Elizabeth Corrie, general editor
Common English Bible, 2015, 1,600 pp., $29.99

For many youth, reading the Bible may not only be confusing due to its complexities but can be frustrating when trying to seek answers. Written in easy-to-understand language, the CEB Student Bible helps connect students with the biblical world and their own by engaging them in discussion questions and activities, prayers and reflections written by young people such as themselves, and articles that handle difficult topics. This Bible lifts up issues rather than ignoring them.

Each book begins with an overview, key themes, tips for reading, and quick facts. The first overview no doubt will catch the attention of a teen as it compares the Book of Genesis to an R-rated movie, giving insight to the Garden of Eden, Cain’s murder of his brother, Noah’s drunkenness following the flood, and Jacob marrying a pair of sisters. “Talk about dysfunctional families,” it states. The reader is pulled in by the ability to relate to the imperfections of biblical figures with present times and situations.

Short captions break down chapters, making the content clear at a quick glance. For instance, Matthew 19 highlights “Teaching about divorce,” “Jesus blesses children,” “A rich man’s question,” and “Teaching about giving up things.”

A brief summary concludes each book and allows the reader to wrestle with the concepts presented. Questions and creative suggestions help students understand the stories in a way they can love God and others more deeply. A section on lectio divina, or divine reading, allows for meditation and being open to listening to what God is saying.

If you’re searching for a Bible that will draw youth not only to read God’s Word but also form a deeper spiritual connection, the CEB Student Bible is your answer as it “mirrors how young people talk, read, and write with their friends.” Because youth are a part of its composition, the effectiveness and impact is enhanced.

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