Friday, December 4, 2015

ICB translation: The Frost Bible

I must admit, I liked the cover of this Bible (the 'Frost Bible') decorated with snow and sparkles and that was one of the reasons I requested this book in order to review it.  I am not an advocate of choosing a Bible because of its cover, and am generally uncomfortable with Bibles that are aimed towards a specific gender (mainly because of their study notes that may run into danger of eisegesis by trying to direct the thinking into a more egotistical interpretation of Scripture) , but this one, other than its being appealing to girls by its cover (as I am proof of) is otherwise a fairly basic Bible.   

My motives in requesting this Bible were not wholly material in nature, I had never heard of the International Children's Translation before and was very curious about it.   It seems to be a rather literal translation overall.  They explain in the preface about some liberties they took in translation, such as clarifying ancient customs, changing Rhetorical questions to statements, "showing the implied meaning, as in this example:  'No one is equal to our God,' instead of 'Who is equal to our God?'", editing figures of speech, idiomatic expressions ('he rested with his fathers' is changed to, 'he died')…etc.   Some of the writing style reminds me of the Dick and Jane books, short sentences with a lot of periods for punctuation. But it still reads quite well.  Here's a sample from Genesis 42: 1-4:  "Jacob learned that there was grain in Egypt.  So he said to his sons, 'Why are you just sitting here looking at one another?  I have heard that there is grain in Egypt.  Go down there and buy grain for us to eat.  Then we will live and not die.'  So ten of Joseph's brothers went down to buy grain from Egypt.  But Jacob did not send Benjamin, Joseph's brother, with them.  Jacob was afraid that something terrible might happen to Benjamin."

The translation appears to be quite good to me, and very understandable for kids.  One of the passages I always go to in Bibles to help give me an idea of the general literalness of the translation is Romans 9:13, and this translation doesn't try to soften it which is a good sign:  "As the Scripture says, "I loved Jacob, but I hated Esau." 

Here are some other excerpts to help give you more of an idea of how this translation reads: 

Rom 8:28, 30. "We know that in everything God works for the good of those who love him.  They are the people God called, because that was his plan…God planned for them to be like his Son.  And those he planned to be like his Son, he also called.  And those he called, he also made right with him.  And those he made right, he also glorified." 

2 Tim. 3: 14-17:  "But you should continue following the teachings that you learned.  You know that these teachings are true.  And you know you can trust those who taught you.  You have known the Holy Scriptures since you were a child.  The Scriptures are able to make you wise.  And that wisdom leads to salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.  All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching and for showing people what is wrong in their lives.  It is useful for correcting faults and teaching how to live right.  Using the Scriptures, the person who serves God will be ready and will have everything he needs to do every good work."  

The Bible has some fancy pages (with snowflakes of course) scattered throughout with little tidbits on topics like, "How Do I Pray?" , "How Do I know Jesus Better?" and "Knowing Jesus Better".  For the most part those sections seem okay, though I might have an issue with some of the memory verses they suggest like Jeremiah 29:11 which is usually taken out of context and applied specifically to Christians when in actuality it was a promise to the physical descendants of Jacob, not necessarily to present day Gentile Christians.  I just had to mention that. 

Overall, I thought this translation was pretty good. 

The FTC guidelines require me to state that I received this Bible for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review (my review did not have to be favorable).  Many thanks to the BookLook blogger program.

Amongst other places, this book may be purchased at Amazon

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