Today, let’s look at the NKJV Teen Study Bible from Zondervan. I’d like to focus on the study helps involved with this Bible, because a simple review is no place to treat with the weighty issues of Bible translation critique. I’ll say this and move forward: there are good reasons to use a translation other than the New King James version of the Bible. There are also some good reasons to use it. The best Bible translation of the world is basically useless if you don’t read it. So if you’ll read NKJV but won’t read NASB or HCSB or NIV, then there’s no reason not to read NKJV. (There are spurious pseudo-translations that you should not read. This is not one.)
First observation: I’ve got the hardcover from Zondervan. It has held up well to several weeks of being tossed in a backpack and lugged around. After all, if you want to give a Bible to a teenager, you need it to hold up.
Second observation: contents are in color, which helps with attention span and focus. Further, colors help separate the Biblical text from the other materials.
Third observation: the general study helps are fairly denominationally neutral. They are mostly on the “conservative” side, to use the catchphrase. In this case, it’s not political but theological. “Conservative” tends to stick with the traditional views of the existence of miracles, historicity of the text, and so forth.
Fourth observation: the authors include the classic Apostle’s Creed in examination of basic Christian beliefs. For readers in a non-creedal tradition, this may be somewhat odd. But this does provide a good summary of minimal Christianity.
Conclusion: as a pastor, I’ll be passing this one on to a teen who needs a study Bible. It lacks the depth of say, the Zondervan NIV Study Bible, but it’s not intended to be. For an entry level study Bible, it’s a good option. It does not stand out among the crowd, but if NKJV is your preference, this one works.
I did receive a free book in exchange for this review.