Friday, February 03, 2012

Review and recommendation: ESV Grow! Bible

The ESV Grow! Bible from Crossway is designed for kids between the ages of 8-12.

Some basic features:
  • Hard cover that is durable; kids can be tough on their books
  • attractive, clean look and feel without being too "cartoonish"
  • simplified maps and glossary of terms that are appropriate for this age group
  • smart use of color to highlight paragraphs, chapter numbers, book / chapter / verse references
  • Q/A inserts that provide short, straightforward answers  (i.e., What are the "keys of the kingdom"? Matthew 16:9)
  • simplified book introductions and helpful time lines
  • "Cross Connections" that help a child see biblical connections to the meaning and need for the cross of Jesus Christ
As a kid and teenager, I read the NIV and found it to be helpful in clarifying the biblical meaning of passages without getting bogged down with "thee's" and "thou's". As I grew older, I learned the value of having a more literal translation of the Bible, like the NAS. In recently years, the ESV has found a growing presence in conservative, evangelical churches. As a pastor, I use it and the NAS in my studies and think that children will generally do fine reading it.

The challenge with any study Bible or niche Bible (women's, men's, teen's, truck drivers, Purpose Driven (!)) is that people can be tempted to read the notes and study helps more than they read the Bible itself. This particular Bible doesn't overpower you with notes and seems to have the right balance.

With all the choices out there for a child's Bible, here's one that I can recommend without reservation and with a prayer that it is used to develop the hearts and minds of young followers of Christ.

For more information on this resource, please visit this address: