Book Review: NIV College Devotional Bible
Reading Level: Leisure
*Reviews of Bibles will depart from other reviews. They will include first person. They will address the feature content as it pertains directly to my theological positions.*
Let me be up front, this will not be a gracious review. At the same time, this is the first “devotional Bible” that I have ever reviewed. I may be completely off on my expectations of such a Bible, but my perspective will be articulated here from this paradigm. Zondervan’s College Devotional Bible is a rather generic Bible. It contains a NIV translation I thoroughly enjoy despite some gender related translations decisions that still irk conservatives (xiii).
My major complaint is with the devotions themselves. With no study notes, the major draw of the College Devotional Bible is the “nine months worth of these devotions” (ix). However, upon reading many of these study notes, including the first six sequentially (3, 5, 7, 12, 16, 21), I was shocked to read nothing that pertained to college students. I began to look through other devotions at random and did not come across one devotional that was directly pertinent to college students. Instead, each of the devotions provided a motivational (read dramatic or emotional) story before asking three brief questions. Some of devotions were more related to the Scripture they occurred beside. Some of the devotions were religious in nature, some were stretches to call “religious.” In every case however the devotions merely attempted to enhance the text through emotional depictions and provocative questions. As none of these depictions or questions pertained to college life I cannot imagine how this is marketable as a College Devotional Bible.
In conclusion, the NIV College Devotional Bible is in a translation I enjoy and contains a healthy number of devotions meant to accompany a reader throughout the Scriptures. However, I cannot recommend this Bible for any reason at all. It is not directly pertinent to college students in its devotional value nor does it enhance the Biblical text in any manner. Individuals seeking to purchase a NIV from Zondervan would be better served buying their NIV Skinii Bible which is both affordable and physical/visually attractive.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.