Thursday, October 14, 2010

Book Review: "Big Red" Holy Bible--International Children's Bible

Parents of young elementary students, perk up your ears...suggested Christmas gift coming!

I just received a copy of the updated "Big Red" Holy Bible with 3-D Contemporary Art.  It is written with the International Children's Bible translation.  "The Translation Children Can Read and Understand".

I actually already owned a copy of the older edition of this Bible.  I was excited to get it to see how the images were updated.  A church that we used to attend would give this Bible as a ceremonial gift when children began 1st grade.  I don't love all of the pictures, but overall I think that it is a captivating Bible.  These pictures look like something that jumped out of one of the kids' favorite Wii games.  Which is perfect--because that is what they like!  Images in a children's Bible can do so many wonderful things--evoke emotions, generate curiosity, and whet the imagination.  This is a Bible that your child can carry to church AND follow along chapter and verse.  Nothing is skipped or omitted.  It is not a summary or paraphrase of the Bible, but rather a direct translation.

I don't want to debate the idea of using a translation specially targeted toward children.  I cannot recommend what you and your family should choose.  I grew up in the south where it was almost wrong to use any translation of the Bible other than the King James Version.  ;)  Today my husband and I own several different translations.  We follow our church and prefer to use the English Standard Version.  I like the International Children's Bible and the concept behind a children's translation for several reasons.  One, having a Bible at their reading level encourages children to actually read it.  Two, we have MANY other translations available (including KJV) for our children to read.  Three, they are exposed to many other translations throughout their schoolwork and other reading they are doing.  I am confident that they will, in time, graduate to the "adult" translations.  In order to review the Big Red Holy Bible, I did not read the entire Bible.  :)  But I picked several of my favorite passages and verses and read those.  I thought I would include a couple for comparison:

Philippians 1:6-7
God began doing a good work in you.  And he will continue it until it is finished when Jesus Christ comes again.  I am sure of that.
Romans 8:13-21
We have sufferings now.  But the sufferings we have now are nothing compared to the great glory that will be given to us.  Everything that God made is waiting with excitement for the time when God will show the world who his children are.  The whole world wants very much for that to happen.  Everything that God made was changed to become useless.  This was not by its own wish.  It happened because God wanted it.  But there was this hope:  that everything God made would be set free from ruin.  There was hope that everything God made would have the freedom and glory that belong to God's children.
I gave this Bible to Zeke on his birthday.  He was thrilled.  He loves it.  Joshua was SO incredibly jealous that I decided to pull our old edition off the shelves and present it to him.   He has carried the Bible around ever since.  Josh can't read much of his Bible yet, but I know with his persistence he will be able to soon.  Zeke can read more, but still stumbles over some of the special sounds.  It won't take him long either.  Both of them are excited about having their own Bibles to carry to church.

Two small rants:  the cover on the new Bible already shows signs of wear on the corners and edges.  In fact, it arrived showing some signs of wear.  Apparently the red color on the corners rubs off easily.  Secondly, I really, really wish that ALL translations of the Bible would use capital letters for pronouns referring to God, Jesus, or the Holy Spirit.  For example, in my quote from Philippians above, I wish it said, "And He will continue it..."  Having capital letters on these pronouns not only shows respect, but also makes it easier to understand.

I received this book free from the publisher through the book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

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