Children’s Ministry Magazine’s Children’s Bible Review with the 15 best children’s Bibles for use at home or in the classroom. These are classic Bibles at a good cost!
Choosing a children’s Bible can be overwhelming these days because we have so many choices. We want kids to be steeped in the Word of God so that they might know and love the God of the Word, but which version and which style is best?
To help answer this question, the staff of Children’s Ministry Magazine requested children’s Bibles from publishers and asked me to pour over them. We considered at least 10 books in each age category, and we compared the Bibles using the same passages from each one.
Biblical content Is the Bible true to the Scriptures?
Readability Is the reading level appropriate for children? Does it use modern-day language? Is the type readable?
Ease of handling Are the cover and paper durable? Is the size of the Bible comfortable for children?
Art Is it colorful, realistic, and age appropriate? Are the maps simple and colorful?
Helps Are there any life application helps that relate the Bible to kids’ lives? Are there any Bible-knowledge tools to encourage kids as students of the Bible?
Here are the best Bibles in each age group to recommend to parents and to use in the classroom. We listed only the companies’ Web sites that have online ordering capabilities.
INFANTS TO AGE 3
The Toddlers Bible
This small, sturdy hardcover Bible by V. Gilbert Beers has 101 short stories and simple, colorful illustrations. This is a great tool for introducing little ones to the main characters and events in Scripture. Chariot Victor. Available in Kindle.
AGES 3 TO 5
The Beginners Bible
A favorite for many years now, this hardcover Bible has short sentences, easy words, and bright (though somewhat silly) illustrations. It also has an index of characters, topics, stories, and Scripture references for each story. This is a good basic story Bible with 95 stories. Zonderkidz. Available in Kindle.
My First Hands-On Bible
My First Hands-On Bible gives younger kids (ages 3-6) the same chance to experience the Bible in a way that’s just for them. One-point lessons. Bible stories told with real Scripture (the easy-to-read NLT). And fun activities that make a lasting impression on childrens’ thoughts and hearts. Group.
Pray & Play Bible for Young Children
This large hardcover book contains 14 Bible stories, each with a different style of colorful artwork. There are eight to 12 learning activities for each story that include prayer, music, memory helps, crafts, games, snacks, and service ideas. This is great for home or for a preschool class. Group.
The Early Reader’s Bible
This sturdy hardcover Bible is similar to The Beginners Bible in overall format. It includes vocabulary helps for children learning to read, and each story has review questions, thought questions, and life-application “To Do” sections. The 64 stories with short sentences and bright, cheery art make this Bible kid-friendly. Zonderkidz.
The Young Reader’s Bible
This hardcover Bible has 70 easy-to-read stories with colorful artwork kids will love. Bible helps include an index of characters, introductions to the Old and New Testaments, maps, a timeline, and a short dictionary of difficult words. Also a good choice for first graders. Standard Publishing.
GRADES 1 & 2
This paraphrased Bible for younger elementary students is written by Karen Henley. The text is presented as one story in short sections, each with a title and Scripture reference. The hardcover book is arranged chronologically so the Old Testament prophets appear among the historical books, and the Pauline letters appear in the midst of Paul’s travels. Bible helps include a timeline and an index of stories. Tyndale.
Gold & Honey Bible
This hardcover Bible has 116 short stories that are a good mix of lively, descriptive language and the actual text from Scripture. The sentences are a bit longer and some of the words harder than other story Bibles, but the illustrations are bright and whimsical. Includes a topical index. Zonderkidz.
GRADES 3 TO 6
With hundreds of fun, memorable activities (A “Do-It” activity in EVERY feature!) and the full New Living Translation text, the Hands-On Bible is packed with activities and experiences that invite kids to crawl inside the Scriptures and “do” God’s Word! Group.
New Explorer’s Study Bible for Kids
This New Living Translation Bible has Bible-knowledge and life-application tools. This hardcover, kid-friendly study Bible has key memory verses; good notes on theology, history, people, and practical Christian living; maps and illustrations; vocabulary pointers; and a dictionary/concordance. The reading level is appropriate for older elementary students. This is good for classroom and home use. Thomas Nelson.
The One Year Bible for Kids
This softcover Bible uses the readable New Living Translation in the popular passage-a-day format. The daily readings move from Genesis to Revelation with January through May focusing on the Old Testament and June through December focusing on the New Testament. Each reading includes a life-application challenge and a supporting verse. A good devotional tool for home use in helping a child get into the habit of a daily quiet time with God. Tyndale.
The Amazing Treasure Bible Storybook
This fun, creative hardcover Bible is in comic book format. It follows the Delves family on an archaeological expedition in an ancient castle complete with secret passages. A treasure map leads them to discover the truth of God’s Word and how it applies to their lives. Each section of the 90 age-appropriate Bible stories has a Bible-knowledge or life-application note and a memory verse. It also includes an index/dictionary and a personal commitment page. Zonderkidz.
The New Adventure Bible-NIV
This classic Bible is written at a junior high reading level, but many older elementary students can handle that with no problem. The excellent book introductions, memory verses, Bible and life-application helps throughout the text, maps, and a dictionary/concordance make this a good basic Bible for any use. Zonderkidz.
The Child’s Story Bible
Catherine Vos’ story Bible is written to be read aloud, and it has been a family favorite for generations. The language is old-fashioned but not stuffy. The pictures are bright and realistic, and the reading is definitely on an older-elementary level. The particular strength of this hardcover Bible is the clear emphasis on God’s redemptive purposes throughout Scripture and history. Eerdmans. Available in Kindle.
The Children’s Illustrated Bible
This Bible storybook is written on an older-elementary level, but its strength is as a reference work. Photos, drawings, maps, timelines, and charts fill the pages. It’s a treasury of historical, cultural, geographical, and archaeological information. Biblical people, places, events, buildings, clothing, worship, food, and travel all come alive in this fascinating book. This large, beautifully illustrated hardcover book would be a terrific addition to any home or classroom. DK Publishing.