June 19, 2014

NIV Teen Study Bible

Lauded as the “Bestselling Bible for Teens,” the NIV Teen Study Bible published by Zondervan comes in a variety of cover choices, ranging from my paperback review copy to the attractive leather-like cover in the compact edition shown below. Regardless of the appearance outside, the inside includes helpful sidebars and interesting inserts by Larry and Sue Richards, who obviously had teens in mind in this updated version of the reader-friendly New International Version (NIV)of the Bible.

For example, the front matter provides The Apostles Creed, used by many denominations as a clear statement of faith. Then, a “We Believe” page lists, verse-by-verse, relevant biblical references throughout the text, so young people can see how the creed came about and what each phrase means.

In Genesis, for instance, a “We Believe” page addresses the belief that “God is ‘the Maker of Heaven and Earth’,” then goes on to explain how “Genesis 1 teaches that God created the universe. Life didn’t ‘just happen’ as molecules bumped into each other. How do you know? Psalm 19:1 and Romans 1:18-20 suggest that you look around. If you saw a shiny new Mustang in a junkyard, would you think it ‘evolved’ from the junkyard parts?” With the universe far “more complex than a Mustang,” we can be sure of God’s good work and, more importantly, know “that the heavenly Father who loves you is the all-powerful creator of the universe.”

Scattered throughout this highly recommended edition, you’ll also find Introductions to each book of the Bible, Q&As of Bible trivia, teen-friendly side bars, and article inserts such as “Dear Jordan.” For instance, a “Dear Jordan” question in Genesis asks why it’s so hard to resist temptation, while a question in Job wants to know why God didn’t heal a friend who died. In Romans, another teen asks about her relationship with her parents, and in each case, “Jordan” provides a biblically sound response.

Christian teens will also appreciate the additional helps in the back matter such as the “Bible Truth Index” and “Teen Life Index,” each of which addresses subjects young people wonder about -- alcohol, anger, dating, swearing, and even zits! Odd, perhaps, but God cares about every aspect of us and our lives as this teen-loving edition clearly shows.

© 2014, Mary Harwell Sayler, reviewer, is a lifelong lover of the Bible and traditionally published author of 26 books in all genres, including two poetry books, the Bible-basedOutside Eden and environmentally-oriented Living in the Nature Poem.

NIV Teen Study Bible, paperback

NIV Teen Study Bible, compact edition, leather-look cover


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