for Children and the Classroom
If you are choosing a Bible for a child and are
having trouble deciding whether to choose a NASB, KJV, NRSV,
NKJV, NAB, NIV, CEV, GNT, NLT, NIrV, NCV, click
here for information that may help you choose a translation.
NIV Adventure Bible Revised Edition. Zondervan Corp.
2000. ISBN: 0310911443.
This edition, designed for children ages 8 to 12, includes suggested
verses to memorize, information about life in Bible times, and
age appropriate ideas
and activities that can be used to reinforce Bible
teachings. It also includes maps and a small dictionary.
It has a kid friendly design that children enjoy looking
NIV Classic Reference Bible. Zondervan Corp. 1989.
This Bible is suitable for a child or an adult. It
includes a center column reference system, 14 maps and charts,
and a 2,000 word concordance which has 13,000 entries. It
is available in leather or hardback.
NIV Textbook Bible Hardcover. Zondervan Corp. 1984.
This is a good classroom Bible. It includes timelines
of biblical history, 16 pages of maps, and a 5,000 word
concordance which has 35,000 entries. No center column
Just about every story we read in class includes
words the children have not yet learned. We have several
dictionaries and encyclopedias we bring to class. The
children enjoy taking turns finding the new words and reading
the definitions to the class. They also enjoy seeing
pictures of things they are learning about. You
might ask your Children's Minister to set up a Children's
Reference Library or put a dictionary or encyclopedia in each
Nelson's New Illustrated Bible Dictionary. Thomas Nelson.
1995. ISBN: 0840720718.
The definitions of words begin with a summary definition that
children can understand. The summary definition is
followed by a detail discussion of the word. The
dictionary includes pictures.
Holman Bible Dictionary. Broadman & Holman.
1991. ISBN: 1558190538.
This dictionary has the same strengths as the Nelson's New
Illustrated Bible Dictionary discussed above. It is tough
to choose between the two.
The Student Bible Dictionary. By Karen Dockrey, Johnnie
Godwin, Phyllis Godwin. Barbour Publishing. 2001.
This is a great starter dictionary which provides good
summary definitions for quite a few words. It also
includes many pictures, maps, and tables of interesting
information, such as the Titles for Jesus in Scripture.
You will not find definitions for all the words in the Bible,
but this is a great value for the money.
Zondervan Pictorial Bible Encyclopedia, 5 Volumes. Edited
by Merrill Tenney. Zondervan Corp. 1976. ISBN:
This five volume set gives good details for a very large
number of words and topics. It includes over 1,500
photographs and illustrations and almost 300 maps. The
only drawback is that it has not been updated since 1976.
Nelson's Illustrated Encyclopedia of Bible Facts. Edited
by J. I. Packer, Merrill Tenney. Thomas Nelson. 1995.
This is best used as a teacher resource when preparing for
class. The information is arranged topically which makes
it a little more difficult to find information for a specific
word. We primarily use it for the pictures when explaining
a new word. The articles included in the book are good but
the lack of summaries make it challenging for children
We believe that an understanding of what life
was like in Bible Times is important to understanding the
meaning of the Bible stories. For example, it is difficult
to fully appreciate the story of the Good Samaritan
without first understanding what Jews thought of Samaritans at
that time. Allowing the children to experience the culture
of Bible times also adds realism to the stories.
The New Manners & Customs of Bible Times. By Ralph
Gower. Moody Press. 1987. ISBN: 082459544.
There are a number of good books about Life in Bible
Times. This is the one we use. The articles are easy
to read and there are many pictures that we find useful in
We like to use maps and time lines in our class
because we believe it helps the children understand that the
events described in the Bible really occurred. The
children enjoy finding cities on maps and tracing the journeys
of the biblical characters.
Holman Bible Atlas. by Thomas Brisco. Broadman
& Holman. 1998. ISBN: 1558197095.
This atlas includes maps which show where all the major
events described in the Bible took place. The book walks
chronologically through the Bible, describing the major
characters and events in the Bible.
The Teaching Ministry of the Church:
Integrating Biblical Truth with Contemporary Application.
Edited by Daryl Eldridge. Broadman & Holman. 1996.
This book is a must read for anyone in the teaching
ministry. It describes the teaching techniques used by God
and Jesus and gives practical suggestions for implementing those
techniques. Learning capabilities of different age groups
are discussed along with approaches to teaching the various age
groups. This is the best, most practical book that I have
read in a long time.
Love Your God with All Your Mind: The Role of Reason in the
Life of the Soul. By J. P. Moreland. NavPress.
1997. ISBN: 576830160.
A person at some point in their life will probably be forced
to defend why they believe what they believe about God and
religion. A person who does not have a good intellectual
basis for their beliefs may find themselves doubting what they
believe. Moreland effectively describes how and why
Christians should develop their minds. He also points out
the importance of helping children build an intellectual basis for their
beliefs since these children may one day find themselves trying
to defend their faith against a non-Christian college
professor. The book is interesting and easy to read.
How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth.
By Gordon Fee, Douglas Stuart. Zondervan Corp. 1993.
This is an easy to read book that explains the different
types of literature in the Bible as well as how to read and
interpret the various types of literature. It also
includes a good discussion of the differences between the
different versions of the English Bible, such as KJV, NIV, NASB,
The IVP Bible Background Commentary: Old Testament.
By John Walton, Victor Matthews, Mark Chavalas. Inter-Varsity
Press. 2000. ISBN: 0830814191.
*** The IVP Bible
Background Commentary: New Testament. By Craig Keener.
Inter-Varsity Press. 1993. ISBN: 0830814051.
These books explain the cultural background of each passage
in the Old and New Testaments. We use the information when
explaining the background and setting of the story to the
Holman Book of Biblical Charts, Maps, and Reconstructions.
By Marsha Smith. Broadman & Holman. 1994. ISBN:
The charts summarize helpful information from both the Old
and New Testaments. The book also includes maps and
illustrations of various items discussed in the Bible.
For Help in Deciding Why You
Believe What You Believe
As described above, Moreland presents a good
case for the notion that Christians should have good
intellectual reasons for believing what they believe. The
following books can be helpful to a person trying to decide what
they believe and why. They give good summaries of the
background and theological message of the Bible as well as the
various views relating to the doctrines of the Christian
faith. The books also include information that can be used
to better explain the weekly Sunday School lesson.
An Introduction to the Old Testament. By Raymond Dillard,
Tremper Longman. Zondervan Corp. 1994. ISBN:
A discussion is presented
of the historical background, literary analysis, and theological
message of each book of the Old Testament.
Old Testament Survey: The Message, Form, and Background of
the Old Testament, Second Edition. By W. S. Lasor, D. A.
Hubbard, F. W. Bush. Eerdmans Publishing Co. 1996.
This book provides an introduction to the background,
content, literary quality, and message of the Old Testament as a
whole and the books within the Old Testament. This survey
provides more discussion on the stories in the Bible than
"An Introduction to the Old Testament" by Dillard and
Longman discussed above.
The New Testament: Its Background and Message.
By Thomas Lea. Broadman & Holman. 1996.
Lea covers the issues of authorship, date of writing, purpose
of writing, and background for each book of the New
Testament. The content of the New Testament is thoroughly
Christian Theology, Second Edition. By Millard Erickson.
Baker Books. 1998. ISBN: 0801021820.
For the advanced Bible student. Erickson covers the
major issues in Christian theology by discussing the viewpoints
of others before giving his own conclusions.
Systematic Theology. By Wayne Grudem. Zondervan
Corp. 1994. ISBN: 0310286700.
For the advanced Bible student. Like Erickson, Grudem
covers the major issues in Christian theology and gives his own
conclusions. It is helpful to consider the views of both
Grudem and Erickson when trying to make a decision on one's
Charts of Christian Theology & Doctrine. By H. Wayne
House. Zondervan Corp. 1992. ISBN: 0310416612.
For the advanced Bible student. The charts summarize
the different views of the various issues in Christian theology.