The Holy Spirit. ESV Grow! Bible. Wheaton: Crossway Books, 2011. 1600 pp. $27.99. Purchase at Westminster for less.
The ESV Bible does not need any introduction. I have reviewed numerous Bibles here.
You can check out this video to get a better idea of what is included in the ESV Grow! Bible.
Aside from having the complete ESV translation text of the Bible, there are many other features meant to help a young Christian (primarily in age but also perhaps in time as a believer) understand this book. For example, they have what I call an investigative box that seeks to answer one of the investigative questions of who, what, where, when, why, and how.
The 4U box offers helps on how a particular passage has meaning for the believer today. These are especially helpful in the Old Testament. The Cross Connections box points the reader from one passage found in the Bible to the cross of Christ and how it is important in our understanding of our salvation.
They also have included, though with a bit more pizazz, the articles and charts, the book introductions, the glossary, and the timelines and maps common in most every study Bible.
Once again, Crossway’s team of graphic designers has hit it huge. Their eye-catching artistry really helps the boxes to pop out. Though this is a dangerous practice, the reader can just flip through and see something that they will want to stop and check out because of the artistry.
Perhaps what I appreciated the most is the collaboration that took place between two publishing houses independent of one another (to my knowledge). Many of the supplemental materials came from Concordia Publishing House (this information is found at the bottom of the title page). I make mention of this because all too often we lose sight of what is at eternal stake in the Christian publishing realm. This collaboration shows that these two publishing companies are at least willing to work together for a greater cause. This should be a lesson to all.
The notes are full of nuggets that will help the child or new believer to better understand his or her faith as he reads through the Bible. Often times, a new believer will want to begin in Genesis and lose interest in Leviticus. Children are perhaps more prone to this than adults. With the Grow! Bible the books of Leviticus and First and Second Chronicles actually become very interesting.
While there are many Children’s Bibles available, and I will honestly continue to buy my children the Children’s ESV Bible (I like uniformity!), I do believe the Grow! Bible warrants serious consideration for your child. There is much to like about this Bible and little to dislike. Unless you are a purist, you will thoroughly enjoy reading and studying with your child as he unpacks the many layers of our infinite God found in His word. Who knows, you may learn a thing or two along the way.