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The Best Strategies for Helping Children Memorize God’s Word

One of the great pleasures of parenthood is the privilege of introducing your kids to God’s Word. Even before they’re able to read, your kids can get to know Scripture in a powerful and lasting way. If they’re old enough to recite a nursery rhyme or sing along to a favorite song, your kids are old enough to memorize Bible verses.

As a parent, you have a golden opportunity to shape your kids’ earliest memories of the Bible. If you make it seem fun, interesting, important, and vital, you may establish in them a mindset that will last a lifetime.

Your first step is to create an atmosphere conducive to your kids’ learning styles.

Make up tunes to accompany the words of a verse. Take turns saying every other word in a passage—or play fill-in-the-blank. Recite a verse as a family before every meal and at bedtime. Draw pictures or symbols that help communicate the message of the verse. Use hand gestures as part of the memorization process. Award a gold star for every passage your kids learn.

Your second step is to give your kids the why behind the what.

Using language that’s easy for them to understand, explain why each verse is important to remember.

Your third, and perhaps most important, step is to choose the right verses to memorize.

Here are a few suggestions to get you started.

1. Jesus wept (John 11:35).

There’s nothing wrong with cherry-picking the shortest verse in the Bible as the first one for your kids to memorize. Not only will it give them a sense of accomplishment right out of the gate, but it will also help them recognize Jesus as someone who cried when He was sad.

Kid Running by tree2. But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven” (Matt. 19:14).

Jesus didn’t just talk to grownups. He talked and played with and cared about little kids too—little kids who were just like your children.

3. Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity (1 Tim. 4:12).

Even kids can be an example. When others see a child doing good things, it will make them want to do good things. So, kids shouldn’t let anyone tell them that they’re not important just because they’re young.

4. In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth (Gen. 1:1).

Everything beautiful, good, and awesome that we see in the universe, in nature, and in people was created by God.

5. “Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You” (Ps. 119:11).

When we have God’s Word in our memory and in our heart, it makes it harder for the devil to get us to do bad things.

6.  “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).

God sent Jesus, His only Son, to die on the cross and rise from the dead so that we can live forever in heaven with Him.

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Thomas Nelson’s new NKJV and KJV Youth Edition Bibles are lightweight and easy-to-carry for the student on the go to church, school, and summer camp. The quality of the materials used to make these editions are a step up from the normal standard and, at an excellent price, these new youth edition Bibles make great gifts for birthdays, graduations, youth camps, or other special events.

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Four Reasons to Give Your Teen a Bible

Getting their first bicycle, their first phone, and their first car has become a rite of passage for young people. Here are four compelling reasons why getting their first Bible should be included in that list.

man holding a light1. Young People Need a Light. 

The world can become a dark place for teenagers. The darkness usually descends first in shades of gray. Lines between right and wrong get blurred. Momentary lapses in judgment turn out to have long-term implications. Choices made in the heat of the moment come back to burn us.

What your kids need is what the psalmist had. “Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” (Ps. 119:105). Turning the spotlight of God’s Word on the teenage landscape can illuminate paths that otherwise may not have been apparent to them. A little light can give them the confidence, courage, and vision to take bold steps. And when a light is shining in their lives, they can become a beacon to others.

2. Young People Need a Weapon.

When Satan tested Jesus in the wilderness, Jesus countered his attacks with the most powerful weapon in His arsenal: the Word of God. Three times Satan tried to tempt Jesus; three times Jesus quoted Scripture in response. Satan was powerless against it and eventually fled.

According to 1 Peter 5:8, the devil still “walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” Teenagers shouldn’t have to face such an enemy unarmed—not when they could be equipped with a weapon as powerful as God’s Word. The more familiar they are with what’s inside it, the better prepared they’ll be to resist temptation and work through doubts.

3. Young People Need a Refuge.

Every day, teens navigate a world of responsibilities, expectations, and distractions. They are bombarded with texts and posts from friends, acquaintances, advertisers, and strangers, all clamoring for their time, their attention, their “likes” and their dollars. With social media, their focus is pulled in countless different directions, 24-7.

These besieged teenagers need an escape from the chaos of daily life. A place where their soul can be fed. A quiet place where they can hear God’s voice. They can find such a place in Scripture, which assures us that “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” (Ps. 46:1).

4. Young People Need a Pure Distillation of God’s Word.

Some kids may question the need for a physical Bible. After all, they can find any passage from any translation of Scripture with just a few keystrokes—much faster than turning the pages of a book. The problem is—because of a universe of online trolls and commentators with their own agendas—they can also find:

  • misquotes
  • misinformation
  • misinterpretations
  • misapplications
  • snide commentary
  • profane vitriol
  • inscrutable ramblings

Unless you’re standing over your kids’ shoulders every time they search Scripture, you have no way of knowing what they’re seeing. And while there may be a time and place for your kids to engage in such a forum, it’s not while they’re trying to find their spiritual legs.

In the Garden of Eden, the serpent began to wreak his havoc with four carefully chosen words: “Has God indeed said?” Seeds of doubt and skepticism, sown during a particularly vulnerable time, can have a devastating impact. When you give your teens a physical Bible, you can choose the translation and the commentary they read.

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Thomas Nelson’s new NKJV and KJV Youth Edition Bibles are lightweight and easy-to-carry for the student on the go to church, school, and summer camp. The quality of the materials used to make these editions are a step up from the normal standard and, at an excellent price, these new youth edition Bibles make great gifts for birthdays, graduations, youth camps, or other special events.

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What Do You Need to Know When Buying a Bible?

There are lots of things to consider when buying a Bible, such as translations, types of Bible, dimensions, point size, and price. All of these points will be determined by how the Bible will be used. We’ll look at each of these points to help you decide the kind of Bible you need.

Translations

Choose the translation that’s the most readable to you and best fits your needs. There are two major translation philosophies: word-for-word and thought-for-thought.

Word-for-word, also known as literal or formal equivalent, attempts to provide as close as possible a direct translation of the words themselves in readable English. The focus is on accuracy. Popular translations include the KJV, NKJV, NET, ESV, and NASB.

Thought-for-thought, also referred to as functional equivalent or dynamic equivalent, attempts to provide the meaning of the words or phrases. The focus is on readability. Popular translations include the NIV, CSB, and NLT.

Thomas Nelson publishes two of the most popular word-for-word translations available: the KJV and the NKJV.

Released in 1611, the KJV was the most widely read English translation for the past four centuries. Based on the Received Text, its majestic English is ideal for reading, study, devotions, and preaching.

Commissioned in 1975 by Thomas Nelson Publishers, the NKJV is a revision of the KJV that retains the KJV’s beauty while providing a translation that’s ideal for the modern reader. It’s faithful to the Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek texts while considering research in linguistics, textual studies, and archaeology. It’s great for reading, study, devotions, and preaching.

Types of Bibles

There are many types of Bibles available in today’s market. Here’s a look at the major types and how they can be used.

Study Bibles (like the NKJV Study Bible pictured above) provide tools for study and insights into specific passages and topics. They often include charts, graphs, illustrations, in-text maps, commentary, profiles, indexes, references, concordance, and maps. Some include articles and full-color photos. They’re usually large Bibles and provide the text in two columns with tools at the bottom of the page or within the text. The tools make them great for personal study, group study, sermon prep, and teaching.

Some popular study Bibles from Thomas Nelson include the KJV Study Bible, the NKJV Study Bible, the NKJV Chronological Study Bible, the, the Maxwell Leadership Bible, and MacArthur Study Bible.

Reference Bibles provide the text with cross-references and translation footnotes to help you find related verses or passages. They often include a concordance and maps in the back. They’re available in both single and double column layouts. They come in all sizes and are great for carrying, witnessing, reading, studying, and preaching.

Text Bibles remove all the extras and focus on the text. Some even remove the verse numbers. They usually have a larger font for their dimensions when compared to study and reference Bibles. Layouts include both single and double-column designs. They come in all sizes and are ideal for carrying, reading, and preaching.

Youth Editions / the Preaching Bible / the Minister’s Bible / Reader’s Bibles

 

Journal Bibles provide space and paper designed for writing your own notes, thoughts, prayers, and artwork. They’re available with or without references and usually don’t include other extras. Their thick paper makes a thick Bible, but most are not too large for carrying. With single column layouts and ruled wide outer margins, they look and feel like both Bible and journal, so writing in them feels natural.

Journal Bible

Check out these Journal the Word Bibles.

Gift Bibles are usually small and inexpensive. Most have double-column layouts and don’t include many extra features. They’re great for carrying, witnessing, to give away, for special occasions, or for missions.

Devotional Bibles provide devotionals with insights on the passages they relate to. They focus on inspirational thoughts with personal application. Some are general while others focus on a specific theme or audience. They often include daily devotions to follow or devotions you can read when you want. They usually have double-column layouts. They’re great for personal and group devotions.

Dimensions

Bibles are available in many sizes. They range from small enough to carry anywhere to too large to leave the desk or pulpit. The size you need will greatly depend on how you will use it, which includes the features and font size you prefer.

Regular size Bibles, the most common size, are around 9.5 X 6.5 X 1.5 inches. Most types of Bibles are available in regular size.

Large Bibles are somewhere around 10 x 7 x 1.75 inches. Study, reference, and text Bibles are available in this size.

Compact Bibles are usually around 6.25 x 4.25 x 1.25 inches. Reference and text Bibles are available in this size.

Thinline editions are available from small to large, but what sets them apart is they’re usually around 1- inch thick. Reference and text Bibles are available in Thinline.

Point Size

Typefaces range from small to giant print. Point size affects the size and features of the Bible. To choose your point size you’ll need to decide how the Bible will be used when compared with your personal needs.

Small print is usually around 7 point or lower. This is ideal for carrying and reading on the go.

Medium print is around 8 to 9 point. It’s usually more comfortable to read and is ideal for general reading and studying.

Large print is generally 10-11 point. This size can be read for long periods of time, making it great for reading, studying, and public reading or preaching.

Giant Print is often 12 point or above. This size is ideal for anyone who has trouble reading the smaller fonts; it’s also great for preaching.

Price

The types of Bibles and materials used will affect the price.

$9.99 or less – includes softcover and imitation leather. Editions include gift and award and outreach Bibles. They’re great for short-term use or for getting started.

$10-$69.99 – includes hardcover, cloth-over-board, bonded leather, and imitation leather. These editions include pasted liners and standard paper with gold gilting. They include gift and award, text, reference, devotional, journaling, and study Bibles. They’re great for general use.

$70-$108.99 – includes cloth-over-board, imitation leather, bonded leather, genuine leather, and cowhide with pasted liners, and standard paper with gold gilting. They include reference, journaling, and study Bibles. They’re great for general use.

$109 and above – includes premium leathers such as edge-lined calfskin or goatskin, premium paper, and gold or art-gilting. They include reference, study, journaling, and text Bibles. The premium leathers last the longest and are ideal for heavy use.