Three Different Languages: Three Impactful Bibles

What was the most powerful biblical influence you had as a child?

My Dutch Children’s Bible
My Mama started showing me pictures and reading me stories from the Dutch Children’s Bible, De Kinderbijbel, when I was three years old. From age five on, I read it myself. Even now, seventy-seven years after I first heard them, I can still quote some lines from those stories written by W. G. van de Hulst in 1926.

The first thing we all need to grow in our Christian life is having a clear and accurate modern-language translation of the Bible in our own language. The next thing is to have a Bible in the language our young children can understand.

The New Canela Children’s Bible
That is why I was delighted to learn that this year, the Brazilian Bible Society has published Pahpam Jarkwa Ahkrare Caxuw, the Bible for Children in the Canela language. The partial Bible that Jo and I worked for twenty-two years to translate was published in 1990. It had some illustrations, including some pen and ink drawings by a Canela artist. This new publication, however, is profusely illustrated throughout with excellent, informative pictures in full colour, specifically aimed at being appreciated by Canela children.

The English Bible Translated for Children
This year is also notable for the publication of The Best News Ever, a Bible for children in English. It is not a book of stories for children, but an actual translation in the language of children. The New Testament is done, and translation of the Old Testament is well on the way.

The translator, Jan Harthan, is a personal friend of our family. We lived for many years on the same Wycliffe mission centre in Belem. Dave Harthan was the area director. Their sons and our daughters went together to the same mission school. Jan keyboarded and formatted hundreds of pages of the Canela Bible for us.

Jan Harthan started this work when she began to tell Bible stories to her own grandchildren, and quickly moved on to translate passages into language they could understand more easily. Jan is highly qualified to do this work having worked as an editor in some major publishing companies. Her translation was checked by veteran Bible translators Carl and Carol Harrison, also personal friends.

The Best News Ever has a limited vocabulary, using simple words, and relatively short sentences. Compare the average length of sentences: the King James Version: 30 words, the New International Version: 20 words, the New Living Bible: 16 words, and The Best News Ever: 10 words.

Check out this excellent translation in the languages of your young children and grandchildren on this informative site where you can compare multiple passages with other versions.

Praise God for These Three Bibles

  • I thank God from the bottom of my heart for a godly mother and for the Kinderbijbel she read to me as a child. The rest of my life was built on those stories.
  • Thank God with us that Canela children can now see the pictures and hear the stories from their own Children’s Bible.
  • Praise God for this The Best News Ever Bible translation for children in English and buy copies for families with children and pray God will impact them as He did me through my Kinderbijbel.