Parenting Challenges

The Best Children’s Bible

As Christian parents, it’s part of our biblical calling to teach our children the Bible. But jumping right in can be challenging, unless we have an age-appropriate translation. So what is the best children’s Bible?

We’ll explore some options below as well as other resources to help grow your children’s knowledge of the Bible.

image of child reading best children's bible

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Best Children’s Bible

Picking out the best children’s bible for your kid’s age and stage is important. Here’s a short story that helps explain why.

A mom friend of mine shared that her six year old had asked her, “How do you gouge someone’s eyes out?” When her mom asked where she had heard of such a thing, it was discovered that she had read about it in the story of Sampson and Delilah. She decided to find a more age appropriate bible for her 6 year old!

Personally I am a fan of teaching about Jesus first, and most Christian leaders recommend starting in the gospels no matter what your age. For your child, the gospel message should come first through the way you engage with them, even before they have or understand words.

As they come to understand language, it’s important to put words to the kindness, gentleness, self-control, etc they see in you. You can then share how this is the way of Jesus who has helped formed these qualities in you. Below I share some of my personal favorites for ages and stages.

As Christian parents, it's our calling to teach our children scripture. Here's some of my top recommendations for children's Bibles.#childrensBible #Christian Click To Tweet

Best Bibles for Toddlers

I’m a big fan of smaller board books for the littlest ones. Paper pages are quickly destroyed by kids under 4. We like our fuzzy covered tiny bear Bible. For the holidays I like taking some extra time to review The Story of Christmas and The Easter Story books individually. They’re best sized for the little ones’ short attention spans.

Best Bibles for Preschoolers

image of best bible for preschoolers with a teacher reading

There are some great options for preschoolers. I feel like this is where children’s Bibles really start to shine. The best in my opinion (and many others) is the Jesus Story Book Bible!

The Jesus Storybook Bible is narrative, full of pictures, and ideal for preschool to elementary aged kids. Every story points back to Jesus.

If you choose to, you can read one story a day over advent starting December 1st. And this will lead you up to the Christmas story on December 25th.

God Made All Of Me is not a bible, but a biblical book celebrating God as creator and our bodies as His special creation. It does a great job explaining body boundaries and is an important biblical lesson to teach preschoolers.

Beware that the content written to parents is heavier and appropriate only for parents. I recommend not leaving it unattended for the more advanced readers to explore on their own.

It basically talks about protecting your children from predators. Important, but could scare a younger child.

For more ideas on little kid Bibles, Kingdom Bloggers has a great list of 10 bibles for babies and toddlers.

Best Bibles for Elementary Aged Kids

For early readers the International Children’s Bible and Easy to Read translations of the Bible will be the easiest for your children to digest.

The International Children’s Bible Translation

The International Children’s Bible Translation (ICB) is the first Bible translation made specifically for children. It’s written at a 3rd grade reading level. The Easy to Read version (ERV), which I prefer, is written at a 4th grade reading level.

The ERV is what I chose for my Bible study discussion guide: Growing In Christ: Lessons from the Parables for Kids. So obviously I think it’s a pretty great translation too. ICB & ERV are fairly interchangeable, but I feel ERV is more accurate.

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Best Children's Bible

The Authentic Youth Bible is a popular choice in the ERV and includes 164 pages of additional Bible study material, 24 colour topic based inserts covering subjects such as relationships, peer pressure and trusting God and 275 ‘Insights’ which help explain the meaning and context of key passages.

This ICB translated Bible is intended for younger elementary kids. It has a hard cover and comes with additional resources to help kids understand it. This includes resource pages, maps, and colorful illustrations.

Scripture Lessons for Older Kids

If you’d like a good book to help disciple your preteen or teen, check out my Bible study discussion guide, Growing in Christ: Lessons from the Parables for Kids!

It’s geared for kids about 8 years old and older. The short lessons make it great for a family devotional time, too.

The guide draws kids to learn and apply lessons from the parables, especially in building Christ-like qualities and character.

Best Children’s Bible Apps

Children love screens. Sometimes it’s more appealing to them to connect with the Bible via an app.

My two favorite apps are FREE! They have interactive Bible stories kids can engage with and learn.

Bible for Kids by Life Church
Superbook Kids Bible by the Christian Broadcasting Network

Some Final Thoughts on the Best Children’s Bible

As we teach our children the Bible, it’s important we discuss it with them and ask questions. No matter which version or story Bible you read, discussing the Word will help them process and personalize it.

Getting the best children’s Bible doesn’t guarantee your child will come to a full understanding of faith. Faith is meant to be built in loving community, with discipleship and prayer. It requires effort and intention on our part as parents.

If you enjoyed this post, you’ll also like:

7 Godly Parenting Principles

How to Teach Kids of Biblical Integrity

The True Meaning of Repentance

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Christina Dronen

Christian mom who practices gentle parenting. Author of the Parenting In Christ Bible study discussion guides.

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  1. Emily | To Unearth says:

    While I don’t have kids of my own yet, I have thought about this concept! The Bible certainly doesn’t hold back on some gruesome details! These are wonderful pointers you have here. 🙂

    1. Christina Dronen says:

      I definitely got a lot from the other moms. So thankful for community!

  2. Annie says:

    We love the Jesus Storybook Bible! I feel like it’s perfect for adults, too. 😉 I remember reading that the nativity story is developmentally appropriate for preschoolers, so if we focus on that alone, we’re setting a good foundation as they grow. It’s a reminder to me, too that the story of Jesus is my foundation.

    1. Christina Dronen says:

      Definitely thankful for the Jesus Storybook Bible… wish I had that growing up!

  3. Nancy E. Head says:

    A great post for a touchy subject for some. I love the way Veggie Tales has handles such stories as David and Bathsheba. There are creative ways to convey truth that are age-appropriate. Thanks for a great post! God bless!

  4. Christina Dronen says:

    I like veggie tales too! I should’ve mentioned those – but I just assume most people are familiar.

  5. Lynn says:

    My eldest sister, now almost 65, still remember the illustrated Samson bible story from her elementary days that scared her. Children sure latch on to pictures at young ages! Important resources for parents and grandparents of young children. Thank you!

    1. Christina Dronen says:

      Lynn – that’s amazing that at 65 that’s what still stands out to her. It’s too bad & a testament to the importance of keeping the Spirit and truth of Christ front and center. Christ was the bringer of peace – not fear.

  6. Melinda Viergever Inman says:

    Thank you for this, Christina! I have grandchildren, and some of these books I’ve purchased, but most I hadn’t heard about. I now know where to do my shopping! And you provided great links right to Amazon. Much appreciated!

    1. Christina Dronen says:

      You’re welcome! I wish I had known more about them when my older ones were younger!

  7. Edna Davidsen says:

    Dear Christina!
    Happy to revisit your blog. . .
    This is a topic I’ve talked with some friends about a few days ago.
    It a great idea to mean with other mums as you do and discuss these kinds matters.
    Enjoy your weekend!
    Edna Davidsen.

    1. Christina Dronen says:

      Other moms are such a treasure to have alongside me!

  8. Melissa Henderson says:

    Glad to know there are good resources to share with our grandson. 🙂 Thank you for this information.

    1. Christina Dronen says:

      You’re welcome!

  9. Nate Hultz says:

    that was great. As a pastor and a father to two three-year-olds, our whole focus right now is Jesus. We really don’t get into the Old Testament much at all because we live in the New Covenant. As they get older we will begin introducing them to it. But we want to look at the Old Testament with the lens of Christ and knowing that was designed specifically for the nation of Israel. Not them. I think then they will eventually be able to understand war, death, fighting, etc. Because they see how much God really loves us.
    Those are some good links for all of us to look at. Thank you.

    1. Christina Dronen says:

      Absolutely agree! “Through the lens of Christ” is how it’s all meant to be seen. And how can they have the lens of Christ if we don’t start there!?
      When I was really young I set out to the read the Bible w/ no guidance – so I started in Genesis “of course”.. then I’d give up by Numbers or sooner and felt like I needed to start over again. So I never made it any further. I would’ve been much more blessed if I had started in the Gospel!

  10. Marcie Cramsey says:

    Christina, I am so glad you have shared these resources with us and parents.
    In light of this topic I am reminded of what Jesus said to his disciples about what he would share with them and what he withheld, “I still have many things to tell you, but you can’t bear them now” (John‬ ‭16:12‬).
    Jesus was sensitive to what his followers could handle. As parents we must develop the same sensitivity when it comes to reading the Bible to our kids.
    We never want to rob our children of the goodness of God by leaving them with horrible pictures in their mind that they are not ready to understand.
    Nor would we want to rob them of the innoncene of childhood before they are ready to face the realities of Jeremiah 17:9.
    As our children develop we must give them God’s truth in such a way that draws them toward the Father not scare them away.
    Good read! Great topic!

    1. Christina Dronen says:

      You have such a great point here! That verse does say it well….
      “I still have many things to tell you, but you can’t bear them now” (John‬ ‭16:12‬).
      Jesus was definitely about timing and about what was appropriate or best for his listeners. I think the parables are a great example of that too.
      I do think the stories of all these things – murder, prostitution, etc are meant to be encouragement for the reader who might feel their own sin is too big to be forgiven. It’s meant to show that God uses a willing heart, not a perfect heart.
      But for children, it can be their first exposure to traumatic things. I don’t think that’s the intent of the Word – it’s the GOOD news, not the BAD news. All the darkness can become a distraction for the kids.
      It’s so strange to me the stories that have become “Children’s” Bible stories.. who decided that and when?

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