Bibles for Children and Youth

While we are best known for our superb collection of books for our adult customers, we also have a small section for the next generation of theologians. I wanted to take a moment to highlight some of the most popular version of our Children’s and Youth Bibles.

The most popular children’s Bible we have is the Jesus Storybook Bible.

9780310708254This compact Bible is best-known for its vivid, colourful illustrations that appear on every page highlighting the most popular and important stories in scripture. The storytelling is simple but faithful to the original text. At the beginning of each story the author gives you the reference to the full story, so parents can read the full text in advance to help them explain the story to their child more fully if they wish.

Additionally, there are now a series of DVD’s available to go along with the Bible.


A second recommendation is the Spark Story Bible from Spark House Media.

SparkStoryBibleThis Bible is designed to grow with the child. In addition to the bright, colourful illustrations, and big beautiful text highlighting the biblical story, there are a few additional features that ensure you won’t be dumping this Bible just because your child is getting older.

SquigglesMeet Squiggels. Squiggles is an expressive caterpillar that seems to be found on every page. Its changing expression gives visual clues as to the mood of the story you are reading.

Also, there are questions along the way to help your growing learner go deeper into the story. For example “Think of a time when you have been sad. How did God make you feel better?” and “If you were the boy who gave Jesus his food that day, what would you tell people about what happened?”.

For the tweens and teens in your family, we have two recommendations:

The Action Bible: God’s Redemptive Story, is a biblical comic book. At over an inch think it is loaded with incredibly drawn, action-oriented and attention-grabbing images that rival any of today’s comics or graphic novels. It’s so well done, they might just forget they’re reading the Bible (or, learning something!).

AB COVER.inddThis really is a stunning work of art and biblical truth. Get yours soon, because I might just be buying one for myself.

The Action Bible received the Christina Book Award’s ECPA Medallion of Excellence.

Also for the older children is the Manga Bible series, available either as a complete Bible or as individual books focussing on specific topics. Wonderfully drawn in the traditional style of Japanese manga cartoons, these works highlight the action and adventure of God’s story.

maga vol 2Come on in and take a look at our selection. We’re not only for adults.


Choosing a Bible, Part 2

Previously in this space I discussed picking a Bible translation. Once you know which translation you prefer, you need to think about which Bible to choose. Any particular translation will probably have study editions, different bindings in different colours, and different sizes.

Let’s start with study editions. Lots of people have written notes on the Bible. Study Bibles are not new inventions. They’ve been around for a long time. The Geneva Bible (first published 1560) was an early study Bible. When choosing a study Bible here are some questions to consider:

  1. Who wrote the notes? Was only one person responsible, or was a group of people responsible? What are the qualifications of the person or people who wrote the notes?
  2. What is the purpose of the notes? Are they primarily devotional notes? Theological notes? Historical notes? Literary notes?
  3. Who is the intended audience of these note? Am I included in that audience?
  4. Are the notes easy to access and understand? Are the notes and biblical text laid out in a way that is easy to follow?

Study Bibles should not be your only source of information about what is going on in a Bible passage, but once you get one, the notes are often your first source of information. Make sure the notes are a reliable and helpful source for your reading.

Bibles come in different bindings with different colours and pictures on the cover. If you buy a paperback Bible because you want something cheap, remember that it may not last long. If you only need the Bible for a course for a semester, that might be fine. If you want to use the Bible for several years, you may want to think about a sturdier binding. Hardcover study Bibles are often worth the few extra dollars.

Bibles come in different sizes and shapes. Most study Bibles are fairly hefty. Larger print Bibles are larger in size. Some compact Bibles are very portable, but have very small print. Think about what is comfortable for you, and your use of the Bible. If you get an enormous study Bible, will its size deter you from carrying it anywhere? If you are going to use it mainly at your desk, do you need a tiny little portable Bible?

Happy choosing!

Picking a Bible Translation

Andrew posted advice for choosing a Bible translation over on his blog. This post is meant to help our customers figure out which translation and edition of the Bible they need at the moment. Lots of people come into Crux and say “I need a Bible,” expecting that to be enough information. Little do they realize that we have a whole wall filled with Bibles. You think that sometimes there are too many decisions to make in a restaurant after you’ve decided what to order? This is worse. Andrew’s post tries to simplify things so people won’t be confused. This post adds a little detail and (hopefully) gives you enough information to make good decisions, or at least to ask further questions.

Important Information Before Starting: Remember that the Bible is an ancient document originally written in Hebrew and Greek. No English Bible is “original.” Also, modern languages other than English do not necessarily have versions that correspond to an English version you might know about. Example: there is no Spanish King James Version. Also, there is no “standard” English translation that everyone commonly uses. We have a wealth of English translations and most people have their particular favourites. Got it? Ok, now lets move on to actually choosing a Bible for you.

If a customer comes in and announces to a staff member that they need help choosing a Bible, a common first question is: What do you need the Bible for? If the Bible is for personal reading, then following Andrew’s advice (read a passage or two that you are familiar with in several translations; choose the one that feels comfortable for you) works well. If you are a lay leader at a church, you may wish to match the translation you use with the translation commonly used from the pulpit in your church. If you need a Bible for class, then your professor has probably made a recommendation that narrows the selection down. Many professors recommend the New Revised Standard Version.

Just so you know, the three translations of the Bible that we sell most often are the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV), the New International Version (NIV), and the English Standard Version (ESV). The bewildering list of other available English translations includes: the New American Standard Bible (NASB), the New American Bible (NAB) (these two similarly named translations are not at all related to one another) the Contemporary English Version (CEV), the Good News Bible, the New Living Translation (NLT), and the Message.

The translations listed above each have different philosophies and goals. Some are more word for word, or literal, translations (NASB and ESV), others are phrase by phrase translations (NIV, NLT, the Message). Some translations use modern language but aim to sound traditional (New King James Version, NRSV), and others try to use a limited vocabulary for ease of understanding (Good News, CEV). Some are tied to a denomination (for example, the NAB is Roman Catholic), many are translated by an interdenominational group of people (NRSV, NIV).

Once you pick a translation, your decision is not finished. You still have to think about print size, binding, study notes and aids, the Apocrypha, and price point. That will take up another post!