I was trying to figure out how I would review a teen bible because I’m not a teen and I’m not really into apologetics. But then it dawned on me I live with a teen who is. So rather than hear from the old lady on this one, my brainy, critical and fair-mined teenage son is taking the driver’s seat.
Let’s start at the beginning, Genesis. The Commentary supports both old and young earth views on page 5. The rest of the commentaries gave reasons to why a specific doctrine was faulty or illogical, but it did not when comparing Young Earth Creationism and Old Earth or Theological Evolution.
Here’s why this is a problem. People believe in evolution because of the fossil record. What makes fossils? Dead things do. So for a Christian to believe in an old earth they have to accept that death happened before Adam and Eve sinned. If death happened before sin then death cannot be the punishment for sin. If that is true then Jesus was not the atonement for sin. That’s a big problem.
The translation is very contemporary. I like a more literal translation but there are a lot of foot notes that give background and more literal meaning. The translation is readable for teens.
Additional articles feature notes on interesting topics relevant to 21st century American culture like “Why does God allow evil?” and “What does the bible say about cloning?”.
The “Twisted Scriptures” segments are very good because they tell how some people incorrectly interpret certain scriptures and provide additional scripture references to show why said interpretation is incorrect.
“Fast Facts” are also very good. They deal with controversial viewpoints related to surrounding texts and point out a few logical fallacies in these viewpoints. A couple of them were Darwinian Evolution and Islam.
“Bone and Dirt Notes” contain a few paragraphs featuring archaeological discoveries relevant to surrounding text and how they can influence one’s understanding of the times in order to better understand the scripture. Although, a few of the articles did little to enhance a reader’s understanding, they do feature interesting topics relevant to the surrounding scripture.
“Personal Stories” feature fictional stories of people encountering dilemmas relevant to scripture and how they can or do resolve said dilemmas.
A few commentaries specified controversial points in the church, but did little to resolve said controversy. This is not a prominent feature in the additional articles, though.
I would recommend this bible to anyone who wishes to read a comprehensive study bible with notes that are both relevant to 21st century western culture, and increase the reader’s understanding of the scripture and of the times that they were written in.
Well, there you have it. He recommends it!
Now, here is Mom’s take. Don’t be afraid of the question “Why?” We have to give our kids honest and thoughtful and factual answers to their questions. If you have a teen who is wrestling with tough questions and you want a study bible that can navigate him or her through the word of God, this just might be it.
And guess what? My friends at Flyby have one to give away?
Just comment below with you “Why” question. A winner will be randomly selected from the comments.