On Translations for Children

Joel began to wonder and wander… about bible translations for children. He notes 4 drawbacks to such an undertaking:

1. Children may come to think that their children’s version is the Only True Version of the Bible, and then, as adults, refuse to use any other. This would leave them with a permanently pediatric view of the Bible.

2. More generally, children may never learn that the Bible is suitable for adults.

3. Parents — many of whom read the Bible primarily with their children — may find reinforcement for their preconceived notions that the Bible is childish.

4. As a practical matter, translating for children is difficult. A bad translation is probably worse than no translation.

All good points.

There are children’s bibles which aren’t really a children’s translation, but more of a re-telling. If we remove of the the ‘adult’ things, such as what Joel notes, wine, then it is possible that we remove the ability to point the child to adulthood. For me, I believe that re-tellings are fine, but most importantly is the primary bible reading between parents and children. This way, no new translation is needed, and it fosters the parents’ roll,

Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. (Deu 6:7 NLT)


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