My 14-year-old came home last week talking about the book of Ecclesiastes. This is not a normal circumstance–but I had tasked him with helping me review the new NIV Student Bible from Zondervan, which I was given a free copy of to review as a Bible Gateway BG2 member–and he was taking it seriously.
Actually, what really happened was he started reading the Bible…and really liked it. I remember getting my first NIV Student Bible as a teen–and it transformed the way I read the Bible. Apparently, this new edition, with commentary by bestselling author Phillip Yancey, is doing the same. My son talked to me about Solomon’s words on life–how the king looked out over his vast kingdom, contemplated his vast wealth and abundant life, and declared: “Meaningless! Meaningless! Everything is meaningless!!”
My son commented that, in reading the commentary, he learned that Solomon wasn’t really saying all life is meaningless, just life without God because God gives life meaning. And, he said, the notes in the Bible applied the teaching in a real-world way that made sense to him. My chin might have hit the floor.
You can read more about the new NIV Student Bible from Zondervan here: But I thought I’d let my son fill you in on all the deets that appealed to him.
First, he says the Guided Reading plans are easy to follow…and that he learned a lot from the. He liked the way they were broken down by topic. He also thought the introduction to each Bible book gave a lot of useful information about what was to come, and that the examples included tied into real life and “made sense.”
Then there are the notes, which he says are “nice and helpful to understanding more about the Scripture.”
His overall impression: “All in all, this Bible is nice to use, easy to follow, and there is a lot to learn from it–but this Bible makes it easy to learn. The NIV Student Bible makes understanding the Bible easier.”
After giving me his review, he asked me if he could keep using the Bible, because he is really enjoying reading it. Then he promptly put it back in his backpack, where he’s been carrying it to and from school for two weeks–reading in his spare time both in class and on the bus.
I’m pretty sure I can’t give more of an endorsement than that!
Blessings and Peace,