Saturday, March 31, 2012

ESV Grow! Bible

Earlier today I "shared" two recent NIV publications. One Bible "for girls" and another Bible "for boys." Honestly, I believe that boys AND girls don't need separate Bibles. I believe that what is good for one, is good for the other. That what BOTH genders need is a clear, inviting Bible that focuses on what is really important: God. A Bible that clearly, accurately, substantively presents the Word of God in a reader-friendly way. (You can preview the book of Genesis for free.)

ESV Grow Bible
Crossway Publishers
Age Range: 8 to 12
1600 pages


  • 775 "W Questions" answering the who, what, where, when or why of a text.
  • 90 "4U" boxes explaining a text and how to apply it to a child's life
  • 45 "Cross Connections" helping readers see how the whole Bible points to Jesus
  • The complete ESV Text
  • Introductions to each book of the Bible AND introductions to each section of the Bible
  • Topical articles prepared especially for children with subjects including the Ten Commandments, the Lord's Prayer, and the Gospel
  • Full color maps showing locations such as the lands of the Patriarchs, the city of Jerusalem, and the places Paul visited
  • Glossary
  • God's Word for Me When...
  • God's Word for Me About...
  • Timelines
  • Maps
  • Weights and Measures

My thoughts:

I loved this one. I just LOVED, LOVED, LOVED, LOVED, LOVED this one. Perhaps because it was the perfect Bible for me to discover at this time. Here is a children's Bible that is both reader-friendly and substantive. The "W Questions" are anything but shallow. In fact, I believe that MOST adults would benefit from using this Bible, from reading the Q's and A's found in this Bible. I think it fills a very-real need we have for a Bible of the highest quality. You're never to young to love God, to want to know God, to start seeking God. You can start learning, start studying, start meditating NOW. This is not a Bible that condescends to children. It's approach isn't "Well, kids don't need to know that now, they're kids, they have plenty of time to learn...." or "Well, kids probably couldn't understand this, ha! half the church doesn't understand this, we don't need to go there here."

A sampling of the "W Questions"

From Romans

  • What does Paul mean when he says that through the law comes knowledge of sin?
  • What is propitiation?
  • What is the righteousness of God?
  • What does it mean to be justified by faith?
  • Why would anyone rejoice in suffering?
  • What is the free gift?
  • What does it mean to be baptized into Christ?
  • What was slavery like during Bible times?
  • What are the wages of sin?
  • Why do I keep sinning?
  • What does it mean to say God is for us?
  • Why does faith come from hearing?
  • What is a living sacrifice?
  • Why is the church called the body of Christ?  

From 1 John

  • Who is the word of life?
  • What is sin?
  • What is meant by antichrist?
  • What does by water and blood mean?

These are good questions. Each and every book asks really, really good questions. And more importantly, they provide the answers. Now when it comes to Revelation, the Q's and A's might not satisfy every reader, after all, there are hundreds of ways to interpret passages in that book of prophecy. But. For the most part, the questions cover the basics and then some. The essentials of the faith, the gospel, are covered in these "W Questions." And IF it's not addressed in this feature, chances are it will show up in either the Cross Connections or "4U" feature. Or in one of the articles or the book/section introductions.

A Sampling of the Articles, Charts, and Maps

  • About the Bible
  • Cross Connections 
  • Days of Creation
  • God's Family Tree
  • Ten Commandments
  • What is the Law?
  • What is the Gospel?
  • Categories of Psalms
  • The Lord's Prayer
  • Who are the Fools in Proverbs?
  • Words of the Prophets
  • Ezekiel's Temple Vision
  • The Persian Empire
  • How God Told His Old Testament About Jesus, Part One
  • How God Told His Old Testament About Jesus, Part Two
  • Bible Verses You May Hear On Sunday
  • The Christian Church Year
  • The Time Between the Testaments
  • Jerusalem in the Time of Jesus
  • Who is Jesus?
  • The Parables of Jesus
  • Events of the Last Week
  • The Miracles of Jesus
  • Our Savior's Last Words
  • The Risen Christ!
  • Where Did We Get The Apostles' Creed?
  • The Lord's Supper
  • Baptism
  • The Whole Bible Is Really About Jesus

This is definitely a Bible I'd recommend for private and public use. (Meaning for private Bible reading at home, family Bible reading/worship AND for use in Sunday Schools, home schools, and Christian schools.) I think the questions asked/answered are important and relevant. The kinds of questions that would naturally come up. And now both children and parents can find the answers quickly!

The Bible is designed, perhaps, for those in the 8 to 12 range. BUT. Honestly, I think there are plenty of adults that would benefit from reading this one. Why? The questions and answers cover the essentials, and they may answer some questions that people genuinely don't know and may be embarrassed to ask. Whether we like it or not, whether we acknowledge it or not, we have a problem inside and outside our churches with Bible illiteracy. People just don't know that much about the Bible. People aren't reading it at home and may not be hearing all that much of it inside their churches. This Bible could help a new generation avoid this problem altogether. If we can inspire a new generation to READ AND STUDY the Bible with passion, to have a HEART FOR GOD, that would be an amazing, amazing thing, a true blessing.

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

1 comment:

twiga92 said...

thanks for this review! As someone who loves different types of Bibles, I am tempted to get this one even though I don't have children :-). I did tweet this post to recommend this Bible. What a great way to get kids excited about the Bible and reading it.