Being a father of three children and a pastor, I take my children’s spiritual life seriously. After all, Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” As important as it is to be a part of a church that has a good children’s program, I cannot fully rely on the church to cultivate my children’s spiritual life. It’s first and foremost my responsibility.
In fact, when you look at Joshua 1:8 and Deut 6:4-9, you discover the critical connection between Bible reading and a child’s spiritual life.
Joshua 1:8 – This book of instruction must not depart from your mouth; you are to recite it day and night so that you may carefully observe everything written in it. For then you will prosper and succeed in whatever you do
Deut 6:4-9 – Listen, Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is One. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. These words that I am giving you today are to be in your heart. Repeat them to your children. Talk about them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Bind them as a sign on your hand and let them be a symbol on your forehead. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
So my hope, through this post, is to help you navigate through the plethora of children’s Bibles out there. Now obviously, this isn’t all there is, but I do believe that this is a good sampling.
When you look at the image above, I’ve plotted the Bibles according to their difficulty/maturity level and the level of engagement that my children displayed when I read it to them. As a father and a pastor, a good children’s Bible does not only have to be theologically accurate, but it also must convey the Scriptures in an engaging manner at the right maturity level.
So here are my reviews:
- Baby’s First Bible: As a board book, the stories are simple and are intended for infants. It’s a quick read and introduces infants to the Bible stories. Since each story rhymes, I ended up creating songs for each story that my children still remember to this day.
- The Story for Little Ones: The details in each Bible story are glossed over, since this Bible is for young children. It’s well illustrated though, and will keep your children under three years old engaged. There is also a one line summary of each Bible story at the end of each chapter.
- The Story for Children: This is from the same brand line as The Story for Little Ones; it’s just intended for older children. Each Bible story goes into greater detail and the illustrations are quite mature and artistic.
- The Jesus Storybook Bible: I’m not the biggest fan of the illustrations, but I do love how each chapter was written. Every chapter points towards Jesus and it has helped my children understand how Jesus is at the center of it all.
- Jesus Calling Bible Storybook: This is similar to The Jesus Storybook Bible, in that every story points towards Jesus, but what I most enjoy about this one are the short devotionals after each chapter that help my children apply what they’ve just read.
- The Big Picture Interactive Bible Storybook: This is the most comprehensive children’s Bible and the authors have done a good job with Bible accuracy, as well as summing up each story in a page. This, like a few of the other children’s Bibles, also points the reader to Jesus, but it takes it one step further. Not only is there a “Christ Connection” component to each chapter, but there’s also a summary “Big Picture Question and Answer,” that helps me ensure that my children understand the point of the chapter. The best part of this Bible is the augmented reality app where the characters pop out and the chapter is summarized via the app.
- For Such a Time as This: What’s unique about this book is that it focuses on the stories of the women in the Bible, and it’s written for girls. The authors take quite a bit of creative license as they retell each Bible story, but I didn’t find any theological errors. What I’ve enjoyed most about this Bible is the fact that there’s a page at the end of each chapter that summarizes the lesson and presents it as a long-form prayer that I can directly pray over my daughters.
- The Power Bible: This is, by far, the most engaging children’s Bible. Since it’s illustrated as a comic book, I’ve seen my children take it and read it by themselves. In addition, when I read it to my children, they just seem to be drawn into the Scriptures in a way that none of the other Bibles seem to do. The only down side is that you need to buy 10 volumes to get the entire Bible in this form.
- The Big Picture Interactive Bible: This is the only full-length Bible that I’ve reviewed here. However, what I enjoy about it is that it is very similar to The Big Picture Interactive Bible Storybook, with notes that point children to understand the bigger Christ picture, as well as questions and answers that help them with their engagement and comprehension. And you also have the augmented reality app with this Bible as well!
I hope that helps and that you make it a priority to read the Scriptures with your children daily.