Choosing a Bible for Kids
Can I start with a confession? I think most Bibles for kids are too childish. I’m not talking about storybook Bibles that families read for family worship - those have to keep the attention of the whole family for story time and I love their creativity. No, I’m talking about full-text Bibles that have just as much non-Biblical text as Scripture. With maps, crossword puzzles, and temporary Bible hero tattoos on the inside cover. Ok, maybe there aren’t any with tattoos inside (yet), but you get my point.
It's easy to think of your kid’s Bible as either part-entertainment or part-heirloom, but I don’t think either approach is the best way to view the Word of God.
When your elementary schooler has learned to read proficiently, getting them a Bible of their own is a special moment. The child has a feeling of growing up, becoming more like their parents, and is excited to own his or her copy of God’s Word. And as their parent, you are seeing your little arrow grow up! They can now read and begin to understand eternal truths, timeless wisdom, and the gospel itself without being completely dependent on you spoon-feeding it to them. As the primary disciplemaker in your home, this is important stuff!
So as you choose the best Bible for your kids, think of their Bible as the eternal Word of God that we pray will receive daily wear & tear fitting for a kid their age. I hope these four 4 decision-making factors are helpful as you are choosing a Bible for your kids:
- Translation Alignment
- There are two areas within the church that can be helpful to align with your kid’s Bible translation: the sermon and the kids ministry. While Pastor J.D. enjoys using both the ESV and the CSB in his preaching, the Summit Kids ministry has aligned all our content with the ESV. That includes Family Worship resources, Awana, and summer programming like VBS and Kids Camp. When your kid brings their Bible to participate in a church gathering, we want the words to match up.
- At this point, almost any translation you choose will be using relevant English language. So before you buy that King James version with the Precious Moments on the front, check to see if your kid will be able to comprehend the type of language that’s being employed.
- We don’t want to distract our kids from Scripture, but we do want God’s Word to be an attractive part of their life. This begins and ends with God’s work in their life, but it would be foolish of us to ignore the fact that the gift wrapping helps us get excited about the gift. Buy something you think your kid will treasure for its aesthetic value as the gift wrapping to it’s eternal gift.
- Realistic Lifespan
- If an elementary schooler is using something every day, there is a realistic lifespan for any item. We want to honor God’s Word and take care of it, but we also want to read it! Don’t scare your kids away from loving their Bible by acting like they can barely touch it. When you buy a Bible for your bright-eyed and bushy-tailed reader, consider the fact that if all goes right then you’ll probably need another copy in a couple years.
No matter what Bible you ultimately choose for your kids, I pray they develop a delight for God’s Word that anchors them throughout their life (Psalm 1). Whether it’s through family worship, a daily quiet time with their own Bible, Awana, joining you for home gatherings in this season, or a combination of all those things, we desire to partner with you to stuff Scripture into the hearts of your kids.