The New IGNITE Bible

Posted: August 10, 2013 in junior high ministry, middle school ministry

Ignite-The-Bible-for-Teens-SquareIt doesn’t take long to open the new Ignite Bible for teens and realize that it’s going to be a perfect fit for middle schoolers. And when I say it doesn’t take long, I mean the first page. Open the cover of this new Bible and there is a list of every book in the Bible in alphabetical order with page numbers next to them. If you’ve ever taught a group of middle schoolers, you know how long it takes the students to find the text you’re studying. I mean, let’s face it… Who hasn’t awkwardly stalled with extra information about the text after telling students to turn to 1 Timothy? Hmm? Needless to say, my first impression of this new resource was good. It made me say to myself, “Great. They understand middle schoolers.”

My first impression turned out to be right. This Bible, edited together by Mark Oestreicher and a team of middle school ministry-minded people, is a great asset for anyone who is doing ministry with early adolescents. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been in situations where parents or students have asked for recommendations of study Bibles that would be good for middle schoolers. Typically I’ve gone with the LIVE Bible or the newer Guys Life Application Study Bible from Tyndale. But I’ll now be able to add the Ignite Bible to that list.

Here are a few things I specifically like about the Ignite Bible:

  • Topical Index at the Front. In the very beginning there is an extensive topical index with topics like “Self-Harm” and “Anxiety” and others that are perfect for middle schoolers. I’ve seen this in many Bibles, but it’s clear they put this list together with young teens in mind. They also don’t point to just Bible verses, but also to “Flashpoints,” which are brief explanations hidden on the pages of how a certain verse connects with a topic.
  • Sparks. The Sparks are areas within the Bible that are highlighted with God’s promises for us. So in Philippians 4, there is an orange box with Philippians 4:6 written in it. I’m always trying to get students to memorize Scripture. This is an easy way to get students to memorize great verses.
  • Graphic Design. There is nothing cheesy about the way this Bible looks. I see a lot of students still walking around with their “Children’s Bible,” and (understandably) they’re ashamed of bringing it to our program because it looks kid-ish. Well, they won’t be ashamed to walk around with this. I mean, come on, there’s fire all over it. That’s a middle school guy’s dream, isn’t it?! All joking aside, I appreciate when publishers put time into graphic design, because a lot of books miss their audience with cheesy Christian-ese covers.

Of course, no study Bible is going to be perfect. There were a couple things I was concerned about when I saw the Bible. First of all, it’s New King James Version. Living in Kentucky, I have experienced a few too many interactions from old-school Christians who say King James is the only way to go. So admittedly I think I was a little biased against it. But after reading the NKJV, I realized it is very different from the KJV. I think it’s written in language very familiar to middle schoolers. So after closer look, I don’t think it’s an issue at all.

My other minor concern was the size of the Bible. I am always trying to get my students to bring their Bibles to our programming and Life Groups. Sometimes I think the bulkier the Bible, the less likely they are to bring it to church. I may be a little nit-picky here, but I think it’s great when students have a small softcover Bible that they can take with them to church, school, trips, etc. Again, this is a minor concern… There’s nothing wrong with having two Bibles – one for study at home and one for bringing to church.

All in all, I can wholeheartedly put my recommendation behind this Bible. I love when editors and writers can pick a specific niche and stick with it. They really did it for young teens with the Ignite Bible.  Check it out here!

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