The International Children’s Bible is not a storybook or a paraphrased Bible. It is a translation of God’s Word from the original Hebrew and Greek languages. It is the first translation of the Holy Scriptures prepared specifically for children. Until now children have had to learn God’s truths either from Bible storybooks or adult language Bibles. Many words and concepts, readily understood by adults may leave children mystified or even with false impressions.
Two basic premises guided the translation process. The first concern was that the translation be faithful to the manuscripts in the original languages. A team composed of the World Bible Translation Center and twenty-one additional highly qualified and experienced Bible scholars and translators was assembled. The team included translators with experience working on the New International Version, the New American Standard Bible, and the New King James Version.
The second concern was to make the language simple enough for children to read and understand it for themselves. In maintaining language simplicity, several guidelines were followed. Sentences have been kept short and uncomplicated.
Dr. Charles K. Kinzer of Peabody College of Education, Vanderbilt University performed a comparative study of this base text and four other versions commonly used by children. The results showed that the International Children’s Bible was clearly the easiest version for children to comprehend on the literal level. The word choice in this version was also judged to be the most appropriate for the youngest student, and the only one that could be comprehended on a third grade instructional level.
The International Children’s Bible adds a child’s understanding by putting concepts into natural terms. Modern measurements and geographical locations have been used as much as possible.
Every attempt has been made to maintain proper English style, while simplifying concepts and communications. The beauty of the Hebrew parallelism in poetry and the word plays have been retained Images of the ancient languages have been captured in the equivalent English images wherever possible.