The Lego Bible and Divine Wrath

My wife and I are trying to introduce my three-year old son to the daily discipline of Bible reading. We thought it would be cute and relevant to purchase the Lego “Brick Bible” my wife heard about from a friend. We chose the Old Testament edition. After the fact, I’m not sure it was a good idea.* Thankfully, we got it pretty cheap on Amazon.

The images and storylines are a little explicit for a sensitive three-year old mind to process. Maybe it took a visual illustration for me to fully see it, but there is an incredible amount of horrific violence, heart-rending betrayal, and general human messiness in the OT. The Old Covenant is a perpetual Braveheart movie on steroids, the only difference is the actors are real in God’s story.

The Lego Bible (or any Bible for that matter) pulls no punches in displaying Noah’s shortcomings:

Israel’s war-torn history:

Samson’s throw down with a donkey bone:

David’s shocking adulterous sin:

The Bible is an honest account of man’s grappling with his own sinfulness, and God’s holy hatred towards that sin that has plagued us from birth. Scripture is full of real people with real issues who must cast themselves on the mercy of a real God.

We don’t have to make the Bible relevant. Look at our fallen modern world and it is manifestly clear that the Bible is relevant.

The focus of God’s judgment is unbalanced in the Lego Bible. Before every act of divine judgment (flood, fire, war, etc.) in the OT God first sent a messenger to preach righteousness and repentance (2 Peter 2:5, Deut 18:9-10, 1 sam 15:6). Despite God’s patience with them, evil men still hardened their hearts and committed mind numbing atrocities against one another.

No one dies without apt divine warning.

Let’s keep our eyes on the cross of Jesus Christ where judgment and mercy perfectly meet in the broken body of a Lamb. He is our only shield from the wrath to come.

Behold then the kindness and severity of God; to those who fell, severity, but to you, God’s kindness, if you continue in His kindness; otherwise you also will be cut off. (Romans 11:22)

*After researching it more, let me be clear: I DO NOT recommend the Brick Bible for anyone, especially children.

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Author: Bryan Daniels

I am a follower of Jesus, a husband to Jessica, and a father of three boys: Josiah, Gideon and Judah. I teach high school math as a job, read reformed theology as a hobby, and write this blog just for kicks. With the rest of my time I coach football and track.

42 thoughts on “The Lego Bible and Divine Wrath”

  1. I’d seen pics of the Lego Bible and honestly thought it was some kind of joke – because of the graphic nature. I’m sorry, really, to know it is real. My 3YO will not be receiving it for a gift.
    Thank you for your thoughts – I, too, believe it’s first and foremost about mercy.

      1. Way back when I was in college, it was a blog. And it was considered satire. So I highly doubt they published it as a God-honoring book. 😦

  2. That was funny about the lego OT stories! I have a three year old and he REALLY enjoys “The Big Picture Story Bible” by David R. Helm. It focuses on the bigger themes of the Bible as opposed to the individual stories and is perfect for three year olds (lots of pictures and less words).

    Also, I recommend the book “Family Worship” by Donald S. Whitney to get some more ideas about family devotions and learn about the theology and history of it. It is an easy read… only about 60 pages. Both books are on amazon.

  3. That scared me just looking at it 🙂 I’m not too sure about it for a three year old either 😦 Maybe the New Testament would have been better? smiles, Terri

  4. That’s interesting. I’ve not heard of the Lego Brick Bible before. My children are all older now (9, 14, 19), but I must say, the pictures they get in their heads from hearing and reading the Bible are enough. Prayers always, for each of us, for God to reveal what He would have us to understand. Don’t need the Lego “scenes” to help us out. I’ve enjoyed reading your posts and look forward to more.

    Blessings!

  5. Yeah, I don’t think I’d have these around for kids, but otherwise, I don’t see anything offensive about these legos. Putting the legos aside, this was a great post!

  6. I have never heard of The Lego Bible. I love this idea. I would love to get a set for my grandchildren in South Africa.

  7. Dr. Kenneth Taylor’s The Bible in Pictures for Little Eyes ( a classic) is great starting point with small children. The pictures are a source for wondering and questions.

  8. I know of a lot people who have gotten themselves into uncomfortable places with this book (Brick Bible) – including teachers. It reminds us that the Bible tells it like it is!

  9. I loved this post, but feel compelled to add that while there is a lot of gore and violence in the OT, trying to make the crucifixion NOT gory would be romanticizing the truth and ignoring the horror of what happened to Jesus Christ physically during His death. But, in spite of all the pain and suffering He endured to redeem me to Himself, it was the awful weight of my sin that caused the Father to turn His eyes away from His only Son. The blood, in human minds, is the awful thing to see at the cross…yet it was the sin that caused the separation from the Father. And it is sin that separates still. As we read in Hebrews, without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sin. I do not believe, however, that mercy trumps grace or love or righteous judgement or any of the other attributes of our almighty God. I think we need to be ever cautious that we do not attribute to God our human perspectives on what qualities are most important–that would create a man-made imbalanced God. Kind of like the “God is Love” who is no longer righteous judge in modern culture. Just some thoughts. Ahh, I am getting preachy…sorry:)!

  10. Great post but just to correct you on a small point, the “characters” in Braveheart were real people too. The film may have given them dodgy accents and even dodgier beards but they were still real!!

    As for telling bible stories to kids, especially as young as 3, I haven’t found a text that satisfies the theology without lowering it to the level of a nursery rhyme or a “bedtime” story just to engage the child. Just keep persevering and your child will learn as much from your example as they will from reading the bible til they are old enough to read it properly for themselves.

    Good luck, and God bless.

  11. Yes, the gory and the glory is all there in scripture, isn’t it? And who needs fiction when reality is so…intense? We have had numerous “how-do-I-tactfully-rush-through-this-part” moments with our kids, reading through the Bible. Such a great way to make it real and living, though. Life stinks and people do dumb things. But God? He’s gracious, compassionate, full of mercy.
    (thanks for steering us clear of the Lego Bible, btw. We have a couple Lego-maniacs in the house)

  12. “No one dies without apt divine warning.

    Let’s keep our eyes on the cross of Jesus Christ where judgment and mercy perfectly meet in the broken body of a Lamb. He is our only shield from the wrath to come.”

    Well said, Bryan. I so love the focus on mercy and grace. He is good!

    Shelley

  13. Thanks for this information, Bryan. It’s good to know. I will definitely pass it on. Sounds to me as if the creators of this “Bible” have just taken advantage of the mood of the age, where almost everyone — including, and especially kids — wants to see the fighting, killing, and destroying taking place first-hand. It will, no doubt, sell well to those families who let their kids watch the violent cartoons and movies, because it will fit right in, yet soothe their parental conscience because it’s called a “bible.”

  14. I liked your last comment about “mercy.” I had the opportunity to preach/teach on the Holy of Holies once. I think it is amazing that in the epicenter of God’s holiest place between us and the Law…is the Mercy Seat. Pretty cool.

  15. Interesting. I hadn’t heard of The Lego Bible. It does look a wee bit too vivid showing violence for a 3 year old. In addition, it doesn’t portray the whole picture of the actual bible stories. It might be good for a 6 year old but definitely not a 3 year old.

      1. Yeah I saw the Lego bible in the book store 2 weeks ago, I only flipped through the bible quickly and missed those pictures. Was thinking about buying it for some friends, but now am glad I didn’t after seeing those pictures.

        It seems too much like they’re poking fun at His Word, not a good thing to do.

        I find those types of bibles add and remove from His Word, which He warned us not to do lest we fall under judgement.

        By the way interesting blog, will have to check it out more.

        J

        P.S. A better solution to the picture bibles: go to where it really happened, make a trip to Israel. You won’t be disappointed, it’s full of historical places. Get a National Park Pass and rent a car. Stay as long as you can, visiting each and every single spot you can think of or find on the maps. You’ll come back with much more knowledge than a book or video can give you.

  16. I had the opportunity to talk with Brendan Powell Smith (creator of “The Brick Testament”) a few years back, when I used some of his images for a college Bible Study Methods class I was leading.

    Brendan is a thoughtful guy, who, though not a believer, is committed to sticking to the text. If the images shock, it’s because Scripture shocks. It’s important to remember that this isn’t intended to be a book for children, any more than R. Crumb’s comic book version of Genesis is intended for kids. Format does not equal audience.

    The Bible’s R rated, and we should applaud those artists willing to portray it visually . . . even if it makes us a bit uncomfortable. The Scriptures are messy, brutal, bloody, and difficult texts. They resolve, but don’t tie up with neat bows and ribbons. Ultimately, isn’t that why they mean anything at all? Redemption is meaningless if we live in a sanitized suburban world of Veggie Tales and pop tarts. Give me the blood, thunder, and peace of the cross . . . and the Brick Testament for a few laughs along the journey.

    1. I agree with you Paul! Hence the “Braveheart movie on steroids” reference in the post. The Bible is nakedly explicit. One glance at the torn Godman on the cross confirms this. And I agree the Lego Bible must not have been made for children even though the friend who referred us to it bought it for her kids.

      Brendan may be a cool cat, but the “commentary” of his on the NT version did not stick to the text, but injected some really unnecessary sarcasm.

      Thanks for the compelling thoughts and stopping by sir! I’ll let that Pop Tart comment slide for now (only the best food invention of mankind) : )

  17. You are right … the Bible … Jesus is no prude and is so very relevant today … thanks for stopping by earlier, and thank you for making me smile with your leggo scenes before a hurried school drop off … we don’t have those in Australia … blessings God is Good

  18. From what I’ve seen of the Lego Testament, while I am also pretty sure the creator was an atheist, I’ve found it pretty helpful on the odd occasion to use as a sermon illustration. Ironic I guess considering his suggested agenda!

    Jesus wasn’t just a nice bloke, he wasn’t a prude just as God is Good said, he spoke his mind using language appropriate to the time and culture. However I totally agree, we need to make sure we are aware that we are talking to kids!!!

    Blessings,

    Glen

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