The New International Reader’s Version (NIrV) of the Bible sprang from the ever-popular NIV but with shorter words and sentences to make this, not a Bible storybook, but a simplified version of God’s Word. In the NIrV, for example, the opening verses of the Bible say:
“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth didn’t have any shape. And it was empty. There was darkness over the surface of the waves.”
To make this particular edition even more child-friendly and personal, Zondervan included pages of Love Letters from God, written by Glenys Nellist, who obviously has a heart for children.
Since I’d previously read and appreciated Glenys’ work, I requested a complimentary copy of the Holy Bible: Love Letters from God from BookLook Bloggers, who kindly sent me a free copy to review.
To give you an idea of the “letters,” a page-insert referencing Genesis 1:31 says:
Your Love Letter from God
Do you like making things? Have you ever made something you felt really proud of, something you thought was so good it made you smile? That’s how I felt when I made the world. I had so much fun! But do you know the very best thing I made? It was you! And everything I make is good. So remember this – I made you, and you are good. I love you.
In the adjacent column, the page includes a section to “Write Back,” which encourages children to: “Write a letter to God telling him about something you made – a story, a painting, a science project, a building-block city… may even a tree house!” Immediately beneath that text, double-spaced lines have been provided for each child’s personal response.
In addition to 80 “letters,” the edition includes slick, colored page inserts on such topics as “The Ten Commandments,” written in child-speak, and “What Is…” definitions of sin, repentance, forgiveness, grace, and more. Another such page discusses “How to Pray.”
Younger readers might prefer a slightly larger font than this edition has, but all readers will see colored maps in the back matter, along with space for notes and a ribbon bookmark to show where the child has left off reading a Bible that clearly speaks to them and encourages them to keep on reading.
Bible Reviewer, Mary Harwell Sayler, © 2017
Holy Bible: Love Letters from God, hardcover