Bible Shopping

Bible Shopping

I went Bible shopping last week on the occasion of my oldest son becoming a teenager. He was ready for a Bible to travel with him into adulthood and 13 seemed a good milestone for this gift. Of course, selecting a Bible is no small task, and I realized shortly into my bookstore excursion that I would not get any other errands done that afternoon. Ninety minutes later I walked out with a Bible that we both like a lot. I know it will serve him well and I’m grateful for the many hours that two editors put into this Bible.

I chose the NIV Student Bible (http://www NULL.zondervan NULL.htm?ProdID=com NULL.zondervan NULL.9780310437291&QueryStringSite=Zondervan) edited by Philip Yancey and Tim Stafford. Although I already own a copy of this Bible, it hadn’t occurred to me to purchase this one for Collin. I went shopping intending to get one of the newer Bibles put together especially for teen boys. There are many, and all with cool colors, leather or imitation leather covers, and all variety of graphic and life application help inside.

“Compare a few of your favorite passages in several Bibles,” the clerk advised me. “Choose a hard passage, too, and see how each Bible handles it.” She said that a recent customer who came accompanied with a son chose the NIV Revolution: The Bible for Teen Guys (http://www NULL.zondervan NULL.htm?ProdID=com NULL.zondervan NULL.9780310936657&QueryStringSite=Zondervan). It has a great black and blue leather cover and the kind of layout and graphics inside that teen boys will like, with lots of text boxes throughout relating Bible themes to the life of a teen boy. The girl’s version, with many great cover options, is called the NIV True Images: The Bible for Teen Girls (http://www NULL.zondervan NULL.htm?ProdID=com NULL.zondervan NULL.9780310410218&QueryStringSite=Zondervan).

I also liked the NIV Teen Study Bible (http://www NULL.zondervan NULL.htm?ProdID=com NULL.zondervan NULL.9780310722533&QueryStringSite=Zondervan). It, too, comes in lots of cover options and colors for both boys and girls and is just a bit more studious in nature. But it also contains much material relating to friends, family, school and other teen issues.

These Bibles are all available in the NIV translation updated in 2011. If you’re shopping, pay attention to which version of NIV you are looking at. The 2011 updated version has shifted in many passages to gender inclusive language, which I like and feel is appropriate for young people. A verse such as 1 Corinthians 8:3 changes from “But the man who loves God…” to “But whoever loves God is known by God.”

Our church youth pastor recommends the New Living Translation for teens. The NLT Student’s Life Application Study Bible (http://newlivingtranslation NULL.asp?id=youth_teen&isbn=978-1-4143-0217-1) includes first-person stories of real teens and how they applied God’s Word to situations.

An adult friend just bought an NLT Life Application Study Bible (http://newlivingtranslation NULL.asp?id=study&isbn=978-1-4143-6334-9) for herself and loves it. I spent a lot of time with the updated NIV Study Bible (http://www NULL.zondervan NULL.htm?ProdID=com NULL.zondervan NULL.9780310437468&QueryStringSite=Zondervan), which has both the 2011 NIV translation and updated study notes, with the addition of color photos dropped in throughout its pages, picturing things like Jesus’ possible grave site and an original 1st century fishing boat like the one Jesus and his disciples used. I love my older NIV Study Bible and like this updated version even more.

So why did I choose the NIV Student Bible with all of the other great choices? We’ve memorized for a long time from the NIV. And I’m biased for Yancey, with good reason. Both he and Stafford have an uncanny way of speaking to young people right where they are. They don’t talk down, but they relate in a real way and also a way that gives kids a lot of credit for having a brain and using it. This Bible will take Collin through college and beyond. I recommend it to any adult as well. Yancey is expert at handling tough Bible issues and helping readers find meaning for today.

Does your teen have a good Bible? Is he or she using it every day? If not, maybe a new resource or some encouragement will help. Sitting with a parent and finding a good Bible reading routine can be a great start. These Bibles all include reading plans and suggestions. A radio speaker I heard recently said she had spent nightly time with her kids all the way through high school reading and talking about the Bible. A youth speaker who visited our church encouraged kids to make their bedroom into a “Bible college” by reading and memorizing Scripture there faithfully each day. His theme, “I MUST be about my Father’s business,” echoed Jesus at age 12.

Pray about it. Encourage gently and be quick to join your kids in opening the Bible. There is probably nothing that will impact their life, or ours, more deeply.

A note on Bibles for younger children. I love these: NIV Adventure Bible (http://www NULL.zondervan NULL.htm?ProdID=com NULL.zondervan NULL.9780310437291&QueryStringSite=Zondervan) (ages 9-12), Read with Me Bible (http://www NULL.zondervan NULL.htm?ProdID=com NULL.zondervan NULL.9780310920083&QueryStringSite=Zondervan) (ages 4-7), The Jesus Storybook Bible (http://www NULL.zondervan NULL.htm?ProdID=com NULL.zondervan NULL.9780310708254&QueryStringSite=Zondervan) (ages 4-7), The Baby Bible Storybook for Boys (http://www NULL.davidccook NULL.cfm?sn=105593) (ages 0-4) and The Baby Bible Storybook for Girls (http://www NULL.davidccook NULL.cfm?sn=106062)

How has your choice in Bibles affected how you read it?

[Thank you to GeoWombats/Flickr for the use of your photo!]

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  1. Brenda
    Feb 14, 2012

    The English Standard Version is also an excellent translation. It stays with a more literal rendering of the language, using “man” and male pronouns. The ESV Study Bible came out only a few years ago and has won awards of excellence. I like very much the ESV Student Study Bible. It is more studious than any of the Bibles for teen listed above, yet still simpler in scope than the adult study Bibles.

  2. Esther (http://Website)
    Feb 23, 2012

    Cool blog!

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