When I received a complimentary copy of the new Kids Study Bible in NKJV (New King James Version) from BookLook Bloggers, the first thing I noticed was David Jeremiah’s name in goldish letters that stood out from the rest. This visual emphasis on a person rather than the translation or on the presentation of a study edition for children would quite likely have been a decision made by the publisher Thomas Nelson, rather than the author of the study materials, but a reversal would make more sense.
That said, the “Airship Genesis: Legendary Bible Adventure” logo on the slightly padded front cover will most likely appeal to the children for whom this edition exists. As they open the book and turn the title page, the bold lettering Psalm 119:105 will surely catch their eyes, informing young readers in all caps:
"YOUR WORD IS A LAMP TO MY FEET AND A LIGHT TO MY PATH.”
Now that’s an important emphasis!
Likewise, David Jeremiah’s warm greeting in the Foreword gets readers off to a blessed start and says, “The Bible is the best book you’ll ever own, and it’s important to read it each day.” That simple statement might be exactly what a child needs to begin a lifelong love of God’s Word. At least, that’s what happened when my Sunday School teacher said similar words to me, which got me started reading the Bible regularly as a child – a habit that continues decades later.
Even more important, the Foreword embraces each child with these loving words:
“My greatest prayer is that you’ll come to know the Hero of the Bible – the Lord Jesus Christ – as your Savior, Lord, and Friend. He has a wonderful plan for your life; and as you study His Word, you’ll understand it more and more.”
To help young readers understand, the next page bullet-points the author’s answers to “What Is the Bible All About?”
The Love Of God
The Results Of Unbelief
The Gift Of Life
The Reason Jesus Had To Die
The Importance Of Faith
The Result Of Faith
The Assurance Of Heaven
In addition to a Bible reference and brief statement about each of those points, the author then lets readers know they can ask for the gift of the Holy Spirit in their lives. The context and light touch make that very likely!
Next comes several kid-appealing action figures who will act as guides throughout this study edition. For example, Genesis 11 includes the “Rupert Report” on the Chaldeans which says:
“That h is silent: Chaldeans is pronounced Kal-dee-ens. They were a group of people that, in ancient times, lived in the place we identify today as Iraq and Iran. A very important Bible hero was a Chaldean: Abraham.”
Other sidebars place a spotlight on a variety of “Bible Heroes.” For example, 1 Samuel 15 gives a glimpse of “Samuel, the Bold Prophet” with this illustration:
“If you saw someone doing something wrong, what would you do? It depends. You might need to tell a teacher or your parent or another adult. Or you might have to say something yourself. That’s what a prophet named Samuel did. He knew that Saul, the king of Israel, had disobeyed God. And Samuel knew he had to say something to the king. So Samuel spoke to the king about what he had done. It was difficult because God removed Saul from being king. But Samuel knew he needed to be bold.
Being bold can feel scary. But God wants us to do and say the right things for Him. God can use us to make the world a better place.”
Still other sidebars present short articles, memory verses, and in-text maps to help readers envision and apply God’s Word as they read. In addition, “Power Force” insets focus on biblical truths or goals such as “Be Trusting,” which says:
“Sometimes little kids are afraid to jump off a diving board for the first time. So a parent gets in the pool and says, ‘I’ll catch you!’ The child has to decide is she trusts her parent or not. Almost always, the child jumps and learns that she can trust her parent to catch her. It’s the same with God. We trust His promises, His love, and His protection. Our job is to leap into His arms where we are always safe.”
Mary Harwell Sayler, poet-writer reviewer, ©2016
NKJV Airship Genesis Kids Study Bible, hardcover
NKJV Airship Genesis Kids Study Bible, imitation leather