Monday, September 17, 2012

Rock Solid Faith Study Bible For Teens

Rock Solid Faith Study Bible For Teens: Build and Defend Your Faith Based on God's Promises
New International Version
Zondervan, Grand Rapids MI, 2012

This is a NIV Bible in a handsome hardcover printed with a rock wall design, which is repeated on the presentation page. This edition is billed as helping teenage readers, ages 13-16, to "face their questions head on and build a steadfast foundation for their faith. With the Rock Solid Bible, teens discover constant and concrete truths rooted in the unchanging love, guidance, and promises of God."

The Rock Solid Faith edition contains the complete NIV text of the Old and New Testaments, as well as additional features:
Truths that examine Christian beliefs and explorations of other religions;
Principles that apply the Bible to relationships, sex, money, and more;
Promises that call out what is (and is not) promised in the Scriptures;
Plans that explore God’s plan for daily life;
People that provide scriptural examples of overcoming challenges; and
Unshaken God that points out God’s amazing and unyielding attributes.

There are also reading plans, eight pages of full-color maps, Bible book introductions, and other features to help teens grapple with big questions about the world, their futures, and their faith.

Zondervan is publishing the Rock Solid Faith Study Bible in hardcover and Italian leather covers, as well as an eBook version.

This study Bible provides ample footnotes on translations of Hebrew and Greek words, although I may disagree about some of the choices made by the translators. I found the additional features in this edition quite helpful for teens and for providing food for thought, and answers, to their questions.

But this Bible will not be helpful for teens who are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered. Coming from my mainstream Canadian denomination, I ran head-on into the "Rock Solid Truth" that comments on Leviticus 18:1-30 and states that "Homosexuality is a sin - and so are lots of other things." This Truth goes on to say that "the conviction that homosexuality is wrong isn't just based on Old Testament passages - like Leviticus 18:22. The Bible consistently speaks against homosexual behavior, including in New Testament passages like Romans 1:26-32 and 1 Corinthians 6:9-11." This edition does not acknowledge the debate over whether the words translated as "men who have sex with men" (1 Corinthians 6:9) apply to the modern understanding of sexual orientation.

This "Truth" commentary does note that the Bible never depicts homosexuality as the worst possible sin, but lists it alongside such sins as envy, gossip, lying, and disobeying parents - and asks teens "Think: Why do you think homosexuality is a sin - or not?" (although it has already answered that question pretty definitively).

In our mainstream context, the Rock Solid Faith Study Bible will be a good resource for teens who realize that not all followers of Jesus interpret its "Truths" the same way.

No comments: