One of our goals at Teach One Reach One is to encourage young people of all ages to become independent Bible readers. Reading the Bible for themselves can help your students know what God wants for them and from them, encourage them to live a godly life and make God their top priority, give them the tools to make godly choices and even protect them from false teachings.
We regularly have posts and share resources to help you encourage your students to read their Bibles outside of your class. Recently, someone suggested I review a resource they had found helpful to their students. Halley’s Bible Handbook for Kids by Dr. Henry Halley and Jean Syswerda is a Bible guide to help young people better understand what they are reading in the Bible.
For those of you familiar with the adult version of Halley’s Bible Handbook, it was created by the same general team (Halley actually died in 1965). Although organized in a similar fashion, the information itself is weighted more heavily to summary in the kid’s version than the cultural and archaeological information which made the adult version a reference staple.
The kid’s version of the handbook is divided by book of the Bible. Each book begins with a summary page listing the writer, main location, primary people, its importance and some major stories. Within each book, the authors also write a summary paragraph for every one to three chapters. Although, I didn’t read every entry, the ones I checked did seem to be non-controversial in their summary with one exception. I found it interesting that in any chapters mentioning or emphasizing baptism, the authors skipped any mention of it at all. I found this unfortunate considering the stated purpose of this volume.
The volume also includes some photographs, cultural information, archaeological findings and some suggested verses to memorize. What they give is great, I just wish they had included more of that type of information – especially photographs. I know it drives up publishing costs, but young readers often enjoy the visual break photos give them and it also helps them visualize unfamiliar things.
Overall, this is a great resource to give or lend students or to suggest parents purchase for their kids. In conjunction with an NIrV Bible, your students will have the tools necessary to develop strong independent Bible reading skills.
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