The Bible Story by Arthur S. Maxwell is???

Now i grew up with these blue books, and i have many good memories of my parents reading them to me before going to bed at nite. I believe many have been blessed with developing a love for the Bible thru this series of 10 books, but recently, reading them over to find stories for little ones i am staying with, i see some big problems. The number one problems is the philosophy of “unconditional love”. No, it is not said in so many words, as that phrase doesn’t seem to be used by hardly anyone in the 1950s when these books were published, but the language is clearly pointed in that direction.

Just a few examples from the book in front of me now – Volume 8, Part 2. Yesterday i saw a bunch of fish in a huge tank by the river, so my eyes caught the title of Story 10 “Money in a Fish”. In talking about the temple tax money, it says: “It seems that the tax at that time was half a shekel, and Jesus, while willing to pay it, didn’t have that much money.” But the Bible says: Matthew 17:27 Notwithstanding, lest we should offend them… So Jesus did not want to pay the money, as he was above the temple. Plus, it is highly likely that his disciple who kept the funds for the group had at least this much money, but no, Jesus wanted to show Peter a miracle to increase his faith it seems.

Chapter 11 says: No matter what anybody says or does to us,we will go on loving him just the same.” But the Bible says: Hosea 9:15 … I will love them no more… The next chapter says of Jesus’ kingdom: “In his kingdom love, and love alone, ruled”. But the Bible says: 2Samuel 23:3 The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spake to me, He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God.

This is just a small, almost random sample, showing serious error in theology in these Bible Story books. I pray that anyone having this series of books vets it very carefully, and changes the wording in places before reading it to your children!!!

Speaking of children, one of Arthur Maxwell’s sons – Graham Maxwell – is the man who wrote a book called “Servants or Friends” which is very firmly in the camp of “unconditional love”.

29 thoughts on “The Bible Story by Arthur S. Maxwell is???”

  1. I have loved those books but never realized that there was a problem…. shouldn’t young children know of the love of God in these stories… as an adult we can better handle the justice of God.

    Check the forum… it has been hit again

  2. I agree that love and mercy are stronger than justice. But you MUST have justice too, or there is no such thing as love and mercy.
    Satan was very busy showing God as all “justice” in olden times, but after Jesus came into this world and showed emphatically that charge was false, he has changed to portraying God as all “love”, and he is having tremendous success.
    It is very hard to show people how an “all love” God is just as bad or worse than an “all justice” God, because it makes people think you are against love. Plus, it gives a much nicer, warm feeling to just think of God’s love, and ignore, or play down his justice.
    What i’ve seen recently in just reading a few stories in the Bible Story book, (and based on my recollection of the past) these books portray the love aspect of God almost exclusively. Is it just a coincidence that the author’s own son is one of the leading proponents of the “unconditional love” doctrine that has swept the Seventh-day Adventist church?
    It is interesting that one member of my own family got a picture of God as only “justice”, while i got a very different picture – of both justice and love, with love being the stronger aspect. That is what i still believe today, but my family member is now totally into “unconditional love”.
    Strangely, most people i’ve met who believe this error get very angry when told it is false. Doesn’t that seem a bit contradictory?!

  3. Yes, it is a shame really… it just seems to me that the human mind can only handle one concept at a time…. OY!

  4. Is it possible that our modern western concept of love differs from the love of God, so that we see a dicotomy between God’s love and His justice? We are all very clear that “God is love”. Since this is what God is by nature, does He ever cease to be love…ever? Is it unloving to be just? Is it unloving for God to allow us to have what we choose, even when that choice is personal destruction and eternal death?

  5. I think that is very, very possible that our concept of love is incorrect.
    It is interesting that we often hear “God is love”, but almost never hear “Our God is a consuming fire”. Yet both are from the same Bible!

  6. This is the first article I have found about these books. I have been trying to find anything online that states the books are biblically inaccurate. This has been helpful.

  7. “Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.” Do you know how many precious souls these wonderful volumes has won, may God have pity on you for posting such rubbish about one of the dead saints.

  8. Jesus’ mission on earth reveals God as love. ( John 3:16) In fact, the story of the prodigal son in Luke 15 confirms God as a forgiving and everloving Father that will accept us back no matter how deep we are in sin. Of course there is the aspect of discipline which He metes to His erring children but this is done out of love and as a corrective measure. However, God’s final judgement and justice will be carried out on satan, his angels and those that reject Jesus, the son of God.

  9. Hello lulubel,
    I believe God’s love towards us is grace, ie: unmerited love. I do not believe it is unconditional.
    Please see this blog post on the subject:
    Please read Psalms 5:5,6, 2Chronicles 19:1,2, Hosea 9:15, John 14:21-23
    I see the ultimate end of believing this doctrine, and that is that all will at last be saved. Because how can God possibly burn anyone in the lake of fire, and keep others out of the lake of fire, if his love is actually unconditional? How can he love you or i or even his son Jesus any more than Satan himself, because, after all, “unconditional” naturally means that God would have to love everyone exactly equally.
    Please consider what the meaning of the word “unconditional” is.

  10. I Love this book, opened mine eyes to see the Glory of God.
    Story of the Book, like inspiration from God Alone, I beleive Uncle Arthur was recieve message from God.
    Thanks for nice story for grow up my fife and lift up my soul.
    Making happy my family.

  11. I truly think these books are the best Bible story books there are on the market. God’s love is unconditional. He does love us unconditional, but he does reqiure obedience. He died on the cross because of unconditional love!

  12. Margaret, these may be the best Bible story books on the market. That does not make them free from error, does it?
    You assert that God’s love is unconditional, then add that he “requires” something. The two words are diametrically opposed. For example, if two sides are fighting, and one side asks for an unconditional surrender, what “requirements” would there be?
    Unconditional love = universalism, plain and simple.

  13. choiceandaccountablility

    wow, I agree with faireden, betterliving4u, and jericho. Arthur Maxwell was inspired from on high. These books EVEN IF not free from error are the best bible stories for children; timeless quality and retelling hands down.

  14. Be careful choiceandaccountability, “Arthur Maxwell was inspired from on high.” This is bordering on despite to the Holy Spirit.
    These Bible Story Books have been a blessing to many, and they’ve also helped shape many young minds to false ideas of God loving them no matter what they do (unconditional love).

  15. I didn’t realize that unconditional love meant you could do anything and God would still love you. I thought unconditional love meant that there was nothing one could do to cause Him (God) to love an individual. My simple mind thought that He (God the Son) expressed that unconditional love when He (God the Son) left the kingdom of heaven to come to this God forsaken (Translation: people who have forsaken God) place to die so those that deserved to die wouldn’t have to if they made the right choice.

  16. Hello Ariel7, When in America last year i met a Brother who is on-fire for Christ. He is a car mechanic, but in the 15 minutes he took to talk with me, he gave a powerful witness/talk for Jesus, better than 99% of sermons i’ve heard. But on his web site it talked about God’s “unconditional love”. I sent him a email explaining that phrase was error, to which he replied a bit testily at first, then more humbly in the 2nd reply, saying that he had been looking for better terminology, but that was the best he could come up with. The next day i got a joyous email from him explaining how he had been studying Ellen White’s books, and had come across the phrase “unmerited love”. That made me joyous with him 🙂
    Praise God his love is “unmerited”. Also praise him that it is NOT “unconditional”.

  17. I also remember when our mother read these wonderful books to me my sister and brothers before bedtime we really looked forward to that time and enjoyed the stories.
    As one of God’s children I believe we were made by God.
    I follow what I have been taught and have lived by all of my life and that is God’s love is unconditional. He grants us forgiveness many times over, we are to learn by our mistakes. We are always God’s work in progress as we strive to learn and to follow God teachings and to be more like him. Those like me are taught that we live by God’s rules. Our love to God is first and foremost.
    Arthur S. Maxwell’s Bible Story books were written for a child to understand.
    The Bible Story books were written to help young children learn about God’s unconditional love, and his teachings.

  18. Sandie, You wrote: “The Bible Story books were written to help young children learn about God’s unconditional love, and his teachings.”
    If this is true, and this is why the Bible Story books were written, to spread the lie of God’s “unconditional love”, then Arthur Maxwell was led by the enemy of God to write these books.
    Personally, i do not believe that is the reason he wrote these books. Most likely, he wanted to have a “feel good, help the kids understand God, love everybody” kind of book, (perhaps because that is what sells well), and that is what he wrote. I seriously doubt there was any overt effort on anyone’s part to make these books help teach children about God’s “unconditional love”.
    I hope after reading the whole post, and all the comments, that you will see how dangerous this “unconditional love” doctrine is. It is “universal salvation” for everyone, under a new banner. Satan has been very ingenious in getting people to do what looks to be a good thing, but so messing with their thinking processes that they go off the straight and narrow path when they get older.
    May we be true to God, and show the error that Satan has sought to implant among us in this “unconditional love” doctrine.

  19. God’s love is “unconditional” simply means that He loves us all even though we do not return that same love to Him. One day He will destroy sin therefore He has to destroy those who refuses to obey Him. This will pain His heart to do but He cannot allow sin to rule, and that my friend is unconditional love.He lets the sun to shine on the good and the bad everyday the good and the bad has to face death one day in the end we are the ones that decides our final destiny.

  20. Hello thedaobriem. “Unconditional love” usually is understood as “no matter what you do, that love won’t change”. I’ve been in a Sabbath school class where everyone said it meant “No matter what you do, God loves you”.
    I’m glad you do not believe that definition. You write: “This will pain His heart to do but He cannot allow sin to rule, and that my friend is unconditional love”. I think there is still some confusion on what unconditional means in this statement. You see, if he loves everyone “unconditionally”, then he cannot say he “hates” some people as he does in multiple places in the Bible, and he cannot destroy anyone at the end in the judgment day.

  21. To Daniel and others reading this : “The Bible Story Books” are a Great resource for children to learn the stories of the Bible. And I believe Daniel has taken what He has read and said, out of context! Just to set the record straight…In Volume 10 Pt.2 pages 89-91 Matthew 17:27 But so that we may not offend them, go to the lake and throw out your line, take the first fish you catch; open it’s mouth and you will find a four-drachma coin. Take it and give it to them for my tax and yours. (Peters). Jesus used this situation, however, to emphasize his Kingly role. Just as King pay no taxes and collect none from their family, Jesus, the King, owed no taxes. But, Jesus supplied the tax payment for both himself and Peter rather than offend those who didn’t understand his Kingship. Although Jesus supplied the tax money, Peter had to go and get it. Ultimately, All that we have comes to us from God’s supply, but he may want us to be active in the process. You seem to be assuming a lot and missing what is said in the word! Secondly, Story 2 page 91. In Matthew 18:21. Peter came to Jesus, and asked, “Lord how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times? Jesus answered, ” I tell you not seven times, but seventy-seven times.” The Rabbis taught the people to forgive those who offended them… Only three times. Peter asked Jesus if seven ( the ” perfect” number) was enough times to forgive someone, but Jesus answered ” Seventy-Seven times” , meaning we shouldn’t even keep track of how many times we forgive someone. We should always forgive those who are truly repentant, no matter how many times they ask! Matthew 18:35 Because God has forgiven all our sins; we should not withhold forgiveness from others. When we don’t forgive others, we are setting ourselves outside and above Christ’s law if love. My advice is: We should always be willing to listen to and be corrected by Gods word and wise Counselors. Bring your decisions to God in prayer; use the Bible as your guide and then follow Gods leading. He will make your paths straight by both guiding and protecting You! To receive Gods guidance, as Solomon says, ” We must acknowledge God in all ways. And in Proverbs 4:1-27 Solomon tells us to guard our heart a ove all else. Read Psalm 91:1-2,Proverbs 3:5-7, Romans 13:9, Matthew 22:37, Deut. 11:1, 2Chr. 20:21, LV.19:18, 1JN. 4:16, 1JN.4:19 God Bless, Cinjay

  22. Thank you Cinjay for your observations. You are exactly correct in what the Bible says about Jesus’ experience with the tax money. Since this is directly contradictory to what the Bible Story book says: “It seems that the tax at that time was half a shekel, and Jesus, while willing to pay it, didn’t have that much money.”, then we should point out that error, shouldn’t we?
    Regarding the much more important point about the error of unconditional love in these books, you have not commented on that. It is very true we are to forgive. That has nothing to do with unconditional love.
    Unconditional love means that God loves every one the same. That means he loves Satan now just as much as he loves his only-begotten son – Jesus Christ!
    Let’s be diligent in pointing out error wherever it is found.

  23. Hi,
    I was searching for for these books online and stumbled upon your site. I found this discussion very interesting. I also was raised in a Seventh Day Adventist home and was taught that God’s love was unconditional. Even when I strayed and Satan became my master I never doubted that God’s love was unconditional. I can understand why you think God’s love is unconditional but I think you are getting God’s love and salvation mixed up. Look at it this way, what can you possible do or give to God to earn God’s love. God who is the creator of all things, what can you give him that is good enough to earn his love. Nothing. He loves you and me no matter what we do, however, he cannot save you unless you act and do (live) as he commands. God’s love is unconditional but salvation is not. Salvation is conditional.

  24. Mssandybay, You wrote: “I can understand why you think God’s love is unconditional” but you probably meant to add a “not” in there, right?
    God’s love is totally unmerited, agreed. But when you write: “He loves you and me no matter what we do,” i must disagree because the Bible shows that God disagrees.
    Hosea 9:15 … I will love them no more.
    If you think about the word “unconditional”, it would mean that God loves Satan just as much as he loves Jesus. Is that what you believe?

  25. Hello. “Unconditional Love”
    It is more of God’s Divine Love and Mercy. As we are baptized and are adults we know the laws and teaching. There is God’s commandment. There are stories of saints and martyrs where we can all learn from.

    Speaking about the Kingdom of God. Mine is the Messiah, Jesus Christ and as a citizen, servant of this Kingdom I should follow the decree of the King.
    Jesus Christ is the best example of a friend, a family, a brother, a father, master, what a loving brother and Master he is.
    Jesus got angry, he yelled, he tossed the coins, those who turned the temple into a gambling and market place.
    God will not tolerate evil things, we as human as servant of God should call out these evil things men does. We judge according to the laws, our morals and principles. So when someone said “do not judge”, ask them why? We have a book and we all have an education where we learn things.
    Right or wrong, we know what. Reprove and correct gently with patience… We all learn from each other, i hope in a good way.
    May God bless and protect us and from evil. ️❤️

  26. wainwright phillip Daniel the link I have just sent answers the question does God kill I think this is important to the discussion on the bible stories by Arthur Maxwell.s unconditional love. The site also has a good blog on what is God’s justice. I believe this is a good read for you. May God bless you.

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