Children’s bible recommendations

Hi all, can anyone recommend a good children’s bible, for approx age 5+? Something that is faithful to scripture (I’m not sure what to make of all the storybook bibles?), not too simple, and also engaging with pictures etc.
Thanks in advance!

Are you asking which translation or is it more which book that is faithful to Bible stories is good?

Here are some recommendations:

Here are some I saw linked to elsewhere recently, don’t know much about them except apparently they don’t have any pictures of Christ:

1 Like

Disagree on The Jesus Storybook Bible. A children’s Bible should be faithful to the truths of Scripture. Go read the one-star reviews for a lot of examples of the terrible theology.

7 Likes

Yes we have liked the Jesus storybook Bible for our two littles. We just have to recognize that for their age, there is no real good substitute for the Word of God itself.

1 Like

Thanks Nathan - the latter

I like the Read N Grow Picture Bible. I wouldn’t call it perfect but the best I found. It’s what my daddy read to me. The story of the Bible is divided into about 150 different stories, each told in 12 panels of text with a realistic picture.

I’ve tried to upload some pictures here…

Edit: One is sideways… Sorry. That’s Creation, Crucifixion, Revelation.

My favorite story bible for older kids is The Big Picture Story Bible by David Helm. It isn’t a traditional story bible in that it contains lots of episodic stories - rather it tells the whole story of the Bible and God’s plan of redemption through each story. It does have pictures of Jesus (I think every story bible does except Read Aloud Bible Stories - also excellent but geared more for ages 2-4), but they’re respectful and still have Jesus looking like a man.

We also really enjoy The Biggest Story by Kevin DeYoung. It isn’t as thorough a book as The Big Picture, but it is fun and has gorgeous pictures.

Our kids are ages 9, 7, 6, and 4, and we alternate in family devotions between reading a story bible for the younger ones, or a book of the Bible for the older kids.

5 Likes

I want to echo and reinforce my wife’s comment above about the Jesus Storybook Bible. Nope, nope, nope. Just watch a Disney movie and save yourself some time. The theology is just baaaaaaaad. I list several problems below:

"But all the stars and the mountains and oceans and galaxies and everything were nothing compared to how much God loved his children. He would move heaven and earth to be near them. Always. Whatever happened, whatever it cost him, he would always love them.”

Simply not true. No mention of hell at all in the entire JSBB. The fall of man is represented as Eve questioning, “Does God love me?” They ate the fruit, “And a terrible lie came into the world. It would never leave. It would live on in every human heart, whispering to everyone of God’s children, ‘God doesn’t love me’.”

There are many, many, many more issues with this kids bible. Just don’t.

5 Likes

The Biggest Story is great, although my children call it The Snake Crusher(from the subtitle). It’s main strength is that all the biggest points of the bible are included in a way that is true(unlike the sentamentalized version of some story/children’s bibles), memorable, and connected. This helps children see the connection between Adam and Abraham, or Adam, Abraham, and us.

We’ve gone through it several times, and if ever I read from it, my 4 year old will beg me to finish by reading about the garden before the fall and the New Heavens and the New Earth. She loves the description of life without sin and evil.

2 Likes

The Biggest Story is also available in animated movie form on iTunes. Our kids have watched it dozens of times.

1 Like

Regarding the Jesus Storybook Bible, well, I don’t think it’s being given a fair shake.

Pretty much every “children’s Bible” is going to have significant shortcomings. The very fact that you’re taking God’s words and editing them for length & content is going to affect things a lot. How and what you teach, however, is going to have a lot more to do with how your children turn out. If you are aware to a given Bible story book’s shortcomings, you can fill in the gaps.

We have a couple of “children’s Bibles”, and the Jesus Storybook Bible is the best of the bunch.

My oldest got the Beginner’s Bible from the doctor who delivered him, and while I’m grateful for a doctor who put his beliefs out there, that book isn’t good for much more than telling stories. There’s nearly no theological content. I noted, in particular, that except for the story of the Garden, the topics of sin and repentance are untouched.

In comparison, the Jesus Storybook Bible has theology woven throughout. Sin and repentance, Christ as propitiation for the sins of the world-- these are constants of the Jesus Storybook Bible. It has shortcomings, yes. Whenever I get to the story of Joseph, I always add in the line “What you meant for evil, God meant for good.” I do this because it’s so important that my children understand why there is evil in the world and that God is working good through it all.

So no, hell doesn’t get a direct mention, and that is a significant gap you will have to fill in. However, as I said, sin is a constant theme, and so there is opportunity to fill in the gaps.

If you want a Bible with no editing, well, you’re pretty much stuck with your ESV, or something of that ilk. However, if you use a children’s Bible for a time and for a purpose, to provide some education, to familiarize your children with the Biblical metanarrative, and/or to provoke discussion, the Jesus Storybook Bible is a good choice. Just don’t let it be their only Bible.

1 Like

Children young enough for the JSB are not really old enough to grasp biblical theology in my experience. So give them the stories right now. They can understand those. And make them accurate. Then later you can teach them biblical theology by connecting the stories together.

Plus, you don’t want it to be a man-centered biblical theology, which is what that quote above is.

1 Like

What is that a quote of? I don’t see anybody saying that in this thread.

This is what I was referring to, @KDulcimer:

I’m just not convinced that’s good biblical theology. It’s been a while since I read from the JSBB. I think we got rid of ours within the last year. But my memory is that it’s a lot of that lovey-dovey overly-sentimentalized and emotional God. That generally means we are making the story about us, even while we’re talking about Him. That’s what I feel like that quote does.

6 Likes

Words cannot describe how much I dislike the JSBB. It’s wishy-washy treacle. I’m so glad to discover others think so too. Everyone else in my church thinks it’s fabulous.

4 Likes

We’re on our second time through with The Child’s Story Bible and I really like it. 5 may be a little young for that book though.

That’s what we use as well. 5 isn’t easy, but it works if you work at it.