Bible for 12 year olds


What is a good bible for boys who are 12? I purchased my kids the Prove it! Teen Bible, but I feel it’s not really what I was looking for. I need something that is between a child’s bible and a bible meant for adults, but this one isn’t it. Suggestions?

If the reading level of the New American Bible translation used in the Prove it! Teen Bible to too high for your boys, you might want to try the Good News Bible, Catholic Edition, link. To help you judge, you can read a version of the Good News Bible online, here.

Thank you for the response! I will look into it. I think my disappointment with the one I bought is the print is pretty tiny and there isn’t really much about it that would capture a 12 year old’s attention. There are some color inserts found between some of the books, but they make me feel just sort of “meh” about them, for lack of a better expression! I think my kids would prefer something with some pizazz, but not as child like as a picture bible.

I don’t have children or teach children, so I don’t know what to advise. This is more a question, why wouldn’t 12 y/o children use an adult Bible?

I can only imagine the tens of thousands of decisions that would have to be made to decide what a 12 y/o could or could not comprehend.

I was reading an adult Bible when I was 12 years old, I was a B+ student.

Even now as an adult, I am at the mercy of translators who have a difficult job carrying over the meaning of the text. Those who know Biblical languages often criticize the translation as not being exact.

Again, I can offer no advise nor should I, but here’s just a comment: Maybe the focus should be on WHAT they read, essentials that they should internalize, rather than trying to use somebody else’s opinion about what the Bible says. I would be afraid of they’re remembering the wrong thing about what the Bible actually says. That might create confusion and resentment later on, about their having not been told the right thing.

Perhaps the question here is, is there a suitable book of “Bible stories” for them to become acquainted with, with perhaps quotations of “adult” level text for them to focus on.

sorry if this is irrelevant to your needs.

Psalm 90, thank you for your response. I have no doubts that they are capable of reading a bible intended for adults. However, I feel my kids might not be super excited about reading pages upon pages of 8pt font with nothing to supplement their comprehension. I just thought there might be something geared toward the tween age group. If they have bibles for kids and teens, then why not for tweens? You know, with just the right amount of illustrations, captions, and explanations to add to the reading experience.

Do they read other things of near adult reading level? I don’t think the bible is out of reach for most 12 yr olds, but I agree they may have attention issues.

If you are weekly Mass goers, one strategy is to have them read the weekly reading Saturday or early Sunday before Mass, and talk about what you and they think the readings mean. Then you can see what the homily is, and talk about it on the way home or later. It gives them something to think about in small doses. They will be pleased if the priest talks about the things they thought about when they read it, and hopefully interested if he says something different than they thought of. Its only a couple of paragraphs a week, but it might spark more interest. Plus, it gives you an easy excuse to discuss religion and scripture with them. Just a thought. Frankly had mixed success with this with my own kids, but it helped a little.

St. Mary’s Press:

Catholic Children’s Bible. By far the best.
Decent sized font, tons of explanation pages, and TONS of maps.

A great purchase. We give them to the Children who are converting. They LOVE them.

It is my understanding that the Good News Bible contains about 500 simple line drawing illustrations by Annie Vallotton, examples

One reviewer at recommended Bible for Young Catholics for tweens.

We use the Catholic Youth Bible at our parish and found it to be a good one for that age group…

If you want more pizazz, maybe something like Keith Neely’s The Illustrated Bible: Complete New Testament. This is only the New Testament and the translation used, the International Children’s Bible (ICB) text, is not among the translations approved by the Catholic Church but it is easy to read and very colorful, like a 668-page, hardcover comic book, link.

The same folks appear to working on an illustrated Catholic version that uses the New American Bible - Revised Edition (NAB-RE) text. However, at this time, only 5 individual books of the Bible (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Acts) are available and only in an eBook (PDF) format, as Internet downloads or as “hardcopy” CDs. link.

Three non-Catholic versions (ICB, NASB, KJV) of both the Old and New Testaments of the Bible are already available in eBook (PDF) format, link.

This looks promising for 10-13 year olds…

Breakthrough! The Bible for Young Catholics: Good News translation.
Breakthrough! The Bible for Young Catholics: NABRE translation.

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