Known for the spiritual depth, insight, and accuracy of their books, Saint Mary’s Press has revised and published a quality paperback of The Catholic Youth Bible and kindly sent me a copy to review.
The visually appealing cover not only encourages us to “Pray It! Study It! Live It!®” the contents and unique features help Christians of all ages to do just that.
Almost immediately, the front matter assures us, “This Bible can change your life!” And how could it not? As the very next page declares:
“God loves you and wants to be in a lifelong friendship with you. The Bible tells the story of God’s love, revealed most perfectly in Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection. Through Christ, God offers you forgiveness, freedom, companionship, and new life. It is a wonderful gift!”
The page goes on to add:
“This Bible is like no other because it belongs to you! So personalize it… make it a reflection of who you are. You will discover countless places to . Write .Color .Draw . Highlight . Journal”
The attractive color-washed illustrations and relevant sidebars on the inside pages and colored-on “tabs” to mark various sections of the Bible on the outer edges generate interest and make it easier to find what you want. In addition, a colorful “bookcase” shows “How the Bible is organized,” while introductory pages provide a “Quick Summary” and “Headline Highlights” for each book of God’s Word.
To young readers or novices of any age, all of this might seem like mere academics were it not for the inclusion of such introductory features as “How Is This Relevant to My Life Today?” In Genesis, for example, the text responds to that question with these words:
- · “God has the power to bring order out of chaos.
- · When we fail, God still cares for us.
- · Remaining faithful even when things seem impossible can lead to unexpected blessings.”
Or, if we feel the distance between ourselves and, say, The Book of Numbers, these responses to the relevancy of God’s Word will help to close the gap between the distant past and today:
- · “Patience and trust in God go hand in hand.
- · When things feel overwhelming, we must not give up on God.
- · God’s timing may be different from our timing.”
And, looking into the future with the relevancy of Revelation, we find these encouraging words:
- · “Do not lose hope; evil will ultimately lose.
- · The magnificence of heaven that awaits us is unbelievable.
- · Through all the trials now and at the end of times, Jesus is and will always be there for us.”
In the back matter of the book, other relevant helps include “Core Beliefs,” a glossary, an “Overview of Salvation History,” a “Biblical History Time Line,” and illustrations you can color. In addition, the feature “When I’m Feeling” addresses typically encountered emotions with Bible responses to “Let the word of God guide and support you as you face life’s joys and challenges.”
May God help us to seek and find this guidance throughout our lives!
Order a copy for yourself and the youth in your life, by clicking here: The Catholic Youth Bible.