I’m not sure that I could be more impressed by this Bible. Designed for children using language and illustrations that they would appreciate, while at the same time being incredibly clear in pointing us to Jesus and explaining the text, this Bible will hopefully receive a glad reception among many parents wanting to lead their children to the Savior! (And maybe even understand the Bible a little better themselves.)
I got the new ESV Seek and Find Bible in the mail today and was so immediately impressed that I had to relay the good news as soon as I could. It is literally like a mini study bible for kids (with the exception that there are not notes for every passage of Scripture).
It is packed with resources that I will mention in a moment, but the thing that immediately stood out to me was the content of the Bible stories that are included. The way it works is the full text of the ESV is contained in the Bible. As selected passages occur in the Bible there are full page illustrations of a scene of that story and a 2 page story or summary of the Biblical passage. These stories are basically re-tellings of the passage in a way that may be easier for children to grasp. This is certainly nice, but you may be saying that there is nothing new as far as that is concerned. Well, there’s more. And this is the most important part. The stories that I have read so far are faithful to the text, helpful in explaining the text, and amazing in connecting the story to 1. the gospel of Jesus and 2. how it affects us. After the stories are 3 key questions that really are helpful and thoughtful questions that point us to the meaning of the text and it’s application to us. The back of the dust jacket says it is for children ages 5 to 9, but there is no age group that won’t benefit from the concise, clear, and theologically compelling Bible stories contained in this book.
On Crossway’s website they include a sample PDF of the entire book of Ruth that includes one of their illustrations and Bible stories. In 2 pages the story of Ruth and Boaz, her redeemer, is simply retold and is brought to a conclusion by showing how this story fits into God’s unfolding plan of redemption AND how it points to our ultimate Redeemer who would die for our sins and make us His children. This is huge! It’s simplicity and clarity in retelling the story as it is and how it is to be understood on this side of the Cross is a great accomplishment by Crossway and demonstrates their commitment to the unity and gospel-centrality of the Scriptures!
As far as the other resources go, I was quite surprised to see the amount contained in this volume. On top of the full page illustrations and bible stories there are key questions and key bible verses listed with each story. There are also colorful profiles and pictures of more than 70 Bible people, places, and things to help give us a clearer picture of the real people and places that we read about in the Bible. There are full page introductions to every book including a column listing author, date, key people, purpose, central themes, and memory verses. Finally, at the back of the Bible is a nice dictionary/concordance (in terms that are clear to children without slacking on meaning) and full page color maps .
I’m not sure that I could be more impressed by this Bible. Designed for children using language and illustrations that they would appreciate while at the same time being incredibly clear in pointing us to Jesus and explaining the text, this Bible will hopefully receive a glad reception among many parents wanting to lead their children to the Savior! (And maybe even understand the Bible a little better themselves.)