Friday, August 29, 2014

BOOK REVIEW: A mediocre Bible for college students ...

I love the fact that the Bible remains the best-selling book of all time.

I've also not been shy to state my disdain regarding how publishers treat the Bible as another product in the way they try to churn out a myriad of offerings for different "types" of Bibles to bolster their profits. There's the "recovery" Bible, men's study Bible, women's study Bible, teen study Bible, new believer Bible, and so on, all offered in different colors, covers, and designs. But when I saw that Zondervan had published the "College Bible: Devotional Version" (NIV version), I was curious and hopeful.

I was hopeful because I think it's those college years, when young adults take their first significant step away from home and not only into greater independence, but usually into an environment very hostile to their faith, that is one of the most impacting years of life. I was hopeful that, if a publisher really did want to publish a Bible version focused on meeting the needs of a particular audience, that this would be a great Bible college students could find great value in.

I was disappointed.

At least, regarding the emphasis on the college student.

The good thing is, this is a Bible, and if college students make that central to their lives, then they will have what they need to guide them through this time in their lives.

But as far as being a good resource beyond being a Bible, this new Bible misses the mark. Here is what Zondervan promotes as being the key features in this Bible:
  • 222 school-year devotions with daily insights on, and applications to, relevant topics.
  • Devotions use a unique storytelling approach to connect God's Word with your real-life questions, struggles, and decisions as a student.
  • A practical reading plan that helps you stay connected to God during the nine months of school each year.
  • Quick-start guide shows how to get the most out of reading the Bible.
  • Subject index for looking up topics of interest.
  • Complete text of the clear, accessible NIV Bible.
None of these features are unique, you'll find them in just about any study Bible on the market today. So, for this new Bible to have any additional relevance to college students, the devotions would need to be of high quality and really offer some significant value to college students in their new life experience.

That's where this Bible fails.

The devotions are very short, and of mediocre content; there is nothing about them particularly impactful to a young adult away from home for the first time. Given this fact, there's nothing that makes this Bible the preferred Bible version for a college student. In fact, other study Bibles have more resources than this Bible offers, and might be of greater value to a college student as far as study Bibles go.

I actually liked the concept of equipping college students with a great study Bible that could really provide them with study resources that speak to this time in their lives, but this Bible just didn't rise to the challenge.

That's okay.

As long as college students are willing to make the Bible, itself, their primary book of study as they move forward into their future, they'll have what they most need.

Scotty

I received this book free from HarperCollins Christian Publishing as part of their BookLook book review bloggers program. 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.”

2 comments:

  1. good points. not student specific- but that miight be a good thing too.

    ReplyDelete