Until this year, the Scripture Union’s rendition of the Nativity story actually had references to Scripture in it.
But this year, in the latest edition of their book THE FIRST CHRISTMAS, the British Christian charity tells the story simply, in contemporary language, without reference to specific Bible verses, to better engage children who have had little or no exposure to the Bible. (One recent study claimed that only six percent of British families read the Bible, pray, and attend church regularly.) They say it’s completely faithful to Biblical accounts, just in more accessible form.
“While we endeavor to ensure children with little or no knowledge of the Christian faith are able to hear the good news in a way that is accessible to them, we place a great deal of importance on remaining true to our Biblical foundations,” they say. “Helping children to engage with God’s word and the unchanging truths of the Bible will always remain central to our work.”
I’d love to know what my readers think of this decision. Can Scripture Union reach kids more effectively by continuing to include actual Scripture, or by...well, paraphrasing?