Wednesday, January 11, 2017

NIV Holy Bible for Girls, Journal Edition

©2015 Zondervan, Grand Rapids

This is the first opportunity that I have had to review a new edition of a Bible. While I will not be reviewing the text of the Scripture, I would like to make a few observations about this special edition of the NIV Translation.

I personally like the New International Version for reading and preaching because of its smooth flow of the English language. I was disappointed a few years ago when publishers re-vamped the text with a version that was a bit more politically savvy than the original NIV. That being said, I would like to turn my attention to the characteristics that make this edition unique among Bibles.

This particular edition is designed with two goals in mind: (1) to appeal to an audience of girls in the pre-teen years and throughout the teenage years, and (2) to provide journaling space so that readers can “make this beautiful book [their] own.”

Aesthetically, the vibrant colors of the cover with pastels and pinks would seem to appeal to a number of girls in the target age group. The cover itself is sturdy cardboard that should last for several years and abide daily use since the Bible is designed to be a tool worthwhile for a girl’s daily devotion time. And it comes equipped with an attached silk place marker as well as a handy elastic strap to keep the book closed when not in use.

The text of the scripture is printed on about 2/3 of the page leaving ample space for notes, ideas, and responses that grab the heart of the reader while they are engaging with the Bible. The other third of the page is lined to aid in the reader’s response. I asked my 15- and 10-year-old daughters to examine the Bible and give me their thoughts, after all they are both in the target group for this edition. Both of them were impressed by the journaling margins designed into the book suggesting that this would make the Bible a good tool to use in daily devotions.

One drawback with the journaling design in my opinion is the paper used for the pages. While the publisher did not use the delicate onion-skin paper that is found in many gift Bibles and high-end, leather-bound editions, the paper is relatively thin to be used for the purpose of note-taking and high-lighting. I fear a great deal of bleed-through might occur for readers with a heavy writing hand like myself. I will grant that the weight of the paper is good to keep the volume from having to be divided into two or three books in order to include the entire text of the Scriptures.

One other exception that my older daughter noted as a disappointment was the lack of study helps such as a short, general concordance and maps, although there is a “Weights & Measures” conversion chart included in the rear end papers.

Overall this is a useful, attractive copy of the Bible that would be a fine gift Bible for the pre-teen or teenaged girl in your life. I give it four out of five reading glasses.

—Benjamin Potter January 11, 2017

[This book was provided free of charge by the publisher for purposes of this review. The opinions are my own.]

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