Monday, July 21, 2014

Bible Review: NIrV Adventure Bible

NIrV Adventure Bible for Early Readers (Revised). Lawrence O. Richards, ed. 2014. Zonderkidz. 1584 pages. [Source: Review copy]

This Bible opens with a bright and bold spread called How to Use the Bible. I can appreciate that. It is important for readers of all ages--young and not-so-young--to know how to use a particular Bible. This makes sense especially for early readers who are just beginning to make sense of how books work. Readers learn about what a table of contents is, what a dictionary is, how to read the Bible text (name of the book, chapter numbers, verse numbers, subject headings, etc). I admit most of this stuff older readers probably take for granted. But we all have to start somewhere, sometime.

Since this was my first time reading the NIrV, I took time to read "A Word About the New International Reader's Version." I am glad I read it. Probably my favorite thing that I learned was this:
We decided to give you a lot of other help too. For example, sometimes a verse is quoted from another place in the Bible. When it is, we tell you the Bible book, chapter and verse it comes from. We put that information right after the verse that quotes from another place. 
At the time I received this review copy, I was reading Hebrews 30 days in a row. Hebrews quotes from the Old Testament a LOT. And I was finding it interesting to see how different translations handled it. For example, the NASB, uses ALL CAPS, and the HCSB--or at least some editions of the HCSB--go bold. ESV, at least at first glance, appears to use block quotes. I appreciated how the NIrV handled the quotes. I did. I really appreciated the clarity of it. (Hebrews 1, Bible Gateway)

Since the NIrV uses simpler vocabulary and shorter sentences, I wanted to try the translation out in some of the harder books, the more intimidating books. I chose to read Jeremiah and Ezekiel! I definitely noticed the shorter sentence length, that's for sure. Overall, I liked the translation, at least in these books. I still haven't read the gospels in the NIrV.

Now that I've talked about the translation, I'll spend some time talking about features of this particular bible.

Book introductions. I want to say these book introductions are similar to others that I've seen recently in NIV children's bibles. Very simple and straightforward in a question and answer format.
Who wrote this book? Moses wrote this book
Why was this book written? This book tells how God created the world. It also tells about the special promises God made to Abraham.
What do we learn about God in this book? God created all things. God loves people. But God wants people to obey him. God promises to save people who trust him.
Who is important in this book? Important people in this book are Adam, Eve, and Noah. Abraham and Sarah are also important. Isaac, Jacob and Joseph are important too.
When did this happen? No one knows when the creation or the flood happened. Abraham was born about 2,000 years before Jesus was born.
Where did this happen? The first part of Genesis happened somewhere in the Middle East. Many people think that the Garden of Eden was in the country we now call Iraq. The rest of Genesis takes place in Egypt and Canaan.
What are some stories in this book?
God creates the world -- Genesis 1
God creates Adam and Eve -- Genesis 2
Adam and Eve sin -- Genesis 3
God saves Noah and the animals -- Genesis 6-8
God gives Abram a promise -- Genesis 12
Jacob steals Esau's blessing -- Genesis 27
Joseph's brothers sell him -- Genesis 37
Joseph becomes a ruler -- Genesis 39-41
I do like the book introductions. They are simple and informative. They provide a foundation for continued learning.

Other features. This bible offers plenty of bold and colorful features. Words to Treasure. Did You Know? Live It! People in Bible Times, Life in Bible Times, etc.  To name just a few. They certainly add visual appeal to the text, excuses for color. But I must admit that after reading and LOVING the Jesus Bible earlier this year, that I was disappointed. The Live It! sections probably disappointed me more than the rest. But everything is subjective. You may appreciate them more.
How to Stop Family Fights
Abram and Lot's shepherds were fighting. They fought about who would get to use the best land. They fought about who would get to use the water for their animals. There just wasn't enough room for both groups to live. Abram decided to stop the fight. Read Genesis 13:1-18 to find out how he did it.
Most brothers and sisters fight at times. Here's how your family can stop the fighting:
From the story of Abram, make up family rules, like: Give the other person first choice. Be content with what is left.
Make a tag with Abram's name on it. When you have a family fight, choose a person to wear the "Abram" tag. Let him or her use the rules you have made to stop the fight.
You can take turns being Abram. Then you each can learn how to please God as Abram did. (16)
Praying In Your Heart
Praying in your heart means praying to God without saying anything out loud. In Genesis 24:1-21 Abraham's servant may have prayed in his heart.
Here are some times when you might want to pray in your heart:
1. In school when you are about to take a test.
2. When you are about to cross a busy street.
3. On the school bus if bigger kids tease you.
Draw pictures of three other places where you might want to pray in your heart. (27)
The New International Reader's Version was revised in 2014. This is the newest revision of the Adventure Bible for Early Readers.

I am glad I read from this Bible. I am. I had never read from the NIrV before. And while it won't become my new translation of choice, I am very glad that there is a Bible written simply enough for children newly learning to read to understand. And I am glad that this edition is reader-friendly, very bright and colorful, lots of pictures.

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

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