Monday, May 16, 2011

Book Review: ESV Seek and Find Bible

"For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart" (Hebrews 4:12, ESV).

ESV Seek and Find Bible
 ESV Seek and Find Bible (TruTone, Blue)ESV Seek and Find Bible (TruTone, Lavender)

While I love The Big Picture Story Bible and The Jesus Storybook Bible, nothing compares to the Word of God. For " comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ" (Romans 10:17, ESV). However, newcomers to the Bible often have a difficult time seeing the unified theme therein. Consequently, I am excited to have The ESV Seek and Find Bible to read with my little ones. It is an excellent resource to help bridge the gap between Gospel-centered story Bibles and God's living and active Word!

What sets this Bible apart from other Bibles is that each retelling brings the story back to what God has done for us in Jesus Christ. There is a clear Gospel message throughout these stories.

Here are some of the features listed by Crossway (excepting text in red which are my additions):

  • More than 130 full-page, full-color illustrations - These are nice, realistic paintings.
  • Simple Bible story retellings for each illustration - Often with a clear connection to Christ's work on the cross
  • Age-appropriate introductions to each Bible book
  • Key Verses to memorize 

  • Illustrated profiles of more than 50 major Bible characters
  • Illustrated facts about Bible objects, structures, and places
  • Simple Reflection Questions and Related Bible Readings to help children begin to understand and apply God’s Word and to keep children engaged, encouraging them to dig deeper into Scripture One of my favorite features which aids in fruitful discussion. :)
  •   A simple dictionary to help young readers learn the meaning of Bible words 
  • Kid-friendly maps (complete with interesting and understandable legends ;)
ESV Seek and Find Bible Features

Click here if you would like to see the book of Ruth which is characteristic of the project.

Or, you can watch a video discussing the distinguishing features of this Bible here.

There are some things that I would have done differently. For example, I would have preferred that the words of Christ be in red because I think this makes the dialog easier to follow, especially for children. However, that is a small thing. Another note concerning the ESV Seek and Find Bible is that it focuses on communicating how familiar Bible stories are connected to Christ. Personally, I would like to have seen some commentary in more challenging sections like Leviticus and/or the prophets. (I know that this might seem a little far-fetched for those of you who are not accustomed to reading the Bible this way, but the connection between Leviticus and Hebrews is astounding and can be communicated at a child's level, as seen in the Herein Is Love Commentary Series for children.) Perhaps, Crossway will undertake this in their next project. :)

All in all, this is an excellent choice for a children's Bible. It is a a blessing to have a Christ-centered Bible that is not watered down. This is the Bible that our family chose for our son as a Christmas gift, and I would not hesitate to purchase another copy. It is a solid starting point!

*Many thanks to Crossway for sending me a copy of this Bible in exchange for my honest opinion!

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