Bible Review NIrV Faith Builders/ NIrV Under the Sea

We’re back!!  Thanks again for your patience while we cleared up our site hack problems.  You’ll notice a rather stripped-down version of RedeemedReader, but be aware we’re working on some big improvements for the future.  This week, we’re back with our annual crop of children’s Bible reviews–two today, three more throughout the week, and next week, Lord willing, three new teen Bibles!


NIrV Faith Builders Bible.  Zondervan, 2015, 1152 pages.  Hardcover and ebook.

NIrV Under the Sea Holy Bible.  Zondervan, 2016, 1152 pages.  Hardcover and ebook.

Reading Level: Middle grades, ages 8-10NIV Faith Builders

Recommended for: Ages 6-10

Bottom Line: These new additions to the NIrV Bible line are distinguished only by their themes: building bricks (Legos) in the first, ocean life in the second, but few added features.

We’re seeing more Bible editions in the New International Readers Version (NIrV), a translation, or adaptation, of the NIV intended for elementary-age readers.  Our post on the major Bible translations has more about the NIrV.  In general, it reads better than the other major easy-reading translation (the ICE, or Easy Reader) but shares some of the concerns about later versions of the NIV, mostly having to do with gender equivalence.  Parents in the market for a good children’s Bible should consider whether to spend money on an easy-reader edition that kids will outgrow within a few years.  On the other hand, the NIrV might be worth its weight for encouraging a reluctant reader to get into the scriptures for himself.

niv under the seaFaith Builders and Under the Sea are best classified as “reading” Bibles, as opposed to study or devotional (see this post for thoughts on deciding what would best suit you and your kids).  Legos are the Faith-builder theme, while Under the Sea comes with a glittery cover that will remind you of The Little Mermaid.  There are no book introductions, sidebars or boxes.  That can be a good thing, if you don’t want the distraction.  What distinguishes these Bibles are full-color inserts scattered throughout.  In Faith Builders, these are made with Legos: dioramas of familiar stories and concepts, many with Bible verses.  Some are interesting, like the tabernacle and temple back to back.  Psalm 23 backs the David and Goliath story.  Under the Sea has similar inserts with the fishy theme.  If you’re looking for a basic text that’s somewhat attractive to children and not too hefty or expensive, this may fill the bill; otherwise you may want to shop around some more.

Value: 3 (out of 5)

Categories: Early Readers, Middle Grades, Bibles and Bible Stories, Gift Books

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Janie is the VERY senior staff writer for Redeemed Reader, as well as a long-time contributor to WORLD Magazine and an author of nine books for children. The rest of the time she's long-distance smooching on her four grandchildren (not an easy task). She lives with her equally senior husband of almost-fifty years in the Ozarks of Missouri.

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