It’s pretty rare that I post anything relating to teens on this blog yet, but my husband teaches teens, and we both are around teens in our fellowship. We also love our NIV Bibles (especially study bibles), so I grabbed the opportunity to review the newest version of the NIV Teen Study Bible (Zondervan, revised 2014).
We love using many translations in our home, but the NIV is a great translation for daily reading. This teen Bible includes many different features that impressively help the reader reflect on truths found within God’s Word.
Immediately upon opening this Bible, I found (and love) the “We Believe” introduction page. This page breaks down the phrases within “the Apostles’ Creed” and points the reader to an appropriate section in Scripture to learn more about that phrase. When the reader turns to one of those Scriptures, he/she finds a one-page devotion on those verses and truths found within.
This Bible also includes a variety of other devotion-like features that help the reader figure out how biblical truths relate to today’s life.
- Both my husband and I love the “instant access” sidebars. These boxes of text take a handful of verses and offer a 50- to 100-word devotion on how that biblical story can be applied in a teen’s life now.
- The “To The Point” and “Panorama” sections found within each book also serve to summarize the book’s truths and highlight main points.
- Many of the books also have a “Dear Jordan” feature formatted like an advice column letter. My husband and I were both thankful that the questions addressed are very real issues with today’s teens, and these questions didn’t hold back. (Teens desperately need honest conversations from good sources.) The answers seem to suffice and have sound advice, though I wonder if all teens will be able to relate to the straightforward tone. Tone is such a subjective aspect, and the writers likely had to balance capturing teens’ attention while still using language (without too much slang) that could still be relevant in five or more years. For this, I applaud the writers.
Study Bible Features
The only “negative” my husband offered was that this Bible wasn’t as much of a true “study Bible” as he thought it would be by carrying the “NIV [Teen] Study Bible” title, and I agree. That said, we both find numerous features that absolutely offer study aspects that teens wouldn’t find in a “regular” Bible. These features include:
- One-page summaries at the beginning of each book with a brief background and some highlights of the book. We also love the green bars at the bottom of these pages that share world events occurring likely around the same time as the events within that book. While these times cannot be proven for certain, it’s fascinating to think of what’s happening in the other parts of the world at the same time as these biblical events.
- Highlighted verses throughout the Bible
- Study Q&As
- The back of the Bible offers: weight and measures conversion charts, reading plan suggestions and checklist, a “Bible Truth Index” with topical listings, a “Teen Life Index” to look up relevant issues, and 8 full color study maps.
The “instant access” features mentioned previously also integrate some background information that would be found in true “study bible notes” along with thoughts on how that information is relevant to today’s teens.
We plan to keep this Bible around, read it ourselves to help us better serve the teens around us, and hopefully offer copies to some teens as gifts!
What Bible does your teen prefer to use? What do you (parent/caregiver or teen) want to be included in within a Bible focused on teens?
Disclosure: I received a free copy of this Bible from the publisher and BookLook Bloggers in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own. I was not compensated in any other way.
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