Why an NIrV Bible is Great for Children

Are your children at the stage where you’re not sure they are ready for a Bible, but you know it’s an important step? Did you know there are Bible translations written for a grade 3 reading level? They use shorter sentences and easy-to-understand words that are ideal for children. One of these Bibles is the NIrV.


What is the NIrV

The New International Readers Version (NIrV) is based on the popular NIV translation. It is one of the translations we recommend to help their children start reading the Bible.


Here’s why we like the NIrV Bible for children


The NIrV is designed with your child in mind, using simple language and shorter sentences. It’s based on the popular NIV version, which has a great balance between being true to the original text and being easy for readers to understand. The NIrV is easier to read than the NIV, making it ideal for children.

Take, for instance, John 3:16

  • NIV: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
  • NIrV: “God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son. Anyone who believes in him will not die but will have eternal life.”

The simple sentence structure helps your child grasp the message of God’s love without getting lost in extra or complex words. Notice how it eliminates “for,” makes two shorter sentences, switches “whoever” to “anyone” and “perish” to “not die.” These small changes help a child understand the text better.

One of the NIrV’s amazing features is that it’s written at a grade 3 reading level, perfect for your child’s comprehension. This means they can engage with the Bible on their own terms without feeling overwhelmed by difficult vocabulary or complex sentences.


Why is it important for your child to have a Bible they can easily read and understand? 

In much the same way we provide children with age-appropriate books and toys, a Bible that matches their level of comprehension ensures they can engage meaningfully with God’s Word. A version of the Bible they can easily read and understand empowers your child to develop a strong foundation of faith in a way that’s accessible and enjoyable.


Not just for kids!

It’s important to note that the NIrV isn’t just for children. It’s a great translation for those who are learning English as a second language (ESL Bible readers) or who learned to read later in life. It’s also ideal for those with learning disabilities or those who want a Bible version that is easier to read and understand.


The NIrV Adventure Bible

Recently, Scripture Union Canada made the decision to offer Bibles in our bookstore. Our team of parents and a Bible engagement expert had many options to choose from but settled on the NIrV Adventure Bible. We really liked the translation reading level, and the Bible included many features to help younger readers understand what they read. For example, introductions to each book of the Bible give important details, and “Life in Bible Times” gives practical information to help children become aware of the culture and context of a passage of scripture.

So, if you’re considering purchasing a Bible for your child, consider the NIrV Adventure Bible. 


Other child-friendly Bibles and translations

There are several other great translations for children! We suggest you consider abridged Bibles for younger children who are learning to read. Abridged Bibles are a great way to get them started. The International Children’s Bible, New International Readers Version, Easy to Read Version, or God’s Word are suitable choices for younger children. The New Living Translation or New International Version are excellent choices for tweens and teens.

A Bible reading guide is also a helpful tool, and we recommend that you use it when teaching children to read the Bible. We have Tiddlywinks for children ages 3-5, HotShots for 6-8, and Snapshots for 9-12. The Big Bible Challenge is also a great way to help children read through the Bible and understand the timeline.


Related Posts: How Do I Pick a Bible For My Child? What is the best Bible translation? What Bible Translation Should I Use?

© Scripture Union Canada, 2021

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