The Book of Life

The set pictured above is available for sale. This is the nicest set that I have ever obtained. Luxury binding in high quality blue cloth,
blind-stamped and gilt-embossed, top edge gilt. First Edition, 1923.

This one looks like it was never read. It is bright, tight, crisp, and clean, in nearly New condition.
Near Fine with only the slightest hints of shelf rubbing. 
$179 includes shipping via Media Mail. Please e-mail Valerie to purchase.

The first and most thrilling history for children is the Bible! Before our kids can begin to interpret and understand later history, they must know the record of God's dealings with individuals and nations as recorded in Scripture.  So, for our Bible history program, we have loved The Book of Life. It is packed with art, music, poetry, and historical and cultural detail. The Bible text is from the wonderful King James Version, but the set can be used with whatever version you prefer for reading aloud. (We use primarily the English Standard Version.)

The first volume, Bible Treasures, combines several features--

Volumes 2-7 present our precious "Bible stories" in the text of the KJV:

Along with text from the Bible, these six volumes also include selections from literature, poetry, and hymns; historical and cultural information, and over 900 illustrations, including clear photographs of archaeological sites and artifacts, maps, and reproductions of classic paintings, some of this in brilliant color. With each art reproduction, you'll also find a biography of the artist and notes on the history of art!

Volume Eight completes the set with the Bible Educator Handbook and indexes. The Bible Educator Handbook includes sections on how to use the Bible in character building, how to tell a Bible story, and how to assist children to dramatize Bible stories.

The desired end is the thorough instruction of our children in the ways of God, so that they can know Him. The authors write of Bible education,  

Obviously, it is not "schooling", it is not "booklearning", though all of these may be means of education. It is gaining power to use life to the best advantage.... The purpose of education is to rouse in the coming generation the creative spirit which produced great things in the past.

The authors believe that no one is educated who does not have close familiarity with the Bible. They say,

The Bible relates the experiences of many men who came to a personal knowledge of God....The Bible is the revelation of God to all the human race. It contains the record of God's dealings with man from the beginning, showing the historic unfolding of great spiritual truths. As a result of the entrance of sin into the world the moral and religious ideas of men sank to a very low level, and many practices far below the level of God's righteousness prevailed. The Bible deals frankly with these practices and condemns their sinfulness without hesitation. It shows how men may be saved by the power of God's redemption.... The writers of the Bible were not merely religious geniuses with unique spiritual insight. No.! "For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of men, but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost." So the Bible in its entirety is the very Word of God infallible, inerrant; "Scripture cannot be broken".

The Book of Life was first published from 1906-1917 as a 5 volume set, The Bible Story. (I prefer the primer section in this set to the revised primer in The Book of Life but overall, as a set, I prefer The Book of Life.)

The Bible Story was enlarged and published as the eight volume Book of Life in 1923 and remained in print until 1972. Sometime 
after 1954 and before 1960, several changes were made to this set, among them,

1. Retold Bible stories replaced the Bible text.
2. Fine art and literature were largely removed.
3. The illustrations were redone in what appears to be a quick and cheap manner

For these reasons, my edition preference runs from 1923-1954. 

The Book of Life was published in a variety of bindings--black leather, red pebbled cloth, blue pebbled cloth, green cloth, brown cloth, cream and brown leatherette, and probably more. Some editions were very beautifully embellished with gilded spines and gilt top page edges, as pictured above.