Unity of Scripture: A Review of ‘The End of the Fiery Sword, Adam & Eve and Jesus & Mary

“Death by Eve, life by Mary” — Saint Jerome (Epistle 22)

Interest Level:  Ages 3+

Review and Comments:

Maura McKeegan illustrates how events of the Old Testament foreshadow the New Testament in this straightforward story of Adam and Eve and Jesus and Mary.  She begins in Genesis with Eve’s disobedience and explains how the Blessed Mother is the new Eve with her obedience and “yes” to God.  Then, the story continues with Adam’s temptation and betrayal prefiguring Jesus’ temptation and fulfillment of His Father’s will. The angel’s fiery sword guarding the tree of life foretells the angel sent to comfort Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane.  Where Adam and Eve’s sin closed the gates of Heaven, Jesus opened the gates and fulfilled God’s plan of redemption.

The recommended interest level for this story is quite broad.  The story will appeal to the youngest reader or listener because of the colorful pictures and simply told stories from the Bible. The book is also perfect for older readers because it introduces references that reveal a deeper relationship between the Old and New Testaments.  There is much to learn about the Bible from this book and a marvelous way to begin learning about Biblical typology.

Possible Concerns:  There are no concerns with this book.

Further Discussion:

Read the entire book. Then, read the book again, stopping at the conclusion of each story.  Use the Bible references listed under Catholic Resources to introduce or review the stories.

Art

  1. Divide a paper in half. On the top left side write Old Testament.  On the top right side write New Testament.  Choose one story and illustrate the Old and New Testament stories.  Find the story of each illustration in the Bible and read the verses.  Write a few sentences about each story under the pictures.  [For example:  Old Testament – Genesis 3: 1-22; New Testament Luke 1:26-38]
  2. Find artwork of one of the stories in the book. For example: The Annunciation (possibly from a Christmas card) and the Garden of Eden.  Choose the artwork that best depicts the stories and glue each under the correct heading.  [Parents should preview any artwork found on Internet sites.]
  3. Asking questions about the artwork helps children begin to understand the story, look more closely at details, and express verbally and artistically what they see.
    1. What do you see? What is happening in the picture?
    2. Who is in the picture? Where is the setting of the picture?
    3. What colors do you see? Why do you think those colors were used?
    4. What do you like about the picture?
    5. How does the picture make you feel?
    6. Would you like to be in the picture? Why?  Why not?

Catholic Resources:

Biblical typology is when a person or an event in the Old Testament foreshadows a person or an event in the New Testament. The bible is full of these kinds of things.  It is a primary tool of Catholic biblical exegesis to study these, because they all point toward the fact that Jesus Christ is indeed the Messiah (the Anointed One) promised to the Israelites for centuries. ” A few examples are: Jesus and Adam (1 Cor 15:45), The manna prefigures the Eucharist (John 6:31-35), Joseph in the Old Testament and Joseph in the New Testament, the Old Testament Ark of the Covenant and Mary, and Eve and Mary. http://www.catholicbible101.com/biblicaltypology.htm

These are the stories mentioned in the book:

  • Adam and Eve – Genesis 3: 1-23
  • Fiery Sword – Genesis 3:24
  • Annunciation – Luke 1: 26-38
  • Agony in the Garden and The Betrayal and Arrest of Jesus – Luke 22: 36-56
  • Angel Sent to Jesus in the Garden – Luke 22:43
  • Mockery by the Soldiers – Matthew 27:27-31

A few Catholic Bibles for children:

  1. This is the USCCB Approved Translations of the Sacred Scriptures for Private Use and Study by Catholics: Translation for Early Youth, A Translation of the New Testament for Children, Contemporary English Version, American Bible Society
  2. The Catholic Children’s Bible (St. Mary’s Press)
  3. Catholic Bible for Children (Catholic Book Publishing)
  4. The Illustrated Catholic Children’s Bible (based on New American Bible)

Read more about Angel Gabriel here.

CCC 635 “Christ went down into the depths of death so that “the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live.”Jesus, “the Author of life”, by dying destroyed “him who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and [delivered] all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong bondage.”Henceforth the risen Christ holds “the keys of Death and Hades”, so that “at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth.”

Today a great silence reigns on earth, a great silence and a great stillness. A great silence because the King is asleep. The earth trembled and is still because God has fallen asleep in the flesh and he has raised up all who have slept ever since the world began. . . He has gone to search for Adam, our first father, as for a lost sheep. Greatly desiring to visit those who live in darkness and in the shadow of death, he has gone to free from sorrow Adam in his bonds and Eve, captive with him – He who is both their God and the son of Eve. . . “I am your God, who for your sake have become your son. . . I order you, O sleeper, to awake. I did not create you to be a prisoner in hell. Rise from the dead, for I am the life of the dead.”

CCC 637 “In his human soul united to his divine person, the dead Christ went down to the realm of the dead. He opened heaven’s gates for the just who had gone before him.”

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