Friday, June 8, 2012

Thoughts on Kids' Bible Selection

Mother's Day 2012 may go down in history as my favorite of all time.  "G Bug", my middle daughter, was baptized!  She had made her public profession of faith in Jesus as her Savior two weeks before.  Ever since her sister was baptized on Father's Day last year, she has had many questions about salvation.  Having always struggled with her behavior more than her older sister, she totally understood depravity and the "blackness" of sin.  She knew Jesus was needed to clean it all up, and she came to us (her parents) wanting to have a final talk about making Jesus the Lord of her life.

G Bug just received her first "real" Bible for Christmas this past year.  When we've given our oldest two their Bibles as gifts, my thoughts and prayers have always been that our children could become Christians through reading them.  God has answered those prayers!

Bible selection wasn't easy.  I asked several friends, but many of them (being in the same stage of life as myself) didn't really know what Bible choice was best either.  Now that I've been through this with my husband and been happy with our choices, I thought I'd share how we arrived at them.

First, Scriptural wording isn't a foreign language in our home.  Most mornings, we read from God's word, and for that family time, we often choose to read the Holman Christian Standard because of the literal translation from the original Hebrew and Greek texts and for the easy-to-understand, modern wording.  I'm not saying this is the translation your family should use.  As my husband often says, the best translation is the one you read.  I'm just sharing why we have chosen it for our family.  We also read a children's Bible storybook at bedtime.  These are obviously condensed versions of the stories we know well from God's Word.

Secondly, we considered the translation my husband uses to preach.  What does your pastor use?  This is helpful to consider because beginning readers need all the help they can get to follow along during worship services. 

When my oldest daughter was just beginning to read, and before we bought her Bible, she carried a children's devotional Bible to church, which mainly had pictures and sections of Scripture throughout the book.  She commented to her dad one Sunday that the words he preached weren't in her Bible!  Being a very biblical, expository preacher, that didn't sit well!  We knew she needed the translation he preaches from, which for full disclosure is usually the New King James Version.  Occasionally, he may use another translation, but most of the time, our daughters can follow along when he preaches because they have a Bible with all of the same words.

When our girls were baptized, they were given a copy of God's Word from their church, and this was the Holman Christian Standard version.  This is what they study from during their quiet times and what they memorize.  So finally, we have them using a translation that is easy to understand but that has not departed from the original intent of the authors God inspired to write.  This means they have one Bible for church and one for home use, but it works for us.

I'm not saying that our way is the only way to choose a Bible for a child, but considering all of this really helped us to feel like we were making wise decisions.  Maybe it may help you as well!

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