I read it through the Grapevine
This autumn, the fourth volume of the Children’s Bible is due to be published. When the project was launched in the mid-nineties, it was thought the Bible in simplified, easy-to-understand, modern Hebrew would take three years to complete but it took that long to produce the pilot volume! Who would have thought that producing a Bible text simple enough for children to understand could have been so difficult!
The latest volume will feature the books of Job, Psalms and Proverbs. The final books of the Hebrew canon – Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Daniel and the two books of Chronicles – will appear in Volume 5.
According to David Zadok, our Israel Field Leader, translating the Hebrew of the book of Job has been the most challenging task in the project so far. Hebrew poetry is difficult but the Hebrew of Job is particularly problematic. Nevertheless, in spite of all the translation problems, it is anticipated that Job, Psalms and Proverbs will be with the printer in October.
One of the most encouraging developments in the history of the Children’s Bible thus far has been the interest it has received from the wider Israeli community during the last year. Messianic believers have supported the venture since its inception but in the last few months more and more orders have been received from outside the believing community. Parents desperately wanting to help their children get through their final Scripture exams at school have asked for copies to be mailed by express delivery. Therefore, after the next volume of the Children’s Bible is published, David Zadok will approach some of the larger book distributors in Israel with a view to using their services to make the series available in book stores.
Two spin-offs from the project have also encouraged the staff at HaGefen. The software company BibleWorks has shown an interest in using the text of the Children’s Bible in their computer programmes and a Dutch publishing company has signed a contract with HaGefen for fifty of the illustrations from the project. When the series is completed in the next two to three years, it is planned to produce a volume setting the text of the Children’s Bible side by side with the traditional Masoretic Hebrew text.