12 May 2009
Dear Zondervan Publishing,
I recently bought my daughter your Kid's Quest Study Bible, which has, you say "Real Questions, Real Answers." True, there are quite a few (500, it says) of those little boxes with interesting questions and answers. The little cartoons that go with them are cute, too.
But I think you missed a few questions. Since I started reading Genesis to my daughter (who refused to start in the Gospels, but wished to begin on the very first page of the book), she has asked some questions that I think you should include in your next edition. You wish to include real answers to the questions real kids ask, right?
Let's start off with Creation. My daughter would like to know why God used Adam's rib to make Eve, instead of dust. She would also like to know if it hurt Adam and if he then was missing a rib the rest of his life. In addition, a map showing the current whereabouts of the Garden of Eden would be helpful. Oh, and an explanation of why God made mosquitos would also be a good idea. Bugs are always good for some cartoon magic.
Another question my daughter asked was why people in Bible times lived so long...Noah lived over 900 years! Can you add that Q&A to the list?
In Genesis 17, God tells Abram to circumcise all the males in his family as a sign of the covenant. I think you missed an opportunity to address an obvious question that kids would ask, and that my daughter did ask: "What is circumcision?" With that Q&A missing, I had to offer my own explanation. I'm surprised you overlooked that question. The closest section offering a Q&A was about whether angels could look human, which, really, Zondervan? Was answered pretty well in the text itself.
Also, if you are going to use the words "made love" instead of the rather more oblique "knew" or "laid with" about the prerequisite for making babies, perhaps a little Q&A box would help curious readers. My daughter has not asked what this means yet, but we're only at Genesis 21 and I'm sure there are many more references to come.
Finally, my daughter would really like to know why God asked Abraham to kill his son. As a matter of fact, I'd like an answer to that one myself. Maybe your editors could get on that.
Thanks again for your kid-friendly Bible. I'm sure I'll be writing again with more suggestions as we progress.