The Bible in Magazine Form for Teen Girls?



Revolve 2010 (Biblezines) Published by Thomas Nelson is a Bible ( the NCV New Testament) geared to look like a teen girls magazine.  To be honest, I had a difficult time even embracing the idea that a publisher would take what many consider to be sacred writings and reduce them to the lowest level of print publication to display them in magazine form.  The literary genres seem to contradict one another.  How do you take the timeless Word of God that has stood the test of centuries of debate and cover it with the trappings of a magazine that emulates popular teen girls magazine?  Thomas Nelson in conjunction with Revolve did it.

I did my best to put my presuppositions out of the way and really examine this book.  There were a few aspects of this “biblezine” that I really liked.  One was that each book of the bible seems to have at least one section designed challenge the reader to go deeper with God’s Word.  Some challenges call for reflection, bible memorization, etc.  Each section also had a little background info to introduce that part of the New Testament.  However, these appear as just token helps amidst a flood of other insights that thought they are harmless are out of place.  There are adds for books, music downloads, quizes, etc. that one would expect in a teen magazine and maybe that is where I struggle most with this.  Even though it’s “the Bible,” I have a hard time seeing where Jesus fits between the “Guy 411: Chad Eastham dishes the dirt on dudes” and “Celeb drama-trauma: Stellar Kart’s most cringe-worthy moments.”  The gospel just seems trivialized as the filler between gossip and advice columns.

I work with students, many of whom are teenage girls who this biblezine is marketed toward.  My real concern is that through the packaging this book is more teen magazine than actual bible.  I want as many people to follow Jesus as possible and for that to happen we must be culturally relevant.  However, there are parts of our culture that need to be confronted not imitated.  I pray for and challenge my students to be culture changers not imitators.

The real scoop is this, teens don’t come into a right relationship with Jesus Christ through bible magazines… they come through the blood of Jesus Christ.  Most often that happens when other teens step out of their comfort zones to share the “411 on Jesus” with their friends.  My impression of Revolve 2010 (Biblezines) is that it is more of a hinderance to the gospel than a help.  I hope I’m wrong.

Revolve 2010 (Biblezines) is a teen magazine with the Bible in it, I really don’t recommend it. You may disagree.  The retail price is $16.99 (paperback), and is available at places like Amazon.com for $11.55.  I gave it two stars.

Disclaimer: As a blogger I received a complimentary review copy from the Thomas Nelson’s Book Review Blogger program  (http://brb.thomasnelson.com/ ).  There was no requirement to give it a positive review, just for the reviewer to call it like they see it.

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