Review of the NIV Revolution Bible for Teen Guys

September 13th, 2017


There are a number of study Bibles on the market for students; and for a number of years, among those, has been the NIV Revolution Bible, a study Bible designed for teen guys. This year, Zondervan saw fit to update this resource, giving it a new look and updated study notes and commentary. These updated features are designed to help make the NIV Revolution Bible a relevant student resource for 2017 and beyond.


The study resources contained within the Revolution Bible range from full page commentary on issues of faith that are relevant to teenagers, to shorter in-line notes designed to explain a particular verse or passage. Each of these study helps carries with it a header that is relevant to what they are trying to express within the note; and relevant to point the student to the overall purpose of this study bible, which is to help teen guys explore what it means to live a “revolutionary life for God.” This includes categories like “Battle Lines,” which is a category aimed at dealing with real world problems that many teens face, or “Live the Revolution,” which aims at dealing with issues of practical daily application of the Word of God.

The benefit of many of these study helps is that they are practical and seek to deal with real-life issues of faith, guiding the student toward ways to apply their faith to situations they may face in everyday life. The authors appear to be looking to answer some of the important questions that teen guys have; many of which are likely to come up as they spend time in the Word of God. As such, the many study helps are extremely useful and could be very helpful as they wrestle through the many challenges associated with life and faith.


In addition to some of these other resources, one of the more helpful tools found within the NIV Revolution Bible is the introduction offered for each book. These one-page summaries offer basic information about each book of the Bible to help the student better understand what they are about to read. This is common in many study Bibles. However, the basic, straightforward information provided in this particular Bible is especially well-suited for students who are new to God’s Word, and perhaps, new to faith.

Each introduction contains a brief summary of the book, basic information about its historical context, key foundations meant to help the student understand the author’s intent in writing each book, and basic information about how the book may apply to the student’s walk of faith; all done with significant brevity. These introductions, while very basic, can certainly help students gain more clarity about exactly what they are reading and how it may apply to their particular situation. And the brevity through which this is done may help to ensure that students will be more likely to examine these introductions, allowing them to enter into their Bible reading more informed.


Overall, the NIV Revolution Bible by Zondervan is a solid student Bible with lots of great application. Perhaps my one complaint probably represents something many of us have found with many student Bibles. While there are many helpful application resources built into this Bible, there is very little by way of in-depth Bible commentary.  With so much being geared at application, there is very little, beyond the book introductions I already mentioned, geared at explaining the text, which is something that could be extremely helpful for teen guys that are looking to go deeper in their understanding of God’s Word.

That said, however, the NIV Revolution Bible is a solid resource filled with lots of great application and lots of helpful tools which should be more than useful for the teen guys that God has entrusted to your care. For your more mature students, you may want to look for something more in-depth. However, for most teenagers, especially those who are just beginning in their faith journey, the NIV Revolution Bible should be a helpful resource in deepening their faith and working through the issues they may be facing day-to-day.

MATT LARKIN serves as the Director of the Department of Student & Family Ministries for the Advent Christian General Conference (WWW.ACGC.US). In that role, he serves as a resource and consultant to youth workers and college students around the United States and globally. You can connect with Matt on Twitter via @MATTWLARKIN.


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