4Abel had faith. So he offered to God a better sacrifice than Cain did. Because of his faith Abel was praised as a godly man. God said good things about his offerings. Because of his faith Abel still speaks. He speaks even though he is dead.
7Noah had faith. So he built an ark to save his family. He built it because of his great respect for God. God had warned him about things that could not yet be seen. Because of his faith he showed the world that it was guilty. Because of his faith he was considered right with God.
8Abraham had faith. So he obeyed God. God called him to go to a place he would later receive as his own. So he went. He did it even though he didn’t know where he was going. 9Because of his faith he made his home in the land God had promised him. He was like an outsider in a strange country. He lived there in tents. So did Isaac and Jacob. They received the same promise he did. 10Abraham was looking forward to the city that has foundations. He was waiting for the city that God planned and built.
11Abraham had faith. So God made it possible for him to become a father. He became a father even though he was too old. Sarah also was too old to have children. But Abraham believed that the One who made the promise was faithful. 12Abraham was past the time when he could have children. But many children came from that one man. They were as many as the stars in the sky. They were as many as the sand on the seashore. No one could count them.
13All those people were still living by faith when they died. They didn’t receive the things God had promised. They only saw them and welcomed them from a long way off. They openly said that they were outsiders and strangers on earth.
14People who say things like that show that they are looking for a country of their own. 15What if they had been thinking of the country they had left? Then they could have returned to it. 16Instead, they longed for a better country. They wanted one in heaven.
So God is pleased when they call him their God. In fact, he has prepared a city for them.
17Abraham had faith. So he offered Isaac as a sacrifice. That happened when God put him to the test. Abraham had received the promises. But he was about to offer his one and only son. 18God had said to him, “Your family line will continue through Isaac.” (Genesis 21:12) Even so, Abraham was going to offer him up. 19Abraham believed that God could raise the dead. In a way, he did receive Isaac back from death.
24Moses had faith. So he refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. That happened after he had grown up. 25He chose to be treated badly together with the people of God. He chose that instead of enjoying sin’s pleasures for a short time. 26He suffered shame because of Christ. He thought it had great value. He considered it better than the riches of Egypt. He was looking ahead to God’s reward.
28Because of his faith he was the first to keep the Passover Feast. He commanded the people of Israel to sprinkle blood on their doorways. He did it so that the destroying angel would not touch their oldest sons.
32What more can I say? I don’t have time to tell about all the others. I don’t have time to talk about Gideon, Barak, Samson and Jephthah. I don’t have time to tell about David, Samuel and the prophets. 33Because of their faith they took over kingdoms. They ruled fairly. They received the blessings God had promised. They shut the mouths of lions. 34They put out great fires. They escaped being killed by the sword. Their weakness was turned to strength. They became powerful in battle. They beat back armies from other countries.
35Women received their dead back. The dead were raised to life again. Others were made to suffer greatly. But they refused to be set free. They did that so that after death they would be raised to a better life.
36Some were laughed at. Some were whipped. Still others were held by chains. They were put in prison. 37Some were killed with stones. They were sawed in two. They were put to death by the sword. They went around wearing the skins of sheep and goats. They were poor. They were attacked. They were treated badly. 38The world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains. They lived in caves. They lived in holes in the ground.
39All of those people were praised because they had faith. But none of them received what God had promised. 40God had planned something better for us. So they would only be made perfect together with us.
About New International Reader’s Version (1998)
The New International Reader’s Version (NIrV) was developed to help early readers understand the Bible. Begun in 1992, the NIrV is a simplification of the New International Version (NIV). The NIrV uses shorter words and sentences so that those with a typical fourth grade reading level can comprehend what they are reading. The chapters have been separated into shorter sections and most have titles that clearly indicate what the section is all about. The NIrV will be a valuable translation to those for whom English is a second language. The NIrV still relies on the best and oldest copies of the Hebrew and Greek manuscripts for its translation, guaranteeing that those who read it are getting the actual Word of God.
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