When I was growing up, we would read the story of Jesus' birth from Luke 2 on Christmas Eve. We read it from the King James Version of the Bible. I think I was 8 or 9 years old before I understood that "sore afraid" meant the shepherds were very scared, not in pain.
The Bible can be confusing and hard to understand sometimes, even for adults. Sometimes the language is difficult, and sometimes the way the sentences are structured makes reading it out loud difficult. The Bible is supposed to be a lamp to our feet and a light to our path (Psalm 119:105), but if we can't understand what it says, then we miss out on its illuminating wisdom.
For millennia, the Bible was a shared oral experience. Most people couldn't read, so the priests and scribes would read it out loud. That tradition has been mostly lost, but reading the Bible together as a family is an important way for our kids to learn about God. Unfortunately, the difficulty level of the Bible makes it hard for kids to wrap their minds around what's being said.
That's why I think today's Friday Introduction is such a great tool for families. The Bible in Rhyme is just what it sounds like. It's a paraphrase of the Bible, written entirely in rhyme. It's easy to read and easy to understand. Written by Kyle Holt, The Bible in Rhyme is designed to be read out loud.
This is what Kyle has to say about it:
"It’s a great tool for parents to share the Bible as a family. Small children love to hear the rhythm and rhyme. Older kids can join in the reading. But this is the whole Bible. The good, the bad, and the particularly nasty. So it’s probably a good idea to either know the section you’re about to read, or read it before hand and make sure that you aren’t about to read the story of Lot and his daughters, or something in that vein.
One other point, and it goes back to my No. 1 goal in this. If you’re a parent who thinks, 'I don’t really know the Bible myself,' then The Bible in Rhyme is perfect for you and your family. Your children get the stories as well as the rhythm and rhyme, which is great. And you get a chance to learn the stories yourself without it being super-abridged for little kids, and without it being the extremely HARD to understand full version. This book is really intended for people who need an easier way into the real Bible. Get the message and beauty of the Bible in a fun way…then go experience the holy texts themselves with a much clearer understanding."
It took Kyle a year and a half to write The Bible in Rhyme, and he originally thought the task was too large and too difficult. With a background in songwriting and poetry, Kyle chose one style of rhyme for the whole project -- except the Psalms. And it's not just for kids.
"I want this to be something that adults get into. This is a paraphrase of the whole Bible – it’s not a children’s Bible. It contains all the bad stuff too, murder, betrayal, incest and hate, and it doesn’t sugarcoat it just because it happens to rhyme. I’ve had a lot of people tell me that they read a section of The Bible in Rhyme and thought, 'The Bible doesn’t really say that.' Then they go and look and realize that no matter how many times they read the Bible, they had not understood some passage or section. I want everyone to get to the heart of the message."
When he's not rhyming the Bible, Kyle is the president and co-founder of U Inc., a software company in Overland Park, Kan. He lives in Overland Park with his wife, Kim, and their three children. He is currently working on a new project to continue his goal of making the Bible more accessible to more people around the world. You can learn more about him on His website.
The Bible in Rhyme is available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble in both a paper e-book formats.
Kyle is giving away a copy of The Bible in Rhyme to one of the Everyday Truth blog readers today. All you have to do is head over to his Facebook page, like it, and leave a comment saying you heard about The Bible in Rhyme at Everyday Truth for a chance to win.
This is a fantastic tool for families to use to make the Bible more accessible for everyone. It's not a Bible you want to study from, but it's a great way to get both you and your kids interested in learning more. Check it out and avoid the "sore" shepherds in your Christmas reading this year.