Sunday, February 8, 2009

Bible for Children

Thanks to all who commented on my previous post about when to start reading a proper bible with children. As a result we did get Mr 5 a NIrV for Christmas and he loves it. He is a keen reader and has reading time on his own every night before bed. More often than not, he is choosing to read his bible. His is a Kids Quest Study Bible. We looked around a bit, choosing one where the illustrations and 'study part' did not distract too much from the text itself.

We have started with Mark and read a short amount each night. It certainly requires us to spend time with him and explain the passages, which is a good discipline for us too. It makes you realise how well (or not) you understand certain passages of the bible yourself. For example, I was reading to him the night we were at Mark 2:21-22, the passage about not putting new wine into old wineskins and patching a garment with old cloth rather than new. When I came to explain it, I realised I did not really know how to, especially in 5-year old language. Husband and I can only benefit from having to explain the bible to him. (I must say, I was happy Husband was on the night they read about John the Baptist's beheading, rather than me!)

So far, so of the benefits we have found in Mr 5 having a full bible are:
  • he searches around it himself
  • he is learning how to use the index to find the book he wants
  • he is looking for the memory verses Colin Buchanan uses in his songs (once he has found them, they do not always match up, as he has a NIrV and Colin uses NIV, so then we can look at Mummy or Daddy's bible to see the words there). So we have been able to explain the idea of different translations a little.
  • he is asking questions about what he reads - he came to me the other night asking why Jesus was crucified before he was born. It turns out he had been reading the end of Mark and then turned over to the beginning of Luke. It was a great chance to explain how there are different books talking about different things and there are 4 gospels, etc.
  • it makes me trust in God even more than his word is sufficient for all. At the moment, there are probably parts of the bible I would prefer he does not find (some of the incidents in Judges for example). However, I know that while God's word never shies away from the realities of human sin and divine judgment, what it always teaches is the truth. Therefore, I can be confident knowing that God is moulding Mr 5 as he reads His word.
Therefore, if your children are reading and do not yet have their own full bible, I recommend it!

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