As a dad of two small children, I know that most young kids learn better if they can look at some sort of visual while they learn. Hey, it’s not just kids. I’m the same way, which is why Sharefaith focuses on helping churches with their media communication. We have a good collection of storybook Bibles, colorful Bible stories, and even a set of felt characters to put on a colorful felt backdrop.

The ESV Illustrated Family Bible is an excellent resource for an illustrated Bible. It’s a hybrid of a children’s Bible, a storybook condensed version of the Bible, and a Bible with pictures. It contains 270 stories from the Bible, using the actual text of the ESV. Each of the stories has a fresh, attractive, colorful illustrations.


  • This Bible makes no attempt to reduce the Bible to a bedtime storybook for kids. Not that there is anything inherently wrong with that. In fact, I appreciate The Big Picture Storybook Bible because it has such a great overview of the whole of Scripture. Instead, this book uses the actual text of Scripture. It is simply selections from the Bible, plus pictures.
  • The selection of Bible stories is pretty expansive, and does a good job of capturing the major storyline of the Bible.
  • The illustrations are wonderful. One of the biggest downsides to many picture Bibles is the quality of illustrations. I know it’s a big undertaking to draw pictures for the whole Bible, but stick figures or cut/paste images are sometimes a bit cheap. This storybook Bible has high-quality, representational artwork on every single page.
  • The illustrations are well-researched (historically accurate), appropriate (strategic leaf placement on Adam and Eve depictions), and, thankfully, the artist represented racial accuracy as well. Too often, the twelve disciples are depicted as North American Caucasians, with an array of blond, red, brown, gray, and black hair, along with varying eye-colors. These paintings are realistic.
  • For a full-color hardback book of 422 pages, $16.99 is not a bad price.


  • Like many “children’s Bibles” this edition is woefully bereft of many of the prophetic sections of the Old Testament. I recognize that it may be a bit difficult to visually depict Ezekiel’s wheels or Daniel’s beasts. However, none of the narrative  passages from Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and even Isaiah are not included.

For a change from children’s Bible storybooks, in which the Bible stories are simply retold, the ESV Illustrated Family Bible is a helpful resource.

502255: ESV Illustrated Family Bible ESV Illustrated Family Bible

By Crossway Books & Bibles



About The Author

Daniel Threlfall has been writing church ministry articles for more than 10 years. With his background and training (M.A., M.Div.), Daniel is passionate about inspiring pastors and volunteers in their service to the King. Daniel is devoted to his family, nerdy about SEO, and drinks coffee with no cream or sugar. Learn more about Daniel at his blog and twitter.

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