Do you love the King James Version of the Bible but want a richer study experience for you and your kids?
I’m the kind of person who needs to get my hands on a book to feel it, leaf through it, and see if it’s what I’m looking for. And since it can still be challenging to get to a bookstore these days, I’m grateful the publisher sent me their newest line of King James Bibles so I can review them for you!
Watch this unboxing and walk-through of the new 2021 KJV Study Bible & KJV One Big Story Bible for Kids to find out if these Bibles are right for you and your family. (Or keep reading if you prefer text.)
I’ll share the features I really like about these Bibles as well as some things I wish they’d done differently, and you can decide for yourself.
Why the King James Version?
Believe it or not, the King James Version continues to be the most-read version of the Bible in the United States, according to the this article in the Washington Post. I have many friends who love this 400-year-old version for how it captures the majesty of old English and how it connects them to worshipers throughout generations.
The KJV was translated in the beginning of the 1600s. The translators were among the top scholars of their day, and most were deeply familiar with literature and poetry as well as with theology and ancient languages. They were also intent on creating a translation that would last for generations, so they avoided recent changes to the language, often using words and phrases that sounded formal even then, to ensure the dignity and longevity of the translation.
While I personally use another Bible translation, I grew up reading the KJV, and I appreciate its role in shaping Christian communities over the years. So without further ado, let’s take a look at these three King James Bibles!
KJV Ultra Thin Reference Bible
The Ultra-Thin Reference Bible is a great reading Bible that feels light and supple. It has an imitation leather cover and is nice and thin so it’s easy to slip into your purse, carry to church, or take to a Bible study.
This edition features cross-references in the middle section between the text columns and maps at the very end (which I find helpful when I’m trying to follow along with Jesus’ travels or Paul’s missionary journeys).
You’ll notice in the video review above that there are no introductions to the individual books of the Bible; but again, this is more of a reading Bible than a study Bible.
KJV One Big Story Bible for Kids
Of the three Bibles that the publisher sent, I was most impressed with the KJV One Big Story Bible for Kids! It is a great resource for kids, grandkids, or even for new believers who are interested in seeing how the entire Bible fits together to tell the story of Jesus. I would say that the reading level for this Bible would begin around 3rd grade.
This Kids’ Bible is jam-packed with resources and callouts to help children understand how every story weaves into the grander narrative of God’s rescue plan. In this Bible, you’ll find excerpts that show how stories point to Jesus, answers to big questions, and definitions for big Bible words and concepts that kids might not be familiar with.
I also appreciate the illustrations that break up the text and add a visual element to draw children into the story of Scripture. And you’ll notice there’s also a special QR code that you can scan with your phone to watch an augmented reality version of the Bible story.
Additionally… (can you tell I’m actually really impressed with this kids’ Bible?), the table of contents lists not just the 66 books of the Bible, but also the significant stories within each book that kids will benefit from reading and rereading time and time again.
Even though I mentioned earlier that our family doesn’t use the KJV, I may just reconsider that and keep this kids’ Bible for my oldest once she’s more confident in her reading skills. I like it that much. The biggest hesitation I have is the king’s English, honestly, because some of the archaic language can be off-putting for beginner readers. So it’s really a decision that ought to be made on a case-by-case basis.
KJV Study Bible
The first thing I noticed with the new KJV Study Bible is the high-quality smyth-sewn binding, as well as the buttery-smooth Leather Touch binding. It’s a hefty edition due to all the study notes and additional resources, and I’m glad they invested in quality binding that means it will last you a very long time.
The study notes are compiled by various respected Bible scholars and include maps, illustrations, introductions for each book, and outlines for each book. The size of the translation of the text is very easy to read, but the text size of the study notes is a quite small. So if font size is an issue, you may want to consider a larger-text version.
Overall, I was impressed with this study Bible. It is a bit pricey (especially if you buy the genuine leather edition), but again, this is an investment in your walk with the Lord. And if you use it most days of the year for 10+ years, that cost quickly pales in comparison with the lattes most of us enjoy on a regular basis. 🙂
But if finances are a concern, be sure to watch LifeWay’s website, as they regularly feature sales and promotional pricing on their Bibles.
These three King James Bibles are a great option if you love the King James Version! Out of the three I reviewed, my favorite is the One Big Story Bible for Kids because I’ve never seen so much attention given to making sure that the stories are accessible to children, while also giving them features to stay engaged, and emphasizes the fact that every part of the Bible points to Christ.
If you’re looking for a new King James Bible and aren’t sure which one would be right for you, you can check out the “Find Your KJV Bible Tool” linked here.