For Christian parents one of the most important tasks in shepherding your child’s affections is teaching them to treasure the Scriptures. Fostering in them a love for reading the Word of God is foundational to their understanding of the Christian faith. Because of the multiplicity of options out there it’s easy to take the task of finding a reliable Bible seriously and instead just opt for whatever looks the most interesting. I obviously caution you on that approach.
Picking a Bible for your kids
When my wife and I began searching for a Bible for our boys we looked for two things.
First, we wanted a Bible that centered on Jesus. If it is true that the whole Bible is ultimately about a person then we wanted our boys (from the youngest age) to begin seeing Him in all of Scripture. This was of utmost importance to us.
Second, we wanted a Bible that introduced them to the concept of grace more than concepts of morality. Is it that we don’t desire children with good morals? Of course not, but if we raise children that have all the best morals but have missed grace what we’ve given to them is of little value.
With those things in mind here are five children’s Bibles on the shelves in 2017 that I believe accomplish these things the best. These are my picks for the best children’s bibles of 2017:
Containing 156 of Scripture’s stories, The Gospel Story Bible places the good news of Jesus front and center in every one. If you want to begin teaching your kids to see and understand the Gospel (which I believe every Christian parent should) then this is a very solid option. Unfortunately since we don’t own a copy I’ve only had the time to scan through this one a few times, otherwise I can see this being up there with our number 1 pick.
This storybook Bible is such a wonderful option for the very early years of your child’s exposure to the Scriptures. I would recommend this for children as young as one and up to three years of age. It does a great job at giving a Biblical theology and teaching the basic components of the Scriptural narrative to very young children.
The NIV Adventure Bible is another great pick for kids ages 9-12 years old. It contains the full text of Scripture and is printed in full color providing great interactive features for these young but very capable readers and learners.
The ESV Following Jesus Bible is my pick for best Bible for kids 8-12. It is full of such great content designed to help children understand and enjoy the Bible. Every few pages features a box answering the many questions about a particular text. This is basically the children’s version of the stellar ESV Study Bible. My absolute favorite part of this Bible are the “Seeing Jesus” sections showing how passages point to Jesus and “Following Jesus” sections connect the Bible with the hearts and lives of children. This is essentially the children’s version of one of my favorite Bible recommendations for adults The Gospel Transformation Bible. I know you won’t be disappointed with this kid’s Bible.
My favorite Bible storybook for kids is, without hesitation, The Jesus Storybook Bible: Every Story Whispers His Name. My wife and I have personally benefitted from this Bible and we have used this with our boys since our twin boys were born. Having gone through it three or more times now, I can honestly say that it is a wonderful and new experience every time. Whether your kids are newborns or 15 I truly believe that they will value from the reading of this Bible. Purchase the collector’s edition with CD’s here.
As a bonus I want to throw in the beautifully illustrated I Will Follow Jesus storybook Bible. While I’ve yet to pick it up, the summary description and some of what I’ve read about it has been wonderful. I think it will be the next one I pick up and read through.