Bibles for children

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Lanolin

Well-known member
Dec 15, 2018
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#1
Which Bible versions or retellings have you found are most effective for child readers?

Ages 5-11
 

dcontroversal

Senior Member
Dec 12, 2013
42,114
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#2
None......Children are way more perceptive than we give them credit for........and JESUS said suffer the children to come unto him...he did not dumb the word down for them......neither should we......

Paul said of Timothy....from a BABE in ARMS (Greek word used) he was able to understand the holy letters which were able to make him wise unto salvation
 

Lanolin

Well-known member
Dec 15, 2018
4,131
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#3
None......Children are way more perceptive than we give them credit for........and JESUS said suffer the children to come unto him...he did not dumb the word down for them......neither should we......

Paul said of Timothy....from a BABE in ARMS (Greek word used) he was able to understand the holy letters which were able to make him wise unto salvation
What so you dont even give them a bible to read? How they supoosed to read if you dont bother to give them any or read to them.
 

Mii

Well-known member
Mar 23, 2019
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#4
What so you dont even give them a bible to read? How they supoosed to read if you dont bother to give them any or read to them.
I think he's saying there should be no distinction in versions specifically geared toward children.


I'm on the fence about it. I read the Kid's Quest bible when I was a child but I didn't really do much reading in it that I recall (I just read the comics mostly) I listened to a lot of Adventures in Odyssey and went to church a lot.

Somehow I knew some pretty obscure things in scripture between the ages of 2-6 that thinking back on I would agree with @dcontroversal

Some things my mother told me and I was like "really?!?" that's something that's always been pretty special for me.

There were a lot of things I believed that when I found it scripture it was like they "opened up" a little bit and had more authority because I could use that to reference people to when I talked about it (as most of the people I was around in church recognized the authority of scripture) so yeah...I don't think they need anything specific.

But I do think reading with them is a good idea and bible stories in your own words is a good thing because we personalize how we understand language anyway. Our visualizations are all pretty different.
 

Lanolin

Well-known member
Dec 15, 2018
4,131
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#5
Ok so is it just best to give them KJV cos thats the one I have.

One church I went to the pastor always seemed to read from CEV which I thought was like a childrens bible cos thats what we were meant to use for Bibles in schools. It did sound kind of dumbed down.

When we gave out bibles I cant recall which version it was. It was new testament . I remember thinking I dont know if they will read it if its too long. Sometimes just an individual book from the bible is better than all 66 books.

If so, which one(s) . My thoughts are Genesis.
And then book of JOb.
And maybe the gospel according to Mark.

I dont know if having cartoony pictures in a normal bible appeals. And the retellings some I get annoyed with cos i know they miss out a bunch of things.

I was reading one of the zonderkids bible. But that one is a bit too simple for 6-11s.

One pastor said the Jesus storybook Bible was good.
Theres also the Big Little Bible app
And the Usborne illustrated bible..

I havent come across any that I think YES that is one that a child 6-11 would read on their own and enjoy..yet.
I know we just retell the stories but for a child to explore the bible themselves in their own reading time..what would be best.

I think many would be put off by the length of a normal bible most children wouldnt be into reading over 150 pages.

I wonder if theres any book that is just a collection of Jesus parables illustrated.
12 and older I would give them a normal bible or a gideons. See children are still learning to read at those early stages 11 years under so it shouldnt be too difficult for them.

Although at what age were children reading say harry potter and that just grew into a much longer series but the books did get longer as the series extended it didnt start off long. Not trying to compare obviously as that was fiction but the kind of chapter books and series that children can read in bite size chunks. If you tried to give them all at once it would be just too much. But they do learn by hearing and reading the stories more than abstract topics.

Am asking this because when I was that age I didnt have much exposure to the Bible at all. I do remember reading the good news bible and looking at the stick figures. My sister had a copy and me being a prodigous reader tried to read everything I could get my hands on. I didnt really grasp it though. Never went to church as a child either so missed out on all the bible stories. When I see them now I think I Wish I has read all these when I was much younger.
 

dcontroversal

Senior Member
Dec 12, 2013
42,114
14,763
113
#6
What so you dont even give them a bible to read? How they supoosed to read if you dont bother to give them any or read to them.
Who implied that we are not to read to them?....How about quote verses to them, tell them the stories of the bible....I started quoting scripture to my son from about 10 months old and continued up to this very day....and he sits in church and hears the full blown word of God preached and taught................kids do not need to be coddled.......they are smart and CAN understand the word.....sometimes better than adults that are sold out to false gospels and man made theologies......
 

fredoheaven

Senior Member
Nov 17, 2015
2,533
486
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#7
Ok so is it just best to give them KJV cos thats the one I have.

One church I went to the pastor always seemed to read from CEV which I thought was like a childrens bible cos thats what we were meant to use for Bibles in schools. It did sound kind of dumbed down.

When we gave out bibles I cant recall which version it was. It was new testament . I remember thinking I dont know if they will read it if its too long. Sometimes just an individual book from the bible is better than all 66 books.

If so, which one(s) . My thoughts are Genesis.
And then book of JOb.
And maybe the gospel according to Mark.

I dont know if having cartoony pictures in a normal bible appeals. And the retellings some I get annoyed with cos i know they miss out a bunch of things.

I was reading one of the zonderkids bible. But that one is a bit too simple for 6-11s.

One pastor said the Jesus storybook Bible was good.
Theres also the Big Little Bible app
And the Usborne illustrated bible..

I havent come across any that I think YES that is one that a child 6-11 would read on their own and enjoy..yet.
I know we just retell the stories but for a child to explore the bible themselves in their own reading time..what would be best.

I think many would be put off by the length of a normal bible most children wouldnt be into reading over 150 pages.

I wonder if theres any book that is just a collection of Jesus parables illustrated.
12 and older I would give them a normal bible or a gideons. See children are still learning to read at those early stages 11 years under so it shouldnt be too difficult for them.

Although at what age were children reading say harry potter and that just grew into a much longer series but the books did get longer as the series extended it didnt start off long. Not trying to compare obviously as that was fiction but the kind of chapter books and series that children can read in bite size chunks. If you tried to give them all at once it would be just too much. But they do learn by hearing and reading the stories more than abstract topics.

Am asking this because when I was that age I didnt have much exposure to the Bible at all. I do remember reading the good news bible and looking at the stick figures. My sister had a copy and me being a prodigous reader tried to read everything I could get my hands on. I didnt really grasp it though. Never went to church as a child either so missed out on all the bible stories. When I see them now I think I Wish I has read all these when I was much younger.
KJV is easily memorized from my standpoint. My daughter had to have more memorize verses from KJV as compared with new versions.
 

tourist

Senior Member
Mar 13, 2014
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#8
Which Bible versions or retellings have you found are most effective for child readers?

Ages 5-11
I read my daughter the Uncle Arthur series. Also good for those children that are old enough to read.
 
Jan 6, 2019
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#9
My kids have loved reading through the Action Bible. Seeing the Word in Comic book form really draws them in. One of my boys read the Action Bible through so many times, it literally fell apart...and he was constantly talking to me about the things he was learning. Now he's "graduated"to a NKJV, as have many of his siblings.
 

Mii

Well-known member
Mar 23, 2019
711
460
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#10
My kids have loved reading through the Action Bible. Seeing the Word in Comic book form really draws them in. One of my boys read the Action Bible through so many times, it literally fell apart...and he was constantly talking to me about the things he was learning. Now he's "graduated"to a NKJV, as have many of his siblings.
I went on the website but didn't see if it was based off a translation or not...is it just picture stories?
I'm considering what to give my nephews. It's nice to have options.

I think the precious moments bible is just KJV with some pictures.

I really like the idea of breaking the word down into book format (much like how the NIV did it with 4 books in a bound book) and sort of have a library. Would be good for a lot of people that just want to read. For studying obviously it would fall flat.

I don't particularly like the NIV as much anymore, I'm not going to get into theories as to why ;)
 

Angela53510

Senior Member
Jan 24, 2011
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#11
Ironically, when I was young, we only had the KJV. So, my mom gave me her Bible, and I went to Sunday School in a Baptist Church across the lane. We did memory verses every week, plus the Lord's Prayer, the 23rd Psalm and the Beatitudes. That was ages 5-8.

I knew lots about the Bible, but I never understood the plan of salvation. Probably because I didn't get all the old words. BUT, I agree with DCon, that there is never a reason to coddle kids. My experience was that I learned all those verses, and I never forgot them, even when I was far from God. Children are not stupid, in fact in a lot of ways their brains are more flexible and it is easier to learn.

I know it is in vogue to teach to the learner, but I don't think dummied down children's verses are the answer. Give them an NIV or HSBC so they can understand it, and teach them.
 

Lanolin

Well-known member
Dec 15, 2018
4,131
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#12
Ok..so no picture books?
I have seen the action Bible.

Im a bit iffy about the NIV as I was given one and it was ...Ok but a bit confusing for me. It had study notes it that were kind of distracting. I dont think I'd recommend it for 6-11 age group. I first read it in late teens and I ended up more confused.

I do think KJV is easiest to memorise.

They have things like youth bibles, but...I dont know what is youth about it aside from maybe the title and a cover thats not black.
 

Angela53510

Senior Member
Jan 24, 2011
10,742
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#13
Ok..so no picture books?
I have seen the action Bible.

Im a bit iffy about the NIV as I was given one and it was ...Ok but a bit confusing for me. It had study notes it that were kind of distracting. I dont think I'd recommend it for 6-11 age group. I first read it in late teens and I ended up more confused.

I do think KJV is easiest to memorise.

They have things like youth bibles, but...I dont know what is youth about it aside from maybe the title and a cover thats not black.
I am an adult who has read the whole Bible over 50 times, in many translations and languages. I really do not understand the KJV. The grammar is very different, often it follows Greek or Hebrew word order rather than English, and there are so many obscure words, or words that have changed their meanings.

Why would you inflict that on a child? Get a Bible that they can understand. If you want something more stilted, but also more modern, try the ESV or NASB. I don't like the NIV for unknown reasons, I have read it 2 times from cover to cover. There really is not much wrong with it, inspite of what KJV Onlyist will tell you, but it is a bit too modern and flowing for me. However, if I was giving a Bible to a child, NIV or ESV or NASB with no footnotes, so they can just read. My first Bible had chain references, and it was enough.

If a footnote tries to explain something away, that is not a proper footnote. It should talk culture, (including other nations habits and practices), exegete the word in Hebrew or4 Greek, or otherwise explain deeper, what the word means. I was amazed at the footnotes in my NET Bible in Leviticus. I didn't totally understand the OT references to the atonement and the footnotes explained a lot, and made me dig deeper. I had a footnotes NASB, and it would just repeat again what the verse said. That isn't much help, either. NET also updates the translation to modern English. Phrases that are very normal in Greek, like "he answered, saying..." or "Therefore, but.." which is also saying the same thing are not good English. I agree with the choice, but there are literally thousands of those small changes, and the NET makes mention of every single time. I think that is over the top, although it is accurate.
 

SpoonJuly

Senior Member
Feb 16, 2018
1,323
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#14
I am an adult who has read the whole Bible over 50 times, in many translations and languages. I really do not understand the KJV. The grammar is very different, often it follows Greek or Hebrew word order rather than English, and there are so many obscure words, or words that have changed their meanings.

Why would you inflict that on a child? Get a Bible that they can understand. If you want something more stilted, but also more modern, try the ESV or NASB. I don't like the NIV for unknown reasons, I have read it 2 times from cover to cover. There really is not much wrong with it, inspite of what KJV Onlyist will tell you, but it is a bit too modern and flowing for me. However, if I was giving a Bible to a child, NIV or ESV or NASB with no footnotes, so they can just read. My first Bible had chain references, and it was enough.

If a footnote tries to explain something away, that is not a proper footnote. It should talk culture, (including other nations habits and practices), exegete the word in Hebrew or4 Greek, or otherwise explain deeper, what the word means. I was amazed at the footnotes in my NET Bible in Leviticus. I didn't totally understand the OT references to the atonement and the footnotes explained a lot, and made me dig deeper. I had a footnotes NASB, and it would just repeat again what the verse said. That isn't much help, either. NET also updates the translation to modern English. Phrases that are very normal in Greek, like "he answered, saying..." or "Therefore, but.." which is also saying the same thing are not good English. I agree with the choice, but there are literally thousands of those small changes, and the NET makes mention of every single time. I think that is over the top, although it is accurate.
I am not a KJV only, But I have never had any trouble understanding the KJV.
Maybe you are just over educated.;)
I do have trouble with other translations. Seems that some passages give a different meaning than the KJV.
Maybe I am under educated.
 

Angela53510

Senior Member
Jan 24, 2011
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#15
I am not a KJV only, But I have never had any trouble understanding the KJV.
Maybe you are just over educated.;)
I do have trouble with other translations. Seems that some passages give a different meaning than the KJV.
Maybe I am under educated.
No, I am both! I am overeducated, in that I need to understand the grammar, to check it. I need to have words mean what they mean in our current English.

So, that also makes me undereducated. I have never taken a course on Shakespearean grammar, I do not know how to conjugate the 2nd person singular, which doesn't exist in contemporary English. For French and German, I have books called "Bescherelles" which gives me all the verb forms. I have Mounce's Morphology for Greek, and some tools for Hebrew. And really, why would I want to spend time and energy memorizing verb forms for KJ English? I would rather work on Greek, or learn Spanish better. (I have a Spanish Bescherelle, too!)

My personal opinion is that all the people saying they understand the KJV so well, really don't know much about grammar or vocabulary, and just skip over the parts they don't understand. I want to understand ALL of God's word, so I will stick to a modern version, and supplement it with the Greek and Hebrew.
 

SpoonJuly

Senior Member
Feb 16, 2018
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#16
No, I am both! I am overeducated, in that I need to understand the grammar, to check it. I need to have words mean what they mean in our current English.

So, that also makes me undereducated. I have never taken a course on Shakespearean grammar, I do not know how to conjugate the 2nd person singular, which doesn't exist in contemporary English. For French and German, I have books called "Bescherelles" which gives me all the verb forms. I have Mounce's Morphology for Greek, and some tools for Hebrew. And really, why would I want to spend time and energy memorizing verb forms for KJ English? I would rather work on Greek, or learn Spanish better. (I have a Spanish Bescherelle, too!)

My personal opinion is that all the people saying they understand the KJV so well, really don't know much about grammar or vocabulary, and just skip over the parts they don't understand. I want to understand ALL of God's word, so I will stick to a modern version, and supplement it with the Greek and Hebrew.
When one does not have the opportunity for education as others do, we tend to stay with what is comfortable.
I do use Greek and Hebrew dictionaries, and find the KJV works well for me.
 

Lanolin

Well-known member
Dec 15, 2018
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#17
Nope I dont skip over parts I dont understand in KJV, I ask God for help understanding and He always gives to me.

Its very rare that I need to go to another version to understand the passage, but thats because I read all the way through, not just isolated verses.

But not everyone can or will read a KJV so maybe its just me. And thats fine. People can have a choice!

I do find that the so called childrens versions OMIT parts or truncate verses, which make it even harder to understand. Its like reading a readers digest version of the Bible. Just not the same.
 

Lanolin

Well-known member
Dec 15, 2018
4,131
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#18
Im wondering why nobodys mentioned the msg bible, suposedly in contemproary language.
Or the living translation.

I often see these Bibles marketed or packaged to appeal to youth or children, but theres not much evidence they actually read them.

I will ask at my christian bookstore. Theres a bewildering array of Bibles for children. Which ones actually get read?
 

John146

Senior Member
Jan 13, 2016
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692
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#19
Which Bible versions or retellings have you found are most effective for child readers?

Ages 5-11
I agree with Angela, don’t coddle them.

There are over a million words in the English vocabulary, 500,000 are cited in most dictionaries. The KJV uses less than an 8,000 word vocabulary.

A child knows 300 words by age two and 3,000 words by age three. By five, a child could know easily the 8,000 word vocabulary of the KJV. Unfortunately, most kids know more about the language of spongebob than the language of God’s word. That’s on the parents.
 

JaumeJ

Senior Member
Jul 2, 2011
16,092
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#20
Before the Holy Spirit came into me to dwell, I could not understand anything in the Bible.

As a very small child, my yougest sister and I were sent off to summer Bible school. This was in the late 1940's.

We were not taught words from the Bible directly but we were taught by songs many things. My "theology" until I came to be convinced of all Jesus was is and teaches was quite simple and very effective. From the song, I always knw "Jesus loves me this I know, for theBible tellsme s."

It was not until I reached the age of 25t, when after a very serious plea to our Father, He spoke to me in a dream, and the next day I came to believe all turning from the world, the creation, to God, the Creator. The Light came into me, and I wasconvinced of Jesus.

By verious curious eventsI was led to walk into astorage room of a coffee house where I encountered a Book face down, opned face down. I picked it up and began to read. The text was alive. I kept saying yes, yes, yes. I looked at the top of the page, and it was Isaiah. I looked at the front of the book, and it was the "Oxford Study Bible." The following day, I boucght one for myself from the Studen Book Store. I have not put itdown since, except to replace the worn Bibles, and now I use the PC.

Children nurtured in the love of Jesus will believe but only if nurtured so. TheBible itself will come in time with the bringing to life by the Holy Spirit. Without the Holy Spirit the words will be dead,; I know. God bless you.