Review of The NIrV Accessible Bible

Review of The NIrV Accessible Bible

Ben, Rev Bec Baines' brother, reading his copy of the accessible Bible.
Rev. Bec Baines
Review by Rev. Bec Baines

One of the joys of Jesus Club is being able to open God’s word to the members who come along. We are able to teach people who God is, and give them an understanding of God’s love for us, particularly through Jesus His Son. 

As people who are passionate about teaching others about God and His great salvation plan, we may find ourselves eager to have a Bible translation that communicates this to people in the best way possible.

For some older generations, they may find the King James Version (KJV) easier to understand, contemporary church services may prefer the New International Version (NIV), and children could relate more to the Contemporary English Version (CEV).

But what Bible version is best suited to those with intellectual disabilities?

As Louise (from Rooty Hill Jesus Club) and I were doing some writing on disability and the church, we came across the NIrV Accessible Bible. It uses the same NIrV translation that is available online and in printed Bibles, but it is physically set out in a way that is more accessible.

The aim of this version of the Bible was to make the Bible accessible to people who have a disability, without resorting to a version that may be too childish for them or hard to read and follow. 

The NIRV Accessible Bible is set in a size 16 and a suitable font. There are clear and structured verse numbers lined up on the left-hand side, rather than embedded in paragraphs, which makes the passages easy to read and follow along with. 

Even the colour and texture of the paper that this Bible is printed on makes it easier on the eyes as you read. There is also the occasional hand drawn illustration to add a nice detail to the passage you’re reading. 

As someone who does a lot of work in Biblical texts as I prepare my teaching, I found this version of the Bible not only easy to read, understand, and convey messages from, but also physically easy to read as it felt so natural to follow along. It really does make a difference to how text is laid out on the page. 

Only $10 from Koorong for the New Testament, it is well worth making a copy available for everyone who comes along to your Jesus Club and to have some spare in the church, particularly if you use the NIRV in other ministries. This would also be good for people who may have vision impairment or others who would find this layout of Bible helpful as they read.

Rev. Bec Baines is the Assistant Minister for Children and Youth at St Clement's Anglican Church, Mosman, and serves on the Jesus Club committee. She is passionate about making ministries accessible for all people and has a special interest in disability ministry.