Recommended Bibles for All Ages
Bibles for Little Ones and Children
We recommend the story bibles at SparkHouse, mainly because these are the most full story bibles available. They have bibles for a child of any age, telling the stories of faith in a variety of ways. Children are sure to find a bible that fits them perfectly.
Board books respectively containing 20 bible stories and 4 stories of the early lives of Isaac, Moses, Samuel, and Jesus. Perfect for newborns and toddlers.
150 stories as you follow Squiggles the caterpillar through the stories of faith. For ages 3-10.
Take the same 20 bible stories from the frolic first bible and put them at a preschooler's level.
100 bible stories with comic book style graphics. For ages 3-10.
Psalms written as prayers for elementary kids and devotions at their level as well.
60 bible stories with fun coloring and drawing activities. For ages 3-10.
For Young Children: The Bible App for Kids
An interactive telling of the bible for tablets and smart phones. This app contains almost 40 of the most well-known bible stories, but told in a style similar to children's learning apps that kids will enjoy and parents will appreciate. Plus the website contains lots of free resources.
For Elementary Children: Super Kids Bible App
This app only contains 14 bible stories, but includes lots of supporting activities like videos, word searches, and and trivia games. Plus the website contains lots of free resources.
Other Bibles, Apps and Resources We Recommend for Children
These days, there are tons of good story bibles and books with bible stories in them out there, and quality bible apps are beginning to appear. We could recommend so many (the back of our sanctuary is loaded with story bibles for our children), but, on top of our big recommendations above, here are a few more bibles you might look into, particularly because they contain a large quantity of stories that are written and drawn at a good quality:
The Bible App for Kids Storybook Bible: This bible compliments one of the apps we recommend and contains 28 bible stories (recommended for toddlers and preschoolers).
Brave Girls Bible Stories: The stories about women in the bible aren't always easy to find, but about 30 stories of some of the most important women (recommended for elementary age).
The NIrV Bible: If a child wants to start reading the full bible (please see below first), this translation was built to be readable by 3rd graders and is based upon one of the better bible translations out there.
Children of God Storybook Bible: Bible stories told by Archbishop Desmond Tutu with every page illustrated by a different artist from around the world.
The Gospel Story Bible: A beautifully illistrated story bible.
Psalms for Young Children: Another good psalm book.
Bibles for Preteens and Teens
Are they ready for the full bible?
The bible is a big and complex collection of writings that will overwhelm a youth who doesn't have a proactive adult to explain or guide them past the confusing, difficult to comprehend, or "PG-13" passages. Many churches give kids a full bible when they become preteens or even earlier, but they instantly get lost and confused. Try asking a 3rd or even 6th grader to read the Bible from cover to cover; even if they make it through, most of it they won't understand. If you feel it's time for someone to take hold of the full bible, please, please, please help them learn how to read it and guide them as they figure out this beautiful but sometimes confusing gift.
We have found this Bible really helps teens read and comprehend the epic story of our faith. Rather than being a complete Bible, it handpicks the most important stories of our faith and cuts out or summarizes the difficult to read parts, allowing readers to comprehend the movement from creation to Christ to recreation without getting lost in the areas that require help comprehending.
What's really nice about this Bible is that it's agenda isn't to give someone a skewed understanding of our faith, but rather to give people an easy way to pick up the Scriptures and understand the important stories along the timeline of our faith. As such, this Bible doesn't change the text of any of the stories as they are translated in the NIV Bible, and only rarely adds its own language summarizing whole sections that were skipped for comprehension readings.
We have also found comic bibles are more at these young people's attention, interest, and comprehension levels.
Over 200 bible stories drawn as comics by artists who draw for Marvel and DC comics. This book is really the best of the comic storytelling style brought into the bible. Unless we're studying a particular bible verse, this is the bible our teens are picking up to read.
The Manga Bible
Manga is an art style that really connects with youth, and this drives through the story of faith with all the intensity of a manga comic. The real advantage of this bible is that it's the same size as a normal book, so you're able to read it on the go.
Their first full bible
There is this beautiful day when someone receives their first full translation of the Bible. Hopefully they've been surrounded by faithful guides who will help them traverse this rich treasure instead of being sent off to figure it out on their own. But even while they are more interested in books with pictures, they need the full Bible to find those beautiful verses no story bible will ever contain. We recommend the New International Version (NIV) of the Bible for youth because of its balance between being an accurate translation and being easy to read, plus there are a myriad of editions available. Teens can find the perfect bible that matches their tastes.
Check out all the NIV Bible options, especially those in the category "for teens & college students" (some of the better gender-specific bibles are in the category "for kids" even though they are still great for teens).
Also, check out the apps we recommend below!
If you're looking for a bible with nearly all the stories but without all the difficult passages (not the challenging says, but things like the census records and the long poems) that teens aren't ready for, we have two more recommendations you might consider:
Bibles for Adults
The first things adults need is a good bible translation. The books of the Bible were originally written in Hebrew and Greek, and every English translation has a different purpose. Some were meant for easy reading, but aren't necessarily the greatest for studying (The Message is one such Bible we recommend). Others are great for studying, giving word-for-word translations, but aren't nearly as easy to read (the New Revised Standard Version is our go to choice here and our primary text in worship, but we also like the New Jerusalem Bible and translations by Robert Alter). Some try to take a balanced approach, staying as true the original text as possible but still making it easy to read (the Common English Bible, the New International Version, and the Good News Bible are all good choices here). Plus, there's always the English Bible that really started it all, the King James Version. If you want more details about these translations, we found a good chart for you to look at.
Which bible is right for you? Consider getting one that meets your reading purpose (easily understood reading vs. deepening your faith through study). We often like to read multiple translations in our bible study groups so that we can see the different possible meanings. But no matter why you're choosing to read the Bible, our primary recommendation is the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) because it's reliable. It may not be the easiest translation to read, but if you're going to sit down and study the bible, search for the true meaning of a passage, or memorize a favorite verse, we know you can rely on this version to contain accurate meaning.
The Bible is God's Word, but sometimes we all need help understanding what God is saying. The NRSV Study Bible contains lots of helpful notes and guides built for your average reader.
Another reliable NRSV Study Bible, this one is for the more person who wants deeper and more detailed notes.
In addition, you're going to want some good websites to access the bible on:
Easy-to-use bible app with a few free translations of the Bible or the ability to purchase your favorite translations.
Another easy-to-use bible app with numerous free translations.