We would like to buy a Bible for Maya for her sixth birthday next month. She has asked for one, and now that she is reading so well, I think it’s the right time for her to have one. We already have several excellent and well-loved children’s story Bibles, so that’s covered. What I’m looking for is The Holy Bible – the real deal. Old and New Testament. No abridging. (We are protestant, so keep that in mind if you decide to make recommendations.)
(I should mention that she already has a little pocket King James Version New Testament and Psalms, originally given to me by the Gideons as I walked by them my freshman year in college. She loves that little Bible and read Jason twelve verses from John out of it just this evening.)
When I started to browse around for a Bible geared toward children, I was suddenly inundated with flashy pictures, youth lingo, and plain old marketing material spattered all over the covers. I don’t want to buy a Bible just because it’s best-selling, or pretty, flashy, or cool (though none of those things are inherently wrong). I don’t want one with stickers, decals, lights, or candy. But neither do I think she’s ready for a gold-leafed onion skin genuine leather edition.
Here are some of my thoughts as I shop around. I’d appreciate your thoughts on any of this.
- Translation - I’m thinking NIV, though I’m also considering the NLT and The Message. I’m not currently interested in the NIrV. I’m not a Bible translation expert or junkie, so I’d love thoughts here.
- Material - Nothing fragile. I would like regular paper with a hardcover and durable binding. I pray for her to be opening this over and over and over again!
- Edition - I’m considering things like art, articles, font size, and general feel. I want something she can use for a while, so classic is good. I think some Bibles have great art in them, but I don’t know where to find them. I had a Precious Moments Bible growing up, and while I loved it then, it’s not what I’m going for now. In terms of sidebars and articles, I’m concerned that some Bibles will have a denominational slant that I won’t discover unless I read every single page.
I am also thinking of buying her a simple devotional book that she can read herself during morning Bible time after breakfast. If I don’t find anything great, I will think about putting together my own guide for her. My goal is to have everyone in the family doing quiet times in the morning together, after breakfast. I will read my Bible, Maya will read hers, and Elly and Asher can play quietly (ha!) and/or listen to a Bible story. Perhaps Elly can color a Bible story-themed picture or trace the letters in a Bible verse.
Oh, and you fellow Episcopalians/Anglicans will appreciate this: Maya has also asked (fervently and repeatedly) for her own Book of Common Prayer. (“Do they make one for kids, Mommy?”)