Thursday, June 26, 2014

Children's Bible Review: Deep Blue Kid's Bible

I love my Bible.  I take it with me everywhere I go.  Since I'm a children's pastor one of my goals is to transfer my love for the Bible to the kids around me.  As I'm about to hit my three year mark I've learned a lot about kids and about kid's Bibles.  Believe it or not, not all kid's Bibles are created equally.  This post will review the Deep Blue Kid's Bible.

INTENDED AGE RANGE:  The Deep Blue Kid's Bible is intended for kids in the 7-12 year old range.  However, as parents, you should definitely consider your child's individuality when choosing a Bible.  Some 6yr olds are reading on a higher level than some 9yr olds.

TRANSLATION:  The Deep Blue Kid's Bible is in the CEB (Common English Bible) translation.  "What difference does translation even make," you might ask.  It makes a BIG difference in your child's ability to relate and interact with the Word of God.  Most parents purchase a translation that they use or are most familiar with...mainly the NIV.  The NIV is a sturdy translation and you, as the parent, might think it's the best translation out there.  However, I feel it's important to remember that you're purchasing for your child and not for you.
So what's the difference?  Here's three different translation comparisons from the book of Isaiah.

       THE ESV:  "The LORD saw it, and it displeased him that there was no justice. He saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no one to intercede; then his own arm brought him salvation" Isaiah 59:15b-16

       THE NIV:  "The LORD looked and was displeased that there no justice.  He saw that there was no one, he was appalled that there was no one to intervene; so his own arm achieved salvation for him and his own righteousness sustained him." Isaiah 59:15b-16

        THE CEB:  The LORD looked and was upset at the absence of justice.  Seeing that there was no one, and astonished that no one would intervene, God's arm brought victory, upheld by righteousness."  Isaiah 59:15b-16

Which one sounds easier to read at age 7?  Definitely the third one!  The Prophets are one of the hardest sections of the Bible to read with kids.  Most adults don't understand prophecy!  But still, we can't ignore it just because children are young.  Therefore, we have to give them building blocks to grow.  The CEB version can be a building block for kids.

IN TEXT NOTES:  The Deep Blue Bible offers a host of notes throughout the text of the Bible.  The Bible is ocean themed so all in-text notes are ocean themed as well.  There are four categories:  Sailboat (notes that point out positive traits we can have in our lives), Umbrella (notes that offer help for difficult times), Lighthouse (notes that discuss the basics of following God for life) and Life Preserver (notes that answer tough questions and hard-to-understand sections of the Bible.

Not only that but other in-text features include "did you know?" that offer Bible trivia, Bible customs and practices; devotionals called God's Thoughts/My Thoughts; memory verses called Navigation points that point out key verses; and my personal favorite entitled "Bet you can!" which are reading challenges throughout the Bible such as the one in Joshua 4 "I bet you can read this section in 5 minutes. Ready? Set? GO!"

At the beginning of each book, there is an introduction page.  This page offers a brief overview of the book itself including people you'll meet and special memory verses but a favorite feature is the "places you'll go" sidebar which lists the cities mentioned in the text with their modern-day equivalent beside them in parenthesis.  Would a 9 year old know where the ancient city of Persia was?  No way. But they can look at a map and find Iran!

EXTRA RESOURCES:  Called "Exploration Tools" the Deep Blue Kids Bible also features a full dictionary (not just a concordance) of Biblical words like "abba", "anoint" "covenant" "pharisees", etc.  and 8 full-color maps from the National Geographic Society.

The Deep Blue Kids Bible has a variety of hard covers and leather covers.  It's also available for iPad.  You can purchase it and download more resources from their website:

Disclaimer:  I was in no way compensated by CEB or Deep Blue Kid's Bibles for this review.  I purchased my copy of the Deep Blue Kid's Bible for church use and reviewing purposes.

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