A Story of God and All of Us Young Reade - By Roma Downey


In the spring of 2011 we began work on a ten-hour television miniseries: The Bible . It would begin with the Book of Genesis and end with the Book of Revelation. As you can imagine, we were immediately faced with a massive creative challenge: how do we tell this story? More specifically: how do we transform a sacred narrative that spans thousands of years and features hundreds of individual stories into just ten hours of television?

We had one of two choices: either select dozens of short summaries and tell many brief stories, or choose fewer characters and stories but make a much deeper emotional connection.

Clearly, we had to go with the second choice.

So we began the TV scripts, written by a team of writers under the guidance of many theologians, advisors, and biblical experts. Their combined expertise


brought forth vivid spiritual and historical images. To our great joy, when we showed the scripts to others for technical and creative feedback, the resounding messages we heard over and over were "I've never been able to imagine these Bible stories so clearly in my mind," "I'm going to reread the Bible," and "You really should publish these scripts."

Initially we were resistant, but then we started researching. We came across startling facts like: half of Americans cannot name the first five books of the Bible; 12 percent of American Christians believe that Noah's wife was Joan of Arc; and many believe that Sodom and Gomorrah were a married couple.

If our scripts had provided an impetus for people to want to reread the Bible and given them a clearer picture of these stories, then maybe by novelizing the scripts we could spark even more people to pick up the Bible.

Thus, we began the novel A Story of God and All of Us , and here we have adapted it for the young reader. We feel very inadequate to teach the Bible, and we are certainly not theologians. We are television storytellers. It will be easy for people to focus on how we have "compressed stories" or to find

"theological inaccuracies." But on this point, we must be clear: we are not retelling the story of the Bible; it has already been told in the richest, fullest way possible, from the mouth of


God and through his chosen prophets, apostles, and students. Instead, we are dramatizing some of these beautiful stories from our scripts.

We owe a huge debt of thanks to the small army of scriptwriters, our amazing production team, and all of our advisors and biblical experts. We also want to thank you for holding this novel in your hands. Our television miniseries will be seen by millions around the world, and it is our hope that the series, together with this book, will inspire many more millions to read and reread the greatest story ever told: the Bible.

Roma Downey and Mark Burnett

California, 2013



Have you ever wondered why the powerful and inspiring stories of the Bible stay in our hearts long after we first learn them? Perhaps it's because they continue to resonate within us. We recognize ourselves in the stories; we see our own lives play out in the situations. We identify with the struggles and the victories, the sorrows and the joys. We see them all as relevant to ourselves.

And they are. These are our stories.

Whatever we may face in our lives today, we can rely on the stories of the Bible to help shine a light on the answers we need. I believe this is one of God's most important gifts to us.

It has been my privilege to help tell the stories of these great biblical figures.

Most of us may already be familiar with many of these characters from church, readings, and teachings. But when we experience these


old familiar stories told in new ways, they become alive in us and stay vivid and fresh in our minds and our hearts.

The story of Jesus is a story of love, for God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son. The struggles and sacrifices that Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, and Mary endured thousands of years ago are all stories from our shared experience of God's love. We see ourselves in these people.

Throughout A Story of God and All of Us , you will see that these people lived with the same fears, hopes, loves, and joys that we all have.

They are just like us. It is, after all, a story we share.

My dream is that the courage and love these