We stand on the brink of a new Parenting Era—the one strangers were always warning me about in the grocery store, back when strangers made small talk while shopping:
But I’m not scared. These girls are thoughtful, conversational, and occasionally profound. Emotional, sometimes, yes. Every now and then: very loud. But several times this summer I’ve found myself in conversation with one of our two older girls—talking about a book, or a show, or a global pandemic—and they’ll offer some insight I’d missed, something rich and nuanced that gives me great hope for the women they’ll become.
We still have two daughters in the illustrated story Bible stage, and that’s relief—I kind of don’t ever want to stop reading story bibles. I suppose I’ll just have to read story bibles alone when they all outgrow them. But now we have two that are reading the real thing, so what I want to share today is the Bible I found for them after lots of wonderfully nerdy research.
I have, in the past, reviewed a few full-text Bibles for kids in the 5-8 range, with illustrations and additional material intended to appeal to younger readers. The ESV Kid’s Bible has less of that and looks a little more grownup—but it still has some content helpful for kids still getting their bearings in Scripture.
A few maps, a couple of timelines, a reading plan, a dictionary—the extra materials in here aren’t cute, and they aren’t trying too hard to sell Scripture. This Bible’s design is clearly meant to help kids learn to engage with Scripture while letting Scripture do the talking. Also, it isn’t going to embarrass anyone who brings it to youth group by looking “too little-kid,” so I guess that’s a win.
Of course, the content itself is nothing new—it is, in fact, very old. And yet it is such a firm foundation for kids at this age to stand on when so many other things in their lives (even excluding the pandemic) is changing. Scripture is the truest of true words; it brings the best of news. The ESV Kid’s Bible may be thoughtfully packaged, but the words on the pages themselves matter more than the packaging, and the One the words point to matters most of all.
May this Bible be just another opportunity for our growing readers to know him more deeply.
ESV Kid’s Bible