Trying to pick out your child’s first real Bible, can feel like trying find a ball in a ball pit. There are so many options, it can be hard to know where to begin. Today, I want to share with you my top five Bible for kids: (If you are looking for children’s Bibles checkout my reads page here)
If your kids have grown up reading the Big Picture Story Bible, they will like the Big Picture Bible. This English Standard Version (ESV) translation is full of illustrations taken from the Big Picture Story Bible. Some are a full two pages. Other are nestles within the text. All of them are tied directly to a verse or surround passage. And as an added bonus, all the chapter headings are printed in pink or purple. As your children read the Bible, they will love the colorful pages.
The Bible’s negative qualities are related to the fact that it has no notes, maps, or articles. The Bible does not help children study the Bible. And kids could outgrow the childish format of the Bible quickly.
With that being said, the Bible is still a great option for preschoolers and younger grade schoolers, especially since more and more pastors are starting to preach out of the ESV. It is by far the most colorful edition of the ESV to date. Click here to learn more
The team at Lifeway has infused its popular Gospel Project Bible Sunday school curriculum into this colorful Bible. Available in either the New King James Version (NJKV) or Holman Christian Standard Verision (HCSV), this Bible is full of notes, pictures, maps, questions, and diagrams that help children understand how all of the Bible is connected to Christ. And the editors also included sections that highlight key verses to memorize, that offer definitions for “Big Words,” and encourage kids to see how Old Testament relates to the New Testament through “Seeing the Big Picture.” The Bible is stuffed with great content, colorful illustrations, and pictures of historical artifacts. Both older preschoolers and grade school students alike will find this Bible engaging and helpful.
The one down side with the Big Picture Interactive Bible is that it is not available as in the ESV. But it is still worth a look as both the NJKV and the HCSV can be easily read by kids. Click here to learn more.
If you have a child who regularly ask questions about Christianity and the Scriptures, this is the Bible for them. This HCSV Bible contains over 120 articles from authors like Ravi Zacharias that tackle topics such as, “Does the Bible Endorse Slavery, Why are There So Many Translations of the Bible, Are UFO’s Real, Does The Bible Demean Women,” and many more. Keeping in line with traditional study Bible, each page of this Bible contains notes that help the reader better understand the context and meaning of the Scriptures above. As your kids keep flipping through this Bible, they will also come across great personal stories, famous quotes, and twisted scripture sections, where the editors of the Bible address various misuses of God’s word. The Bible is designed for older grade school and junior high students.
The one negative is that the Bible is only available in the HCSV. But if you have a questioner or a child seeking to gain ownership of their faith, they will greatly benefit from having this Bible on their shelve! Click here to learn more.
If you are looking to get your child his or her first study Bible, consider this ESV Bible. It is packed with tons of Bible study notes that help explain translation issue and the meaning of the text, several maps, a few illustrations and book introductions. The Bible has its pages dotted with the profiles of famous men and women in the Bible and “Did You Know” text boxes that help children understand the historical context of various Scriptures such as when the Solomon compares his love to “a mare among Pharaoh’s chariots.” At the back of the Bible students will find a section dealing with how to study the Bible, another section on important Christian Truths, a glossary, and a concordance. The ESV Student Study Bible is a great starter Bible for grade school and older students. And if you have a child who likes color, they will like the fact that this Bible comes in bright orange, blue, green, purple, and a host of other options.
The one negative with this bible is the notes have been abbreviated from the ESV study Bible, causing one to wonder, “Why not just get my child and ESV study Bible?” But that concern aside, this is still a great Bible that will assist kids in their attempt to fully understand and apply the Scriptures. Click here to learn more.
At the end of the day, the most important thing about the Bible we select for our kids is the text. We need to give them a word for word translation. Translations like the NKJV, ESV, or HCSV and others would qualify because they to translate the ancient text as accurately as possible, avoiding editorial comments. While the notes in the Bibles above can be helpful, they transforming power of the Scriptures is found in God’s Word and not in our commentaries upon it. If you get your kid a simple black and white pew Bible, they will be fine. But if you want to get them a Bible already pre-equipped with some study tools checkout the ones above! Click here to learn more.