Monday, May 23, 2016

NKJV Teen Study Bible - A Review

NKJV Teen Study Bible

NKJV Teen Study Bible.cover.jpg

Features Written By
Larry and Sue Richards

A Review

It has been a few years since I have looked at a Study Bible designed for teens - but this version is one of the better once that I have stumbled upon. Clearly aimed at a teen audience, its helps, notes, and indexes, are designed to assist the teen in addressing the many issues that they may face in the 21st century.

The complete text of the NKJV Bible provides the Biblical standard. Originally completed in 1982, this version still remains one of the most valuable of the more recent translations.

Theologically, this volume is rooted in The Apostles’ Creed. This begins repeating the Apostles’ Creed twice on the first two pages: first to merely print it out, as it might be in a hymnal. The next page then prints it out phrase by phrase, highlighting key verses supporting each thought or concept. Following these verses will provide a brief devotional on that phrase or concept. The devotional thoughts are not overly deep - but deep enough and practical enough that a teen will be encouraged to ask why each concept might apply to life. Just prior to Easter I completed a sermon series on The Apostles’ Creed - having these devotional thoughts would have been handy during my sermon preparation.

A number of sidebars add additional value to the book - a series of “Dear Jordan” letters, similar to the 1970’s “Dear Abby” newspaper columns, ask questions that might be avoided by some teens. A series of Bible trivia questions (actually, questions are paired - a trivia question and a challenge question) run throughout the text. Practical advice is provided throughout in sections entitled “Instant Access”. As might be expected, Book Introductions and Bible Maps are provided. The introductions seem a bit weak for what most teens could use; the maps are comparable to the eight page Bible maps found in most Bibles.

My biggest complaint for any Study Bible is the lack of an index providing access to the included helps. This complaint does not apply to this Bible - two indexes make the material accessible. The first index focuses on the typical Biblical themes a teen might find of interest: e.g. creation, prayer, spiritual gifts, etc. The second index draws attention to issues that challenge the modern teen: e.g dating, doubts, gangs, etc.

Along with the two indexes, there is a cheat sheet provide that allows the Bible reader to mark exactly which chapters have read. Though no formal reading plan is provided, guidelines are given for reading the Bible through in one or two years. Also include is a simple table of weights and measures used by the authors of scripture.

I would not recommend this Bible as a graduation gift for the High School student - it is aimed a slightly younger audience. I would recommend it as a gift for the student starting sixth grade through the start of high school. It would also be a suitable birthday or Christmas gift for the pre-teen or teen entering these grades from parents, grandparents, or the church family. I will provide my copy to a Nepalese ministry that shares facilities and ministries with my home church.

This review is based on a free copy provided by the publisher for the purpose of creating this review.  The opinions expressed are my own.

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