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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Review: Your Bible Story Hour

*this post contains affiliate links

I recently had an opportunity to review Your Bible Story Hour Album 1 from Compass Classroom.

Your Bible Story Hour, was originally broadcast as a radio show and now been made available from Compass Classroom as  mP3 digital downloads.  The stories are audio dramas complete with sound effects, music, and two narrators named Aunt Sue and Uncle Dan. These stories are recommended for elementary and middle school children along with their parents.  Younger siblings may enjoy listening as well although some of the stories may be intense for younger children and should be previewed by parents first. There are 7 different albums in the series:

Album 1 goes from Genesis 1-Exodus 14 ($32)
Album 2 goes from Exodus 15 to I Samuel 25 ($32)
Album 3 goes from 1 Samuel 23 to Esther 5 ($32)
Album 4 goes from Esther 5 to John 6 ($32)
Album 5 goes from Esther 6 to Acts 25 ($32)
The Life of Jesus covers Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John ($34)
Acts of the Apostles covers the book of Acts and other stories of the early church ($26)

My review will focus on Album 1.

The albums are available to purchase as a digital download in mP3 format.  You simply download the zip file to your computer and extract the files.  From there you can play on your computer using any player you have installed that can play mP3 files (I use Windows Media Player.)  You could also burn them to a CD if you wanted to play them on something besides your computer.

On Album One there are 24 different stories with each story being around 30 minutes long.  Each story tells you where you can find it in the Bible if you would like to have your children read it before or after listening to the story to compare the Bible with the audio drama.

In Album One you will find:

1. Adam and Eve - Story of Creation
 2. Cain and Abel and The Man Who Believed What God Said (Noah Part 1)
 3. The Man Who Believed What God Said (Noah Part 2)
 4. The Temple Tower
 5. The Call of Abraham
 6. The Three Strangers
 7. Sodom
 8. The Supreme Test
 9. The Strange Romance
 10. The Unlike Twins
 11. The Cheating Twin Cheated
 12. The Mystery of the Disappearing Idols
 13. The Case of the Wrestling Twin
 14. The Coat Of Many Colors
 15. Mrs. Potiphar and the Dungeon
 16. The King's Butler and the King's Baker
 17. The King and the Slave
 18. The Unreasonable Prime Minister
 19. The Governor's Mysterious Feast
 20. The Long Delayed Reunion
 21. A Deliverer is Born
 22. Moses Fulfills His Destiny
 23. The King with the Heart of Stone
 24. Miracles by the Sea

You can download two free episodes here.

I was very excited when I saw that Compass Classroom was selling Your Bible Story Hour. I had heard great things about this series.  We love audio books, and listening to audio dramas can be a great way to bring Bible stories to life for young children.  I was very glad to see that these Bible stories didn't just cover the old or new testament, but both.  The dramatizations are very good.  The actors do a great job as well as the music and sound effects creating a picture of the story in your mind.

With stories like this, you expect a bit of artistic license.  We don't know exactly what the people's thoughts and exact words were apart from what the Bible tells us so often there will be parts that don't stay exact to the Bible because details are added in.  There are times in the audio drama where the narrators even remind those listening that these are the things the characters may have said or done.  Compass Classroom says this," Any concerns we had about taking too much liberty with the text were allievated by comments inside each story by the narrators explaining that some characters have been added that were not in the original stories, but who would have had counterparts in history. " But, I feel that the artistic license goes too far at times, especially when it changes what the Bible tells us.  One example of this is in the very first story of Adam and Eve.  The way the story is told, God himself doesn't actually interact with Adam and Eve but some kind of other being tells Adam about God, his Creator, which I assume to be an angel.  There are other things as well that I feel go beyond a little artistic license that makes me hesitate to give a recommendation on these.  But, that is something each family would have to decide on their own.

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this product for the purpose of writing a fair and honest review.  I received no other compensation and all opinions are my own.  I am disclosing this in accordance to FTC regulations.

*links in this post are my affiliate links.  I only form affiliate relationships with companies whose products I actually use and can recommend! (see my above note about my personal lack of recommendation on this particular product.)
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