February 11, 2014

The Jesus Bible for children

An eye-appealing format and two-color sidebars that interact with young readers make this edition of the New International Version (NIV) a good choice for children 8 and up to read by themselves but also for teachers to use in small churches where Sunday School classes cover a range of ages or varying number of children. The color maps and thorough concordance will aid learning too. More exceptional though, The Jesus Bible from ZonderKidz includes an “Index of Hints of the Savior/ Jesus Revealed,” which marks the theme of this edition that highlights the many references to Christ throughout the Bible.

Other unique features include glossy insert pages that nicely highlight key concepts in the Christian faith. For example, “The ‘I Am’ Statements of Jesus” help young readers begin to see Christ as the Good Shepherd, Who guides them, and The Way, The Truth, and The Life to call upon in their own lives. However, I wish that important page had been placed in the Gospel of John, rather than the book of Daniel. Similarly, “Jesus in the Psalms” might be placed more effectively in the book of Psalms, rather than the OT book of Second Chronicles.

Hopefully, such publishing matters can be addressed in future editions and possible errors corrected, such as one found on page 28. In the sidebar to a story in Genesis 20, Abraham made the mistake of tricking King Abimelek, but the “Live Like Jesus” insert mistakenly says Moses did the trickery.

Therefore, in reviewing this review copy which Zondervan kindly sent, I’m a little concerned about the publisher's effort to do too much or hurry to publication, but I’m also greatly impressed by the earnest desire to find ways to reach people of all ages and backgrounds for Jesus Christ. That’s what the Gospel should do – must do to reach the ends of the earth as the Lord commands.

Clearly and correctly, this edition demonstrates we can and will “Discover Jesus in Every Book of the Bible.” Amen! Yes, for in every page of God's Word, Jesus Christ is there, and, as we read the Bible, Jesus is here. Wherever we are, Jesus Is God with us.

©2014, Mary Sayler, reviewer

The Jesus Bible, hardcover

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