Home > Crossway Blog > Interpreting the Bible for Kids

Interpreting the Bible for Kids

Christopher at TaylorWest has been blogging about paraphrases of the Bible (spoiler: he finds them helpful). Tucked in at the end of one of his posts are the reasons he reads the ESV with his kids and how he tries to (not) interpret the text for them:

When we read the Bible together at night with our children, we read from the ESV. Karis, Isaiah, and Gloria all follow along in their Children’s Edition of the ESV. When questions come up about the meaning of the text, I sometimes have to say, “Well, the meaning of the text isn’t that clear. I believe this is what the author meant, but others take it differently. They think it say[s] this.”

I think this demonstration of humility before the text instills greater trust in the text than if I were to simply say, “This is what the text means.” Especially since later on as they grow in their understanding of the text, they may find that my interpretation was not at all what the text said or meant. I don’t want my children to place their trust in my interpretation of a text. I want them to trust the text and figure out what it means. I believe this will create little theologians who will seek God’s help in figuring out what the text says instead of relying on daddy.

(Emphasis added.) Unrelatedly, earlier in the post he states well the ESV’s goal of being ambiguous where the original text is ambiguous:

I have to admit here, this is why I love the ESV. For the most part, they leave the English ambiguous where the Greek is ambiguous. Anyone who knows about the function of adverbial participles in Greek will know that there is often any number of ways the participle can be interpreted. In these cases the ESV has done a good job in leaving the participle open to interpretation instead of offering its own interpretation.

April 27, 2007 | Posted in: ESV,General | Author: Crossway Staff @ 8:27 am | (2) Comments »

2 Comments

  1. Good advice – for any age level: clipped from http://www.esv.org. I don’t want my children to place their trust in my interpretation of a text. I want them to trust the text and figure out what it means. I believe this will create little theologians who will seek God’s help in figuring out what the text says instead of relying on daddy.

    Trackback by Moosejaw Musings — April 27, 2007 @ 10:02 am

  2. Christopher at the TaylorWest blog, gives some insights into how he and his wife read the bible with their children…

    Trackback by Reading the Bible with Children — May 1, 2007 @ 9:30 am

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.