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The BIG Rescue Bible (CEV)

This is a small note on The BIG Rescue Bible (CEV) that I’ve bought and started reading today.

After having a big breakfast (for lunch) with a mate, I went to  ‘Steps’ at Liverpool, where I had acquired the very first Bible I had ever bought for myself. I bought what seemed to be their last copy of The BIG Rescue Bible and these are my thoughts after re-reading Genesis 1-11 for this test-drive.

Translation Test-Drive

I did find several copies of CEV’s that were more suited for a serious adult Bible reading but I couldn’t resist after I saw the cover. I knew that this edition of the CEV was targeted at kids, (most likely boys) but the title was an immediate draw card, focussing on how all of the Bible ultimately points to Jesus. Just from flicking around inside, I found various pages filled with colored illustrations of a scene from the book that preceded that page. The introductory pages are filled with great tools that explain

  1. how the Bible is irrevocably a story about God’s ‘Big Rescue’ of mankind that comes to its climax in Jesus,
  2. and how to read the Bible, including a breakdown of a Bible reference (e.g. Mark 1.1-3). This is followed by a ‘Guess what is in The BIG Rescue’ section that allows readers to exercise their reference deciphering skills and also discover cool little stories in the Bible as well.

The introductory pages speak to the reader on a personal level, saying that it is

“a book put together especially for you.”

and has sections on “Jesus and You” and “Jesus and Prayer”. And I’ve not yet seen another Bible that introduces the books so succinctly yet comprehensively, ending with a memorable verse from that book in bold italics. My favorite bit is probably the subheadings they give for parts of the text are separated in box adjacent to the text, which doesn’t confuse readers of what is and isn’t the Bible and makes it easier to scan for the parts you are looking for. And the back pages have all the information that may interest the more adult readers, as indicated by the smaller print it seems, including translation information and indexes.

The translation is excellent for ease of reading. And it avoids confusion and complicated words by replacing “ark” many times with “boat”, for example. But I did find some of the substitution slightly unfortunate, as “one of hers” [3.15] replaces “offspring” (NIV) making the intentional obscurity less clear; and “supernatural beings” [6.1-2] replaces “sons of God” (NIV) making more of a direct reference to angels when Biblical Studies in high school have taught me to consider alternatives 🙂 It also avoids explaining things like the Leviathan in Job 3.8 by talking, instead, about “Those with magical powers”, which I found amusing.

I was pleased overall with my new Bible. And I look forward to growing in my relationship with God by studying God’s word through this interpretation for this year. I don’t think it’s wise to give the Bible a rating since God’s word is infallible. I will, however, give 4 out of a possible 5 Patrick Stars to the Bible Society of America for their translation work and the same to the Bible Society of Australia for their publishing work of this edition.

A valiant effort indeed!

Helpful Link:

Bible Society Kids: The BIG Rescue

P.S. I almost forgot! There was a CD-ROM included which is also cool and interactive.


At some undetermined time on this day I would officially have lived twenty-four years. That means in another year’s time, I will be twenty-five. Twenty-five. Venticinque. 二十五. 25. The age for J.K. Rowling when she road on a train from Manchester to London and ‘Harry’ just “fell into her head”. The age for Mark Driscoll when he had found Mars Hill Church in his apartment with his wife, Grace, and thirty students. And the age, I hope, that I will discover God’s will for my life.

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