Guarding the Treasure by Linda Finlayson is a new release from Christian Focus Publications. It is part of the ‘Defenders of the Faith’ series for children. Linda has a lovely clear style that children will enjoy either reading alone, with an adult or as part of a group activity. I thought the book provided a wealth of information, and is a fantastic resource for parents, home-schoolers, Sunday School teachers and children’s workers.
Each chapter outlines chronologically the history of how the Bible has been preserved and accurately translated for the people from the earliest time of its writing right up to present day. Included at the end of most chapters is additional complementary information, which sheds extra light on the chapter. This information could easily be adapted into fun craft activities and helpful quizzes by children’s workers or Sunday School teachers. At the very end of the book are appropriate maps from the different time periods covered throughout the book, a comprehensive glossary and a bibliography.
The book opens with an account of the newly-translated Balangao New Testament being delivered by aeroplane to the Philippines in 1982. From this thought-provoking beginning, Linda introduces some of the main writers of the Bible, outlining their stories. In the next chapter, she explains in simple terms how the Early Church Fathers agreed, with the aid of the Holy Spirit, which writings to include in the Canon of Scripture. In the fourth century, the monk Jerome saw the need for people to have access to the Bible in their own language, and carefully translated from the original Greek into the commonly-spoken Latin. This translation is called the Vulgate. For hundreds of years, monks faithfully copied out the Scriptures by hand. Then came the Reformation and the urgent need for a new translation of the Bible for the common people, since only bishops and priests read Latin. In the late eighteenth century, a new need arose: the Bible was readily available in English to anyone who desired to own or read it, but God laid on the hearts of men like William Carey the need to translate it so that people in other countries could read it in their own language. The book ends with Cameron Townsend founding the Wycliffe Bible Translators, a mission organisation which continues its great work of Bible translation even today.
Guarding the Treasure is an excellent book, very well researched and put together. Although it is written for children, people of any age would greatly benefit from reading it. I can highly recommend it.
Christian Focus Publications provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for the purposes of review.