Book Review: The NIV Teen Study 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. No comments will be made toward the benefits of the translation or version.*
The NIV Teen Study Bible (henceforth TSB) is one of many modern specialized Bibles. Larry and Sue Richards are the writers for the features provided in the TSB. These features include “We Believe” (exposition on the Apostle’s Creed), “Panorama” (top level view of each book) and “Instant Access” (application of key passages).
I am excited by the movement to put historical creeds in front of teens. The exposition of the creed occurs within the context of Bible passages pertinent to the line or doctrine within the creed. These sections are faithful to historic Christianity and make an effort to provide applicable analogies. In a similar vein, the “Panorama” and “Instant Access” features bring the Scriptures to a pointed application for teens. In this regard the TSB does show remarkable frankness concerning the role of sex, drugs and drinking in the modern age (7, 52, 736, 1462). Parents of younger teens should practice caution in placing this before their children. At the very least parents should consider discussing these particular applications with their teens. This is especially noticeable when questionable dating advice (e.g. “Dating is a time for fun and for getting to know lots of kids of the opposite sex”) seems to be given half hazardously (29).
Doctrinally the TSB is by a large harmless but not without serious faults. It is Dispensational (15), Futurist in its eschatology (1577-1578) and conclusively non-Calvinistic (1401). As I disagree with each of these perspectives, I would not consider placing the TSB before my children just for the practical application to teenage life. Those who find themselves less Reformed in their theology should note this and decide if the TSB is in line with their theological conviction.
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.”