The best way to know if a teenager will respond well to this 2013 edition of the New King James Version (NKJV) is to ask. So I did.
Previously, my thirteen and a half-year-old granddaughter had chosen NKJV as her favorite, saying she liked the poetic sound when we read the same verses aloud from a half-dozen translations. Me too. And, having memorized KJV verses when I was her age, I could also relate those verses to this contemporary rendering.
But back to my grand reader. When she picked up this edition, she commented on the simplicity of the cover with its red-orange flame above the word “Ignite” that's been embossed into a thick paper cover with the look of parchment. She liked it.
Inside that non-curling cover, the color motif serves more than decoration as dark orange highlights study aids with such lively titles as “Sparks” (of God’s Promises), “Spotlights” (like headlines for a story), “Flashpoints,” (flashing back to questions or thoughts teens are apt to have during the day), and “White Hot Topics” (to link Bible stories and show their relevancy to concerns teens typically have.)
In addition to those study aids throughout the book, chocolate-colored “Soul Fuel” gives readers an array of delectable verses to taste, remember, and hold close.
Each of those colorful aids will help young people enjoy the Bible on their own and turn to appropriate pages in times of crisis too. For example, the “Find It Topical Index” in the opening pages will help teens know where to look for biblical responses to diverse topics ranging from “Abortion,” “Alcohol,” “Ambition,” and “Anger” to “Witchcraft,” “Worry,” and “Worship of Idols and Heroes.”
Most likely, teens will look up those subjects when alone or with a BFF, but this Bible stands up well to group study too. Besides the key-word concordance and maps at the back of the book, a reader can quickly find any book in the Bible by going to the alphabetical list just inside the flyleaf. A few pages later, a standard table of contents has been included too, and for additional help on finding one’s place or keeping up with the group, large vertically-printed letters show the book, chapter, and verse on the edge of each page.
Although I want to thank Thomas Nelson, Inc., for this review copy, I give deep thanks for an edition that doesn't try to do too much but actually ignites teen interest in what the Bible has to say and shows its relevance to their lives. May God keep these sparks alive and aglow in Jesus’ name.
©2013, Mary Harwell Sayler
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