second commandment.


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