By Paula Gooder and Bob Hartman
The little girl looked across at my husband, and nudged her mother, before saying loudly “Look, there’s God”
The sheer delight in her small face sprang from that morning’s school Assembly where an episode of ‘Open the Book’ had been acted out, with plenty of participation by all the children.
This, surely, is one of the great ways to bring Bible stories to life – with actions that reflect the different characters, and the drama of the story itself.
But where OTB uses a retold, cut-down version of the Bible stories, this “Tell it Together Gospel” takes the idea further to great effect, bringing a wonderfully readable new version of Mark’s Gospel, complete with sounds, actions, and different voices.
Bob Hartman had long wanted to do his Bible story-telling with the actual Gospel text, and Paula Gooder had always wished to make a modern translation. The result of their collaboration is a delightfully fresh re-telling of the Gospel of Mark.
The result is lively, and fun – easy to read, large print allows the narrator to keep the story flowing, and to involve children in the actions – moans, groans, cheers, and all.
A sample: “Jesus answered them and began to say ‘Be careful that no one fools you (everyone says ‘You warned us. We won’t be fooled’) ‘When you hear about wars (everyone shakes their fist and makes warlike sounds) …
and the energy of the translation with its actions is really exciting and would be a delight for children to share.
Any family could enjoy this, any small group with an encouraging leader involved – the children gain their confidence from seeing a smiling leader, who tells them what’s happening so they can join in with relish.
And the result? A lively understanding of Mark’s Gospel that springs to life in this format – a wonderful collaboration that will bear much good fruit. I can’t wait to try it out on my grandchildren!
Reviewed by Lavender Buckland LLM
The Tell It Together Gospel: Mark is just £8.50 until 31st January 2020 (RRP £9.99).