UK (MNN) — Everyone deserves to know the message of hope found in God’s Word. But the reality is, even those who have the Bible in their own language can’t always fully experience it.
In the UK, there are 1.5 million people with learning disabilities. That’s why Biblica, along with partners Livability, Torch Trust, and Urban Saints, created the New International Reader’s Version Accessible Edition, an easy-to-comprehend version of God’s Word that allows those with learning disabilities to understand God’s truth for themselves. After three years of work, Biblica recently released a New Testament in the UK.
Pete Winmill, who partnered with Biblica on the project, explains, “The challenge when speaking with Biblica was to say that we need a version that looks like an adult Bible — not a childish Bible, not a child-friendly Bible in that sense — but a Bible that is laid out in such a way where the font is a decent size, where the language is simple, where there are pictures that are adult pictures, and not like in a children’s Bible.”
The Accessible Bible features shorter and simpler sentences, as well as larger text for those with poor sight. The goal is to help people with learning disabilities experience God’s Word while not embarrassing them.
“The only thing I can give to adults who might be from the age of 20 up to the age of 90 might be a children’s Bible,” Winmill says. “And that’s demeaning. That’s not who they are. They are adults with life expectancy and life understanding that is far greater than we often give them credit for.”
The project is more than just improving accessibility to God’s Word. It’s part of a larger initiative to help the Church recognize the importance of being inclusive.
“I can quote a young lady that I know that has a mild learning disability. She’s able to read, but not fluently,” Winmill says. “She said it was such a thrill that at last, she could hold something in her hand that was an adult Bible, that she could understand most of it. She’s ordered another one for a friend of hers, because she wants them to get to know what the Bible says as well, and not what other people tell them.
“So she’s already become an evangelist in that sense to say, ‘Look, I love Jesus, I love what he has to say to us, and I want others to know about that too.’ And hey, if most of us went to church with that same attitude, what a difference that would be.”
Do you know someone who could benefit from this resource? Click here to order a copy for yourself or someone you know.
Biblica is also currently raising funds to create an Old Testament Accessible Edition as well. You can donate to this project by clicking here.