Monday, January 24, 2011

Who does OSHA think they are--

limiting Science with their small-minded regulations?

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Book Review: International Children's Bible, "Big Red"

As a mother of four with concerns about discipleship, I'm interested in anything that will get my kids interacting with scripture. Touted as "The Translation Children can read and understand" and "now with fresh 3-D art," I was interested to take a look. Sadly, I was diappointed on all counts.

One of the things I've learned as a parent is that any book that I want my children to read must be built to withstand a child's handling, but this Bible wouldn't last a month with my first-grader. It's cheap paperback version with standard Bible-onion-skin pages and standard Bible six point font. It fails on the durability and readability counts. This isn't a Bible that they can grow with.

I'm ambivalent about the "fresh art for a video-game generation." The artwork looks like a set of World of Warcraft screen shots. Lots of ripped biceps and action hero stubble. I also wonder if a generation which has been systematically trained to view this style of artwork as "not real" or "only a game" wouldn't actually lead some children to have a lesser view of the veracity of scripture.

As for the translation itself, the ICB is also known as the New Century Version. It's a dynamic equivalence version--with rather more dynamic than equivalence, it seems. (A good overview of the history of the NCV can be found here.) It's not a translation that I would personally choose for my children, for a couple of reasons. One, simplifying the language down to a third grader's level of understanding is itself a translational choice. There are some passages of scripture that I as an adult do not understand--we do our children a disservice if we teach them that the Bible ought to be able to be squeezed into the box of our own understanding. As the above link points out, there are glosses that drift into full mis-translations here. Two (related by not quite the same), adults often forget that children can smell condescension a mile away, and have nothing but scorn for it. Children don't want something that has been "dumbed down" for them. They want the real thing. It's a balancing act, of course, to present children with "the real thing" in a form and to a degree that will not overwhelm or daunt them, but this isn't a translation that seems to add much to the mix. As regards "extras," the dictionary, concordance and maps are quite decent, but not enough to make up for the other drawbacks.

Two stars out of five.