I am 26 years old and I can honestly say that my favourite series of books is C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia. Perhaps that seems immature, but there’s just something about them that I can never get enough of. Growing up I read the series many times, and as an adult have re-read the series several times again. They are just great books for kids and (I believe) adults alike. When I was a kid I tended to like the fun descriptions of the creatures and all of the adventure most of all. As an adult I’ve come to love the parallels to the Bible that are so clear to me now, that I didn’t understand as a child.
The last time I re-read the books I jotted down verses as I was reading… verses that reminded me of what I was reading in the books. Some weren’t necessarily exact “references” between Lewis’ words and Scripture, but many are. I was talking about these parallels with a friend of mine recently and thought I would take a few days on here to share what I personally see through Lewis’ books. I will be including the text from the books, with the address of the Scripture that came to mind while reading, followed by the actual Scripture verses noted at the end.
I’m not a C.S. Lewis or Narnia expert. I’m not saying that these verses are exactly what Lewis had in mind. In fact, I did read that Lewis never really meant the books to be so paralleled to the Bible. But this is just what comes to mind as I’m reading the Narnia books and I always appreciate that these books draw my mind to Scripture.
The first couple of excerpts are from The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe:
… now that Aslan is on the move – ”
“Oh, yes! Tell us about Aslan!” said several voices at once; for once again that strange feeling – like the first signs of spring, like good news, had come over them
“Who is Aslan?” asked Susan.
“Aslan?” said Mr. Beaver. “Why, don’t you know? He’s the King. He’s the Lord of the whole wood, but not often here, you understand. Never in my time or my father’s time. But the word has reached us that he has come back. He is in Narnia at this moment. He’ll settle the White Queen all right. It is he, not you, that will save Mr. Tumnus.”
“She won’t turn him into stone too?” said Edmund.
“Lord love you, Son of Adam, what a simple thing to say!” answered Mr. Beaver with a great laugh. “Turn him into stone? If she can stand on her two feet and look him in the face it’ll be the most she can do and more than I expect of her. No, no. He’ll put all to rights as it says in an old rhyme in these parts:
Wrong will be right, when Aslan comes in sight,
At the sound of his roar, sorrows will be no more,
When he bares his teeth, winter meets its death,
And when he shakes his mane, we shall have spring again.
You’ll understand when you see him.”
“But shall we see him?” asked Susan.
“Why, Daughter of Eve, that’s what I brought you here for. I’m to lead you where you shall meet him,” said Mr. Beaver.
“Is – is he a man?” asked Lucy.
“Aslan a man!” said Mr. Beaver sternly. “Certainly not. I tell you he is the King of the wood and the son of the great Emperor-beyond-the Sea. Don’t you know who is the King of Beasts? Aslan is a lion – the Lion, the great Lion.” (Revelation 5:5)
“Ooh!” said Susan, “I’d thought he was a man. Is he – quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion.”
“That you will, dearie, and no mistake,” said Mrs. Beaver; “if there’s anyone who can appear before Aslan without their knees knocking, they’re either braver than most or else just silly.” (Nahum 1:5)
“Then he isn’t safe?” said Lucy.
“Safe?” said Mr. Beaver; “don’t you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.”
They were on a green open space from which you could look down on the forest spreading as far as one could see in every direction – except right ahead. There, far to the East, was something twinkling and moving. “By gum!” whispered Peter to Susan, “the sea!” In the very middle of this open hilltop was the Stone Table. It was a great grim slab of gray stone supported on four upright stones. It looked very old; and it was cut all over with strange lines and figures that might be the letters of an unknown language. They gave you a curious feeling when you looked at them. The next thing they saw was a pavilion pitched on one side of the open place. A wonderful pavilion it was – and especially now when the light of the setting sun fell upon it – with sides of what looked like yellow silk and cords of crimson and tent-pegs of ivory; and high above it on a pole a banner which bore a red rampant lion fluttering in the breeze which was blowing in their faces from the far-off sea. While they were looking at this they heard the sound of music on their right; and turning in that direction they saw what they had come to see.
Aslan stood in the center of a crowd of creatures who had grouped themselves round him in the shape of a half-moon. There were Tree-Women there and Well-Women (Dryads and Naiads as they used to be called in our world) who had stringed instruments; it was they who had made the music. There were four great centaurs. The horse part of them was huge like English farm horses, and the man part was like stern but beautiful giants. There was also a unicorn, and a bull with the head of a man, and a pelican, and an eagle, and a great Dog. And next to Aslan stood two leopards of whom one carried his crown and the other his standard.
But as for Aslan himself, the Beavers and the children didn’t know what to do or say when they saw him. People who have not been in Narnia sometimes think that a thing cannot be good and terrible at the same time. If the children had ever thought so, they were cured of it now. For when they tried to look at Aslan’s face they just caught a glimpse of the golden mane and the great, royal, solemn, overwhelming eyes; and then they found they couldn’t look at him and went all trembly. (1 Chronicles 16:30a; Jeremiah 5:22)
… “We have come – Aslan.”
“Welcome, Peter, Son of Adam,” said Aslan. “Welcome, Susan and Lucy, Daughters of Eve. Welcome He-Beaver and She-Beaver.”
His voice was deep and rich and somehow took the fidgets out of them. They now felt glad and quiet and it didn’t seem awkward to them to stand and say nothing.
“But where is the fourth?” asked Aslan.
“He has tried to betray them and joined the White Witch, O Aslan,” said Mr. Beaver. And then something made Peter say,
“That was partly my fault, Aslan. I was angry with him and I think that helped him to go wrong.”
And Aslan said nothing either to excuse Peter or to blame him but merely stood looking at him with his great unchanging eyes. And it seemed to all of them that there was nothing to be said.
“Please – Aslan,” said Lucy, “can nothing be done to save Edmund?”
“All shall be done,” said Aslan (Matthew 18:14). “But it may be harder than you think.” And then he was silent again for some time. Up to that moment Lucy had been thinking how royal and strong and peaceful his face looked; now it suddenly came into her head that he looked sad as well.
Revelation 5:5 - Then one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah.”
Nahum 1:5 - The mountains quake before him and the hills melt away. The earth trembles at his presence, the world and all who live in it.
1 Chronicles 16:30a - Tremble before him, all the earth!
Jeremiah 5:22 – “Should you not fear me?” declares the LORD. “Should you not tremble in my presence?”
Matthew 18:14 - In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should be lost.