Children’s Ministry Magazine’s 2016 Children’s Bible Review


Looking for a great children’s Bible your kids will love? Let the experts guide you with this children’s Bible review with the 17 best children’s Bibles available now!

The children in your ministry will cherish the Bible you give them. They’ll refer back to it for years and keep it into adulthood. A children’s Bible is truly one of the greatest gifts you’ll give to children. No doubt, you’ve searched for a great first Bible or for one to stock your ministry shelves. It’s a big decision— so you want to choose wisely.

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We’ve rounded up Bible editors, publishers, and ministry experts to help inform your decisions about which children’s Bible is the best for the kids in your ministry.



TheBeginnersBibleThe Beginners Bible A classic children’s storybook Bible designed to help little ones and emerging readers learn about God’s Word and prepare them for being able to read a full text Bible on their own. Ages 6 and under. (Zondervan) $16.99



Deep Blue Bible Storybook This Bible Storybook contains 146 stories written in language young readers can understand. Ages 3 to 6. (Cokesbury) $21.99



Jesus Calling Bible Storybook These carefully selected stories are paired with new children’s devotions from Sarah Young and will help young hearts understand God’s grand plan to send his Son, Jesus, to save his children and prepare a place for us in heaven. Ages 3 to 7. (Thomas Nelson) $16.99


JesusStorybookThe Jesus Storybook Bible is a classic for young and old readers alike can read. The Jesus Storybook Bible invites children to join in the greatest of all adventures, to discover for themselves that Jesus is at the center of God’s great story of salvation—and at the center of their Story too. Ages 4 to 8. (ZonderKidz) $17.99



My First Hands-On Bible for Kids Uses experience-based learning to communicate God’s Word in an active, understandable way. Ages 6 to 12. (Tyndale/Group) $29.99



NIrV Read With Me Bible Action-packed with full-color art, this storybook Bible contains Old and New Testament sections and brings 106 best-loved Bible stories to life. Ages 4 to 8. (ZonderKidz) $16.99


Pray and Play Bible for Young Children This Bible story and activity book is certain to become a classic! 14 favorite Bible stories are beautifully bound in a large 9×12 hardcover complete with four-color artwork throughout. Great for classrooms! Ages 2 to 5. (Group) $21.99



Read With Me Bible for Toddlers Vibrant, action-packed full-color art by Dennis Jones brings 24 of the Bible’s best-loved stories to life. Ages 2 to 5. (ZonderKidz) $12.99



Airship Genesis Kids Study Bible This brings Bible stories to life and helps kids discover vital truths from Scripture with real-life applications for children living in today’s world. Ages 7 to 11. (Thomas Nelson) $29.99


BigDreamsBig Dreams Big Prayers Bible An NIV Bible that also helps guide children in learning how to pray and discovering the use of prayer mentioned throughout the Bible. Ages 6 to 12. (Zondervan) $29.99


BraveGirlBrave Girls Holy Bible A wonderful new Bible created just for girls ages 7 to 10 that strives to pour the love and truth of God’s Word into their lives. Ages 7 to 10. (Thomas Nelson) $24.99



The CEB Student Bible A Bible by and for young people that invites them into deeper forms of both personal holiness and social holiness. Helps them make connections between the world of the Bible and their own world. Ages 11 and up. (Cokesbury) $29.99


DeepBlueKidsBibleDeep Blue Kids Bible This engaging, interactive Bible offers four-color icons and illustrations throughout with a wealth of notes, devotionals, Bible trivia, and other interactive elements to capture inquisitive young minds. Ages 7 to 11. (Cokesbury) $22.99


HOBHands-On Bible for Kids Uses experience-based learning to communicate God’s Word in an active, understandable way. Ages 6 to 12. (Tyndale/Group) $29.99


MineCraftersMinecrafters Bible An NIrV translation Bible that draws on the popularity of online video games to capture the interest of young gamers who like to see their favorite Bible stories come alive in images that re ect their favorite video game. Ages 6 to 12. (Zondervan) $24.99


ShineOnShine On: A Story Bible This Bible is for children who are and reading on their own, but who might not be ready for their own Bible. Each story in Shine On is beautifully crafted, maintaining the spirit and poetry of the biblical text in language that is fresh and engaging for children. Ages 8 to 12. (Herald Press) $24.99


UndertheSeaThe Under the Sea Bible A simple, full-text Bible with cute and fun underwater themed features that focus on God’s love and caring for his creation. Ages 6 to 10. (Zondervan) $24.99

Children’s Bible: A Family Affair

Laura Minchew is senior vice president and publisher of gift books, children’s books, and new media at Thomas Nelson.

LAURA: The key to engaging children in Scripture is to find a Bible that will relate to them. Understanding a child’s reading and comprehension level, in addition to his or her age group, will determine the best product for their needs. We have products that appeal to kids of all ages. Our Say and Pray Bible Storybook by Diane Stortz is ideal for preschoolers because it has thicker pages (ideal for little ones to turn and hold on to) and illustrations that are perfect for children up to four years old. Another great Bible storybook is the God’s Good News Bible Storybook by Billy Graham. Bible storybooks are typically designed for children up to age 7 and are beautifully illustrated, include full-color pictures and have simple language to teach key Bible stories such as Noah’s Ark, Moses and the Red Sea, Jesus’ birth, and others. For elementary aged kids, their increasing curiosity and need for information makes it an ideal time to introduce them to full-text Bibles.

CM: What are indications a specific Bible might not be a good choice?

LAURA: A good indicator that a Bible may not be a good choice is if the child does not have a comprehension level of how to use a Bible. A paraphrase of a full-text Bible is a great resource for some, but many churches only feel comfortable with a direct translation of the Bible word-for-word or thought-for-thought.

CM: What is one of the best ways to get children to read their Bibles?

LAURA: One way to get children to read their Bibles is by making it an activity for the whole family. Kids do as they see, so it is very important for them to see their parents reading their own Bibles. One other way to encourage kids to read their Bibles is by participating in Bible memory exercises and challenges in Sunday school. Kids love reaching a goal, and that way, they learn alongside their peers as well.

CM: Parents often feel overwhelmed and ill-equipped to share faith with their children. How can a children’s Bible aid in that?

LAURA: If a parent selects a Bible that contains study aids, notes, articles, and other helps…I believe these items will help equip a parent as they look for answers. If a parent is comfortable and con dent with the information they are learning for themselves, that will translate to their children and help them become excited about their faith.

Tips for Choosing a Children’s Bible

Choosing a Bible can feel overwhelming to children’s ministers and parents because there are so many. That’s why we created five questions that can guide you in choosing a Bible for children.

1. Identify the gender, age, and reading level of the child.

This will help you decide between a storybook Bible and a full-text Bible.

Storybook Bibles are designed for children ages 4 to 7 and use full-color illustrations to teach basic passages and themes from the Bible. Full-text Bibles contain the complete 66 books of the Bible, including the Old and New Testaments. Typically these Bibles are in order of Genesis through Revelation.

2. Determine how the Bible will be used.

When it comes to full-text Bibles, there are many options. Knowing how the child will use the Bible, such as for personal devotion or to follow along at church, will help you choose a Bible with features that best match the child’s needs.

3. Decide on translation.

Select a translation that best ts the child’s reading compre- hension level.

New International Version (NIV) is the most widely read translation and is known for presenting the Word of God in a language that’s easy to understand yet true to the original text (for advanced readers). New International Reader’s Ver- sion (NIrV) is a great stepping-stone translation to the NIV (for less-advanced readers). It’s ideal for emerging readers in need of simpler phrasing and shorter sentences.

4. Shop the options.

Visiting your local bookseller or Christian bookstore offers you the option to compare different Bibles side-by-side. If possi- ble, bring a child along to explore the options and nd one that’s most comfortable and appropriate for the child’s use and enjoy- ment. Knowledgeable store clerks can also help answer ques- tions and explain features during your side-by-side comparisons. If you don’t have a brick-and-mortar store nearby, you can often peruse the Bibles using the “Look Inside” option on

5. Buy and read the Bible.

This can feel like a lot of pressure, so don’t forget the good news here. Our job as ministers is not to make the Bible “come alive” for our children. As Scripture reveals in Hebrews 4:12, the Word of God is already alive and powerful. Our job is to lead children into a Bible they can relate to and then guide them in digging into God’s Word so they may experience him there. This is an honor and a privilege, so we can approach it with joy and anticipation.

JEANNIE CUNNION is the author of Parenting the Wholehearted Child and the spokesperson for the “How to Choose a Bible for Your Child” initiative from Zonderkidz.

Children’s Ministry Magazine’s 2016 Children’s Bible Review
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