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Saturday, February 18, 2012

Bible Review: ESV Grow! Bible

GrowBibleESV Grow! Bible
ISBN: 978-1433528743
Hardcover, 1600 pages
Publisher: Crossway
Retails: $27.99

About the ESV Grow! Bible (from the publisher):

[It] is designed for children ages 8-12 for the time between when they use a children’s Bible and a more advanced edition. Coupling the full ESV text with many helpful features, this is a Bible that young students can call their own.

[It] comes with all-new features to help children learn and understand God’s Word. Children will find the ESV Grow! Bible full of interesting features and parents will appreciate that their kids can explore the full Bible text themselves. A great resource to connect young readers with the beauty and majesty of God’s Word.

I’ll be honest- I thought I wouldn’t like this Bible and was going to have to give it away to someone else who has those children that are in between Bibles. You know, because my kids have been using a regular Bible since…well, that’s all they’ve used. My kids wouldn’t have a use for this Bible.

Yes, yes that is a little snobbery you detect there. But I did say I would be honest! I’ve always felt that kids aren’t *ahem* dumb and don’t need a *ahem* dumbed-down Bible. {yes, my face is feeling a wee bit flushed- pride comes before a fall}

But I decided to put aside my snobbery {thank goodness!} and actually use this Bible for a bit to see what it had to offer. I will say, with no shame, that I prefer the King James Version Bible {or even better for me- the Geneva Bible}. This new Bible is English Standard Version which really takes the language from the old Bibles and makes it modern- or as the Translation Oversight Committee says it, “as literal as possible while maintaining clear expression and literary excellence”.

First, because I am like that, I will tell you that this book smells wonderful- like a book, not chemically ink. Okay. Glad we got that out of the way. I always sniff test books {and especially Bibles- hey, no laughing!} before I read them. And no, you cannot tell a good book by its smell…or its cover.

I will tell you what I did not care for in this Bible {‘version’ aside} first and then let you know what I did like {yes, there were some things}.

It’s hardback. A Bible is going to be used. A lot. {hopefully} It needs to be flexible and portable. Most kids aren’t going to sit prim and proper at a desk or table and use this Bible that way {well, I may be wrong but I’d like to see them pull it off the shelf and get comfy in an oversized chair or in their bed}. This Bible feels like it needs to be used that way. It’s too stiff. My kids agree.

And…wait, is that all? Why yes, that is all I didn’t care for {‘version’ aside}.

And here is what I did like about it:

The illustrations are appealing but not too bright and flashy. They depict Biblical people and events, not modern day. I’m not entirely sure why that is comforting but it is. The Bible is applicable to us now but it is important to understand those who wrote and the time they lived. Having images and photos of modern day wouldn’t be beneficial {imho}.

The ‘study-Bible’ aspect of it. Throughout the Bible there are boxes with information about what is being read. There is a specific one called 4U that helps understand the applicability of the passage to the reader personally. Also each section and each book of the Bible has an introduction to help understand the writer and the audience. There is also a glossary at the end of the Bible.

Finally, the timelines and maps. That really goes with the two points I made before but I love timelines and maps when reading anything historical {and the Bible is definitely historical}. These are done very well.

Bottom-line: I actually like this Bible. I am surprised but am glad that Crossway sent it to me to review. I think hope know it will be useful to my children as we go through God’s Word.


I received this Bible free from Crossway in exchange of an honest review. No compensation was given.

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