Kids’ Bibles are hard to choose. The Boy wanted a “real Bible” for Christmas. We have a plethora of children’s Bible around the house, but he wanted one he could read “like mommy and daddy.”
Keith and I must have spent close to an hour at the local Christian bookstore looking through Bible for kids. There are some bad ones out there: Bibles with comic strips instead of verses, Bibles with “helps” that are essentially heretical teachings, Bibles focused on you and self-esteem instead of Christ and His glory.
We finally settled on the ESV Following Jesus Bible. If you are shopping for a Bible for your elementary aged child, here are some reasons why this Bible is a good choice.
I really prefer the 1984 NIV, but that is no longer available, and the New American Standard Version is written at a higher reading level. For your average elementary aged student, the 2001 ESV by Crossway is a solid translation. It can be trusted in the way it handles the Word, and it is easily understood and read. This Bible is a 2001 ESV.
Articles, Charts, & Maps
Beginning with an article entitled “About the Bible,” the Following Jesus Bible contains over 25 articles and charts to assist your child in their own study of God’s Word. Each article or chart thoroughly but simply explains topics such as what the Bible is, why it’s important, what different words of the prophets mean, what certain biblical phrases mean. The maps are full color and use child friendly symbols to mark small cities, large cities, travel and journey paths, mountains, and more.
Each of the 66 books has its own introduction page. These pages contain information about the book author, date, places and people found in the book, how God’s love is found throughout the book, and “God’s special message” found in the book. The special message is a very short summary, essentially, of the book’s theme. The introduction also highlights important chapters (for example, if you’re looking for the story of the dry bones, the intro to Ezekiel will tell you that it’s in chapter 37). At the bottom of each introduction page is a timeline.
Throughout the entire Bible is a timeline of events. It is found on the first page of each chapter, and it highlights major events happening throughout the course of the book. If your child loves history (or happens to be involved in a schooling program with a timeline focus), this will be a handy feature. The timeline is also laid out completely in full color in the back, by the maps.
Sprinkled liberally throughout the Bible are additional helps: explanations of frequently used phrases, pictures of items described in Scripture, answers to frequently asked questions, and my favorite, a fantastic description of law and gospel! The explanation of law and gospel are found side by side between Numbers and Deuteronomy. It is a simply written, but biblically accurate, explanation of the ultimate Good News.
Binding & Printing
We chose the faux leather cover for our son. The hardback version didn’t feel very…sturdy, and felt like it would fall apart with frequent use. The pages aren’t your typical “Bible thin” pages, but are a little more sturdy. Every page is full color; pages of just text are printed with black text with reddish-orange headings/titles. Pages that contain pictures, charts, maps, etc., are printed in full color. The colors are a beautiful muted palatte – not garrish and neon like a lot of children’s Bible. This is a very beautiful Bible that a boy wouldn’t be embarrassed to carry well into middle school, nor would a girl find it too boyish.
Our only “complaint” is the cover is very busy, and we couldn’t find a place to engrave our son’s name onto it. We settled for having his initial engraved, but I would’ve preferred his full name.
I highly recommend this Bible if your child is ready to have their own “real,” “grown up,” “full,” or whatever you might call it Bible! It is a Bible they will treasure and get much use out of for a long, long time!
Following Jesus Bible, ESV Bible, Copywright 2015, Crossway (www.crossway.org)
***this article is cross-posted today at Satisfaction Through Christ***