If you come to my house, you’ll find nearly a whole shelf dedicated to different versions of the Bible. This doesn’t even include all the ones I have at my office and use for Children’s Ministry! Needless to say, I am totally a Bible collector and I love checking out different versions and different Bibles. I was excited to review both the NKJV Apply the Word Study Bible and the Under the Sea Holy Bible.
Let’s start with the NKJV Apply the Word Study Bible. My version that I received is a hardback with a jacket cover (not my favorite–I prefer leather covers), but the cover is fairly appealing. I liked that the same pictures on the jacket cover are also printed on the actual hardback. This is a big plus for me. In the back, there area also easy to read maps that help put people and places into perspective. The maps include the land of the twelve tribes, Jesus’ ministry, Jerusalem in the time of Jesus, and a few others. I like this feature. There is not an index or dictionary in the back, but there is a concordance, which is helpful as well.
Each book has an introduction section and then boxes throughout the chapters with more information. There are notes and commentary throughout that include definitions, context, tables, and further explanation. There are also boxes that highlight certain individuals. All of these add to the study aspect of the Bible. Some include questions to help someone who is reading apply the Word to their own life. I feel like the title of the Bible is accurate in calling it a “Study Bible” and including “Apply the Word” as well. The NKJV is also a modern reader friendly version compared to the KJV. This would be a great Bible for someone who likes the NKJV version and is looking to take things a step further.
The Under the Sea Bible is marketed by Zonderkidz and has a fun, glittered cover! The Bible likely would appeal to younger kids–perhaps 8 and under. Older kids would likely want a less “kid” looking Bible. The Bible uses the NIrV, which is a version similar to the NIV, but slightly different. I was very glad to see that in the beginning pages there is a whole section outlining the differences in the version. In short, some of the differences include separating chapters into shorter sections, including titles for chapters, using one name for people or places that have multiple (i.e. The Sea of Galilee), and using some shorter words at times than the NIV. Personally, I prefer a version of the Bible that is closer to the original text, but I can see some benefits for this type of Bible for young readers who are starting out.
There are not many pictures or extra fun boxes within the Bible itself. There are only three (front and back) pages that are colored and include information geared toward kids. One of these outlines the ten commandments, another includes The Lord’s prayer. For the age range that this Bible seems to be geared toward, I would have expected a lot more “fun” elements to be included. I have seen other kid’s Bibles that do a much better job at this. In that sense, this Bible seems to be geared toward an older child who still likes a fun cover. All in all, even though this Bible has some major flaws, I can still see it being a good fit for the right child. Though, it would not be my first pick for a children’s Bible.
Whew! That was a lot of Bible talk…some of my favorite Bibles for kids include The Action Bible, The Story for Little Ones, and the Storybook Bible. I’m also a fan of the Amplified version–give me all the words
Do you have a favorite version?
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