For those of you who love the King James Version (KJV) of the Bible, this children’s Bible just might be for you!
First of all, I have to confess that I grew up on the KJV. This was the translation that was used in AWANA where I memorized hundreds of Bible verses. I have a fondness for the language and the way the sentences (church people call them “verses”) are framed.
However, and I am not trying to start any sort of debate at all here, Bible translation has come a long way in the over 400 years since the KJV was introduced. Our modern speech does not consist of “thees” and “thous,” but has been nuanced as all language does over time. While God’s Word is timeless and does not change, both the interpretive understanding and the cultural translatability does, in fact, change over time. While the KJV is well appreciated, there are many modern translations (while not as artistic and rich as the KJV is) that are more reachable for children.
And I’m thinking about children here. Really, I am.
I don’t think it is wise to hand a child a 400 year-old translation of the Bible in words that even I have difficulty understanding at times. We are communicating something to children (even teenagers and adults) when we embrace a translation that hasn’t been updated in 400 years. We’re implicitly communicating that we aren’t going to help make the message of the Gospel reachable to the people of our current culutre. Furthermore, biblical and theological scholars along with historians and archaeologists have learned a lot more about the culture and world of the 1st century in the preceding 400 years since the introduction of the KJV. The Dead Sea Scrolls discovery in the 1940’s for example has brought a well of understanding on the biblical text from the Old Testament (TaNaK) as well as the world of the first century that has helped translation committees to better translate the biblical text.
Therefore, I think there are much better translations out there that can and should be used.
With that said, there is a poetic and artistic nature (nostalgia, if it can be called that) to the Kind James Version. I love reciting the Lord’s Prayer and the 23rd Psalm in the KJV rather than in the NIV, NAS, NLT, or any other version for that matter. Perhaps we can use both the richness of the KJV in appropriate ways as well as the necessary updates to Bible translations in other, more modern versions of the Bible.
Other than the issue of translation (of which I’m sure that I have frustrated some), I have a publishing critique of this children’s Bible: I don’t think you can call the theme of this Bible “illustrated” when there are only four, full-color pages, interspersed throughout the Bible every 60 pages or so. I counted, there are 11 instances of these color pages. I don’t think this counts to be able to include the words “illustrated” nor the word “study Bible for kids” just because you placed 44 color, “study” pages amidst the biblical text of 677 pages. It seems, now I could be wrong, that KJV proponents wanted a Bible that appealed to children with some color and they produced this.
All in all, apart from the debate on whether children should be using the KJV to study the Bible or whether one can call this an “illustrated study Bible for kids,”
this Bible is the full-text of Scripture in the King James Version and would appeal, at least in aesthetics, to children.
Again, my goal is not to shred the KJV apart… remember, I use Bible verses memorized in KJV regularly… but to advocate for children and them being able to both read and understand what the Bible is saying.
Publisher: Holman Bible Publishers | February 1, 2010
Target Ages: 6 and up
Page Count: 768
Now, it might seem like Wesleyan Kids is not excited to give this Bible away, but you would be wrong. I am excited to give this away to someone who will appreciate the KJV. I really am!
We purchase these children-focused Bibles to review and then we give them away via a randomizer program. We are not given these Bibles to produce a favorable review, however, if Wesleyan Kids is offered a review copy from a publisher, we treat such a gift as goodwill and they receive an honest review from our WK staff, which we then pass on to our readers.
Here’s how you can get your name on the giveaway list (you need only do one option):
- Subscribe to our email list on the sidebar of this webpage entitled: “Don’t Miss a Single Post.” Any new email subscribers within the timeframe of the giveaway is entered to win.
- Tweet this review to your followers or retweet the original tweet. Make sure you mention @wesleyankids because it helps us to track who is doing this so we can enter the name into the giveaway.
- Like or comment on this post on the Wesleyan Kids Facebook page or share this review on your Facebook wall. Make sure you mention @wesleyankids otherwise (due to privacy settings) we are unable to track this.
- Comment on this blog post.
Doing any one of these four things will get your name entered into a random drawing for this Bible. Your name will only be entered once regardless of how many sharing things you do :)
Giveaway starts when this review is published and closes at midnight on Tuesday, September 2, 2014. That’s one week!