Typology is the study of the relationship of the Old Testament to the New Testament. The events, people and statements in the Old Testament are viewed as pre-figuring the events, people and statements in the New Testament. As Saint Augustine states “The New Testament lies hidden in the Old, and the Old is unveiled in the New.” This can become a pretty involved and deep study so I was pretty intrigued to see a children’s book that dealt with typology. The End of the Fiery Sword: Adam & Eve and Jesus & Mary is a wonderful book for youth and adults alike.
Author Maura Roan McKeegan opens the book with the following:
“Do you know about Adam and Eve?
About Jesus and Mary, too?
Two are from the Old Testament,
Two are from the New.
Their stories are from the Word of God,
Their messages are true;
But when you see them side by side,
A hidden part comes through.
Now take a closer look
At their histories are told:
See the Holy Spirit work
As mysteries unfold.
Find the buried treasures
That the Sacred Scriptures hold;
Let the New unlock the door
To secrets of the Old!”
As you work your way through this 24 page book you will find those hidden treasures Maura is referring to. The books layout aids in this as through the majority of the book the Old Tetstement recounting of Adam and Eve are on one page and on the opposing page is the story of Jesus and Mary. Right from page one you are immersed in the journey ahead. Eve is the woman created without sin and Mary is the woman who never sinned. The story continues with the serpent vising Eve and leading her to disobey God while Mary is visited by the angel and obeys.
This back and forth comparison continues and I found myself learning just as much as the kids were. Adam and were banished from the Garden of Eden for their disobedience. Cherubim were sent with a fiery sword to guard the tree of life. Christ obeyed and remained in the Garden of Gethsemane. He was sent an angel to comfort him. In another instance you see how Adam made himself clothes to hide his shame while Jesus was stripped of his clothes to bring him shame.
The closing two pages of the book draws the reader in thanks to the imagery created by illustrator Ted Schluenderfritz. On the left are Adam and Eve surrounded in darkness and looking towards the opposite page. On the right are Jesus and Mary looking back at Adam and Eve. It’s as if they are peering through the centuries at one another. In fact their stories are tied so closely that indeed that is what they are doing. The potential of Adam and Eve, ruined by sin, are fulfilled in Jesus and Mary. Mary’s “yes” restored Eve’s disobedience and allowed the birth of Christ and the salvation of the world.
The End of the Fiery Sword is an exceptional book that can be used to teach children early on the importance of how the Old Testament promises are fulfilled in the New. With its colorful illustrations by Ted Schluenderfritz and an engaging story by Maura Roan McKeegan, this is a short book that will surely hold your child’s attention while at the same time teaching them the connection between our first parents and our Blessed Mother and Savior.