June 30, 2014
NIrV Adventure Bible for Early Readers
Until Zondervan sent me a review copy of the NIrV Adventure Bible for Early Readers, I hadn’t read the New International Readers Version of the Bible, which relies on the NIV but uses shorter words and sentences to encourage children to read the Bible themselves. Great idea! and well-done....
More than a Bible storybook that retells stories for children, the NIrV might be called an English translation for school kids. For example, Genesis 1 begins: “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth didn’t have any shape. And it was empty.”
This child-friendly edition also includes inserts and sidebars to highlight or explain Bible principles. For example, “Words to Treasure” features key verses such as Genesis 1:1 to memorize and “Did You Know” to clarify words and concepts such as “1:1 The word create means to ‘make something new.’ Genesis tells us that God is the creator of all things.”
Also in the beginning, “Live It!” articles begin with such titles as “You’re Special” followed by an encouragement to “Read Genesis 1:26-27. God made us in his own image. We are God’s very special creation./ Look at pictures of your mom or dad when they were children. How were they like you? How were they different?... / God made you in his image too. You are special to God. He loves you. Write a message to God to thank him for loving you.”
Other child-friendly features include full page inserts such as the “Ten Commandments for Kids” and small sidebars such as “Life in Bible Times” and “People in Bible Times.”
In Acts, for instance, we read about “Purple Cloth,” which explains that “Purple dye came from crushing the shells of tiny purple sea creatures. Hundreds of these shellfish were needed to make enough purple to dye one robe. So purple cloth was very expensive….” Then, on the adjacent page, “People in Bible Times” talks about Lydia, who “sold beautiful purple cloth. One day she heard Paul talk about the gospel. Lydia believed what Paul said….”
Believing comes from hearing and receiving the Word of God. With this Bible to accompany children throughout childhood, they can hear on their language level then read and re-read God’s word as though the Bible were written especially for them.
© 2014, Mary Harwell Sayler, reviewer, is a lifelong lover of the Bible and traditionally published author of 26 books in all genres, including two poetry books, the Bible-basedOutside Eden and environmentally-oriented Living in the Nature Poem.
NIrV Adventure Bible for Early Readers, paperback