Bad Kids of the Bible: And What They Can Teach Us

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These are the uber-brats of the Bible, kids who killed, committed incest, sold siblings into slavery, or asked for an enemy’s head on a dish. Each of the 28 stories in this book focus on a boy or girl from the Bible whose conduct was the stuff of parents’ nightmares. Some of these kids repented. Others did not. Yet whether they turned their...
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These are the uber-brats of the Bible, kids who killed, committed incest, sold siblings into slavery, or asked for an enemy’s head on a dish. Each of the 28 stories in this book focus on a boy or girl from the Bible whose conduct was the stuff of parents’ nightmares. Some of these kids repented. Others did not. Yet whether they turned their lives around or persisted in their wicked ways there are lessons to be learned from these stories that contemporary people can apply to their lives today.


The tone of the book is light-hearted, but not irreverent. The idea is to recognize in biblical characters our own family’s foibles and failings. Furthermore, it is more interesting to read about rotten kids than about kids who are little angels—it’s certainly closer to actual family life. But the bottom line is the Brats of the Bible teach our kids (and their parents) what NOT to do, and the ones who cleaned up their act show us how we can make improvements in our lives, too.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

So far, 2009 has been rich in spiritually driven child-rearing guides. The most scriptural and perhaps least helpful for the anxious parent is Craughwell's, which, like a biblical Goops book (see Gelett Burgess's Goops and How To Be Them: A Manual of Manners for Polite Infants), retails with some glee a double handful of the more nightmarish stories of the Old and New Testaments-Amnon, Adonijah, and Berenice, to name just a few. As he did in his Saints Behaving Badly, Craughwell retells these stories in narrative and then follows each story with a brief reflection.

The Parent Adventure, by Rodney and Selma Wilson, longtime contributors to Homelife magazine, with Scott McDonald, associate director of LifeWay Research, is a more conventional guide for the believing Christian parent through the trials and tumults of a child's life. Its central assertion is that children's lives ought to be "more about knowing God than anything else."

Elliott's guide shrewdly addresses the persisting challenges of raising boys in today's culture, frequently without fathers. Like Wilson and his coauthors, Elliott sees the principal duty of children as the duty to God but offers Jesus as a kind of male role model for the growing child.

Jungreis-Wolff (The Committed Life), daughter of Rebbitzen Jungreis, brings a Jewish perspective to bear on the child-rearing question. She shows the reader how to instill not simply Torah principles but simchas hachayim(true joy) in children. Not surprisingly, given Judaism's focus on the home as a source of spirituality, she recommends the home as a sanctuary of peace and spirituality for thechild.

—Graham Christian
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781416130710
  • Publisher: Fair Winds Press
  • Publication date: 10/15/2008
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Thomas J. Craughwell is the author of more than a dozen books, including Failures of the Presidents, Stealing Lincoln's Body, The Rise and Fall of the Second Largest Empire in History, and The Greatest Brigade. He has written articles on history, religion, politics, and popular culture for the Wall Street Journal, The American Spectator, and U.S. News & World Report. He lives in Bethel, Connecticut.

Praise for Stealing Lincoln’s Body by Thomas Craughwell:

“Thomas J. Craughwell has given us a richly detailed, highly entertaining, and broad slice of our history.”—The American Spectator

“There is no end of fascinating context and detail in this engrossing, often zany, yet poignant tale.” —Chicago Tribune

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Customer Reviews

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