This is almost embarrassing. My brother Mike convinced me that I was wrong about children’s Bibles, so I figured I would go ahead and do some research and come up with some decent recommendations regarding what kind of bible to give to a third grader.
And so I started researching.
What I have found is an amazing cornucopia of children’s Bibles! The NIrV I have been referring to is only the tip of the iceberg!
Some are completely different translations, made especially for children, like the NIrV and the International Children’s Version. Others are relatively simple translations that are marketed to all age groups, like the New Century Version. Amazingly (to me, anyway) are the children’s Bibles which use the KJV and the ESV, and the NRSV, etc. as their text, and apparently are made into children’s Bibles by adding illustrations.
Some of the more interesting children’s Bibles are those which use an established translation, but add notes to make it all understandable for the kids – literally children’s study Bibles! There are a number of them based on the NIV (Zondervan does a bang-up job on these) and include the Zondervan Student Bibles. There is what appears to be an excellent children’s study Bible based on the HCSB. Tyndale has done a nice job with one using the NLT.
There are so many! I am overwhelmed!
About all I can recommend would be to take a look at them yourself. Maybe pick one that uses a widely-accepted translation and uses good study notes to help the kids to get a good handle on what the Bible is saying to them.
I am humbled. I ain’t no expert on children’s Bibles. So for the time being, I think I will just lay my ears back against my head, put my tail down between my legs, and slink off…
But I am intrigued by what I have found. Maybe I will continue with my research, quietly, in the background, and some months from now I may resurrect this series to give you some real, educated recommendations.