As soon as I learned of the NRSV Kids Study Bible with Apocrypha, I requested a review copy from Hendrickson Bibles, which the publisher kindly sent to me.
Primarily for children 8 to 12, this unique edition has the New Revised Standard Version text (NRSV) with the Apocrypha and all sorts of kid-appealing sidebars and study aids too.
Each book of the Bible begins with an Introduction that summarizes “What Will You Learn About In This Book?” followed by information about the writer(s), setting(s), main characters, and highlights from stories of our ongoing relationship with God.
For example, the apocryphal aka deuterocanonical book of Sirach “contains guidance on how to act towards all kinds of people and to God. The sayings it contains are like the book of Proverbs in the Old Testament.”
Under “Who Wrote This Book?” readers learn that the writer, “Ben Sirach, a Jewish scribe, may have written the work about 180-175 B.C.”Then, if readers want to “Take A Closer Look,” they’ll see how the “Fear of the Lord is true wisdom,” Sirach 1:11-20 and how we all have “Duties toward one’s parents,” Sirach 3:1-16.
Sidebars to over 60 "Bible People" introduce children to patriarchs, prophets, poets, and other people of interest – people with whom we all identify and from whom we continue to learn.
In the New Testament, for example, “Mary and Martha were sisters, and Lazarus was their brother. They lived in Bethany and were close friends of Jesus. Mary poured expensive perfume over Jesus’ feed to wash them because she loved him so much. Martha is best remembered for busily preparing and serving a meal rather than being with Jesus.”
To encourage children to remain in the company of God’s Word through memorization, little sidebars have been interspersed throughout the text. In First Corinthians, for example, “Hide It In Your Heart” provides this memory verse, “Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ,” 1 Cor. 15:57.
Besides glossy color inserts within the pages, the lists of Bible parables, miracles, and more in the back matter will help young readers to see that God's Word is meant for them. Also, the readable dark blue font, bright headings, and attractive suede-like cover give the feel and eye appeal that will encourage kids to read.
© 2015, Mary Harwell Sayler
NRSV Kids Study Bible with Apocrypha, flexisoft cover