Many Southern Baptist churches were heading towards the new and exciting revision of the English Standard Version (ESV) around the time the “new NIV’ (as it seems to be so commonly dubbed) was published, leading to even more aligning themselves to the ESV. I can understand that – for many churches, their claim was that scriptural accuracy is the most important thing in choosing a Bible. You can’t dispute that belief – you wouldn’t want to choose a Bible if you believed it wasn’t accurate in the ways of the original writings. Since then, there seems to have been a constant dialogue about the relationship between scriptural accuracy and readability, you don’t have to go too far on twitter to see many articles about just this.
Skip forward to last year when the Christian Standard Bible (CSB) was released, with many claiming it sat sort of in between the ESV and old NIV in terms of accuracy and readability, as beautifully demonstrated on the chart below.
Now, I had the privilege of getting a copy of this version in the form of the CSB Kids Bible. I want to take more of a look at the product itself having given some background on the version.
Firstly, when you see this Bible it looks cool. Like even as an adult, it looks awesome. The design is eye-catching and fun, including the continuation of the design onto the page edges. It’s hardback so is durable – which you know is important for any item you entrust to a pre-teen child. What I really like about this is that it doesn’t feel childish. I believe you could begin giving this to your 1st grade readers and up, but so often those 5th & 6th graders are ready to be seen as mature and so I like that this doesn’t seem like something they wouldn’t think was cool – in fact I took my copy to our Disciple Now youth event recently!
To start with, the Bible contains a presentation page with John 3:16 on – getting straight to the point! This is followed by several pages of how to study the Bible, do quiet times, reading ideas for certain topics and a list of Bible skills. There’s an image below of two of these pages. These first few pages alone provide a great tool for parents and kids to talk about the importance and purpose of God’s Word.
Throughout the scripture itself are tactfully placed, full-color information pages like the one above. These highlight key themes, family lines, characteristics of God, the history and purpose of different books and divisions, devotion ideas and more. I mean I’d have a pretty lengthy and tediously long list if I continued – this kids Bible is packed full of features to guide them in their walk and enrich their understanding of God’s Word.
The Bible concludes with the seemingly traditional set of maps again in full-color presented in a manner eye-catching to young and old alike.
How can a young man keep his way pure?
By keeping your word.
I have sought you with all my heart;
don’t let me wander from your commands.
I have treasured your word in my heart
so that I may not sin against you.
Psalm 119:9-11 (CSB)
When I was writing this the verses above came to mind, and how nicely they flow out of this translation. If you’re looking for a Bible to gift to a 1st grader as they are learning to read – this is it! A great tool for churches and families for our elementary readers, and possibly even beyond!
– Jared Simpson