Have you noticed that many of the labels that once said, “One Size Fits All” now read “One Size Fits Most”? There has been a gradual change because there is recognition of the individuality of all people. The same goes for the Bible. There is no single text or format that works for everyone.
In my time of ministry, I have had friends with disabilities come to me and say, “Pastor Ryan I need help finding a Bible that works for me.” Or I have been asked by people who are trying to find a Bible for their loved one living with a disability. There is a clear recognition that a “One Size Fits All” approach to Bibles does not work.
My personal favorite Bible was given to me by my parents when I was baptized on April 10th, 1988. It has special meaning and works perfectly for me. It is an NIV translation with standard size print and no pictures. I would never hand this Bible to a child who could not read. They need to see pictures. I also would not hand this Bible to someone who cannot speak or read English because it would not do them any good.
So, what do I recommend?
Let me categorize this in a “One Size Fits Most” approach.
If you are looking for a specific translation recommendation let me give you two. I highly recommend the NIRV (New International Reader’s Version) and the ERV (Easy Reader’s Version) translations of the Bible. Both translations are created to be easily understood by all people. If you are looking for an actual Bible below are a few of my top recommendations. Each Bible is designed to reach a specific people group.
New Testament Accessible Edition
This Accessible New Testament was created by Biblica, The International Bible Society. This Bible uses the New International Reader’s Version (NIRV) which was designed to make the Bible clear, understandable, and easy to ready, with shorter sentences and simpler language. This unique edition has customized illustrations, larger font, no columns, and simpler navigation. The way it is laid out makes it easier to read like a typical book.
This edition has been developed specifically for those with learning disabilities, moderate sight loss, lower levels of literacy, and English as a second language, it can be used by any reader wishing to explore God’s Word.
- Trailer: https://www.thegoodbook.co.uk/nirv-accessible-edition-new-testament
- About: https://www.biblicaeurope.com/our-work/the-accessible-bible
- Where to buy: https://www.biblicaeurope.com/bible-resources/product/234/nirv-accessible-edition-new-testament
Visual Bible experience is a resource made for adults that takes you beyond the Biblical text. Let me repeat this is intended for adults and has adult content. This is not meant to be a substitute for the Bible but rather to supplement it. Eyewitness is a great introductory piece for visual learners that may struggle to get excited about getting into God’s word. It highlights many of the Bible’s most well-known stories as it gives you different perspectives and insight into what the main characters may have been thinking and experiencing by using first-person narratives. The artwork is breathtaking and captivating.
- About: https://www.experienceeyewitness.com/
- Where to buy: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1470759578
The Action Bible
This comic book style Bible has over 230 fast-paced narratives in chronological order, making it easy to follow the Bible’s historical flow and building up to the thrilling climax of God’s redemptive story. Great for children, teens, young adults, or anyone who loves comic books! Perfect for the visual learner.
Where to buy: https://www.amazon.com/The-Action-Bible/dp/083077744X
The Kid’s Adventure Bible (NIRV)
There are several different versions of the Kid’s Adventure Bible. Make sure to pay attention to the translation. You will want to get the NIRV (New International Reader’s Version) translation. This translation is written at a 3rd Grade reading level and is perfect for not only young readers but people of all ages and abilities. While this Bible can work well for teens and young adults too because of the translation remember that the intended audience is children ages 6-10. Some people can be sensitive to the fact that it is a children’s Bible and that is okay. There are plenty of other options on this list.
Many different features make this a great Bible for people of all ages. It is full color, so it is more engaging. It highlights different verses to memorize. Gives you extra interesting facts. Provides readers with hands-on activities to help their faith come alive. The font size is 9-point.
Beyond Suffering Study Bible
Created by Joni and Friends as an in-depth Bible study centered around the many themes of disability in the Bible. It is the first topical Bible written for those who suffer and the people who love them. This study Bible is a perfect resource for anyone leading or volunteering in Disability Ministry. It comes with built-in devotionals, book introductions, and connection points. Beyond Suffering uses the New Living Translation (NLT).
- About: https://www.joniandfriends.org/beyond-suffering-bible/
- Where to buy: https://store.joniandfriends.org/product/beyond-suffering-bible/
The Bible App
Created by You Version and available in all app stores for FREE.
This app is available in more than 60 different languages and has nearly 500 million app installs already. If you don’t have this on your phone, tablet, desktop, voice device you are missing out!
The Bible App gives you access to 2,062 different Bible versions in 1,372 different languages for free without any advertising. It comes with daily devotionals, verse of the day, prayer lists, graphics for social media, reading plans, audio versions, and more.
One of my favorite options on the Bible App is the fact that you can listen to it. This makes God’s word accessible to all people groups including those who are either visually impaired or blind.
Experience it: Bible.com
Also available from You Version is The Bible App for Kids. It is designed specifically to engage children with Bible stories on an age-appropriate level. The Bible App for Kids is a free app for Android, Apple, and Kindle devices, available in over 55 languages, and is already installed on over 50 million unique devices all over the world.
Deaf Bible App
Created by the Deaf Bible Society, Inc. and available in all app stores for FREE.
The Bible translated into sign language for 26 different countries. It is a FREE download and a most for anyone hard of hearing, deaf, or working in the field of disability ministry. This app also features a Scripture of the Day for daily spiritual encouragement. An amazing built-in feature is a locator designed to help people find the nearest Deaf Church or ministry to them.
Locator Tool: deafchurchwhere.com
It is Ryan’s passion to equip and empower churches, organizations, and individuals to reach their disability communities for Jesus. Ryan comes to Ability Ministry with 15+ years of ministry experience. He previously worked at First Christian Church in Canton, Ohio as their full-time Disability Pastor. He also worked as a Church Consultant for Key Ministry. Micah 6:8 and Proverbs 31:8 best describe Ryan’s commitment to life and ministry.