CSB Coronary heart of God Examine the Bible for younger folks

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CSB Heart of God Teen Study Bible. Baker, 2019, 1712 pages (9-point font)

Read level: Teen, 12-15 years

Recommended for: 12-18 years

The theme of this youthful Bible is expressed loud and clear: The Bible is a book about God, and instead of starting with our feelings and reactions to it, the place where we start is God's intentions and actions. Extensive book launches summarize the topic and message of each book and then provide background information in the form of the author, audience, and likely date or expected dates. An overview of the book and its place in the biblical narrative rounds off the introduction. The text is divided into separate readings, which are usually 1-3 chapters long and each consist of one unit. Each reading begins with "Setting the Stage", a short paragraph that explains the topic or purpose. Each reading ends with “Seeing the Heart of God,” a summary with one or two questions, usually observation and interpretation or application.

But that's not all. Other in-text features include "Biographical Snapshots" of Bible characters and their meaning for the entire narrative, facts and customs of the Bible behind the scenes, "Big Questions" about difficult passages and "Encounter with God" representations of God's character and his Relationships with individuals and humanity. The appendix lists all of this, including miracles and parables of Jesus, weights and measures, and reading plans (no cards).

Mark Strauss, professor of New Testament at the Bethel seminary in San Diego, is the general editor – and probably the author of most sidebars and introductions. From what I've read, the non-Biblical material is generally pretty good, but the presentation can be a little intimidating. I may have kept the "Set Up Stage" and "See Heart" passages, but moved the longer sidebars and boxes with page references in footnotes to the appendix (e.g., "See" Slavery in the Bible "on page ___"). In passages with significant theological implications, the predominance of the sidebars appears to be distracting. Otherwise, it is a Bible that brings attention where it belongs, effectively directs a student's attention, and gives glory to God.

Note: If you need more information, you can find the full text of the Bible for the study of the heart of God from the introduction by numbers in the Amazon preview of the e-book.

Overall rating: 4.5 (of 5)

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