One question that I am often asked is "What kind of Bible should I get my child?" It's a really good question, but the answer is going to be different for every child. But here are a couple tips that I have found useful.
1) No matter the age of the child, if they are planning to take the Bible to church with them, buy them a regular Bible. By regular, I mean not a "Story Bible". Here's why. In most Children's Church services, the Pastor or Leader will read from a certain verse or passage of Scripture and invite the children to follow along. If the child brings a storybook Bible or toddler Bible to the class, there is no way for them to find that verse or for anyone else to find it for them in their Bible. This often causes the child distress because they were so excited that they had a Bible with them, but now they are being told that they can not use it because it doesn't have the scripture being read in it. It is very confusing and frustrating for them. A kid-friendly Bible is wonderful, just make sure it has all the books and verses in it if they are planning to take it to church.
2) Storybook Bibles are great for use at home or in your devotional time with your child. Young children enjoy the pictures and are much more likely to read that kind of Bible on their own. There are lots of different kinds. I encourage parents to check out a nearby Christian Book Store and simply read through some. The parents will know which type will appeal to their child better than I will.
3) Comic Book Bibles are awesome for kids who are just learning how to love reading. They bring the stories to life in a new and different way and really engage them in reading Scripture. I highly recommend them for children in 1st - 4th grade. Even some preteens really enjoy a comic book Bible. There are several versions out there and some look more like a graphic novel than a comic book. The graphic novels tend to have a darker look and feel to them, so be aware of that if you choose that kind. It could be a little scary for young readers.
4) As for the version of Scripture to choose...Honestly, I think you should choose whatever your child will understand best. Most 8 year olds probably aren't going to be very excited about reading the King James Version because it's hard to understand, but if that is your choice, then that is fine. I generally recommend the New International Version or the Contemporary English Version because they are easily understood by most children. If you go to www.biblegateway.com you can put in any Scripture and easily see how it is read in many different versions.
Choosing a Bible for a child is awesome, but if they are old enough to read, you might consider taking them with you and letting them pick out their own. It is more likely they will read a Bible they got to choose themselves. But whether they pick it out themselves or you surprise them with one, owning their own Bible is very special and opening the mind of a child to the Word of God is priceless!
Until next week!