I have enjoyed reading through several books in this Bible and studying the inserted teachable sections. My son, who is 13 years old, is currently using this as his Bible for church and home. He told me recently how much he is loving it. He said that he reads through a chapter and then goes back and reads the various inserts to see what more it has to say. He also really likes the look of the Bible and the pages inside. He said that he really likes the font that is used.
As for me, here is what I thought about this Bible:
There are several things that impress me about the Essential Teen Study Bible. I really like the background information that is spread throughout each book of the Bible. It is title “Behind the Story” and helps give more information about setting and timing and other relevant information to aid in the teen’s understanding of how things fit together.
Another wonderful feature in this Bible are the devotional pages. These are also spread throughout the Bible, rather than all clumped into one area. I like this because the devotions are set in whatever part of the Bible that they relate to. For example, right before the book of Ruth, there is a devotional titled, “Whatever You Want” that discusses people’s proclivity to take matters into their own hands rather than relying on God. It raises the question about why Elimelech felt he needed to move his family to Moab and gets the teen thinking about what eventually happened to Elimelech and his sons.
Other teachable points can be found in the “Essential Doctrine” inserts. These small sections point out important beliefs that come from the study of God’s word and sometimes even the different ways things can be interpreted. Once again, a good way to get the teen thinking about things. “Essential Questions” are peppered throughout that relate to the verses that they are near. The answers are also written right there with them. That seemed a little strange to me to have the answer printed right under the question. If I was designing that portion, I would probably put the “Essential Question” on one page and then create an “Essential Answer” section on the facing page. Close enough to find, but a little separate.
The “Respond” sections are also small inserts and bring the truths learned to a personal level, asking questions about how the teen would react to a similar situation. I love that there are “Redemption Thread” sections throughout the entire Bible, weaving the story of Jesus from the beginning to the end. It is so important to see how everything connects.
The feel of the bible is nice. It is a nice weight, not too heavy and not too light. The pages are thin, but not as thin as some of the Bibles in our household. I think that the HCSB Essential Teen Study Bible will be one that my son can use and learn from for many years to come.
I received a complimentary copy of this Bible in exchange for an honest review.
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