“Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.” (Deuteronomy 6:4-7)
These verses are clear. Parents, and I believe grandparents, have the responsibility to teach their children the truth about the One True God. In my experience as a pastor, I think most church-going parents (and grandparents) feel the weight of this responsibility. However, many of these same people feel ill-equipped to pass down the truth about God to the next generation. Fortunately, there are many amazing resources available to parents (and grandparents). Here are my four favorite children’s Bibles, each of which I have used with my own kids.
This book is a treasure. There are 44 stories (half Old Testament, half New Testament). Each story faithfully connects to the Hero, Jesus. The illustrations are engaging for children and adults. Also available is a helpful curriculum kit that includes handouts, lesson plans, activities, and a DVD.
Kevin DeYoung is a talented writer, and this book reflects his ability to communicate deep truths with clarity and wit. The illustrations are truly striking. Personally, I think the stories and pictures have a more masculine feel. There are only 10 chapters here, so lots of characters and stories get left out. However, the advantage is a clear picture of the Bible as one big story.
Helm’s book contains 26 chapters (11 Old Testament stories, 15 New Testament stories). The illustrations are well done. They are more cartoon-ish and will appeal more to younger children. On that note, the book itself is large. The pictures dominate each page, and there is less text on each page (this means more page turning for shorter attention spans). Helm does a great job of summarizing the entire story of the Bible.
If The Big Picture Story Bible is more suited for younger children, The One Year Bible for Children is more suited for older children. This book contains a daily excerpt from the Bible itself (NLT). Each day you read a story from Scripture. In January you begin in Genesis, and in December you end in the New Testament. Most days have quality, true-to-life illustrations, but some days have no pictures. Each day does end with questions to ask your kids. There are two great features to this book. One, there is daily structure in the assigned readings for every day of the year. Two, the questions help you discuss the reading with your children.
Originally published December 9, 2015 on landoncoleman.com.