With Black Friday looming, the gift-buying frenzy is upon us! But this Christmas, considering making some of your presents to your children reflect the full meaning of the season.
During a time when we celebrate the Word becoming flesh, what better gift can you give your child than the written Word of God?
Give your child a Bible this Christmas, especially if they are just beginning to read or they are transitioning into a new stage of life.
Here are 7 ESV Bibles from Crossway for pre-readers through teens. Any one of these Bibles would make a meaningful Christmas gift.
Recommended ages: 7-12
Price point: $18-32
Features: full ESV text, glossary, maps, OT & NT timeline art, dictionary, words of Christ in red.
The ESV Kid’s Compact Bible works for both boys and girls. Its slim body is easy enough for little hands to carry and slip into a backpack.
This is a no-frills Bible. There are very few textual notes and added information in the body of text, but it does include a helpful index for subjects like “God’s Word for Me When…” and “God’s Word for Me About…”
The Kid’s Compact Bible comes in a variety of colored leathers with embossed designs like owls, swords and shields. My six-year-olds loved the swords!
Overall, the size and simplicity of this Bible would make it an excellent first Bible for readers as they learn to discover and navigate God’s Word by looking up verses – even if the text is a little small!
Recommended ages: 5-9
Price point: $20-28 (hard and soft cover)
Features: full ESV text, 130 full-color illustrations with accompanying Bible story summaries, short book introductions, over 50 character profiles, fun and colorful facts highlighted throughout the text.
The ESV Seek and Find Bible was my son’s (Jonah) favorite because he loved the illustrations and colorful graphics. Because he’s just beginning to read, the illustrated Bible objects, structures, and places really captured his imagination.
But here’s what I loved.
Each illustration is paired with a story, key memory verse, additional readings, and reflection questions giving parents lots of tools at their fingertips to help their child understand and apply God’s Word.
It is ideal as a first “study” Bible and very usable for homeschool, family Bible study, or fun interactive activities involving Scripture.
Recommended ages: 9-12
Price point: $13-15
Features: full ESV text, 24 pages of special content, illustrations of major scenes in the redemptive story, and maps.
If you’re looking for an illustrated Bible without all the bells and whistles of other Bibles (and within a great price point), then the ESV Holy Bible for Kids might be your best bet.
Some of the full-page pictures are the same as those found in the Seek and Find Bible, and it has a clean double-column design.
Overall, I think the cover artwork might appeal to a younger age range than the publisher’s recommendation (ages 9-12).
But out of the seven Bibles reviewed in this post, my 6-yr-old son (Zach) picked this Bible as his favorite. The lack of extra notes or artwork in the body of the text made it easy to find a verse or passage. My only complaint is that the text is a bit small.
Recommended ages: 8-12
Price point: $20-30
Features: full ESV text, key comprehension questions, application sections, charts, maps, short book introductions, and articles on Christian doctrine.
Out of all the seven Bibles in this post, the ESV Grow! Bible was my favorite because of its rich content and emphasis on understanding and applying God’s Word.
Almost every page contains a “W” question (who, what, when, where, why) helping children frame the central theme of a passage or story as well as understand the significance of God’s Word for daily life.
Also included are 45 “Cross Connections” to help children connect-the-dots between Christ and the rest of Scripture.
The Grow! Bible also contains 90 “4U” sections geared toward textual application as well as helpful articles on Christian doctrine and practice. Subjects include: the sacraments, What is the Apostle’s Creed, and The Whole Bible is Really About Jesus.
It also breaks the Old and New Testaments by division (Law, History, Wisdom, Gospels, etc) and outlines each genre in simple terms. (Can you tell I really like this one?)
Because the publisher recommends the ESV Grow! Bible as a second step after the Seek and Find Bible, we will definitely be hanging onto this Bible as the twins grow in their reading comprehension skills.
Recommended ages: teen boys
Price point: $13-32 (hard and softcover)
Features: full ESV text, character profiles, “Quick Relief” indexes and glossary, devotions written by longtime student ministers Michael and Hayley DiMarco, in-depth book introductions, and must-know terms and verses for each book of the Bible.
At heart, the God Guy Bible is a devotional Bible, but it’s a Bible geared toward teens who desire to know and apply God’s Word for themselves.
Per the publisher description, the God Guy Bible points “guys to the Bible as the foundation for all of life, fostering a love for God’s Word and a desire to know him better.”
The “Know This” devotionals and “Ask Yourself” sections highlight passages and themes and how to apply them to daily living. Plus, daily reading plans encourage the reader to engage their Bible daily.
Recommended ages: teen girls
Price point: $29-50 (Hard and soft covers)
Features: The features for the God Girl Bible are essentially the same as the God Guy Bible. They include: full ESV text, character profiles, “Quick Relief” indexes and glossary, 200 devotions written by author Hayley DiMarco, in-depth book introductions, and must-know terms and verses for each book of the Bible.
What separates the God Girl and God Guy Bibles? In the God Girl Bible, there are 26 full-page profiles of women in the Bible called “God Girl Stories.”
Additionally, the God Girl Bible has a uniquely feminine design to appeal to its target readership.
Both the God Guy and God Girl Bibles would make a worthy gift for challenging for any teen or tween to start 2015 off in Christ.
If I had to pick a favorite for my boys (age 6), I’d pick the Seek and Find Bible and ESV Grow! Bible simply because they pack the most bang for buck, offer the most tools for study, and are geared toward helping children become self-sufficient students of God’s Word.
Despite being really heavy, these are Bibles that I know the twins will grow into for years to come.
Special thanks to Crossway Bibles for sending me these Bibles to review for you! And a big thank you to Zach and Jonah, who were so excited about their very own Bibles that they even agreed to help me review them!
May 2015 be a year you grow in your knowledge of our beloved Savior!
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