What is Superbook?
In 1981, The Christian Broadcasting Network created a children's animated Bible series as part of an outreach to the nation of Japan. Little did we realize what impact the series would have in Japan and throughout the world. The English name for this series was "Superbook."
Research performed during and after the outreach showed that this series was an unprecedented success. Superbook, also known as Animated Parent and Child Theater, is an anime television series produced by Tatsunoko Productions in Japan in conjunction with The Christian Broadcasting Network in the United States. During its launch in Japan, it is estimated that over four million people watched each weekly episode of Superbook on television, resulting in the Bible becoming the best-selling book in that country.
From Japan, the Superbook series went on to air throughout the world from Asia to North America. By 1989, in the midst of economic and political turmoil, Superbook began broadcasting in the Soviet Union to astounding results. Superbook aired during prime time on the Soviet National Channel. CBN received over six million letters from children, introducing a whole new generation to the Bible. Even today, the Superbook Kids Club is one of the highest rated live-action children's programs in Ukraine.
Since first airing in Japan, the series has now been broadcast in over 106 countries, translated into 43 languages, and viewed by over 500 million people.
Because of today's new storytelling technology, the original series is losing appeal with this media-savvy generation. To solve this problem, CBN is producing a re-imagined, computer generated, animated version of Superbook. Our goal is to produce a new series that will honor the life-changing legacy of the original series and re-introduce it to a new generation.
How do I purchase DVDs of the series?
By joining The Superbook Club. When you join The Superbook Club, you will automatically receive each new episode of Superbook. In addition, we will send you two free copies of each new episode in attractive packaging that you can give as gifts to others. Your tax deductible gift will also help produce future Superbook episodes and bring the Word of God to children around the world. Call 1-866-226-0012 or you can learn more about The Superbook Club here.
What do I do if I forgot my password or username?
If you forgot your password, click on the “Sign In” link at the top of the page.
In the box that opens, click on “I forgot my password” below the “Password” field of the form.
Once you click on “I forgot my password” a new “Password Recover” form will appear and you will need to enter your username and first name and then hit “Continue”. You will then need to check your email and you will receive an email with a new password that you can use on the website with your username.
If at that point, you would like to change your password to something that is more easy for you to remember, then you will need to click on the link in the email that you received and you will be able to change the password to a new one that you will be able to use on our website.
If you have forgotten your username contact a Superbook Team Member with the email address you used to create the account.
Why should I register?
Once you register you will be allowed to create an character, record your scores, save your favorite games, collect SuperPoints, exchange your SuperPoints for cool prizes and use your SuperPoints to get upgrades for your personal profile character!
How do I register on Superbook.TV?
To register for Superbook.TV:
- Click "Registration" in Welcome area of the website.
- A registration window will open up and you will need to fill out the form.
- If you are 12 or younger, you will be asked to provide the email of a parent.
- If you are 13 or older, you will need to provide your own email address, you will receive an email from CBN where you will need to click on a link to activate your account.
- If you are a CBN community member trying to register a child that is over 13, you will need to use another email address for that child, i.e., create another CBN community account - this will be a new account.
How do I change my password and other personal information?
To change your password or personal information you will first need to sign your account. Then click on your profile name at the top of the page. Once you land on your profile page, click on "Edit Profile" to the right of your character profile. You will then be able to change your password and any other personal information.
How do I make changes to my Superbook personal profile character?
To change your Superbook character, you will need to follow the following steps:
- Log in.
- Click on the headshot of your character above the top navigation of the website. A drop box will open up and you will need to click on the image of your character, which will take you to your profile page.
- Beside your character, you will see the words “SHOP” and “CLOSET”. Your character comes equipped with some clothes in their closet. To access these clothes, click on the word “CLOSET” and the clothes in your closet will appear.
- You can then scroll through the items in your closet using the arrows on each side of it or you can bring up a specific clothing type by making choices below the main images in your closet. The categories of items include: a) ALL b) HEAD GEAR c) TOPS d) BOTTOMS e) SHOES and f) BACKGROUNDS. If you click on any of these items, only items of that choice type will appear.
- It is here where you will also be able to change your character’s skin tone and eye color as well.
- If you would like to add more items to your closet, you will want to click on the “SHOP” button. This will bring in new items that you can ‘try on’ and ‘buy’ for free or through the exchange of SuperPoints. Once you ‘buy’ an item by either clicking on the ‘buy’ button or the “BUY WHATS ON” button, which will appear above the “SHOP” and “CLOSET” buttons when you are trying on something, that item will stay on your avatar and also go into your closet.
How do I register multiple children?
The way we have set up the registration system is to enable multiple
children to be connected to the same parent's email address. So, when you
register each of your children, each can have their own username and password
and they will also be able to have their own SuperPoints and create their own
online character, as well.
The main thing will be to logout of the account that you have already created, and then go through the same process of registration that you did with the original account, entering the new username and password for each child, using the same email address.
What are SuperPoints?
SuperPoints are accumulated through game play on Superbook.TV by registered users. Right now, you can visit our contest page and exchange SuperPoints for entry into our contests. Or you can use them to upgrade your personal profile character with some cool clothing items.
What are badges and how do I get them?
Once you register to Superbook.TV you will have the opportunity to win badges for SuperPoints that you’ve earned, creating your Superbook character, registering and much, much more. The more you play, the more badges you win!
How do I add my favorite game to my profile?
To add a favorite game log on to the website (after you have registered) and click on the “GAMES” button on the top navigation bar. Click on the game you wish to add. Once the game page has opened up, you will see a ‘thumbs up’ image. After you click on this image the game will be added to your profile page under your “FAVS” as well as within the drop down box that opens up when you click on your character profile headshot above the top navigation of all website pages.
Can I play the games if I don’t register?
Yes, you can play all the games on Superbook.TV even if you don’t register.
Will you be adding new games?
Yes, we are always working to update Superbook.TV with fun new games and features. Check out our newest games on our games page.
How do I turn the sound off on the games?
Each game is equipped with the option to mute sound effects and/or music. Click on the musical note to mute and un-mute the sound. If there is no musical note click “Options,” “Music Off” or “Sound Fx Off.”
Do I need special software to play the games?
You may need the latest version of flash software. Also, these Flash games will not work on iPad, iPod Touches or iPhones. Download Flash here for free!
Do I need special software to view the Gizmo’s Bible Adventures Devotional?
You may need the Adobe PDF Reader to view the online devotional. Download it here for free!
Do you have any other online devotional materials for children?
You can subscribe to receive a daily email that will take you to our Daily Bible Challenge. Each day The Daily Bible Challenge offers children a Bible verse to read and then games that will help them to become more familiar with the Bible verse and to get a little deeper understanding of how that verse can apply to their lives. The games include Word Searches, Multiple Choice Quizzes and a Verse Retype.
Why did you create this web site?
We are working hard to create an entertaining place where your child will want to come, play, and interact with our activities. Whether it is our kids games, our online Bible, Superbook Radio, our personal character creator, or our interactive questions about God, we want kids to have fun on our site while simultaneously learning about the Bible and growing in their relationship with Jesus.
Is this website safe for children?
We’ve designed our website to be a safe place for kids, but the best safety children can have is their parents’ or guardian’s involvement with their online activities. We encourage you to spend time with your child online, not only to supervise their activities and educate them, but also to encourage them with what they are learning within our site. For more information please visit our Info for Parents page.
How can I log in if I forgot my username?
You can also use your email address in place of your username to log in. Or you can contact a Superbook Team Member .
Will I have control over my child’s Superbook account?
Yes. When your child (under age 13) signs up to join the Superbook Kids website, we notify you by e-mail so that you are aware of their desire to take part in our community. Your child’s registration allows them access to all kinds of fun activities within the site, such as taking part in contests or being able to save the points they accumulate while playing our online games. We may also periodically send you an e-mail to let you know of new games that are being added to the site or about future contests that may be of interest to your child. All information that is collected on this site is used to help us improve our site for your child’s enjoyment. For more information please visit our Info for Parents page.
CONTESTS & PRIZES
How do I enter a contest?
The process for entering the contests on Superbook.TV is the following:
- Register on the site. This takes place in the upper right hand area of the site.
- Play games on the site, while you are logged in to the site. The higher your scores, the more SuperPoints you can win. These SuperPoints are saved to your profile, which can be viewed on the profile page - you can access your profile page through the headshot of your personal character at the top of every page on the website.
- To enter the contests, you need to go the "Contests" page, this link can be found in the navigation choices on the top any page. Once you land on that page, you click on "Enter Now" for any of the contests and this will take you to the entry page for that specific contest. The entry form will tell you how many SuperPoints are needed to enter a contest and it will ask you how many entries you would like to do. So if a contest entry is equal to 250 SuperPoints and let's say you have 800 SuperPoints earned from playing games, you could enter the contest 3 times (750 SuperPoints) and you would have 50 SuperPoints left over. Once you enter the number of entries that you want to do, you then click "ENTER CONTEST" and you will be entered into the contest.
How do I know if I have won?
We will contact the winner of each contest via email with further instructions on how to collect their prize. For all contestants under the age of 13, the email will be sent to their parent’s email address.
How do I claim my prize?
The Superbook staff will contact you via email with instructions on how to collect your prize. Generally, they will ask for an address so we can send the prize to you in the mail.
How long do contests usually last?
Contest durations vary, but you are able to see the end dates, which are posted on each contest. Be sure to check the Contests and Prizes page for contest deadlines.
How long do I have to collect my prize?
Winners have a full week (seven days) to respond to the email sent from our Superbook staff from the time stamp on the email. If we do not hear from you within that time period, we will have to choose another winner.
How often do you hold contests?
We have contests every day of the year. The prizes that we give range from SuperPoints, to Superbook DVD’s, gift cards to iPads and much more.
When is the contest winner chosen?
The contest winner is chosen after the contest is closed.
Why are the contests restricted only to the continental US?
Contest law & regulations outside of the United States restrict us from creating international contests at this time.
What do I do if I don’t want to collect the prize?
If you choose not to collect the prize, please respond back to our email indicating that you wish not to receive it. We will then choose another winner.
Any other contest questions?
Please refer to our contest rules.
SUPERBOOK SERIES - EPISODES
In The Beginning
Why doesn't the episode show that there were six separate days of creation?
God's wonderful creative acts were shown briefly in an overview. Time limitations prevented us from showing the days of creation in more detail.
Why is Satan shown as Lucifer during the rebellion in heaven?
Many Bible scholars believe that Satan used to be a mighty angel called Lucifer. But when He rebelled against God, he became corrupted and evil. The Bible tells us, How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, you who weakened the nations! (Isaiah 14:12 NKJV).
Who were the bad angels?
The evil angels were the ones that Satan convinced to join his rebellion and be part of his demonic army. This is symbolically referred to in the book of Revelation, with Satan referred to as a dragon and the angels referred to as stars of heaven: And another sign appeared in heaven: behold, a great, fiery red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and seven diadems on his heads. His tail drew a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth (Revelation 12:3-4 NKJV).
What happens to the angels when they are struck in battle and disappear?
We used creative liberty to depict the battle between good angels and fallen angels. When an angel is struck down, it can no longer fight in the battle.
Why did Lucifer change in form to be so ugly? Doesn't he come "as an angel of light" to deceive us?
Lucifer's change in appearance was an outward reflection of how he had corrupted himself and become evil. On the other hand, he can try to deceive people by disguising himself as a good angel. The Bible tell us about Satan's deception when it says, But I am not surprised! Even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14 NLT).
Was it Jesus or God the Father who walked in the Garden of Eden?
Jesus was the one walking majestically through the garden. We depicted Him as radiant and divine, and we showed Him exercising miraculous power. The Bible reveals that the Creator really did walk in the midst of His creation: And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden (Genesis 3:8 NKJV).
Before Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit, why didn't the lion attack the people or animals?
Before Adam and Eve sinned, the Garden of Eden was an unspoiled paradise. God had given Adam and Eve dominion over the earth, and animals did not attack people. Many Bible scholars believe that before Adam and Eve sinned, all animals were vegetarians.
In the battle that was shown, why was Michael's sword flaming?
We used creative license to show Michael with a flaming sword that is reminiscent of the flaming sword that kept Adam and Eve out of the Garden of Eden. The Bible records, After sending them out, the LORD God stationed mighty cherubim to the east of the Garden of Eden. And he placed a flaming sword that flashed back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life (Genesis 3:24 NLT).
Why would Abraham sacrifice a lamb or ram?
God Himself instituted the practice of animal sacrifice for the sins of people. After Adam and Eve sinned, God made clothing for them from animal skins. Much later, when God gave the Old Covenant Law to the people of Israel, He gave instructions for the sacrifice of certain animals as offerings for sin. The Bible tells us, In fact, according to the law of Moses, nearly everything was purified with blood. For without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness (Hebrews 9:22 NLT). The animal that was sacrificed had to be without any defect. This points to the sinlessness of Jesus Christ who died for the sins of mankind. The innocence of the lamb sacrificed by Abraham foreshadows the innocence of Jesus. Now that Jesus has died for the sins of the world, animal sacrifices are no longer needed.
What were the images in the smoke of the burnt offering?
They were highlights of Abraham's future, including joyful moments with his wife Sara and his son Isaac, as well as a very troubling time when God would tell Abraham to offer Isaac as a sacrifice.
What was the counting instrument that Isaac had?
It was an abacus–a device for performing mathematical calculations by sliding balls or beads along rods or in grooves.
When Abraham recounts the time he had three visitors, why did you show Jesus as being one of them?
The account of this extraordinary visit clearly reveals that the Lord was visiting Abraham. The Bible explicitly says that the Lord visited and spoke to Abraham. The Hebrew word translated as "Lord" is "Yahweh," God's holy name. Theologians believe that when God appeared in bodily form in Old Testament times that it was an appearance of Jesus.
What did God mean when He told Abraham, And through your descendants all the nations of the earth will be blessed–all because you have obeyed me?
God was foretelling the birth of His Son, Jesus Christ. In the human sense, Jesus would be a descendant of Abraham and Isaac. Through Jesus, people around the world can experience God's wonderful blessings of love, grace, mercy, and forgiveness.
Jacob and Esau
Can you tell me more about the birthright? Was the birthright just a tradition or was it commanded by God?
The birthright was a common practice in which the eldest son would receive a double share of the inheritance from his father. The oldest son also became the priest of the family, and he inherited the judicial authority of his father. In the Law given by God to the nation of Israel, the birthright of an oldest son is protected so that a father could not give it to a younger, but favored, son.
God told Rebekah that her older son's descendants would serve the younger son's descendants. Why did God say this?
While the two sons were still in the womb, God knew the characteristics of each of them as well as that of the nations that would come from them. [Recall that God told the prophet Jeremiah, I knew you before I formed you in your mother's womb. Before you were born I set you apart and appointed you as my prophet to the nations (Jeremiah 1:5 NLT)]. Although both Jacob and Esau had character flaws, Esau seemed to have little regard for spiritual matters and foolishly sold his priceless birthright for a mere bowl of stew. His birthright would have secured for him the promises God had given to Abraham. But the Bible tells us that Esau showed contempt for his rights as the firstborn (Genesis 25:34 NLT). God's divine favor did not rest on Esau, but on Jacob.
Why did Esau wear a wolf head and wolf skin when he was hunting?
He wore it as camouflage for hunting. It was common practice in that part of the world at that time.
Why was Esau so foolish as to sell his birthright for a bowl of stew?
Esau lacked self-discipline and foresight in this regard. Although he claimed to be dying of starvation, he was surely exaggerating. He focused on his immediate need and did not consider the long-term consequences of giving up his birthright. Perhaps he thought that the birthright was not so important because he was favored by his father.
What kind of stew did Jacob offer to Esau?
All we know is that it was a lentil stew. The Bible tells us, Then Jacob gave Esau some bread and lentil stew. Esau ate the meal, then got up and left. He showed contempt for his rights as the firstborn (Genesis 25:34 NLT).
What is the blessing that is spoken over a son?
A blessing is a pronouncement of good over someone. In this case, it is the declaration of a father of the good that will come upon a son. Since the father is the priest of the family, his spoken blessing carried special weight and had real effects on the future wellbeing of the recipient.
How do you know that the man Jacob wrestled with was Jesus?
After they finished wrestling and the "man" left, Jacob named that place Peniel (which means "face of God"), and he said, I have seen God face to face, yet my life has been spared (Genesis 32:30 NLT). So we know that Jacob was actually wrestling with God. Whenever God manifests Himself, it is called a theophany. And whenever God appeared on earth in the form of a man, theologians believe it was an appearance of Jesus.
In the battle that was shown, why was Michael's sword flaming?
We used creative license to show Michael with a flaming sword that is reminiscent of the flaming sword that kept Adam and Eve out of the Garden of Eden. The Bible records, After sending them out, the LORD God stationed mighty cherubim to the east of the Garden of Eden. And he placed a flaming sword that flashed back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life (Genesis 3:24 NLT).
Let My People Go!
When God spoke to Moses from the burning bush, why did He tell Moses to take off his sandals and that it was holy ground?
The ground where Moses stood became holy because of God's revealed presence. In eastern countries, it is customary to take off shoes and sandals when entering someplace special like a home. On a deeper level, Moses' sandals were dirty, and taking them off was an acknowledgement by Moses that he was sinful and was in the presence of the holy God.
How could Pharaoh's court magicians turn their staffs into snakes?
Pharaoh's magicians used the powers of Satan to copy the miracle that occurred with Moses' staff. Moses did not have miraculous power; it was God who changed Moses' staff into a serpent and back into a staff.
Why didn't Pharaoh ride his chariot down between the parted waters of the Red Sea?
There were boulders in his way and his army was rushing past him, so he was blocked from going further.
Did Pharaoh die when the waters came back together?
The Bible does not specifically say that Pharaoh died, so we do not know with certainty that he did drown. On the other hand, all of Pharaoh's army that chased the Israelites into the sea perished. The Bible records, Then the waters returned and covered all the chariots and charioteers–the entire army of Pharaoh. Of all the Egyptians who had chased the Israelites into the sea, not a single one survived (Exodus 14:28 NLT).
The Ten Commandments
Why is there so much talk about following "rules" when the episode is about God's holy commandments?
Moses does not use the term "rules." It is mostly the children who use the word "rules," which is a term they relate to better than "commandments." Moses referred to the Ten Commandments as commandments, and he referred to other parts of the Law as statutes and judgments. Moses only used the word "rules" in regard to the command for the people to not approach the mountain.
Why did Moses tell them to only collect enough manna for one day?
God commanded this to teach the people to trust in His daily provision. They could rest in the knowledge that God was watching over them every day and would provide what was needed for each day.
Why does God appear to Moses at one time as a fire, and another time as a light swirling around him?
We know that God has manifested Himself to people in various ways. He spoke to Moses from the burning bush (Exodus 3:2) and a cloud (Exodus 34:5), the Holy Spirit descended upon Jesus as a dove (John 1:32), and on the day of Pentecost the Holy Spirit came with the sound of a rushing wind and tongues of fire (Acts 2:1-4).
Toward the end of the episode, when Moses was praying by himself on the mountain, what was it that came down by him?
It was the Lord coming down in the form of a cloud. The Bible tells us, Then the LORD came down in a cloud and stood there with him; and he called out his own name, Yahweh (Exodus 34:5 NLT).
A Giant Adventure
How could David kill a lion?
The power of God came on David and gave him the courage and strength to kill a lion. Another time, David killed a bear (1 Samuel 17:34-37).
Why did God choose a young boy like David to be the future king of Israel?
God looked at David's heart and saw that he had a desire to obey and please Him (1 Samuel 13:14; 16:7).
Why did Samuel pour oil on David's head?
The pouring of oil on David's head by the prophet Samuel showed that God had set him apart for special service. In other words, God had selected him as the future king of Israel. In addition, the oil symbolized the Holy Spirit. The Bible records that when Samuel poured the oil on David's head that the Holy Spirit came powerfully on David from that day on (1 Samuel 16:13).
What kind of musical instrument did David play?
David played a small harp or lyre.
Who was the man taunting the Israelites, and why do you show him speaking some of the things that Goliath said in the Bible?
In order to avoid the possibility of scaring some children with Goliath's prolonged and menacing presence, we created a Philistine man named Phicol to provide comic relief.
How tall was Goliath?
The Bible records that Goliath was over nine feet tall (1 Samuel 17:4).
How big was Goliath's spear?
Goliath's spear had a thick and heavy wooden shaft, and the metal head of the spear weighed 15 pounds (1 Samuel 17:7).
Why does the episode only show David picking up one stone instead of five?
While the Bible does record that David picked up five stones, we focused on the central point of the story in that, through faith in God and with God's power, David defeated Goliath with a sling and a stone. Due to time limitations, we are not always able to show all of the details of a biblical story.
All of the Superbook episodes are limited to about 28 minutes in length so they can be broadcast in 30-minute time slots. (This will enable us to take Superbook to many more children in the United States and around the world.) When you take into account the opening and closing songs as well as the end credits, we only have about 22 minutes to tell the whole story. Part of that time is allotted to Chris and Joy in their modern-day setting so kids can learn an important and relevant life lesson. As you can see, we simply do not have enough time to cover every aspect of the biblical stories. It is our hope and desire that the adventures of Chris and Joy will inspire children to find out more about the stories. One of the goals of the Superbook series is to get children excited about reading the Bible.
What was the golden glow that was on David when he was about to fight Goliath?
The glow shows the Spirit of the Lord that came on David to enable him to defeat Goliath (1 Samuel 16:13 NLT).
Did David kill Goliath with the sling or the sword?
The Bible records that David defeated Goliath with a stone and a sling. After Goliath fell to the ground, David took Goliath's sword and killed him (1 Samuel 17:49-51).
Where was the ancient city of Babylon?
The city of Babylon was in the area that is now called the nation of Iraq. In the Old Testament, "Babylon" refers to both the city of Babylon and the region of Babylonia.
Did Daniel and King Darius live around the same time as Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego, and King Nebuchadnezzar?
Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego were all taken as captives to Babylon when King Nebuchadnezzar conquered Jerusalem. Because of his great God-given wisdom, Daniel served in important governmental positions under a series of kings: Nebuchadnezzar, Belshazzar, and Darius.
What was the seal put on the rock that covered the lions' den?
To keep people from attempting to move the stone to rescue Daniel, some clay was pressed against the stone and the covering of the lions' den. The king then pressed image on his ring against the clay to leave an impression in it. This was the royal seal of the king and meant that no one was to tamper with it.
How did Daniel know Joy's name after he had just said that he did not know Chris' and Joy's names?
Daniel did not know their names when they first entered his home, but moments later he heard Chris say Joy's name.
Why didn't you show the accusers being thrown in the lions' den?
As soon as King Darius told Daniel's accusers that they would discover exactly how mighty the lion's roar can be, Superbook took Chris, Joy and Gizmo back home. Superbook took them back because they had learned the lesson of doing the right thing even when it is not easy.
The First Christmas
Did the star of Bethlehem appear at the time of Jesus' birth or two years before? Did the magi arrive when Jesus was a newborn baby or when He was a young child?
Bible scholars are not in agreement as to the exact time when the star appeared and when the magi arrived. Some believe that the star appeared when Jesus was born, the magi then saw the star, began their journey, and arrived months or years later. Another view is that the star appeared before the birth of Christ, so the magi began their journey sooner and arrived when Jesus was born. "The First Christmas" shows the latter understanding of the events. This also allows children who have seen traditional nativity scenes to be able to relate well to the nativity scene in "The First Christmas."
Was Jesus born in a wooden stable or cave?
The Bible tells us that Jesus was placed in a manger, which is a feeding trough for animals. The Gospel of Luke records, She gave birth to her first child, a son. She wrapped him snugly in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no lodging available for them (Luke 2:7 NLT). On the other hand, the Bible does not tell us if the manger was in a stable or cave. "The First Christmas" follows the traditional view of Jesus being born in a wooden stable. This allows for children who have seen traditional nativity scenes to be able to relate well to the nativity scene in "The First Christmas."
Where was the host of angels that appeared to the shepherds and sang glory to God?
If you look closely, you will see a multitude of angels singing in the clouds.
Did angels really appear in and above the stable when Jesus was born?
We know that angels appeared to the shepherds who were nearby. Although the Bible does not say that angels were there with Joseph, Mary, and Jesus, certainly God would have sent angels there to guard the newborn baby, even if they were not visible to the people there. A psalm speaks of God's angelic protection: If you make the LORD your refuge, if you make the Most High your shelter, no evil will conquer you; no plague will come near your home. For he will order his angels to protect you wherever you go. They will hold you up with their hands so you won't even hurt your foot on a stone (Psalm 91:9-12 NLT). In addition, we exercised creative liberty to produce a majestic visualization of the spiritual realm when the Savior was born.
Miracles of Jesus
What age group is "Miracles of Jesus" intended for?
Superbook episodes are generally produced for children from 5 to 12 years of age. However, because children differ in their spiritual development, sensitivity to dramatic depictions, and the type of programming they are accustomed to viewing, we suggest that parents consider which episodes are appropriate for each of their children. For some episodes, we advise parents to preview the episode before showing it to their children.
Satan is shown in several Superbook episodes. Why is he depicted as a flying serpent with wings and a tail?
The Bible doesn't specifically describe Satan, who is also called Lucifer or the devil; so we used creative license to show what he may look like. In the episode "In the Beginning," when Lucifer is first shown as an angel in heaven, he is depicted as an impressive angel with long blond hair. When he rebels against God, he is transformed into an evil creature, and his flowing hair becomes horns. Also, his body becomes reptile-like in appearance, assuming the look of the serpent in the Garden of Eden. (See Genesis 3:1.) We did not want to make Satan look like a character that could be misconstrued as a cool villain. We want children to understand that there is a real enemy and that he is evil.
Why does a man in the crowd turn into Satan?
In the script for this episode, the man is called "The Naysayer." He represents doubt, mockery, and lies. John 8:44 tells us that the devil is "the father of lies." Since the beginning, Satan has been an expert at deception and confusion. As an example, he transformed himself into a serpent in the Garden of Eden.
Why does Satan appear in the storm? Was he causing it?
Satan did not cause the storm, and his remarks reveal that he did not. In the episode we purposely had the storm begin to develop before Satan appeared. Also, the Bible does not say that Satan caused the storm. However, Matthew 8:26 tells us that Jesus "rebuked" the wind and the waves, and they became still. In other places in the Gospel, the word "rebuke" is used when Jesus takes authority over demonic power. (See Matthew 17:18, Mark 9:25, and Luke 9:42.) We used creative license to illustrate how the disciples did not display faith in God as they reacted to the chaos of the storm and their fear of drowning.
Why is the demon-possessed man in the Gadarene tombs so scary looking, and why does his voice sound so strange?
His voice sounds as if many people are speaking because he had so many evil spirits. Luke 8:31-32 refers to "the demons" (plural) speaking to Jesus. The Bible describes the demon-possessed man very graphically in both Mark 5:1-20 and Luke 8:26-39.
At the end of "Miracles of Jesus," we see how Miraculo was able to "levitate" using a hidden wire, and we know that many magicians use smoke and mirrors to make objects like park benches "disappear." But how did Miraculo get Chris's cell phone to "fly" out of his pocket?
In order to accomplish an illusion like this, Street magicians often use accomplices to secretly rig unsuspecting bystanders.
The Last Supper
Why was Jesus standing on top of the rock formation?
He was speaking to a large crowd of people, and being on higher ground allowed his voice to be heard better.
Why did Gizmo say that the word "Messiah" means "the Chosen One" instead of the "Anointed One"?
The word "Messiah" is often translated simply as "Anointed One." Jesus certainly was anointed by God, for He said, The Spirit of the LORD is upon me, for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free, and that the time of the LORD's favor has come (Luke 4:18-19 NLT). But Jesus' title as "Messiah" has a deeper and fuller meaning. He was anointed as prophet, priest, and king! Still, He did not come as the kind of king the people expected, for He said to Pilate, "My Kingdom is not an earthly kingdom. If it were, my followers would fight to keep me from being handed over to the Jewish leaders. But my Kingdom is not of this world" (John 18:36 NLT). Jesus is King of the kingdom of God!
What does "Hosannah" mean?
It is a Hebrew word that means, "Save us, we implore you!" It was an exclamation of praise by the people when Jesus entered Jerusalem. It reflects the words of Psalm 118:25, "Please, LORD, please save us. Please, LORD, please give us success" (NLT).
What does "Baruch Haba B'Shem Adonai" mean?
It is Hebrew, and it means, "Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord." This shout of the people hailed Jesus as the promised Messiah, and reflects Psalm 118:26, "Bless the one who comes in the name of the LORD. We bless you from the house of the LORD" (NLT).
Why did Jesus ride on a donkey?
Jesus was fulfilling one of the prophecies about the Messiah. This prophecy said, Tell the people of Jerusalem, 'Look, your King is coming to you. He is humble, riding on a donkey— riding on a donkey's colt' (Matthew 21:5 NLT).
Why did they wave palm branches?
When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the people waved palm branches to hail Him as the Messiah. The palm branches were waved as symbols of victory. In the ancient world, palm branches were used to welcome a king or victorious generals.
Why did Nahshon keep warning the Roman soldier about Jesus?
Nahshon was a character we created as a Pharisee. He represents the malevolent attitude and intentions of many of the religious leaders. For instance, the Bible records that the religious leaders planned to kill Jesus: It was now two days before Passover and the Festival of Unleavened Bread. The leading priests and the teachers of religious law were still looking for an opportunity to capture Jesus secretly and kill him (Mark 14:1 NLT).
Why did Jesus look angry when He was clearing out the Temple?
The outer courts of the Temple were supposed to be a holy place of prayer for people of all nations, but Jesus saw that some people had turned it into a place of dishonest business.
At the end of the Passover meal, why did Jesus say, "This is the day that the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it"?
It was traditional for Psalm 118 to be sung during the Passover meal. One line from the psalm says, "This is the day the LORD has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it" (Psalm 118:24 NLT). The Gospel of Matthew tells us that Jesus and His disciples sang a hymn at the end of the meal, "Then they sang a hymn and went out to the Mount of Olives" (Matthew 26:30 NLT).
He Is Risen
Why is only one woman shown going to the tomb?
The biblical events of "He Is Risen!" are taken from the Gospel of John. While the first three Gospels record that more than one woman went to the tomb, the Gospel of John only mentions Mary Magdalene going to the tomb. It says, Early on Sunday morning, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and found that the stone had been rolled away from the entrance (John 20:1 NLT). The Superbook writers and producers decided to follow the emphasis of the Gospel of John on Mary Magdalene.
Why are the angels in the tomb not dressed in white?
While the first batch of DVDs of "He is Risen!" depicted the two angels in the tomb as not being dressed in white, we have adjusted this aspect of the scene so subsequent batches of the DVD do show the angels wearing white (John 20:11-12). These changes have also been made for all domestic and international television broadcasts as well as for the upcoming curriculums called Superbook: Church Edition and Superbook: Family Edition.
Why doesn't the angel in the tomb tell Mary to go and tell Jesus' disciples and Peter about the resurrection?
In "He Is Risen!" the account of Jesus' resurrection follows what is recorded in the Gospel of John. That Gospel does not say that the angels told Mary to give a message to the disciples. Instead, the Gospel states that Jesus commissioned Mary to take the good news to the disciples. This is what the Gospel of John records: "Don't cling to me," Jesus said, "for I haven't yet ascended to the Father. But go find my brothers and tell them, 'I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God'" (John 20:17 NLT).
Why are the nail scars shown in Jesus' wrists instead of His hands?
When the New Testament talks about Jesus being nailed in His "hands," it uses a Greek word that has a broader meaning than the English word "hands." The Greek word includes the hand, wrist, and forearm. Additionally, historians have discovered that when Roman soldiers crucified people, they drove the nails through the palms, wrists, or forearms. (If Jesus was nailed through His palms, then the soldiers would have also tied His arms to the cross with ropes.) So it is possible that Jesus was nailed through either His palms or wrists. Whichever way it happened, when can thank our Savior for dying for our sins.
Why doesn't "He Is Risen!" show other events that occurred after the resurrection, such as Jesus appearing to the disciples in the locked room, or Jesus showing his scars to Thomas?
We would love to be able to include more about the resurrection of Jesus in "He Is Risen!" However, all of the Superbook episodes are limited to about 28 minutes in length so they can be broadcast in 30-minute time slots. (This will enable us to take Superbook to many more children around the world.) Part of each episode has Chris and Joy in their modern-day setting so kids can learn an important and relevant life lesson. We also have to fit in the opening song, closing song, and end credits, so we simply do not have enough time to cover every aspect of the biblical stories. It is our hope and desire that the adventures of Chris and Joy will inspire children to find out more about the stories. One of the goals of the Superbook series is to get children excited about reading the Bible.
The Road to Damascus
Why does the first part of the episode show Ananias in Jerusalem? Didn't he live in Damascus?
Ananias said that the people with him should go to his home in Damascus, so he was only visiting the believers in Jerusalem. The Bible tells us, Now there was a believer in Damascus named Ananias (Acts 9:10 NLT). On the other hand, due to the intense persecution of Christians in Jerusalem, most of the believers who lived there fled the city.
Why did you show Stephen being stoned?
We showed part of the stoning so we could be as historically accurate as possible about Saul's previous actions and the persecution that occurred. However, we only showed the stoning as a black and white memory in order to diminish the scene's intensity and make it more suitable for children.
Why did Samuel pour oil on David's head?
The pouring of oil on David's head by the prophet Samuel showed that God had set him apart for special service. In other words, God had selected him as the future king of Israel. In addition, the oil symbolized the Holy Spirit. The Bible records that when Samuel poured the oil on David's head that the Holy Spirit came powerfully on David from that day on (1 Samuel 16:13).
On the road to Damascus, why did Saul's companions fall off their horses when the Bible says that the others stood speechless?
We used creative license to emphasize the fact that the men with Saul were so amazed or fearful that they did not say anything. The Bible records how much they were struck by the events, The men with Saul stood speechless, for they heard the sound of someone's voice but saw no one! (Acts 9:7 NLT).
Why did Jesus say that Saul was persecuting Him? Since Jesus was in heaven, how could He be persecuted?
When Jesus was still on earth, He taught that whatever is done to someone who believes in Him is also done to Him. In one of Jesus' parables, the King says, I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me! (Matthew 25:40 NLT). When Saul was persecuting Christians, it was as if He was doing it to Jesus because the Lord lives in their hearts and they are so precious to Him.
When Jesus spoke from heaven, why did Joy say, "It sounds like thunder!"?
The Bible tells us that the men with Saul heard the sound of someone's voice (Acts 9:7 NLT). It might have been similar to when Jesus was on the cross and the Father spoke from heaven, I have already brought glory to my name, and I will do so again (John 12:28 NLT). The crowd heard the voice, but some confused it with thunder or the voice of an angel. The Bible tells us, When the crowd heard the voice, some thought it was thunder, while others declared an angel had spoken to him (John 12:29 NLT).
Why did Ananias put a covering on his head when he prayed?
In Israel, it was traditional for Jewish men to put a prayer shawl (tallit) on their heads when they said their morning prayers.
When Ananias prayed, "Barukh ata Adonia Eloheinu melekh ha-olam," what did it mean?
It was the first part of a traditional Jewish opening prayer. It means, "Blessed are You, LORD, our God, King of the universe…"
Why didn't you show a whale swallowing Jonah instead of a strange-looking huge fish?
When referring to the creature that swallowed Jonah, the original Hebrew language in Jonah 1:17 and the Greek language in Matthew 12:40 means "a great fish." So these verses do not necessarily refer to a whale. In addition, we reviewed a number of English Bible versions, and they all used terms like "a great fish" or "a huge fish" in Jonah 1:17 instead of "a whale." In Matthew 12:40, in which Jesus talked about Jonah, modern Bible versions do not refer to a whale, but to a great fish or sea monster.
The great fish could have been an enormous fish that is now extinct. The design of the great fish in Jonah is based on the appearance of the coelacanth.
How could Chris and Joy breathe in the great fish? Why weren't they digested in the fish's stomach?
God could have performed miracles to keep them supplied with oxygen and to keep them from being digested.
Why did they cast lots to see who was the guilty one who caused the storm?
In the time of Jonah, it was common for people in Israel and nearby countries to cast lots to determine a decision. In this case, the sailors cast lots to see who was the guilty person who brought God's judgment on them through the storm. The Bible records, Then the crew cast lots to see which of them had offended the gods and caused the terrible storm. When they did this, the lots identified Jonah as the culprit (Jonah 1:7 NLT).
Is the prayer that Jonah prayed in the Bible?
Yes. The Bible records that Jonah prayed to God from the belly of the great fish. You can read the whole prayer in Jonah 2:2-9.
Why would God wait 40 days to destroy Ninevah?
God wanted to give the people time to repent and change their ways so destruction would not fall on them. This shows God's unconditional love and mercy. Jonah prayed to God and spoke about the Lord's strong desire to not have to judge them. Jonah said, I knew that you are a merciful and compassionate God, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. You are eager to turn back from destroying people (Jonah 4:2 NLT). In addition, a period of 40 days is associated in the Bible with the humbling of oneself. Jesus fasted in the wilderness for 40 days, and Moses fasted on Mt. Sinai for 40 days (Matt. 4:2; Ex. 34:28).
Why did the people of Nineveh put ashes on their heads, wear sackcloth, and fast?
These things were a way of humbling themselves before God to show that they were truly sorry for their sins. In the episode, one of the residents of Nineveh told Jonah that the people had put on their "garments of mourning." The book of Jonah tells us that the people of Nineveh, including the king, fasted and put on sackcloth (burlap) to show sorrow for their sins:
The people of Nineveh believed God's message, and from the greatest to the least, they declared a fast and put on burlap to show their sorrow. When the king of Nineveh heard what Jonah was saying, he stepped down from his throne and took off his royal robes. He dressed himself in burlap and sat on a heap of ashes. Then the king and his nobles sent this decree throughout the city: 'No one, not even the animals from your herds and flocks, may eat or drink anything at all. People and animals alike must wear garments of mourning, and everyone must pray earnestly to God. They must turn from their evil ways and stop all their violence. Who can tell? Perhaps even yet God will change his mind and hold back his fierce anger from destroying us' (Jonah 3:5-9 NLT).
Why do you show the plant falling over instead of withering?
The Bible says that that God sent a worm to attack the plant (Jonah 4:7). When the bush fell over in the episode, it revealed worm holes and tracks that had weakened its stem so that it fell over.
Joseph and Pharoah’s Dream
Why were all of Jacob's sheep black?
In the time of Jacob, there was a species of black sheep that was indigenous to the area he lived in. In addition, Jacob had made an arrangement with Laban to be paid with sheep that were speckled, spotted, or dark colored. According to the New Living Translation, some of the sheep he negotiated for were black. Jacob said to Laban, Let me inspect your flocks today and remove all the sheep and goats that are speckled or spotted, along with all the black sheep. Give these to me as my wages (Genesis 30:32 NLT).
What was so special about Joseph's coat of many colors?
The colorful coat set Joseph apart as Jacob's favored son, and it might have indicated that Jacob was planning on giving him a larger portion of the inheritance. If Joseph's brothers thought that he was going to receive a portion of their inheritance, it could have been part of the reason why they sold him to traders.
What was the gold light that went into Joseph when Pharaoh told him his dream?
The gold light was the Holy Spirit who enabled Joseph to interpret the dream God had given Pharaoh.
Why did so little time pass when the car was stopped while Chris, Joy, and Gizmo were spending so much time in Egypt?
Superbook always returns Chris, Joy, and Gizmo to the same time that they left from, no matter how much time they spent on their Superbook adventure.
The Fiery Furnace
Which false god did the golden statue represent?
It was a statue of Nebuchadnezzar.
How tall was the idol?
We know from the book of Daniel that the statue was 90 feet tall! The Bible says, King Nebuchadnezzar made a gold statue ninety feet tall and nine feet wide and set it up on the plain of Dura in the province of Babylon (Daniel 3:1 NLT).
It was announced that anyone who did not bow to the statue would be immediately thrown into the furnace, so why did Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego not get thrown in until later?
The crowd at the ceremony was so huge that the king did not see their refusal to bow. Some people approached the king later to accuse them. The Bible tells us, But some of the astrologers went to the king and informed on the Jews (Daniel 3:8 NLT).
Why didn't King Nebuchadnezzar say that the fourth figure in the fire looked like "the Son of God"?
The original Aramaic of Daniel 3:25 records that King Nebuchadnezzar said the fourth figure looked like "a son of the gods." Nebuchadnezzar believed that there were many gods, so for him to refer to the fourth figure in the fire as "like a son of the gods," it was the same as calling him a god or divine being. In "The Fiery Furnace," the statement by Nebuchadnezzar was taken from the New Living Translation, which reads, 'Look!' Nebuchadnezzar shouted. 'I see four men, unbound, walking around in the fire unharmed! And the fourth looks like a god!' (Daniel 3:25 NLT). A number of modern Bible versions have similar translations of this verse (NET, NRSV, GNB).
Rahab and the Walls of Jericho
Why did you show Joshua talking to Jesus?
The person who told Joshua how to defeat Jericho stated that He is the commander of the Lord's army. As the commander of God's host of angels, He certainly was not a mere human. Neither was He only an angel like Michael the archangel, for He said that Joshua was standing on holy ground. This is the same declaration that God had made to Moses out of the burning bush. An angel does not make ground holy only the presence of God can do that. So this was an appearance of Jesus.
Was there something special about the crimson cord Rahab hung out her window?
It is reminiscent of the blood that was applied to the lintels of the Israelite's homes in Egypt to protect them from the final plague on Egypt. As the blood protected the Israelites from the plague, the cord protected Rahab and her family from harm. In addition, the crimson cord can be seen as prophetically looking forward to the promised Messiah. The cord was crimson or scarlet in color, like the color of blood, and Jesus shed His blood on the cross for our sins. What's more, as the cord was the sign that saved the lives of Rahab and her family, Jesus has saved us and given us new life by shedding His blood on the cross.
Why were there seven priests, seven trumpets, seven days of marching around Jericho, and marching around the city seven times on the seventh day?
Seven is the biblical number of perfection or completion. The Israelites' faith in God and obedience to Him were perfected by following all of His instructions for conquering the city. God's battle plan did not employ human implements of war such as ladders to scale the walls or a battering ram to break open the gate. The Israelites had to trust in God's instructions even if they did not make sense to them. For the first six days, there were no visible results of their obedience to God. Finally, on the seventh day, when they had followed all of God's instructions, He gave them a supernatural victory.
Why did the priests blow the trumpets?
The trumpets, called shofars, heralded God's special presence, for the priests blowing the trumpets walked in front of the Ark of the Covenant.
What was the golden box that was carried on poles?
It was the Ark of the Covenant, which symbolized God's glory and special presence with His people. It was a rectangular wooden box with a representation of two angels resting on its lid. The entire ark (box, lid, and angels) were overlaid with gold. Inside the ark were the two stone tablets of the Ten Commandments (Ex. 25:16), a golden urn of the heavenly-supplied manna from the time the Israelites were in the wilderness (Heb. 9:4), and Aaron's staff that had miraculously produced blossoms and ripe almonds (Num. 17:8). These three items testified to God's goodness toward Israel through divine revelation, provision, and guidance.
What caused the walls of Jericho to fall?
The walls did not fall due to the natural effects of any human actions such as marching, blowing trumpets, or shouting. The walls were very thick and strong, and it was a supernatural act of God that knocked them down. It is possible that this was accomplished by the angelic warriors referred to by the commander of the Lord's army.
Why didn't all of the walls of Jericho come down?
God only had to knock down enough of the walls for Joshua's army to enter the city. In addition, if the walls had fallen down all the way around the city, it may have endangered Rahab and her family whose house was on the outer wall.
Esther: For Such a Time as This
Why is the king called "King Xerxes" instead of "King Ahasuerus"?
Historians believe that King Ahasuerus is the same person as King Xerxes I.
Why did Haman hate the Jews?
Haman was very prideful in his position as the prime minister for King Xerxes. The king had commanded that lower ranking officials bow down and pay special respect to Haman, but Mordecai refused to do so. Mordecai must have felt that it was wrong to bow down as if to worship a man. Haman became extremely angry at Mordecai, and assumed that Jewish people were lawbreakers and not loyal to the king.
Why did Chris and Gizmo get treated as slaves?
The overseer of the slaves thought that Chris, Joy, and Gizmo were part of a group that had just been brought in as slaves to King Xerxes.
Why was Mordecai dressed in sackcloth and ashes?
Esther said that it was the clothing of one who grieves. Mordecai had learned of the decree that all of the Jews in the kingdom of Xerxes were to be killed.
What was the place called Susa that Queen Esther referred to?
It was the capital city of King Xerxes' kingdom and the place where the king's palace and throne were.
Why did Esther ask all the Jews of Susa to fast for her?
Abstaining from food and drink was a way of showing humility before God and to seek His divine favor and intervention in a situation. In this case, Esther wanted God to come to their aid and rescue them from Haman's evil plot.
What is a scepter?
It is a royal staff that is held by a supreme ruler as a symbol of his or her authority.
When Esther approached King Xerxes and he extended the golden scepter, why didn't she tell him right away about the devious plot to kill the Jews instead of inviting him to a banquet?
By preparing a feast for the king, she honored him and would gain even more favor with him. In addition, while he was enjoying the banquet, he would be in a better mood and more likely to grant whatever Esther requested.
Why did Esther invite the king to a second banquet?
It may be that Esther felt that the time was not right during the first banquet to present her petition. In addition, she may have thought that she needed to gain more of the king's favor before accusing Haman, who was the king's highest official.
Why couldn't the king just repeal the decree to kill the Jews?
It was Persian law that any decree by the king that was written and sealed could not be repealed. King Xerxes himself said to Esther and Mordecai, Now go ahead and send a message to the Jews in the king's name, telling them whatever you want, and seal it with the king's signet ring. But remember that whatever has already been written in the king's name and sealed with his signet ring can never be revoked (Esther 8:8 NLT).
John the Baptist
Why did John the Baptist criticize the marriage of Herod Antipas and Herodias?
John the Baptist told Herod, It is against God's law for you to marry your brother's wife (Mark 6:18 NLT). There were a number of problems with this marriage. To begin with, Herod had first had an improper relationship with Herodias when she was his sister-in-law. Then Herod and Herodias divorced their first spouses so they could marry each other. In addition, marriage to a brother's wife was not permitted in the Old Covenant (Lev. 18:16; 20:21), so the marriage of Herod and Herodias was a violation of one of God's commandments.
Why did Jesus get baptized if He did not need to repent?
Jesus did not need to repent because He had never sinned. When Jesus came to John to be baptized, John objected and said, I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me? (Matthew 3:14 ESV). But Jesus answered John, Let it be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness (Matthew 3:15 ESV). Jesus was always in a right relationship with the Heavenly Father, but in being baptized, He was identifying with sinners who needed righteousness, that is, sinners who needed to be in a right relationship with God. Jesus would ultimately identify with sinners when He, the one without sin, died for their sins on the cross.
What was the significance of the Holy Spirit coming down on Jesus like a dove?
A dove is a symbol of purity and innocence. Jesus once instructed His disciples, Look, I am sending you out as sheep among wolves. So be as shrewd as snakes and harmless as doves (Matthew 10:16 NLT). In addition, the dove was a sign from God to John the Baptist that Jesus was the promised Messiah. John testified, "I saw the Holy Spirit descending like a dove from heaven and resting upon him. I didn't know he was the one, but when God sent me to baptize with water, he told me, 'The one on whom you see the Spirit descend and rest is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.' I saw this happen to Jesus, so I testify that he is the Chosen One of God" (John 1:32-34 NLT).
Did John the Baptist and his disciples really eat locusts and honey?
History records that locusts were eaten by people in the Middle East. The Old Covenant Law allowed the Israelites to eat locusts, for it says, You may, however, eat winged insects that walk along the ground and have jointed legs so they can jump (Leviticus 11:21 NLT). As a food, locusts were an inexpensive source of protein. They could be prepared as food in different ways. One way was to pound them, mix them with flour and water, and bake them into cakes. They could also be boiled, roasted, or stewed in butter.
What is a cistern, and why would they put John in there instead of a jail?
A cistern is an underground chamber for storing water. Cisterns would collect the natural runoff of rainwater during the rainy season so people would have water stored for the dry season. At times, a cistern was used as a prison cell.
Paul and the Shipwreck
Did Paul really take a nonbeliever into the Temple?
No, some Jews who did not believe in Jesus falsely accused Paul based on a faulty assumption. They had seen Paul with a Gentile earlier in the day. Then, when they saw Paul in the temple with some men, they assumed that the Gentile was with him. The Bible tells us about their misunderstanding: For they had previously seen Trophimus the Ephesian with him in the city, and they supposed that Paul had brought him into the temple (Acts 21:29 ESV).
Why did the Roman soldier think that Chris, Joy, and Gizmo were prisoners?
Since they weren't soldiers or sailors, he assumed that they were prisoners.
Why did they put Paul on a prison ship to Rome to stand trial before Caesar?
As a Roman citizen, Paul had the right to stand trial before Caesar. When standing trial before Festus (the Roman procurator of Judea), Paul asserted his right and said, I appeal to Caesar! (Acts 25:11 NLT).
What did Paul mean when he said, "When I am weak, then I am strong"?
Paul was saying that when he was weak in the natural sense, God would give him supernatural strength to accomplish His will. Since it was God's power and not Paul's human strength, God would get all of the credit and honor for what Paul was able to do. Paul wrote to the church in Corinth about his personal weakness and how the Lord had reassured him, "Each time he said, "My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness." So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That's why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong (2 Corinthians 12:9-10 NLT).
How could Jesus appear to Paul in prison?
Jesus appeared to Paul in a vision—a supernatural revelation from God. The Bible records, That night the Lord appeared to Paul and said, "Be encouraged, Paul. Just as you have been a witness to me here in Jerusalem, you must preach the Good News in Rome as well" (Acts 23:11 NLT).
How do you know that the angel appearing to Paul on the prison ship was Gabriel?
The Bible does not say which angel it was, but we do know that Gabriel delivered messages on two separate occasions in the New Testament. Gabriel appeared to Zechariah (Luke 1:11-21) and Mary (Luke 1:26-38), so it is possible that he also appeared to Paul.
Why did the bite from the poisonous snake not harm Paul?
God protected Paul from any harmful effects.
How did Paul's prayer make the sick man well?
This is an example of God working supernaturally through Paul to perform a miracle of healing. After the man was healed, even more people receiving healing. The Bible tells us, Then all the other sick people on the island came and were healed (Acts 28:9 NLT). In this way, many of the islanders were touched by the power and love of God.
Noah and the Ark
Why was the man with the sword chasing Chris, Joy, and Gizmo?
Like the other people in the town, he was an evil person who did bad things. It might be that he wanted to capture Chris, Joy, and Gizmo, and sell them as slaves so he could make money.
Why does God tell Noah to make an ark of cypress wood instead of gopher wood?
"Gopher wood" is a term used in some Bible translations, but a number of modern Bible translations use the word "cypress" instead. "Gopher" is simply a way of writing the original Hebrew word in English according to how it sounds in Hebrew, and is called transliteration. But Hebrew scholars do not know which tree "gopher" refers to. It may have been cypress, for cypress wood is very durable, and cypress trees grow in abundance in the region of southwestern and western Asia.
What is a cubit?
In Noah's time, a cubit was the standard unit for measuring length. It was determined by the length of the forearm from the elbow to the tip of the longest finger. Many years after the time of Noah, the Hebrew people used a standardized cubit that was 17.5 inches (44.45 cm) long.
What is tar?
It is a thick, dark substance that could be brushed on to something to make a covering. Once the tar was dry, it would keep out water.
How big was the ark?
It was enormous about 450 feet long, 75 feet wide, and 45 feet high! It was about one and a half North American football fields long. In terms of meters, it was about 138 meters long, 23 meters wide, and 13.8 meters high. When measured in cubits, it was 300 cubits long, 50 cubits wide, and 30 cubits high.
Why didn't any of the animals fight and kill other animals when they were boarding the ark?
God could have made them peaceful and non-aggressive during the time that they entered the ark. Once on the ark, they would have been kept in separate compartments.
Did God really shut the door of the ark?
Yes, He did. After Noah, his family, and the animals entered the ark, it was God Himself who closed the door of the ark. The Bible records, Then the LORD closed the door behind them (Genesis 7:16 NLT).
What was the water shooting up out of the ground?
That was water bursting up from huge underwater aquifers. The water that shot up out of the ground would have fallen back to the earth as a mighty downpour of rain. The Bible tells us that all the underground waters erupted from the earth, and the rain fell in mighty torrents from the sky (Genesis 7:11 NLT).
Bible scholars and scientists believe that before the flood, massive amounts of water were stored in the earth's crust. Water from these aquifers would rise up as mist or springs to support and nourish plant life. It is thought that it had probably never rained before the flood, for the Bible says that the LORD God had not yet sent rain to water the earth and that instead, springs came up from the ground and watered all the land (Genesis 2:5-6 NLT).
Why didn't the huge waves cause the ark to turn over?
God designed the ark to be extremely stable and seaworthy. Modern scientific experiments with scale models of the ark have demonstrated how remarkably steady it would have been in rough seas.
What kind of branch did the dove bring back, and what was the significance of it?
The dove brought back a fresh olive leaf (Genesis 8:11). This was a clear indication that fruit trees were now appearing and that the people and animals could soon leave the ark.
What does the flood show us about God?
God was grieved by how very evil mankind had become. The Bible records, The Lord observed the extent of human wickedness on the earth, and he saw that everything they thought or imagined was consistently and totally evil (Genesis 6:5 NLT). God's holiness and goodness are revealed in that He did not let mankind continue as it was with people hurting and killing each other and doing all kinds of sinful things. On the other hand, God's love and mercy are shown in that He did not destroy all of mankind. He spared Noah and his family because Noah was a good person who tried to please Him. The Bible tells us, "Noah was a righteous man, the only blameless person living on earth at the time, and he walked in close fellowship with God" (Genesis 6:9, NLT).
What was the significance of the covenant God made with Noah after the flood? Haven't there been dangerous floods since the time of Noah?
God said that there would never again be a flood that would kill all living things on the planet. While there have been destructive local and regional floods, there has never been a global flood since then. God promised Noah, Yes, I am confirming my covenant with you. Never again will floodwaters kill all living creatures; never again will a flood destroy the earth (Genesis 9:11, NLT). God is always faithful to keep His promises.
Revelation: The Final Battle
Who were the evil-looking soldiers with swords?
They were fallen angels, otherwise known as demons or evil spirits. We made them darker in appearance than the heavenly angels so it would be easier for children to see the difference.
Why did you make Satan so scary with a red face, horns, fiery head, and wings?
We did not want Satan to appear as a cool villain, but to be clearly evil. His expressions show his anger against God and His people.
Please keep in mind that the general target age for Superbook episodes is 7 to 12 years old. However, because children differ in their spiritual development, sensitivity to dramatic depictions, and the type of programming they are accustomed to viewing, we suggest that parents consider which episodes are appropriate for each of their children. For some episodes, we advise parents to preview the episode before showing it to their children.
What was the dry and barren place where Chris went?
It was a desolate area where Superbook brought Chris to be tested.
Why did Satan look like an angel?
Satan can disguise himself to look like a heavenly angel. The Bible tells us, Even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14 NLT). Christians need to discern whether supernatural things are truly of God.
What is the bad thing that Satan did?
He rebelled against God. Satan desired to lift up a throne for himself and be like God. The Bible tells us about Satan’s evil plans: For you said to yourself, “I will ascend to heaven and set my throne above God’s stars. I will preside on the mountain of the gods far away in the north. I will climb to the highest heavens and be like the Most High” (Isaiah 14:13-14 NLT).
What were the scrolls that John was holding when he spoke with Joy and Gizmo outside the throne room of heaven?
They were the scrolls on which John recorded the visions God showed him in heaven. He wrote them down so all mankind could benefit from them. At the beginning of John’s visions in heaven, he was instructed, Write in a book everything you see, and send it to the seven churches in the cities of Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea (Revelation 1:11 NLT). The book of Revelation also records, And the one sitting on the throne said, “Look, I am making everything new!” And then he said to me, “Write this down, for what I tell you is trustworthy and true” (Revelation 21:5 NLT).
What is the purple-violet cloud of light that emanates from Satan’s wings and blows against Chris before Satan shows Chris a vision?
It is a transitional visual effect to move from one time period or scene to another.
Who were the people around Jesus when He ascended to heaven?
They were the eleven remaining disciples of Jesus (Acts 1:6-11).
How could Satan cause the tree to shoot up out of the ground?
Before Satan rebelled against God, he was a high angel named Lucifer. He might have been an archangel. Although God cast Satan out of heaven, he still has supernatural power. The book of Revelation reveals that Satan and his allies will perform supernatural feats to deceive people. Revelation 16:14 tells us, These evil spirits had the power to work miracles. They went to every king on earth, to bring them together for a war against God All-Powerful. But that will be the day of God’s great victory (CEV). For more examples, you can read Revelation 13:3 and Revelation 13:13-14.
What was the fruit on the tree?
It was symbolic of the temptation to be like God and for Chris to be free of guilt and shame. It is not the same fruit that was in the Garden of Eden.
What was the golden glow that came over Chris?
It was the Holy Spirit who came to remind Chris of God’s promise to always be with him. The Holy Spirit assured Chris that he should not be afraid and that God would deliver him in times of trouble.
Why did Satan turn into a snake with horns?
We showed Satan transforming into the same snake that was in the episode “In the Beginning,” only now it was much larger and a much greater threat. We did not want to show Satan as he is depicted in the book of Revelation because it involves a large amount of symbolism—the meaning of which can be debated.
Why is Jesus riding a white horse?
The book of Revelation pictures Jesus riding on a white horse: Then I saw heaven opened, and a white horse was standing there. Its rider was named Faithful and True, for he judges fairly and wages a righteous war. His eyes were like flames of fire, and on his head were many crowns. A name was written on him that no one understood except himself. He wore a robe dipped in blood, and his title was the Word of God (Revelation 19:11-13, NLT). You can read the whole passage in Revelation 19:11-21.
In the Superbook episode “Revelation: The Final Battle!” there were archangels behind Jesus who were also riding on white horses.
Why did you not show all of the details of Jesus from the book of Revelation?
The symbolism included in the depiction of Jesus is very detailed and graphic and may have been too intense or confusing for young children.
Why did Jesus look so intense when He was riding on the white horse?
His gaze was firm and focused on the enemy, Satan and his armies.
What were the blue balls of light coming from the angelic army?
They were added to visually depict some of the supernatural powers employed in the battle.
What was the purple-violet light that Jesus threw from His hand against Satan?
It was a visual representation of Jesus’ supernatural and divine power. We wanted children around the world to understand that Jesus was using heavenly power.
Was Satan killed when the light Jesus threw hit him?
Satan’s defeat by Jesus represents Satan being thrown into the fiery lake. The Bible says, Then the devil, who had deceived them, was thrown into the fiery lake of burning sulfur, joining the beast and the false prophet. There they will be tormented day and night forever and ever (Revelation 20:10 NLT).
What was the golden building coming down from the sky?
It was the city of God, the New Jerusalem. The book of Revelation says, And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven like a bride beautifully dressed for her husband (Revelation 21:2 NLT).
What was the vision that Chris saw at the end?
Chris saw the vision that John was describing. The Bible tells us about the wonderful things that God will do: He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever. And the one sitting on the throne said, “Look, I am making everything new!” (Revelation 21:4-5 NLT).
Why was the doorway to the throne room translucent?
We wanted to give it a heavenly appearance like the main street that was clear as glass. The doorway is not same as the city gates which were made of pearls: The twelve gates were made of pearls—each gate from a single pearl! And the main street was pure gold, as clear as glass (Revelation 21:21 NLT).
What were the smaller thrones surrounding the throne of God?
They were the thrones of the twenty-four elders, as the book of Revelation says, Twenty-four thrones surrounded him, and twenty-four elders sat on them. They were all clothed in white and had gold crowns on their heads (Revelation 4:4 NLT).
What was the waterfall coming down from the throne?
It was the river of life flowing from the throne of God. The Apostle John wrote, Then the angel showed me a river with the water of life, clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb (Revelation 22:1 NLT).
What were the winged creatures flying around the throne of God?
They were the four living beings spoken of in the book of Revelation: In front of the throne was a shiny sea of glass, sparkling like crystal. In the center and around the throne were four living beings, each covered with eyes, front and back (Revelation 4:6 NLT). They were the ones singing “Holy, holy, holy…” The Bible says, Each of these living beings had six wings, and their wings were covered all over with eyes, inside and out. Day after day and night after night they keep on saying, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God, the Almighty—the one who always was, who is, and who is still to come” (Revelation 4:8 NLT).
What was the green-colored cloud around the throne of God?
The Bible tells us that there is a glow like that of an emerald around the throne: The one sitting on the throne was as brilliant as gemstones—like jasper and carnelian. And the glow of an emerald circled his throne like a rainbow (Revelation 4:3 NLT).
Why was Jesus standing next to the throne of God?
Jesus is the holy Son of God and is now glorified in heaven. The book of Revelation says, For the throne of God and of the Lamb will be there, and his servants will worship him (Revelation 22:3 NLT). The Bible also tells us, Then I saw a Lamb that looked as if it had been slaughtered, but it was now standing between the throne and the four living beings and among the twenty-four elders (Revelation 5:6 NLT).
I am a member of the Superbook Club. Why haven't I received my copies of "Revelation: The Final Battle!" yet?
"Revelation: The Final Battle!" is a special feature and is not a part of the Superbook Club at this time. DVDs may be ordered individually at CBN.com or by calling 1-800-759-0700. Club members will receive 1 DVD plus 2 free copies for each .00 gift.
In “Peter’s Denial,” Jesus said to Peter, “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift each of you like wheat” (Luke 22:31 nlt). What did Jesus mean by “sift”?
Sifting was a common practice of farmers in ancient Israel. Sifting separated wheat from useless materials like dirt and rocks. They would sift the wheat by shaking it in a container with something like a screen so that the wheat would fall through and leave the unwanted materials behind. So Jesus was saying that Satan wanted to cause Peter so much trouble that he would be seen as useless or false. But Jesus prayed for Peter to come through the trial and to be a source of strength for other believers: “But I have pleaded in prayer for you, Simon, that your faith should not fail. So when you have repented and turned to me again, strengthen your brothers” (Luke 22:32 nlt).
Why did Peter think that Jesus would be made king of Israel?
Based upon their interpretation of Old Testament prophecy, the Jewish people mistakenly expected the Messiah to defeat the occupying Roman army, restore Israel’s sovereignty, and reign as king of Israel. But Jesus fulfilled the Messianic prophecies in a different way - He came as a suffering Servant to die for our sins. One day, He will return as a conquering King to rule over the whole earth.
Why did Peter deny Jesus?
Peter was not afraid of the servant, but He was afraid of being arrested and possibly executed. After Jesus was arrested, Peter heard one of the Temple guards say about Jesus and his followers, “Oh, he will get his due, along with all of his followers.” Instead of holding to Jesus’ promise of eternal life, Peter thought of saving his earthly life.
Why are the nail scars shown in Jesus’ wrists instead of His hands?
When the New Testament talks about Jesus being nailed in His “hands,” it uses a Greek word that has a broader meaning than the English word “hands.” The Greek word includes the hand, wrist and forearm. Additionally, historians have discovered that when Roman soldiers crucified people, they drove the nails through the palms, wrists or forearms. (If Jesus was nailed through His palms, then the soldiers would have also tied His arms to the cross with ropes.) So it is possible that Jesus was nailed through either His palms or wrists. Whichever way it happened, we can thank our Savior for dying for our sins.
Why was Jesus glowing after the Resurrection?
We exercised creative liberty to help children understand that Jesus was in His resurrected body and not the same human body He had before the Resurrection. When Jesus rose from the dead, He still had a physical body, but it was a more glorious body. It could be that His divine nature and glory emanated from Him. This can remind us of when Jesus’ appearance changed on the Mount of Transfiguration. The Gospel of Matthew recounts what happened: “As the men watched, Jesus’ appearance was transformed so that his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as light” (Matthew 17:2 nlt). People who have visited heaven have testified of the amazing glory of Jesus! Light and love radiate from Him - for He is the eternal Son of God!
What is the land of Ophrah?
Ophrah was a city north of Jerusalem. The precise location of Ophrah is not certain, but it was located in the area given to the Israelite tribe of Manasseh.
Who were the Midianites?
They were people who roamed about from place to place. They invaded the land of Israel, and would steal their crops and animals. As a result, the Israelites had very little to eat and it was very difficult for them to even survive—they were faced with starvation. So they would try to hide themselves and their harvest in caves and strongholds. The Bible records, “The Midianites were so cruel that the Israelites made hiding places for themselves in the mountains, caves, and strongholds” (Judges 6:2 NLT).
Why do you show Jesus speaking to Gideon?
The Bible says that “the angel of the LORD” (Judges 6:12) spoke to Gideon, and theologians believe that the term “angel of the LORD” refers to an Old Testament appearance of Jesus. Additionally, in the account of Gideon, the Bible reveals that the angel of the LORD was the Lord Himself. The Old Testament often uses the terms “the angel of the LORD” and “the LORD” interchangeably, showing that they are the same. In other words, “the angel of the LORD” was “the LORD”, and we know that “the LORD” is the covenant name of God. Here is a key verse from the passage: “Then the LORD turned to him and said, ‘Go with the strength you have, and rescue Israel from the Midianites. I am sending you!’” (Judges 6:14 NLT).
Why did Jesus call Gideon “mighty man of valor” when he was not courageous?
Jesus was speaking to Gideon in terms of his potential when the power of God would work through him. We can see that God would help him, for Jesus declared, “I will be with you. And you will destroy the Midianites as if you were fighting against one man” (Judges 6:16 NLT). God can do great things through each one of us if we have faith and are obedient to Him.
Why did Gideon ask for a sign?
At first, Gideon did not realize that the visitor was the angel of the Lord. In addition, Gideon felt lowly and thought he was an unlikely person to lead a successful army. Gideon said, “But Lord, how can I rescue Israel? My clan is the weakest in the whole tribe of Manasseh, and I am the least in my entire family!” (Judges 6:15 NLT). Jesus gave him a sign by miraculously burning up the offering of food and then disappearing.
Who spoke from heaven?
The Bible says that the Lord spoke from heaven: “It is all right,” the Lord replied. “Do not be afraid. You will not die” (Judges 6:23 nlt).
Why did Gideon keep asking the Lord for signs?
Gideon continued to have doubts about God using him, but God was patient with him and fulfilled his request for additional signs.
What is a fleece of wool?
It is a single sheet of wool that comes from cutting a coat of wool off a sheep.
Should we set a “fleece” before God today?
No, God never instructed us to do something like that. The fleece was Gideon’s idea, and God accommodated Gideon’s doubts and requests. But if we look to our circumstances for guidance, we can be misled by chance events or the deception of the enemy. Instead of setting fleeces before God, we should look primarily to the Bible. We should also listen to what the Holy Spirit speaks to our hearts.
My Servant Job
Why did you make Satan look so scary?
We wanted him to be seen as clearly evil and not to look like a cool villain. His expressions show his anger against God and His people. The “Job” episode clearly shows that God is more powerful than Satan. In addition, the Bible reveals that even a child who believes in Jesus can take authority over Satan when he speaks in Jesus’ name and binds a spiritual attack. Children can trust in the power of Jesus’ name!
Please keep in mind that the general target age for Superbook episodes is children 5 to 12 years old. However, because children differ in their spiritual development, sensitivity to dramatic depictions, and the type of programming they are accustomed to viewing, we suggest that parents consider which episodes are appropriate for each of their children. For some episodes, we advise parents to preview the episode before showing it to their children.
Why did the angels in heaven call Satan “the Accuser”?
The Bible reveals in the book of Job that Satan is the “Accuser.” In addition, the Bible tells us that the Accuser dared to go before our holy and almighty God: One day the members of the heavenly court came to present themselves before the LORD, and the Accuser, Satan, came with them (Job 1:6 NLT). In addition, the book of Revelation calls Satan “the accuser.” It says, Then I heard a loud voice shouting across the heavens, ‘It has come at last—salvation and power and the Kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ. For the accuser of our brothers and sisters has been thrown down to earth— the one who accuses them before our God day and night’ (Revelation 12:10 NLT).
Another term for Satan is “the devil,” which means “accuser” or “slanderer.” Jesus taught people about the nature of Satan when He said, He has always hated the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies (John 8:44 NLT).
When Job cried out after learning of the loss of his children and possessions, was he angry at God?
Job was not angry at God. He was expressing his intense heartache and sorrow. The Bible tells us, In all of this, Job did not sin by blaming God (Job 1:22 NLT).
Why did Job tear his clothing?
Job did that as a way of expressing his anguish at learning of the death of his sons and daughters. The Bible tells us, Job stood up and tore his robe in grief (Job 1:20 NLT). In the time and place where Job lived, tearing one’s clothes was a way to express grief.
Why did Job shave his head and beard?
It was a way for Job to show his mourning at the loss of his sons and daughters. It was a common cultural practice in his time for someone to shave his head and beard to mourn the loss of loved ones.
Why did Satan pretend to be a weary traveler?
Satan wanted to learn about Job’s reaction to the catastrophes he had suffered. He wanted to know if Job was blaming God. Although God knows all that occurs, Satan is limited in his knowledge and abilities, so he had to go where Job was to see what was happening.
What did Satan mean by saying “skin for skin”?
This was apparently a common saying during the time of Job, and it seems that Satan was accusing Job of being willing for others to be killed if only his own life were spared. In other words, Satan alleged that Job was mostly concerned with saving his own “skin.”
How was Satan able to give Job sores on his body?
As a fallen angel, Satan had spiritual power that could be used for good or for evil. When God first created Satan as Lucifer, his powers were to always be used for good. But Satan chose to misuse his abilities by attacking Job. Each one of us has abilities that we should use only for good—to glorify God and to help people.
Why did Job’s friends accuse him of sinning?
They had the false belief that if someone suffered it was because he or she had sinned.
Why was Job so angry with his friends?
Job was suffering from the loss of his children and the extremely painful sores on his body. On top of that, his friends—who should have been a comfort to him—added to his suffering by falsely accusing him.
When God posed a question to Job about the creation of the world, what part of the Earth were you showing? It did not look like any part of today’s world.
Bible scholars believe that when the Earth was first created, there was only one great land mass. The Bible tells us the following about the third day of Creation: Then God said, “Let the waters beneath the sky flow together into one place, so dry ground may appear.” And that is what happened. God called the dry ground “land” and the waters “seas.” And God saw that it was good (Genesis 1:9-10 NLT). That land mass was later divided into continents by the catastrophic worldwide flood of Noah’s day.
How could Job live another 140 years after he was already a grown man?
People lived much longer during the ages that immediately followed the creation of the world. The Bible records that before the flood of Noah, people lived several hundreds of years. After the flood, people still lived for hundreds of years, but their life spans gradually began to shorten. Nevertheless, the Bible records that Abraham lived 175 years, and Isaac lived 180 years. It may be that Job lived shortly after the flood, so it is not unusual that he lived as long as he did.
One of the reasons why the patriarchs lived longer may be that their DNA had fewer imperfections. When God created Adam and Eve, their DNA would have been perfect, but succeeding generations could have experienced increasing amounts of genetic mutations which could have left them more vulnerable to the aging process and disease. It could also be that after the global flood of Noah’s time, there were major changes in the world such as environmental and dietary challenges as well as increasing dangers of sickness and disease.
The Prodigal Son
How is it that a young boy like Micah was put in charge of the family’s sheep?
Even though caring for a flock of sheep was a very important and challenging responsibility, it was not uncommon in ancient times for a boy to be a shepherd. An example of this is David in the Old Testament. He was the youngest of eight brothers, but he was put in charge of caring for their sheep and goats. The Bible tells us that when God sent the prophet Samuel to anoint the future king of Israel, he asked Jesse, “Are these all the sons you have?” And Jesse replied, “There is still the youngest. But he’s out in the fields watching the sheep and goats” (1 Samuel 16:11 NLT).
Although being a shepherd was a demanding job, it was also a very humble and lonely position. It may be that the older brothers preferred more respected responsibilities.
Why did you show the sinful behavior of the Prodigal Son?
One of our goals when creating Superbook episodes is to be biblically, historically, and culturally accurate. In the case of “The Prodigal Son,” we wanted to realistically illustrate the downward turn of events in the Prodigal Son’s life as he followed the sinful ways of the world. We also wanted to show the disastrous consequences of his reckless behavior. On the other hand, we were careful to avoid depicting any indecent activity.
In addition, when Jesus told the parable of the prodigal son, His listeners would have readily understood the implied elements of the story. However, since today’s listeners are living in a very different culture and historical period, they might not perceive some of the story’s implications. To overcome this difficulty, we provided a visual depiction of the Prodigal Son’s “wild living” in a “distant land” (Luke 15:13 NLT).
Because children differ in their spiritual development, sensitivity to dramatic depictions, and the type of programming they are accustomed to viewing, we suggest that parents consider which episodes are appropriate for each of their children. For this DVD, we included an important note to parents in red font encouraging them to preview the episode before showing it to their children. The message is printed on the DVD case or cover and in the Family Discussion Guide.
What were the pods that were fed to the pigs?
The pods may have been the fruit of carob or locust trees. The pods were ground up and fed to animals.
What is the Bible verse that is quoted at the end of the episode?
The verse is found in Psalm 103:8. It says, “The LORD is compassionate and merciful, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love” (NLT).
Elijah and the Prophets of Baal
Who was Baal?
Baal was a false god worshipped by the Canaanite people in the time of ancient Israel. As seen in “Elijah and the Prophets of Baal,” the people made idols that they would pray to, sacrifice to, and worship.
How long did it not rain?
After Elijah declared that it would stop raining, God withheld rain from the area, and it did not rain for three and a half years! The Bible tells us, “Elijah was as human as we are, and yet when he prayed earnestly that no rain would fall, none fell for three and a half years!” (James 5:17 NLT).
Why did they sacrifice the bulls?
Sacrificing animals was part of ancient religions, and even the Law that God gave the nation of Israel included animal sacrifices. The Bible explains, “In fact, according to the law of Moses, nearly everything was purified with blood. For without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness” (Hebrews 9:22 NLT). It is important to know that the sacrifices called for by the Law of Moses pointed forward to Jesus, because Jesus shed His blood on the cross for our sins. Jesus was the ultimate sacrifice for our sins, so there is no need for sacrifices anymore.
Why did Elijah have the people put so much water on his sacrifice and the wood for the sacrifice?
He wanted to make it even harder for a fire to start and to prove beyond any doubt that God had performed a miracle.
Why did you show so much of the idolatrous worship of the prophets of Baal on Mt. Carmel?
We wanted to make it clear that despite the lengthy and impassioned worship by the prophets of Baal, their false god did not answer them.
Why didn’t you show the deaths of the prophets of Baal?
The main point of the biblical story was that the God of Israel proved He is the only true God, and that people should only worship Him. It was not necessary to show what happened to the prophets of Baal.
Since the people were worshiping the false god called Baal, why didn’t you refer to the true God of Israel by His Hebrew name, Yahweh?
Whenever biblical persons in the Superbook episodes say something that is recorded in Scripture, their words are taken directly from the New Living Translation, Contemporary English Version, or New King James Version. These versions of the Bible use the word LORD to refer to the God of Israel, indicating His covenant name, Yahweh. As an example, the New Living Translation says, “Then Elijah stood in front of them and said, ‘How much longer will you waver, hobbling between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow him! But if Baal is God, then follow him!’” (1 Kings 18:21).
The Birth of John the Baptist
What is an incense offering?
An incense offering was the burning of holy incense in the Temple, and was commanded by God. When the incense was poured on the hot coals, it released a sweet aroma that rose up. The incense offering was a symbol of the people’s prayers to God. Like the incense rising in the Temple, the Israelite’s prayers would rise to the throne of God. A psalm of David associates his prayer with the offering of incense in the Temple: “Accept my prayer as incense offered to you, and my upraised hands as an evening offering” (Psalm 141:2 NLT). The book of Revelation also associates the holy incense with the prayers of God’s people: “Then another angel with a gold incense burner came and stood at the altar. And a great amount of incense was given to him to mix with the prayers of God’s people as an offering on the gold altar before the throne. The smoke of the incense, mixed with the prayers of God’s holy people, ascended up to God from the altar where the angel had poured them out” (Revelation 8:3-4 NLT).
What were the streams of fire that descended in the Temple and then became a circle of fire out of which Gabriel appeared?
We used creative license in depicting Gabriel’s entrance to make it both dramatic and powerful and to cause Ezekiel to have a sense of wonderment.
Why did you show the angel Gabriel with wings?
In the Superbook series, we have used creative license to depict angels with wings in a manner that is consistent with the iconic image of angels. People around the world have seen pictures of angels with wings. We wanted those people to be able to recognize the angels in Superbook as being like the pictures they have seen before.
There are a number of Bible verses that describe heavenly beings with wings. For example, the book of Revelation talks about the four living beings around the throne of God: “In front of the throne was a shiny sea of glass, sparkling like crystal. In the center and around the throne were four living beings, each covered with eyes, front and back” (Revelation 4:6 NLT). They were the ones singing “Holy, holy, holy…” The Bible says about these beings, “Each of these living beings had six wings, and their wings were covered all over with eyes, inside and out. Day after day and night after night they keep on saying, ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God, the Almighty—the one who always was, who is, and who is still to come’” (Revelation 4:8 NLT).
In addition, when God gave Moses instructions for the Ark of the Covenant, He said that it should have cherubim with wings on the lid: “The cherubim will face each other and look down on the atonement cover. With their wings spread above it, they will protect it” (Exodus 25:20 NLT).
The prophet Isaiah wrote: “It was in the year King Uzziah died that I saw the Lord. He was sitting on a lofty throne, and the train of his robe filled the Temple. Attending him were mighty seraphim, each having six wings. With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they flew” (Isaiah 6:1-2 NLT)
Why was the child of Zechariah and Elizabeth to be named John?
The name John means “God is a gracious giver.” This could be a reference to the miraculous work of God in graciously giving Zechariah and Elizabeth a child even though they were very old and Elizabeth was not able to conceive.
Why was Zechariah unable to speak? Was it a punishment?
Zechariah wanted to know if the prophecy would really happen. His inability to speak for a time proved that God was really at work and that the prophecy would come true.
What were the white streams of light coming out of the Temple and flowing through the priests’ hands?
We used creative license to show the manifest presence of the Holy Spirit flowing from the Temple. The Spirit of God brought the favor and blessings of the Lord to the people. God had commanded that the priests bless the people of Israel with these words: “The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make His face shine upon you, and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace” (Numbers 6:22–27 NKJV). This is called the priestly blessing.
What is the significance of the way the priests held up their hands when they sang the priestly blessing?
The priests were making a hand symbol according to an original Jewish tradition. The hand symbol represented the Hebrew letter “Shin,” which looks similar to an English W and has a “sh” sound. The hand symbol, then, refers to the Hebrew word “Shaddai.” “El Shaddai” is one of the Hebrew names for God, and means “the Almighty.” It has been interpreted as “the All-Sufficient,” and refers to God’s power and ability to bestow blessings upon His people.
What were the white streams of light coming out of the Temple and flowing through the priests’ hands?
We used creative license to show the manifest presence of the Holy Spirit flowing from the Temple. The Spirit of God brought the favor and blessings of the Lord to the people. God had commanded that the priests bless the people of Israel with these words: “The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make His face shine upon you, and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace” (Numbers 6:22–27 NKJV). This is called the priestly blessing.
What kind of writing tablet did Zechariah use when he couldn’t speak?
In the time period when Zechariah lived, people used both clay and wax tablets. We showed Zechariah using a clay tablet. The flat wooden part of the tablet would have a recessed area filled with clay. The clay could be engraved by a pointed object called a stylus. Writing tablets often had a wooden cover loosely attached to it.
How was Mary’s question to the angel Gabriel different from Zechariah’s?
It seems that Zechariah doubted the angel’s declaration, which was a message from God. On the other hand, Mary did not doubt the prophecy—she only wondered how it would come to pass.
What was the glow on Elizabeth when she saw Mary?
We used creative license to show Elizabeth being filled with the Holy Spirit. The Bible tells us what happened when Mary greeted Elizabeth: “At the sound of Mary’s greeting, Elizabeth’s child leaped within her, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit” (Luke 1:41 NLT).
Naaman and the Servant Girl
Why was the girl made a servant?
Naaman’s forces had invaded Israel and fought battles with the Israelites. During one of the battles, some of the Israelites were captured, and as was often done in that period, they were made to be servants in a foreign land. The young girl was taken to be the maid of Naaman’s wife. The Bible tells us, “At this time Aramean raiders had invaded the land of Israel, and among their captives was a young girl who had been given to Naaman’s wife as a maid” (2 Kings 5:2, NLT).
Why did you put so much emphasis on zombies and the video game “Zombies of the Apocalypse”?
One of the primary goals of “Superbook” is to reach non-Christians around the world for Jesus Christ. To do that, we have to be culturally relevant to non-Christians. In today's world, “zombies” are a significant part of the world market in games and movies. However, Chris and Joy made it clear that zombies do not exist, and Joy pointed out that Chris’ parents do not allow him to play the game. Still, when Chris, Joy, and Gizmo saw Naaman and his awful skin disease, they reacted in fear and fled. Gizmo even thought he was a zombie. But God does not want us to be fearful. The Bible tells us, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline” (2 Timothy 1:7, NLT).
Why was the Syrian king’s letter written on a stone tablet?
During the time when Naaman lived, around 850 B.C., writings that were intended to be permanent were often incised in stone. This also ensured that the message could not be erased or altered. An example from an even earlier time is when Moses received the Ten Commandments from God. The Bible records, “Then the LORD said to Moses, ‘Come up to me on the mountain. Stay there, and I will give you the tablets of stone on which I have inscribed the instructions and commands so you can teach the people’” (Exodus 24:12, NLT).
Why did King Joram tear his garments?
In the Israelite culture, tearing your clothes was an expression of great emotional distress. Since the king did not have any power to heal Naaman, it seemed to him that the letter was part of a scheme to create a conflict between Israel and Syria. This might even provide a pretense for an invasion by the Syrian army. The Bible records, “When the king of Israel read the letter, he tore his clothes in dismay and said, ‘This man sends me a leper to heal! Am I God, that I can give life and take it away? I can see that he’s just trying to pick a fight with me’” (2 Kings 5:7, NLT). It did not occur to King Joram that the letter referred to the miracles performed by Elisha.
Why was Naaman told by Elisha to bathe in the river seven times?
In the Bible, the number seven is often symbolic of completion or perfection. It could be that this was a test of Naaman’s faith, obedience, and humility. Bathing seven times in the river showed that his obedience to the prophet’s instructions was complete. It also showed that he was being humble and was not demanding that God work in the way he had expected.
What was the light surrounding Naaman while he was bathing the seventh time in the river?
We used creative license to show the healing power of God curing Naaman’s leprosy.
Why did Naaman take dirt from Israel? Why couldn’t he just build an altar to the God of Israel on Syrian soil?
In the ancient Middle East, many people believed in numerous gods, and they also thought that you could only worship a god in its own land or on an altar built with dirt from that god’s land. Naaman recognized that the God of Israel was the only true God, and he wanted to worship Him in Syria.
During the harvest, what were the men cutting the barley with?
They were using an ancient harvesting tool called a sickle. Jesus once referred to a sickle in one of His parables, “And as soon as the grain is ready, the farmer comes and harvests it with a sickle, for the harvest time has come” (Mark 4:29, NLT).
During the harvest, why was the man shaking the basket, and what was floating through the air?
He was shaking a basketful of barley and chaff. The barley is heavier than the chaff and would remain in the basket, but the chaff would be carried away by the wind. The first psalm says, “They are like worthless chaff, scattered by the wind” (Psalm 1:4, NLT).
Who were the Moabites?
They were descendants of Lot, Abraham’s nephew.
Why did Naomi tell Ruth to uncover Boaz’ feet, and why did Ruth ask him to spread the corner of his covering over her?
The uncovering of his feet was a cultural and ceremonial act that Boaz would have been familiar with. When Ruth asked Boaz to spread the corner of his covering over her, she was asking that Boaz provide her with the “covering” or protection of marriage. Through marriage, she would be cared for and provided for. The basis for Ruth’s request was a commandment in the Old Testament Law; however, this commandment did not apply directly to Boaz and his relationship with Ruth. Nevertheless, out of kindness and love, Boaz agreed to marry her if he could.
In all of their interactions, Boaz and Ruth showed themselves to be of high morals and good character. The townspeople thought highly of them, as was revealed when Boaz told Ruth, “…everyone in town knows you are a virtuous woman” (Ruth 3:11, NLT).
Why did you have Ruth use the phrase “close relative” instead of “kinsman”?
Although many Christians are familiar with the terms “kinsman” and “kinsman-redeemer,” many children would not understand these terms. When creating Superbook dialogue, we strive to use a Bible translation that is both accurate and easy for children to understand.
What song was the wedding party singing? What are the lyrics, and what is the translation?
Kumi Lach’ Raayati, Kumi Lach’ Yafa Sheli, Ki Hine Stav Avar Ha’Geshem Kvar Chalaf Lo. (x2)
(Chorus) Ha’nizanim Niru Baarez’ Et Zamir Hegia, Ha’teena Chanta Pagea, Ve Hagfanim Smadar.
(repeat first verse)
Lai lai lai lai lai (x2)
Arise, My Darling
Arise, my darling, Arise, my beautiful one, See, the winter is past and the rains are over gone.
(chorus) Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come, The fig tree forms its early fruit; and the blossoming vines spread their fragrance.
Lai lai lai lai lai (x2)
“Kumi Lach” is based on the following verses from the Song of Solomon: “Rise up, my darling! Come away with me, my fair one! Look, the winter is past, and the rains are over and gone. The flowers are springing up, the season of singing birds has come, and the cooing of turtledoves fills the air. The fig trees are forming young fruit, and the fragrant grapevines are blossoming. Rise up, my darling! Come away with me, my fair one!” (Song of Solomon 2:10–13, NLT).
The Good Samaritan
Why were the Samaritans hostile to Jesus’ disciples? Why did they not let them enter the town?
There was ongoing resentment between the Jews and Samaritans, and they disliked each others’ holy sites. The Jews claimed that the only proper place of worship was Jerusalem, so when Jews traveled through Samaria on their way to worship in Jerusalem, it made the Samaritans angry. The Bible tells us, “But the people of the village did not welcome Jesus because he was on his way to Jerusalem” (Luke 9:53, NLT).
Why did the disciples talk about calling down fire on the Samaritans?
In their anger at the Samaritans, they felt that the judgment of God should fall on them. But Jesus had already taught love for everyone, even one’s enemies. He said, “But to you who are willing to listen, I say, love your enemies! Do good to those who hate you. Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you” (Luke 6:27-28, NLT).
Why did you show the wounded man clothed only in a loincloth?
We wanted to be historically accurate in illustrating the parable as it was told by Jesus. He said, “A Jewish man was traveling from Jerusalem down to Jericho, and he was attacked by bandits. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him up, and left him half dead beside the road” (Luke 10:30, NLT). This reveals how desperately the traveler needed help. The bandits had not only taken his money, but also his outer clothing. Without help and proper clothing, he would be exposed to the heat of the sun by day and the cold at night.
Why didn’t the second Jewish man (the Levite) help the wounded traveler?
The Levite, an assistant in the Jewish Temple, may have thought the traveler was dead, and he wanted to avoid contact with a dead body.
Why did the Samaritan help the traveler?
When the Samaritan saw his desperate condition, he felt compassion for him.
Tower of Babel and the Day of Pentecost
What were the bricks for the Tower of Babel made of?
The bricks would have been made of clay that had been shaped and then hardened in kilns. The Bible records that the people at Babel said to each other, “‘Let’s make bricks and harden them with fire.’ (In this region bricks were used instead of stone, and tar was used for mortar.)” (Genesis 11:3, NLT).
How did they get asphalt?
Asphalt, otherwise known as bitumen, was a tar-like substance that at times occurred naturally or was produced by heat-refining petroleum or other natural substances.
Why did you show angels coming down to the Tower of Babel when the Bible says that the Lord came down: “But the LORD came down to look at the city and the tower the people were building” (Genesis 11:5, NLT)?
In addition to the verse above, the Bible also records the Lord saying, “Come, let’s go down and confuse the people with different languages. Then they won’t be able to understand each other” (Genesis 11:7, NLT). This implies that God was not alone when He went down to Babel. We used creative license to depict the presence of God in the form of rays of divine light emanating from heaven. In addition, when you consider God’s universal presence, He was there the whole time even when He was unseen.
Gizmo’s scan revealed that Superbook had taken them to the land of Shinar, but where is Shinar?
Shinar was an ancient land where the great city of Babylon was located. Shinar lay in a plain that in modern times is part of southern Iraq.
What were the small balls of fire that went into the mouths of the people at the Tower of Babel?
We used creative license to portray how God miraculously confused the language of the people. The Bible records the Lord saying, “Come, let’s go down and confuse the people with different languages. Then they won’t be able to understand each other” (Genesis 11:7, NLT). We also employed creative license to illustrate the connection between the events at Babel and hundreds of years later on the day of Pentecost. While different languages caused confusion and scattering at Babel, the Holy Spirit worked through different languages to bring people together and into the kingdom of God on the day of Pentecost.
What languages were the people speaking after the fire went into their mouths?
We showed them speaking Hebrew, Greek, and Farsi in order to represent various ancient languages.
When you showed the Ascension of Jesus, why didn’t you show His nail scars?
The sleeves of His robe were covering His wrists, which are where many Bible scholars believe the nail scars were. When the New Testament talks about Jesus being nailed in His “hands,” it uses a Greek word that has a broader meaning than the English word “hands.” The Greek word includes the hand, wrist, and forearm. Additionally, historians have discovered that when Roman soldiers crucified people, they drove the nails through the palms, wrists, or forearms. (If Jesus was nailed through His palms, then the soldiers would have also tied His arms to the cross with ropes.) So it is possible that Jesus was nailed through what we would call either His palms or wrists. Whichever way it happened, when can thank our Savior for dying for our sins.
When the believers gathered in the room to pray, why were the windows shut?
Since the believers had not yet been empowered by the Holy Spirit, they were afraid of unbelievers hearing them and persecuting them.
What was the song the believers were singing during their time of prayer?
They were singing Psalm 150:6 in Hebrew: “kol hanneshamah tehallel yah halelu-yah.” In English, the verse exhorts, “Let everything that has breath praise the LORD. Praise the LORD” (NIV).
What was the shining white cloud in the room, and what were the small white flames over the believers’ heads?
We used creative license to depict the manifest presence of the Holy Spirit as the shining white cloud and flames. We made the cloud and flames white to symbolize purity and to emphasize the divine and pure nature of the Holy Spirit. The Bible tells us, “On the day of Pentecost all the believers were meeting together in one place. Suddenly, there was a sound from heaven like the roaring of a mighty windstorm, and it filled the house where they were sitting. Then, what looked like flames or tongues of fire appeared and settled on each of them. And everyone present was filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking in other languages, as the Holy Spirit gave them this ability” (Acts 2:1-4, NLT).
What were the sounds of wind, chime, and voices the people outside heard?
We used creative license to depict how the Holy Spirit supernaturally enabled the people outside to hear the people praying inside the room even though the windows were shut. In addition, wind is a symbol of the Holy Spirit. The Bible tells us that when the Holy Spirit came to the place where the believers were praying, “Suddenly, there was a sound from heaven like the roaring of a mighty windstorm, and it filled the house where they were sitting” (Acts 2:2, NLT).
Isaac and Rebekah
Why did you have to include Sarah’s death? How is it related to the marriage of Isaac and Rebekah?
In the episode, the loss of Sarah brings to the forefront of Abraham’s mind God’s promise many years before. That promise was that Abraham would have many descendants through his son Isaac. But Isaac was not yet married, so Abraham knew it was time to find a wife for Isaac.
In addition, Rebekah helped comfort Isaac regarding Sarah’s passing. The Bible tells us, “And Isaac brought Rebekah into his mother Sarah’s tent, and she became his wife. He loved her deeply, and she was a special comfort to him after the death of his mother” (Genesis 24:67, NLT).
Why did you show Sarah’s dead body?
We felt that it would help children understand the passing of Sarah and the profound grief of Abraham and Isaac.
Why did they put Sarah’s body on the table?
It was a way for Abraham to show his love and respect for Sarah until he could purchase land for a tomb.
Why did Abraham say that Isaac should not have a Canaanite wife?
During Abraham’s lifetime, and in tribes of people who kept sheep or herds, it was their custom for a son to marry someone from his own tribe. In addition, Abraham did not want his son to marry a woman who believed in the Canaanite gods, for she might gradually weaken Isaac’s devotion to the true God, the one who had spoken to Abraham and promised him descendants as numerous as the stars.
Why did Abraham insist that his servant not take Isaac to live with Abraham’s relatives?
God had promised the land of Canaan to Abraham, so Abraham wanted Isaac to stay in the Promised Land.
Why did Chris, Joy, and Gizmo wear head coverings when Eliezer didn’t?
Chris, Joy, and Gizmo were not accustomed to the intense heat of the desert sun, and the head coverings protected their heads and necks from overheating and sunburn. Some of the men did wear head coverings, but it was optional for them. The women wore head coverings because in that culture they were expected to cover their hair to maintain modesty.
Why did Rebekah bring a pot of water for Chris, Joy, and Gizmo to wash their feet before the feast?
In the Middle East, people normally wore sandals, and their feet would become dusty from walking across the dry and dusty ground. Therefore, it was customary to wash one’s feet before sitting for a meal, especially since people did not sit in chairs, but sat on cushions or mats on the floor. In addition, the hosts of the meal were expected to provide the water as a courtesy for their guests.
Why did Rebekah cover her face when she met Isaac?
In that culture, it was customary for a woman to cover her face when around a stranger. Also, since she was to be Isaac’s bride, she was showing respect and submission to him.
Do all dreams contain a divine message?
The Bible reveals that God may speak to someone through dreams. For example, sometime after Jesus was born, an angel spoke to Joseph in a dream. The Bible records, “After the wise men were gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. ‘Get up! Flee to Egypt with the child and his mother,’ the angel said. ‘Stay there until I tell you to return, because Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.’” (Matthew 2:13, NLT). On the other hand, we do not believe that all dreams contain a message from God. People need to be cautious, pray, and exercise spiritual discernment when it comes to dreams.
Why did God want an offering of meat?
When someone offered the first of the best meat to God, it was a way to honor Him by putting Him first in their lives. Animal sacrifices during Old Testament times were prophetic in that they looked forward to Jesus being the sinless and perfect sacrifice for our sins when He died on the cross. After Jesus became the ultimate sacrifice for us, there was no longer any need for animal sacrifices.
Why didn’t Eli stop his sons from doing wrong things?
Eli did tell his sons to stop and warned them that they were sinning against God. When they did not obey him, he apparently did not take strong measures to discipline or restrain them.
What were the golden rays of light above the Ark of the Covenant?
We used artistic license to illustrate the glory of God shining down on the Ark.
Why did you show Jesus appearing to Samuel in a translucent body?
We used artistic license to show God speaking to Samuel by Jesus appearing in a radiantly glorious and spiritual form.
When the Lord spoke to the young Samuel about Eli and his sons, what did it mean when He said that the people’s ears would tingle?
This was a figure of speech meaning that they would hear stunning news that would continue to astound them even after the initial report. The New Living Translation words it like this: “Then the LORD said to Samuel, ‘I am about to do a shocking thing in Israel’” (1 Samuel 3:11, NLT).
When the adult Samuel was interceding for the people of Israel, what were the shock waves that blasted outward and against the Philistines?
We wanted to illustrate physical effects when God’s voice thundered from heaven. So we used artistic license to show God speaking with such tremendous power that it created audio shock waves. The Bible tells us, “Just as Samuel was sacrificing the burnt offering, the Philistines arrived to attack Israel. But the LORD spoke with a mighty voice of thunder from heaven that day, and the Philistines were thrown into such confusion that the Israelites defeated them” (1 Samuel 7:10, NLT).
David and Saul
Why did Samuel call the Amalekites “sinners”?
The Amalekites had acted with hostility and cruelty to the Israelites after they asked for permission to pass freely through the land of the Amalekites. Instead of treating the Israelites with hospitality or even decency, the Amalekites attacked them when they were exhausted from their journey, and they killed many of them who were weak and straggling behind (Deuteronomy 25:18).
Why did God command that the Amalekites be completely destroyed?
God chose this time to bring judgment upon the people of Amalek for when they attacked and killed the weakest of the Israelites. The Bible tells us, “This is what the LORD of Heaven’s Armies has declared: I have decided to settle accounts with the nation of Amalek for opposing Israel when they came from Egypt” (1 Samuel 15:2, NLT). We don’t know what other evils the Amalekites may have committed, but God is a righteous judge, and everything He does is holy and right—even if we don’t understand it completely.
Samuel said that God was going to give the kingdom of Israel to a better man. What made David a better man than Saul?
The Bible reveals that David was a man after God’s heart. In other words, David wanted to please God and obey Him. The Bible says, “But God removed Saul and replaced him with David, a man about whom God said, ‘I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart. He will do everything I want him to do’” (Acts 13:22, NLT).
Why did you show a scary, dark, shadowy evil spirit tormenting King Saul?
The Bible tells us that an evil spirit tormented Saul, and we want to be historically accurate regarding the Bible story.
What was the white light flowing from the kinnor that drove away the tormenting spirit?
We used creative license to show the anointing of the Holy Spirit flowing from the kinnor and driving the evil spirit away.
Why did David and his men tear their clothes when they heard that King Saul was dead?
In their culture, tearing their clothes was a way of showing grief about the death of Saul and many others. The Bible tells us more about what happened: “David and his men tore their clothes in sorrow when they heard the news. They mourned and wept and fasted all day for Saul and his son Jonathan, and for the LORD’s army and the nation of Israel, because they had died by the sword that day” (2 Samuel 1:11-12, NLT).
Why were the Jews taken captive to Persia?
The people of Judah had been very disobedient to the Lord for years by doing things like worshiping idols. They persisted in their disobedience even after God sent prophets to warn them of His coming judgment. This judgment culminated in God sending other nations to conquer Judah and expel the people from the land He had given them. His judgment was meant to cause them to at last turn from their sins so He could bless them once more.
When Nehemiah was still in Persia, he prayed to the Lord and “saw” the Jewish people in Jerusalem being taken captive by foreign soldiers. Was what he saw a memory or vision?
Nehemiah was probably born in Persia while the Jewish people were already in exile, so it would not have been his own memories. Nehemiah may have been seeing a God-given vision, or he may have been imagining what the fall of Jerusalem must have looked like based upon first-person accounts of its capture and destruction.
Did they really use stones of various shapes and sizes for the wall of Jerusalem instead of huge cut stones like the ones that were used for the Temple walls?
Yes. The stones of the city wall were much smaller and irregular than the massive Temple stones, but the wall was up to 15 feet thick and had mortar holding the stones together. As a result, it was a strong and effective defensive barrier.
Elisha and the Syrians
Why did you make Elijah look old and weak?
The Biblical events of 1 Kings 17 through 2 Kings 2 show Elijah serving as a prophet of the Lord for several years—but he may have been a prophet much longer. He seems to have been known and respected by different groups of prophets, so that might indicate that, in addition to his great anointing, he was a seasoned prophet. The Bible does not say when Elijah was born or how old he was, so we chose to use creative license to depict him as advanced in years.
Why did Elisha not stay behind as Elijah instructed him?
Elisha knew that the Lord was going to take Elijah away from him that day, so he was determined to stay with him. It could also be that Elisha was showing unwavering devotion and service to his master.
Why did you make the Jordan River look so narrow and gentle?
During the dry season the Jordan River would naturally get smaller, but it may have still been deep, so without a bridge to walk on, even wading across could have been a difficult challenge.
Why did Elijah strike the river with his mantle?
It was a prophetic act that called for a miraculous parting of the waters.
Why did Elisha have to see Elijah taken from him for him to get the double-portion anointing?
The Bible does not tell us explicitly, but it may have been a test of Elisha’s desire and determination.
Why did the chariot and horses look like they were on fire?
The chariot and horses were from heaven and were imbued with supernatural power. Since it was a heavenly chariot, we depicted its rider as a mighty angel with wings.
What is the relationship between the mantle and the anointing?
There was nothing magical about the mantle; however, it was symbolic of the power of God that worked through Elijah and Elisha.
What did the prophets mean when they said “the spirit of Elijah” rests on Elisha?
They meant that the same power of God that had been with Elijah was now with Elisha to work great miracles.
Why did Elisha throw the stick in the water?
It was an act of faith by Elisha who believed that God would perform a miracle to allow them to recover the ax head.
When Elisha says, “Where is the LORD God of Elijah?” why didn’t you have him use the covenant name of God, that is, “Yahweh”?
Although the original Hebrew text uses God’s covenant name, Yahweh, most English translations translate it as “the LORD.” This follows the Jewish tradition of not pronouncing God’s name so as to avoid possibly using it in vain.
How was Joy able to take her cell phone on the Superbook adventure? Doesn’t Superbook keep Chris and Joy from taking back any tech devices?
While Chris and Joy are normally not able to take tech devices back in time, it was allowed this time since Joy’s cell phone was an important part of the dilemma she faced.
Why didn’t Elisha say anything about the glowing and translucent cell phone that Joy was clearly holding in her hand?
The Superbook producers chose to use artistic license to have Elisha not notice the strange device, just as people accept the presence of Gizmo the robot without asking questions about who or what he is. This enables the storyline to continue to focus on the main plot developments without getting bogged down by minor details.
Should you have used the term “Arameans” instead of “Syrians”?
Some Bible versions use the term “Syrians” while others use “Arameans.” The term “Syrians” is appropriate for Elisha’s time.
What is Professor Quantum’s featured invention called and why is it so important?
It is a Magnetic Gyro-Capacitor Self-Containing Energy-Stabilizing System, also known as the MagSys. Professor Quantum called it the cornerstone of his life’s work. It makes most of his other inventions possible.
We can see in this an example of a powerful principle in the kingdom of God: if you are responsible and use well the understanding and ability God has given you, then He will give you more. Jesus taught, “To those who use well what they are given, even more will be given, and they will have an abundance. But from those who do nothing, even what little they have will be taken away” (Matthew 25:29, NLT).
Why did you show a scary mechanical skeleton inside Gizmo when he was struck by lightning?
We used creative license to show that the lightning penetrated Gizmo’s outer metallic casing and affected his electronics.
Why did Gizmo think that the electricity had struck close by when it had actually struck him?
The lightning strike had already adversely affected his electronics so he was unaware of what had really happened.
Where was King David going that all people must go to?
King David was using a metaphor to refer to his impending death. As Christians, we know that life does not end when the body dies, for a person’s spirit and soul live on. The Bible tells us, “And just as each person is destined to die once and after that comes judgment, so also Christ was offered once for all time as a sacrifice to take away the sins of many people. He will come again, not to deal with our sins, but to bring salvation to all who are eagerly waiting for him” (Hebrews 9:27-28, NLT).
What kind of lamp was on the table in the palace?
During Jesus’ time, oil lamps were commonly used to provide light at nighttime. The lamp usually contained olive oil with a wick sticking out that was lit.
Why was Gizmo acting so strangely?
He was in need of repair after being struck by lightning.
Why did you show Solomon as a grown man in his dream even though he said he was very young? I thought he was a child when he had the dream.
Compared to King David who had accumulated so many years of knowledge and experience, Solomon felt that he was very young and inexperienced. In some other Bible translations, Solomon says that he was only a child (NKJV) or like a child (NLT), but we chose to use the Contemporary English Version for this verse: “LORD God, I’m your servant, and you’ve made me king in my father’s place. But I’m very young and know so little about being a leader” (1 Kings 3:7).
What was the golden glow surrounding King Solomon and then Chris when they prayed for wisdom?
We used creative license to depict the Holy Spirit giving them wisdom.
The Holy Spirit and wisdom are often associated in the Bible. For instance, the book of Acts records, “And so, brothers, select seven men who are well respected and are full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will give them this responsibility” (Acts 6:3, NLT). It also says, “None of them could stand against the wisdom and the Spirit with which Stephen spoke” (Acts 6:10, NLT). In addition, the Apostle Paul wrote, “When we tell you these things, we do not use words that come from human wisdom. Instead, we speak words given to us by the Spirit, using the Spirit’s words to explain spiritual truths” (1 Corinthians 2:13, NLT).
What was Nebuchadnezzar bowing down to?
He was bowing down before idols representing the gods of Babylon. He desperately pleaded for their help, but no help came because they are false gods.
The Babylonians had many gods, as many as 13; however, even though the idols were immense and created by skilled artisans, they were still merely lifeless idols. The Apostle Paul explained, “Well, we all know that an idol is not really a god and that there is only one God” (1 Corinthians 8:4 NLT).
What is cuneiform?
Cuneiform is a system of writing in which a stylus is used to carve wedge-shaped marks into a baked clay tablet or similar material.
What is Babylon?
Babylon was the capital city of ancient Babylonia (the kingdom of Babylon). Babylon was located on the Euphrates River in what is now Iraq.
Why did the astrologers consult the stars?
The Bible reveals that at first Daniel and his friends were not informed about the king’s summons and demand about his dream. The Bible tells us what happened after the king’s decree: “And because of the king’s decree, men were sent to find and kill Daniel and his friends” (Daniel 2:13 NLT).
Why did Chris dress up Gizmo like an astrologer?
He did it to create a diversion, that is, he wanted Gizmo to distract the guards so he and Joy could warn Daniel and his friends.
Why did Meshach open the window before they prayed?
It was Daniel’s custom to pray with the windows open toward Jerusalem. The Bible tells us, “But when Daniel learned that the law had been signed, he went home and knelt down as usual in his upstairs room, with its windows open toward Jerusalem. He prayed three times a day, just as he had always done, giving thanks to his God” (Daniel 6:10 NLT).
Why did Joy pray facing the window?
She was following Daniel’s example of praying by an open window. However, it is not necessary to pray by a window at all. We can pray anywhere and God will hear us. What’s more, we can pray standing, kneeling, sitting, or even lying down. It is the attitude of our hearts that is important to God. God once told the prophet Samuel, “Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The LORD doesn’t make decisions the way you do! People judge by outward appearance, but the LORD looks at a person’s thoughts and intentions” (1 Samuel 16:7 NLT).
Why did you have Jesus say that “all things are possible” in the scene in Martha’s home?
Although it is not recorded that Jesus said this in Martha’s home, it is certainly possible that He did. The Bible records a time that Jesus said, “Anything is possible if a person believes” (Mark 9:23 NLT). It is likely that He taught important spiritual truths like this one more than once since He travelled from town to town and spoke to different people, so He could have shared this teaching also in Martha’s home. In addition, this verse fits well with the astounding miracle that occurs later in the episode.
In the home of Lazarus, Martha, and Mary, when Jesus told Martha that she was too worried, and that Mary had chosen to do the right thing, why did you show Martha sit down at the table next to Mary?
We used artistic license to conclude the scene in a way that flows naturally from what is recorded in Luke 10:38-42. Once Jesus had explained to Martha that listening to His teaching was the best thing to do, it seems likely that His words would touch her heart and she would choose to join the others at the table.
Why did Jesus say that Lazarus was asleep?
He was using a figure of speech called a euphemism, in which a softer expression is spoken instead of the harder and literal expression of something. In this case, instead of stating bluntly that Lazarus was dead, He called it “sleep.”
Here is the Biblical account of Jesus’ use of the term “sleep:” “Then he said, ‘Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but now I will go and wake him up.’ The disciples said, ‘Lord, if he is sleeping, he will soon get better!’ They thought Jesus meant Lazarus was simply sleeping, but Jesus meant Lazarus had died. So he told them plainly, ‘Lazarus is dead’” (John 11:11–14 NLT).
Joy thought that Jesus had said that Lazarus would not die. Did He really say that?
Jesus did not say that Lazarus would not die. Instead, specified that Lazarus’ final state in the present situation would not be death. He said, “Lazarus’s sickness will not end in death” (John 11:4 NLT). In other words, Lazarus would not stay dead. (This does not mean, though, that Lazarus did not die and go to heaven sometime later in his life.)
Why did Jesus have tears in His eyes?
He had compassion for those who were grieving. Jesus often had compassion on people who were hurting and then did something to miraculously stop their suffering (Matt. 14:14, Luke 7:13-15).
Since the Bible says that Jesus wept (John 11:35), why did you not show Jesus weeping?
The original Greek words for “Jesus wept” mean that Jesus shed tears quietly or silently. We showed this by having tears well up in his eyes.
Why did Jesus wait until Lazarus had died before going there?
Jesus was always led by the Holy Spirit to do God’s will (John 5:19). In this case, God’s will was not for Jesus to heal Lazarus of a sickness, but to raise him from the dead. That way, the faith of many would greatly increase. Jesus said, “Lazarus is dead. And for your sakes, I’m glad I wasn’t there, for now you will really believe. Come, let’s go see him” (John 11:14–15 NLT).
Why did Jesus wait so long to go and raise Lazarus from the dead? Is there any significance to Lazarus being in the tomb for four days?
Many Jewish people believed if someone had been dead for three days, then there was absolutely no hope for him to come back to life. Since Lazarus had been dead for four days, the people despaired of him being raised. However, this provided an opportunity for Jesus to perform an even greater miracle!
Peter and Cornelius
Where is the city of Caesarea?
It is northwest of Jerusalem and located on the Judean coast along the Mediterranean Sea.
Why did the city of Caesarea have walls?
In ancient times, many cities had walls to protect their citizens from invading armies or dangerous criminals and animals. For instance, when Moses sent twelve men to spy out the Promised Land, he instructed them in Numbers 13:19 (NLT), “See what kind of land they live in. Is it good or bad? Do their towns have walls, or are they unprotected like open camps?” Forty years later, when the Israelites obeyed God’s instruction to capture the city of Jericho, God miraculously caused the city walls to collapse: “When the people heard the sound of the rams’ horns, they shouted as loud as they could. Suddenly, the walls of Jericho collapsed, and the Israelites charged straight into the town and captured it” (Joshua 6:20, NLT). The events surrounding this great victory are depicted in the Superbook episode “Rahab and the Walls of Jericho.”
Why did Cornelius call the angel “lord”? Isn’t that the title for Jesus?
Jesus is our divine Lord and the Son of God. On the other hand, the word “lord” could mean different things back then. At times, “lord” could simply be a title of respect. So it may be that Cornelius was addressing the angel as “sir.”
What is the name of the angel?
The Bible doesn’t tell us the name of the angel (Acts 10: 1-8) so we did not give him a name.
Where was Joppa?
Joppa was on the Mediterranean coast, east of Jerusalem and south of Caesarea. It was the major seaport of Judea. Today, its name is Jaffa, and it comprises the southern part of Tel Aviv in Israel.
Centuries before the They were surprised because Chris’s mother, Phoebe Quantum, had gone on a previous Superbook adventure but did not remember it afterward. This is shown in the episode “He Is Risen!”time of Peter and Cornelius, the prophet Jonah fled to the port of Joppa. The Bible tells us, “But Jonah got up and went in the opposite direction to get away from the LORD. He went down to the port of Joppa, where he found a ship leaving for Tarshish. He bought a ticket and went on board, hoping to escape from the LORD by sailing to Tarshish” (Jonah 1:3, NLT).
How was Chris able to see Peter’s vision?
We used creative license to make the vision visible to both Peter and Chris.
Why were some animals considered “unclean”?
The main reason for dividing animals into “clean” and “unclean” categories may have been to teach Israel to be holy, that is, different from other nations through its devotion and obedience to the one true God. Another reason may have been to support hygiene and health.
What is the hall monitor’s name and what is his ethnicity?
His name is Jia Wei and he is Chinese.
What was the swirling mist descending into Cornelius’ home and what was the glow surrounding the Gentiles?
We used creative license to visibly depict the Holy Spirit descending on the Gentiles when they believed in Jesus. The Bible recounts that when Peter told the Gentiles about Jesus, the Holy Spirit fell on them: “Even as Peter was saying these things, the Holy Spirit fell upon all who were listening to the message” (Acts 10:44, NLT).
Why did the disciples baptize in the name of Jesus and not also in the name of the Father and Holy Spirit?
The episode simply follows the biblical account and is not making a doctrinal statement. Acts 10:46-48 says: “Then Peter asked, ‘Can anyone object to their being baptized, now that they have received the Holy Spirit just as we did?’ So he gave orders for them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ” (NLT).
Why were Chris and Joy surprised that Jia Wei remembered their amazing adventure?
They were surprised because Chris’s mother, Phoebe Quantum, had gone on a previous Superbook adventure but did not remember it afterward. This is shown in the episode “He Is Risen!”
Paul and Silas
Where were Philippi and Macedonia?
Philippi was a major city of Macedonia which was a Roman province in the north of modern-day Greece.
How is it that Lydia’s whole household wanted to be baptized?
The members of Lydia’s household who had accompanied her to the riverside had also heard the message about Jesus and had the opportunity to believe. In addition, in Roman society, it was expected that the members of a household should follow the religion of the head of the household.
What was the golden glow around Lydia while she was immersed in the water?
In the baptismal scenes of this episode, we used artistic license to visually depict the Holy Spirit surrounding her.
In the baptismal scene, are you implying that people are saved at the moment of baptism in water?
No, we believe that salvation occurs at the moment of faith in Jesus Christ. Paul and Silas explained that faith in Jesus is the only requirement for salvation when they told the jailer, “Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved, along with everyone in your household” (Acts 16:31, NLT).
How did Superbook change Joy’s clothes while they were traveling through the time vortex?
We didn’t want to put Joy in the uncomfortable situation of going back to Bible times in her hospital gown, so we used artistic license to let her wear her usual attire.
What is a vision?
It is one way that God can supernaturally reveal something important to someone.
Why did you show a real snake on the fortune-telling girl’s shoulders?
We used artistic license to visually depict the demon that enabled the girl to tell fortunes. The original Greek words for “spirit of divination” are “a spirit, a python” or “a spirit of pythoness.”
Why did the jailer put Paul’s and Silas’s feet in stocks even though the cell had a locked door?
Putting their feet in stocks was an extra means of securing them in prison, and the jailer wanted to ensure that they could not escape. The Bible tells us, “The jailer was ordered to make sure they didn’t escape. So the jailer put them into the inner dungeon and clamped their feet in the stocks” (Acts 16:23-24, NLT).
Paul told Joy that Christ gives him the strength to face anything. Where is that teaching in the Bible?
One time, when Paul was in prison and writing to the believers in Philippi, he explained that he had learned to be content in any situation and that Christ gives him strength for whatever circumstances he is in:
“Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:11-13, NLT).
Paul also told Joy that God wanted her to give thanks no matter what happens. Is that teaching in the Bible?
Yes, it is. When Paul wrote to the believers in Thessalonica, he told them, “Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:18, NLT).
What was the song Paul and Silas were singing, and what are the lyrics?
They were singing Psalm 113:1-4. Here is the Hebrew transliteration:
“Halelu yâh halelu `abhdhêy Adonay halelu 'eth-shêm Adonay. Yehiy shêm Adonay mebhorâkh mê`attâh ve`adh-`olâm. Mimmizrach-shemesh `adh-mebho'o mehullâl shêm Adonay. Râm`al-kâl-goyim Adonay `al hashâmayim kebhodho.”
We are including the English version of the song below:
“Praise the LORD! Yes, give praise, O servants of the LORD. Praise the name of the LORD! Blessed be the name of the LORD now and forever. Everywhere—from east to west—praise the name of the LORD. For the LORD is high above the nations; his glory is higher than the heavens” (Psalm 113:1-4, NLT).
What caused the earthquake?
We believe that God miraculously caused the earthquake and made the chains fall off the prisoners.
Why did Paul tell the jailer that his entire household would be saved along with him?
In Roman society, it was expected that the members of a household should follow the religion of the head of the household. However, for each member to be truly saved, he or she would each need to believe in Jesus.
How long had the man been unable to walk?
He had been lame since he was born. The book of Acts says, “Peter and John went to the Temple one afternoon to take part in the three o’clock prayer service. As they approached the Temple, a man lame from birth was being carried in. Each day he was put beside the Temple gate, the one called the Beautiful Gate, so he could beg from the people going into the Temple” (Acts 3:1-2, NLT).
How was the man healed when Peter spoke the name of Jesus?
Peter explained that it was by the man believing in the name of Jesus that he was healed. He said, “Through faith in the name of Jesus, this man was healed—and you know how crippled he was before. Faith in Jesus’ name has healed him before your very eyes” (Acts 3:16, NLT).
Why did King Herod have James killed?
It might be that Herod saw the growing Christian community as both a religious and political threat. In addition, Herod was known for seeking the favor of the Jewish leaders and the Jewish community (which was mostly non-Christian.) The Bible records what happened: “About that time King Herod Agrippa began to persecute some believers in the church. He had the apostle James (John’s brother) killed with a sword. When Herod saw how much this pleased the Jewish people, he also arrested Peter” (Acts 12:1-3, NLT).
What was it that spilled from the basket and caused the soldiers to slip and fall?
It was figs.
Why did you show Peter in prison without his outer clothing on?
The Bible records that the angel told Peter to get dressed, so he must have been sleeping without his outer clothing on. The book of Acts tells us, “Suddenly, there was a bright light in the cell, and an angel of the Lord stood before Peter. The angel struck him on the side to awaken him and said, ‘Quick! Get up!’ And the chains fell off his wrists. Then the angel told him, ‘Get dressed and put on your sandals.’ And he did. ‘Now put on your coat and follow me,’ the angel ordered” (Acts 12:7-8, NLT).
When the angel spoke to Peter in prison, what does “gird yourself” mean?
“Gird yourself” means to get dressed.
After Peter escaped from prison, why didn’t the Christians believe that he was at the door?
They weren’t expecting God to answer their prayer by having Peter escape from prison. This shows that God can answer our prayers in ways that we do not expect. The Apostle Paul wrote the following, “Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think” (Ephesians 3:20, NLT).
Why did Joy think that God’s will is not being done on earth?
Joy said that it was because of all of the bad things she saw happening around the world—people living in abject poverty, cruelty and sickness. Joy was filled with compassion for people who were suffering around the world, and she was reminded of a portion of the Lord’s Prayer: “May your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10, NLT). Since Jesus taught us to pray for God’s will to be done on earth, that means that it is not always being done on earth.
Is there something else we should do in addition to praying?
Praying is truly something powerful that we can do since with God all things are possible (Matthew 19:26). Still, there are times when we can make a practical difference in the lives of suffering people. For instance, John the Baptist told a crowd of people, “If you have two shirts, give one to the poor. If you have food, share it with those who are hungry” (Luke 3:11, NLT). In addition, the Apostle Paul wrote, “Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone—especially to those in the family of faith” (Galatians 6:10, NLT).
What were the lights rising up from the homes as people prayed?
We used creative license to visually depict people’s prayers ascending to heaven. The book of Revelation pictures the prayers of believers rising to God: “The smoke of the incense, mixed with the prayers of God’s holy people, ascended up to God from the altar where the angel had poured them out” (Revelation 8:4, NLT).
Jesus Heals the Blind
Why did Jesus spit on the blind man’s eyes?
It may seem strange to us for Jesus to spit on his eyes, but that is what the heavenly Father led Him to do. Jesus explained this when He said, “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself. He does only what he sees the Father doing. Whatever the Father does, the Son also does” (John 5:19, NLT). As you know, the result was that the man’s eyes were healed.
Why did the man have blurry vision after Jesus prayed for Him the first time?
Some miracles occur in an instant while others occur as a process over time. It was an amazing miracle that the blind man could see anything at all after Jesus first laid hands on him. When Jesus touched his eyes again, the power of God kept working in the man to complete the healing.
Why did Jesus tell the man not to go into the village?
If the man had gone into the village, word about the miracle would have quickly spread. Jesus often performed amazing miracles, and if news spread about it, large crowds would surround Him so that He couldn’t publicly enter a town. As a result, He had to stay in secluded places (Mark 1:41-45). On the other hand, by telling the man not to go into the village, He could enter the village without large crowds being there.
It may also be that if a large number of people realized that He was the Messiah, then they would also realize that He was the successor to the throne of King David, and they could try to make Him the new king of Israel. But Jesus did not come to take political power but to save us by living a sinless life and paying the penalty for our sins.
Why did Jesus tell His followers not to tell anyone that He was the Messiah?
Again, the people would likely try to make Him king of Israel, but His mission was more spiritual and not political. He came to become our Savior by dying for our sins.
Why did Jesus call Peter “Satan”?
In the original Greek language of the New Testament, the word “satan” can mean “adversary.” So Jesus was saying that Peter was opposing His divine purposes and mission. You can see this in what Jesus said to Peter: “Get away from me, Satan! You are a dangerous trap to me. You are seeing things merely from a human point of view, not from God’s” (Matthew 16:23, NLT).
Why did the beggar take off his cloak when Jesus called for him?
The beggar called Jesus the “son of David.” He shouted, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” (Mark 10:47, NLT). David was the king of Israel, so the beggar knew that Jesus was in the royal family line of King David and had great respect for Him. It could be that the beggar’s cloak was old and worn, and he felt that it would not be proper to go before Jesus while wearing it.
Why did Jesus put mud on the man’s eyes?
He was following the guidance of the heavenly Father who showed Him what to do.
Why was no one allowed to work on the Sabbath?
It was a day of rest devoted to the Lord. The Bible tells us, “You have six days each week for your ordinary work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath day of rest dedicated to the LORD your God. On that day no one in your household may do any work” (Exodus 20:9-10, NLT).
Which Bible verse is the basis for Superbook’s statement to Chris, Joy and Gizmo when they were traveling back in time to the Bible story?
The verse is Proverbs 16:1 which says, “We humans make plans, but the LORD has the final word” (CEV).
Did the Ark contain anything else besides the tablets of the Ten Commandments?
No. At that time, the Ark only contained the tablets. The Bible tells us, “Nothing was in the Ark except the two stone tablets that Moses had placed in it at Mount Sinai, where the LORD made a covenant with the people of Israel when they left the land of Egypt” (1 Kings 8:9 NLT). However, there was a time when additional items were in the Ark. The book of Hebrews states that when the Ark was in the Tabernacle, it also contained a gold jar of manna and Aaron’s staff. It says, “Inside the Ark were a gold jar containing manna, Aaron’s staff that sprouted leaves, and the stone tablets of the covenant” (Hebrews 9:4 NLT).
Who was Nathan?
He was a prophet of the Lord (1 Kings 1:8). In the episode, when Nathan went to speak to King David, he was introduced as Nathan the prophet.
Did Bathsheba really lie on the floor before King David?
While a number of translations say that Bathsheba bowed before him, the NASB says, “Then Bathsheba bowed and prostrated herself before the king” (1 Kings 1:16).
Why would Bathsheba bow or lie on the floor in front of David’s bed?
Although Bathsheba was David’s wife, she followed the customary rules of proper behavior toward the king. The rules called for someone to bow before him and then wait for him to speak before sharing one’s request.
Why did Bathsheba call her husband David “my lord” and “your Majesty”?
She followed the customary rules of proper behavior toward the king by addressing him according to his royal position.
Why did Solomon ride King David’s mule to Gihon Spring to be anointed as king?
Mules were ridden by all of the princes, but riding the king’s mule without special permission was strictly forbidden. Therefore, when Solomon rode it, it showed that he had King David’s favor as the future king.
What was the glow around Solomon after oil was poured on his head?
The glow represented the Holy Spirit descending upon him to empower and enable him to serve as king.
What is a time twirl?
It is a means by which Superbook transports Chris, Joy and Gizmo from one time and place to another but still within the same Superbook adventure.
What were the objects in the Temple courtyard?
On the left side, there was a bronze laver (resting on 12 bronze bulls) that held water for ritual washing. On the right side, there was an altar on top of a stone foundation. There were also bronze water carts (see 1 Kings 7:23-39).
What were the objects in the larger room of the Temple?
The larger room was called “the Holy Place” (1 Kings 8:8). It contained five pairs of golden lampstands, a table for showbread, and a golden incense altar (1 Kings 7:48-49).
What were the two golden statues in the inner room of the Temple?
The innermost room of the Temple was actually called “the Most Holy Place” (1 Kings 6:16 NLT). The two large figures depicted cherubim that are thought to be heavenly beings (1 Kings 6:23-28).
What were the cloud and light above the Ark when it was placed in the Temple?
The cloud and light were our visual representation of the presence and glory of God that appeared. The Bible tells us, When the priests came out of the Holy Place, a thick cloud filled the Temple of the LORD. The priests could not continue their service because of the cloud, for the glorious presence of the LORD filled the Temple of the LORD (1 Kings 8:10–11 NLT).
Why did you show only part of King Solomon’s prayer at the Temple?
Because we have a limited amount of time to depict each Bible story, we showed a portion of his prayer of dedication. His complete prayer of dedication is found in 1 Kings 8:23-53.
We would love to be able to include more about the biblical events in our Superbook episodes. However, the story portion of each episode is only 22 minutes long, and the total length of the episodes is limited to about 28 minutes so they can be broadcast in 30-minute time slots. (This will enable us to take Superbook to many more children around the world.) Part of each episode has Chris and Joy in their modern-day setting so kids can learn an important and relevant life lesson. We also have to fit in the opening song, closing song, and end credits, so we simply do not have enough time to cover every aspect of the biblical stories. It is our hope and desire that the adventures of Chris and Joy will inspire children to find out more about the stories. One of the goals of the Superbook series is to get children excited about reading the Bible.
Why did you only show part of King Solomon’s address to the people?
Again, because we have a limited amount of time to depict each Bible story, we showed the highlights of Solomon blessing the congregation of Israel. The complete blessing is found in 1 Kings 8:56-61.
Which Bible version did you use for King Solomon’s prayer and address at the Temple?
We used the Contemporary English Version.
Is Solomon’s Temple still standing today?
No. It was destroyed by King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon in 587 B.C. (See Ezra 5:12.)
Joshua and Caleb
Why did God give the mountains of the Amorites to the Israelites?
God had sworn to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob to give them the land of Canaan (Genesis 15:16-21; 26:3; 28:13-15). When the Israelites approached the Promised Land, He told them, “Look, I am giving all this land to you! Go in and occupy it, for it is the land the LORD swore to give to your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and to all their descendants” (Deuteronomy 1:8, NLT).
In addition, the Amorites worshiped false gods and were sinful people, so God rejected them and gave the land to the Israelites.
Why did ten of the Hebrew spies disbelieve?
They looked at things from a natural perspective in terms of how strong they were compared to their enemies. They said, “We can’t go up against them! They are stronger than we are!” (Numbers 13:31, NLT) This caused them to be overcome by fear. However, if they had focused on God’s promises and the miracles He had already performed, their faith would have grown and they could have believed that God would fight for them and give them the victory! Joshua and Caleb told the people, “Do not rebel against the LORD, and don’t be afraid of the people of the land. They are only helpless prey to us! They have no protection, but the LORD is with us! Don’t be afraid of them!” (Numbers 14:9, NLT)
Did the Hebrew spies really see giants?
There were large people and even giants in the Promised Land. Many years later, David would slay Goliath, who was of gigantic size. The Bible tells us how tall Goliath was: “Then Goliath, a Philistine champion from Gath, came out of the Philistine ranks to face the forces of Israel. He was over nine feet tall!” (1 Samuel 17:4, NLT)
Why did the people disbelieve?
They did not consider what the Lord had done to the Egyptians and all of the miracles He had performed in the Wilderness. The Bible records that God asked Moses, “How long will these people treat me with contempt? Will they never believe me, even after all the miraculous signs I have done among them?” (Numbers 14:11, NLT)
In addition, they did not believe God’s promise to them. He said to them, “But listen carefully to everything I command you today. Then I will go ahead of you and drive out the Amorites, Canaanites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites” (Exodus 34:11, NLT).
Why did Caleb and Joshua tear their clothes when the spies gave a bad report?
In their culture, tearing your clothes was an expression of great emotional distress. In this case, they were very upset that the people not only believed the bad report but were also rebelling against God’s will for them to take the Promised Land.
Why did God declare that none of the adult Israelites would enter the Promised Land?
They had disobeyed Him too many times despite seeing many awesome miracles performed (Numbers 14:21-22), and they had treated Him with contempt (v. 23). He knew that they were entrenched in their unbelieving ways and that a new generation of younger people who would believe Him should be the ones to enter the Promised Land. God instructed Moses to tell the people, “You said your children would be carried off as plunder. Well, I will bring them safely into the land, and they will enjoy what you have despised” (Numbers 14:31, NLT).
Since God judged the sinful Israelites, does that mean that He will give up on me if I sin too much?
Not at all. God loves you very much and wants you to receive His forgiveness. Forgiveness first comes in your life when you believe in Jesus, turn from things that are wrong, ask God for forgiveness, and pray to receive Jesus into your heart and life as your Savior and Lord.
If you are already a believer, then you are part of God’s spiritual family (John 1:12), and a sin will not break your relationship with Him (1 John 1:7). God is loving, patient and merciful. The Bible tells us, “The faithful love of the LORD never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning” (Lamentations 3:22-23, NLT). In addition, God says, “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5, ESV). When you confess your sins to the Lord, He will always forgive your sins (1 John 1:9).
Elijah and the Widow
Why were the trees so dry and barren?
God had withheld rain from the land because of Israel’s disobedience by worshiping idols. The Bible records what had happened: “Now Elijah, who was from Tishbe in Gilead, told King Ahab, ‘As surely as the LORD, the God of Israel, lives—the God I serve—there will be no dew or rain during the next few years until I give the word!’” (1 Kings 17:1, NLT)
Why did Gizmo say that he loves pizza? Does he eat pizza?
Gizmo doesn’t actually eat pizza, but he enjoys the festive atmosphere, smiles, and good feelings of the people around him.
Why did ravens bring Elijah food?
The Lord commanded them to do so. We can see this in what God told Elijah: “‘Drink from the brook and eat what the ravens bring you, for I have commanded them to bring you food’” (1 Kings 17:4, NLT).
What was Chris drinking from when they were traveling to Zarephath?
It was an ancient type of bottle made from animal skin.
Why did you name the boy Mika when the Bible does not name him?
We used creative license to make the dialogue more natural.
When Mika died, why did Elijah carry him upstairs and then pray for him?
The room may have been Elijah’s normal place of prayer.
Why did Elijah pray three times?
In that time and culture, three was a common number in rituals.
What was the glow in Mika when he came back to life?
We used artistic license to show Mika’s soul returning to his body in accordance with Elijah’s prayer: “‘O LORD my God, please let this child’s life return to him’” (1 Kings 17:21, NLT). The Bible tells us, “The LORD heard Elijah’s prayer, and the life of the child returned, and he revived!” (1 Kings 17:22, NLT)
Teach Us To Pray
How did Jesus glow when He prayed in the Garden?
The divine glory that was inside of Him, but normally unseen, was revealed in a spectacular way so that He shined with heavenly splendor. The Bible describes it this way: “As the men watched, Jesus’ appearance was transformed so that his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as light” (Matthew 17:2 NLT).
How could Moses and Elijah appear with Jesus even though they were no longer living on earth?
God made it possible for them to appear and speak with Jesus. The Bible does not say, though, if they appeared in physical bodies or in spiritual form.
Why did you show Moses and Elijah in golden color while Jesus was a bright white color?
The Bible does not say that Moses and Elijah were shining like Jesus was, so we used artistic license to give them a different color from Him.
What was the cloud that descended?
It was a cloud of God’s presence. It was from the cloud that God spoke and said,“‘This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy. Listen to him’” (Matthew 17:5 NLT). God spoke those same words at Jesus’ baptism, except that this time He also said, “‘Listen to him.’”
Why did you make the demon-possessed boy look so awful?
We used artistic license to portray the demon’s malevolent control of his body as well as the harmful effects the demon had on the boy’s well-being.
Why did you make the demon look so evil?
We wanted the demon’s appearance to reflect its wicked nature.
Why didn’t you have Jesus say that this type of demon only comes out through “prayer and fasting”?
Although translations, like the King James Version and New King James Version, include the two words “and fasting,” a number of the best Greek manuscripts containing this verse do not. As a result, many Bible versions do not include those words either. We chose to use the wording of the aforementioned Greek manuscripts and many modern Bible versions.
After Jesus spoke to the disciples about prayer and faith, which Bible verses did the disciples pray?
They prayed the first three verses of Psalm 27:
“The LORD is my light and my salvation— so why should I be afraid? The LORD is my fortress, protecting me from danger, so why should I tremble? When evil people come to devour me, when my enemies and foes attack me, they will stumble and fall. Though a mighty army surrounds me, my heart will not be afraid. Even if I am attacked, I will remain confident.” (NLT)
Did God really touch Jeremiah’s mouth?
Yes! This is what Jeremiah wrote about it: “Then the LORD reached out and touched my mouth and said, ‘Look, I have put my words in your mouth! Today I appoint you to stand up against nations and kingdoms. Some you must uproot and tear down, destroy and overthrow. Others you must build up and plant’” (Jeremiah 1:9-10, NLT).
What was the golden glow around Jeremiah after God touched him?
It was the presence of the Holy Spirit coming upon him to enable him to fulfill his calling.
Why did Chris’ game gear disappear in the Superbook Time Tunnel?
Superbook does not allow Chris and Joy to take modern technology back to Bible times.
What was the glow surrounding Jeremiah after the potter’s jar did not turn out as he had hoped?
It was the anointing of the Holy Spirit giving Jeremiah revelation and a message to proclaim to the people.
Was Jeremiah really whipped?
Yes, he was. The Bible tells us, “Now Pashhur son of Immer, the priest in charge of the Temple of the LORD, heard what Jeremiah was prophesying. So he arrested Jeremiah the prophet and had him whipped and put in stocks at the Benjamin Gate of the LORD’s Temple” (Jeremiah 20:1-2, NLT).
Where in the Bible are the words that Jeremiah spoke in the background during the whipping scene?
His words are from Jeremiah 20:7-18. Because of time constraints, we included select verses from the passage (vv. 7, 11, 13, and 17-18).
Why did you show such graphic scenes when Jeremiah was whipped?
We wanted to show that despite being whipped, Jeremiah was faithful to continue obeying the Lord. We also wanted to be historically accurate about what occurred. In addition, we included notices on the DVD packaging and in the Family Discussion Guide encouraging parents to view the episode before showing it to their children.
When Jeremiah was carrying the yoke, why did the scene look different from real life?
Before Superbook took Chris, Joy and Gizmo years ahead to their next time stop, he briefly kept them in the Time Swirl so they could see an overview of key events that occurred in between the two periods of time.
Jesus Feeds the Hungry
When Joy first saw Mary, the mother of Jesus, she asked if they had met before. Why did they not recognize each other from “The First Christmas”?
Joy did not recognize Mary because she was 30 years older. Mary did not recognize Joy because she (Mary) would have expected Joy to have grown up to be a woman. In addition, 30 years had passed since their time together, so Mary may have forgotten Joy’s appearance.
Why did the servants (Chris and Micah) wash the guests’ feet when they arrived?
Many of the guests would have walked a long distance in sandals on dusty roads, so their feet would have been dusty. It was an expected part of being a good host to have servants wash the guests’ feet.
How do you know that Jesus nodded to His mother Mary to indicate that He would accommodate her request about the wine?
Since Mary chose not to accept Jesus’ initial disapproval of her request, and she instructed the servants to do whatever Jesus told them to do, we used creative license to depict what may have happened during their interaction.
When Jesus gave thanks for the bread and fish, what language was He praying in, and what is the translation?
We used creative license to show Jesus praying in Hebrew. We selected a prayer that is commonly used today by Jewish people to give thanks for food. The Hebrew words and English translation are included below:
Baruch atah, Adonai Eloheinu, melech ha’olam, hamotzi lechem min ha’aretz.
Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the universe, who brings forth bread from the earth.
What was the verse spoken by the narrator at the end of the episode?
It was 2 Corinthians 9:10 from the New King James Version:
“Now may He who supplies seed to the sower, and bread for food, supply and multiply the seed you have sown and increase the fruits of your righteousness.”
Jesus in the Wilderness
Why didn’t Mary and Joseph know sooner that Jesus was not with them?
Joseph and Mary were probably part of a group that had travelled together from Nazareth to Jerusalem and was then returning to Nazareth after celebrating the Passover. Travelling together gave them added protection and the ability to share resources. Since they were all one tight-knit group, Joseph and Mary thought that Jesus was with the other children.
Why did Joseph say that since Jesus was 12 years old He was “almost a man”?
In Jewish culture, it is thought that a 13-year-old boy enters the beginning of adulthood and is responsible for his actions.
Is Satan really the god of this age?
Although Satan is not God nor the Creator of this world, the apostle Paul wrote that Satan is the god of this world: “Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe” (2 Corinthians 4:4 NLT). At least two other Bible versions (NIV, LEB) use the phrase “god of this age” in this verse. In addition, Jesus called Satan the ruler of this world (John 14:30). While Satan still has a hold over the world (1 John 5:19), we should remember that Jesus defeated him (Hebrews 2:14). In addition, Jesus has given us authority over the enemy (Matthew 16:17, Luke 10:19). As God’s children, He gives us victory over the evil in this world (1 John 4:4, 5:4).
Why did you show a promotion of a violent and hideous holographic game? “Blades of Bedlam III” was described as being for kids 17 and over.
In today’s culture, kids may be exposed to advertisements for violent video games. We wanted to show that they shouldn’t give in to temptation and peer pressure.
Why did Joseph and Mary not recognize Chris and Joy from “The First Christmas”?
Joseph and Mary’s minds were preoccupied with thoughts of finding Jesus. In addition, they would have expected Chris and Joy to be 12 years older since the time when Jesus was born.
Why did the pomegranate spoil immediately after Lucifer held it?
We used creative license to show that Satan brings death and destruction. Jesus once stated, “The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life” (John 10:10 NLT).
What did Jesus mean when He said that He had to be about His “Father’s” business?
In the episode, Jesus said to Mary and Joseph, “Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?” (Luke 2:49 NKJV) He was referring to God as His Heavenly Father and that He would be in the Father’s house, that is, the Temple. In another Bible version, Jesus tells his parents, “But why did you need to search? Didn’t you know that I must be in my Father’s house?” (NLT)
Will an angel catch me if I fall off a cliff like the angel saved Chris?
God has guardian angels that help protect us, but we should not presume that an angel will save us from a fall. We should not be careless or reckless. Instead, we should exercise appropriate caution and wisdom. As Jesus said, “You must not test the LORD your God” (Luke 4:12 NLT).
Why did you show Satan walking on air?
We used creative license to show how cunning and tricky Satan can be in tempting us to sin. In this case, he was tempting Jesus to jump off the Temple. The apostle Paul wrote about Satan, “For we are familiar with his evil schemes” (2 Corinthians 2:11 NLT).
What are the different kingdoms that were shown by Satan to Jesus?
Although the Bible does not name the specific kingdoms that were shown, we depicted stylized images of Rome, the Great Wall of China, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, the Pyramids of Giza, and the Lighthouse of Alexandria.
What were the angels doing when they laid hands on Jesus?
We used creative license to show how they may have strengthened Him after His 40-day fast and being tempted by Satan. The Bible tells us, “Then the devil went away, and angels came and took care of Jesus” (Matthew 4:11 NLT).
Paul and Barnabas
What was the large building in the first scene?
It was the Temple in Jerusalem.
Who were the two men in the Temple who were discussing what to do about the disciples?
We used creative license to show two members of the Jewish high council discussing what to do about the disciples. A Pharisee named Gamaliel is the one who urged caution, but the high priest disagreed.
What was the flaming golden circle that appeared before the angel entered the prison cell?
We used artistic license to show a portal from the spiritual realm to the natural realm.
What was the golden glow around Paul before he rebuked the sorcerer?
We used artistic license to show Paul being filled with the Holy Spirit and receiving a prophetic message from God. The Bible tells us, Saul, also known as Paul, was filled with the Holy Spirit, and he looked the sorcerer in the eye. Then he said… (Acts 13:9-10 NLT).
What was the gray color coming into the background when Paul was prophesying about the sorcerer?
We used artistic license to show, from the sorcerer’s perspective, how his eyesight began to disappear. The Bible tells us, Instantly mist and darkness came over the man’s eyes, and he began groping around begging for someone to take his hand and lead him (Acts 13:11 NLT).
Why did Paul and Barnabas tear their clothes when the people wanted to sacrifice at the pagan temples to honor Paul and Barnabas?
In their culture, tearing your clothes was an expression of great emotional distress. In this case, they were very upset that the people thought that they were gods and were planning to sacrifice to honor them.
Which Scripture verses were Paul and Barnabas speaking when Paul got up after the stoning?
They were speaking from Psalm 138: Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You will revive me; You will stretch out Your hand against the wrath of my enemies, and Your right hand will save me (v. 7 NKJV). The LORD will work out his plans for my life… (v. 8 NLT).
Why did you switch to a different Bible version for verse 8 of the Scripture above?
We think that verse 8 is easier for children to understand in the New Living Translation.
What happened when Superbook took Chris, Joy and Gizmo and they were suspended in the air?
Superbook was taking them from one point in time to a future event in the Bible story. Superbook wanted them to understand the situation He was taking them to, so He showed them important events that occurred in between the two points in time.
Satan is shown in several Superbook episodes. Why is he depicted as a flying serpent with wings and a tail?
The Bible doesn't specifically describe Satan, who is also called Lucifer or the devil; so we used creative license to show what he may look like. In the episode “In the Beginning,” when Lucifer is first shown as an angel in heaven, he is depicted as a beautiful creature with long blond hair. When he rebels against God, he is transformed into an evil creature, and his flowing hair becomes horns. Also, his body becomes reptile-like in appearance, assuming the look of the serpent in the Garden of Eden. (See Genesis 3:1.) We did not want to create Satan to look like a character that could be construed as a cool villain. We want children to understand that there is a real enemy, and he is evil.
Why isn’t there more ethnic diversity in the Superbook videos?
As you know, God loves all the people of the world (John 3:16), and Jesus commanded His disciples to take the good news to every distinct people group in the world (Matthew 28:19). What’s more, people of every nation, tribe, and language will be in heaven (Revelation 7:9). With these truths in mind, the staff of Superbook is dedicated to including an ethnically diverse group of children in the Superbook episodes. You can see more diversity in a few episodes of Season One, and you will notice much more diversity in the subsequent seasons.
Why are the Superbook videos streamed in High Definition (HD)?
High Definition (HD) provides the best picture and audio experience for the videos. Nevertheless, to provide each of our partners with the best experience possible, the streaming episodes are encoded at a variable bit rate. This means that they automatically detect the speed of your Internet connection and adjust accordingly. If you have a fast Internet connection, the episodes will stream in HD. On the other hand, if your Internet connection is not fast enough for HD, the episode will stream in Standard Definition. If you encounter continued problems with streaming, please contact your Internet provider.
I’m having trouble accessing Superbook streaming videos. Can you help me?
We are pleased to provide Superbook Club members with access to streaming videos for Superbook Season One. Please make sure that you have activated Superbook streaming by going to the website below and following the instructions:
You will need your partner number to activate the streaming. It can be found on your Superbook Club receipt. Be sure to make a note of the activation email address and password as they will be needed to log in to Superbook streaming through the Superbook.CBN.com website, Superbook Kids Bible App, and CBN TV Smart TV app.
Do you have any plans to release Superbook on Blu-Ray?
We appreciate your interest in the Superbook videos; however, we have no plans at this time to release Superbook on Blu-Ray. On the other hand, when you sign up for the Superbook Club, you get access to HD quality streaming!
I’d like to share some concerns/comments about specific episodes. How may I contact you?
Please click on "Contact Us" at the bottom of this page to submit your feedback.
Do you have more questions about the Superbook Series? Call 1-866-226-0012 or you can find more details here: www.cbn.com/superbook