Authorship, Authority and Attribution: Children’s Bibles, David and Psalms


Historically, Bibles for children are dynamic and remarkably diverse interpretive vehicles. The Bibles give preference to the context of the immediate reading communities above that of the canonical source text and they are therefore highly responsive to change. They tend to delimit the Bible to a selection of the narrative sections considered child appropriate, thus excluding poetry, including psalms and wisdom literature. This article compares popular examples of children’s Bibles from two distinct traditions (Jewish American children’s Bibles and Afrikaans children’s Bibles). It remarks upon the manner in which a return of psalms in some present-day children’s Bibles takes place, arguing that a tradition of Davidic attribution is significant for thinking of children’s Bibles as embedded firmly in existing traditions of Bible interpretation. Their relevance to modern readerships, the deceptive simplicity of textual engagement and its close alliance to the everyday warrant our attention and the focus of our study beyond the scope of religious pedagogy.



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