The Bible

Here are some ideas for each page of the book:

1. The Bible is a very special book.

2. There are lots and lots of books.

3. The best book is the Bible because it is God’s book. In the Bible God tells us lots of important things.

4. The Bible says God made me.

5. The Bible says God “made us, and we belong to him”. Psalm 100 verse 3

6. The Bible tells us about all the great things God has done.

7. The Bible tells us about Jesus.

8. The Bible tells us how much Jesus loves us. Do you know how much?

9. Jesus loves us lots and lots.

10. The Bible says that Jesus is always good. He always does what God wants.

11. The Bible tells us what Jesus has done so we can be friends with God.

12. The Bible says Jesus is God’s own Son and his special King.

13. “Jesus is the Son of God”. 1 John 4 verse 15

14. Thank you God for your book the Bible. Thank you that the Bible tells me Jesus loves me.

Making your own little verse book

You could make a ‘little verse book’ either for, or with, your child. You will need a book (scrapbook, blank page exercise book, mini album, etc). You could even make a book from squares (or rectangles) of cardboard, punch holes in one side and thread wool or string to keep the pages together.

You will need to use a simple version of the Bible. I’ve used the Good News Bible in these little books as I have found that the verses are trying to use the simplest words they can. There’s the New International Readers’ Version as well as some other simple versions. The NIRV is a good one to start for a ‘bigger little one’ and then continue reading as they get bigger (and eventually transition to the NIV).

Either write out or print appropriate verses for your child. Maybe verses from the Books for Little Ones series. Look out for other suitable verses as you read the Bible yourself.

If making with your child

Give your child a piece of paper that is larger than the verse, and fits on the pages of your book. Or open your book to the next blank page. Really little ones can decorate the paper (or page) by scribbling on it. Then you can help them paste a verse on this page. Bigger ones could start by pasting the verse roughly in the centre of the page. Then they can decorate around it by drawing, colouring, adding stickers, etc.

If you have more than one child, they could each make their own.

If making by yourself

You might like to look for patterned paper (in my part of the world you can buy patterned paper for scrapbooking) or you can use wrapping paper. Cut a piece that fits the size of your book and then paste the verse in the centre.

Alternatively, if you want to be artistic, you can draw or paint decorations around the verses on each page.

Reading your little verse book

Each day you could read a different verse in your verse book. It’s possible that your child may want to read more than one. If they are likely to want to read every verse in the book at a sitting, you might consider this when you select the book and how many pages it has!

Frequently reading the Bible verses is a great habit to begin (and more verses can be added along the way). Hearing the verses read time and time again will help children learn and remember the verses (without you even realising that they are learning them). Think of simple picture books where your child has learnt some of the words, just by having it read to them often.

How wonderful for your little one to be hearing precious truths from God’s word from a young age. And you might find some of the verses can be comforting for your child to read when they are upset or afraid.

** Extra notes **

Reading the Bible with your child

It may be just reading a verse, or even a part of a verse, like those that are in this series of little books. You may need to explain some words, so give thought to this before you read it with your child.

So at this stage you are just reading short parts of the Bible so that your child becomes familiar with hearing the Bible read to them. Thus showing the importance of reading the Bible regularly.

With older ones, you can start reading narratives about Jesus. Thus they can hear true stories about Jesus from the book (i.e. the Bible) that tells us all about Jesus.

You could start with Mark’s gospel as it has many narratives in it. Luke or Matthew are great too. Before you read a passage to your child, read it yourself and look out for words and concepts that you may need to explain or simplify for your child. Remember if you read a story that talks of a lake (which seems like an easy word), your child might not have any idea of what it is. But if your child lives near a lake then they probably will know. And if you read a story that mentions ‘desert’ your child might think of ‘dessert’.

See the idea below for a ‘little verse book’.

Reading the Bible yourself

I would encourage you to be reading the Bible yourself and so modelling to your child the habit of reading the Bible regularly. If your child only sees you reading other books or magazines or newspapers, and they never see you reading the Bible, then they might not realise that the Bible is an important book to you—the best book!

Perhaps leave your Bible where your child can see it (though out of reach if your child might want to scribble in it!). And see that it is an important book to you and not one that sits on a shelf, never read.

Perhaps you have never read the Bible yourself and you really don’t know where to start? Or maybe you don’t know much about Jesus. If you go to the Introductory notes on this website, and just over half the way down, you will find some suggestions just for you.

A word about picture Bibles

Please note that picture Bibles are not considered as ‘the Bible’. A picture Bible is often just one person’s choice of Bible stories (from ‘the Bible’) for children and their own simplification of each story.

It’s important for you to read a picture Bible before you read it with your child. Does it faithfully simplify God’s word? Is the main message that is presented true to the text? Or are Bible characters and/or Bible stories being loosely used to convey a different main message from the original?

We need to make sure that the Bible is not being added to or distorted. Some people have the attitude that as long as a picture Bible has Bible characters and Bible stories then it is a good thing to read. I would want to ask you to please choose wisely. One reason I say this is that children can often remember details in stories. We don’t want them remembering unhelpful things that have been added and are not in the original Bible. We don’t want them to learn things that they will need to ‘unlearn’ when older.

To give an example, yesterday I read a book to a 3 year old. I have read it to her before. When I finished she announced “You missed a page”. She could remember the pages and she then pointed out the page that I’d neglected to read in turning over two pages instead of one. My 3 year old friend and I then read some other books where she joined with me in saying part of the text (having read the books before, she remembered some of the lines). What if it was a picture Bible (that wasn’t true to the Bible text and added things) and she was remembering some of the unhelpful ‘added bits’ in a picture Bible that weren’t faithful to the original? Then she would have something that needed to be unlearnt in later life.

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