In the world of Bible marketing, a men’s Bible doesn’t make a splash as do similar products for women, which may be why I was completely unaware of last September’s release of the NIV Bible for Men. Perhaps you missed it as well, which is unfortunate when you consider there is probably a guy in your sphere of influence who would benefit greatly from this edition.
A few things stand out.
First, they carefully avoided the word devotional in the title on this one, but like the Men’s Devotional Bible, there are 260 weekday readings and a single reading for weekends. The placement of these readings is next to adjacent text and there are prompts as to where to go for the subsequent reading which means you could use this as a one-year reading program, but the passages would be of varying length.
Second, they incorporated many newer church leaders and writers for this product. Much of that was probably the influence of Jeff Goins, whose name readers here may recognize; in fact any awareness of Christian social media means the names of contributors here will create instant recognition; and it also means this is a Bible edition you can confidently place in the hands of younger readers. Some names include:
- Chris Seay
- Tony Morgan
- Matt Chandler
- Joshua Harris
- Tim Challies
- Shane Claiborne
- Jarrett Stevens
- Bill Johnson
- Jeff Manion
- Pete Wilson
- Bob Goff
- Ted Kluck
- Eric Metaxas
- Craig Groeschel
- Joel Rosenberg
- Andrew Farley
- John Ortberg
- David Kinnaman
- Jeremy Myers
- Ravi Zacharias
and many, many more. (Interestingly, annotations are keyed to the Kindle editions of many of these, an acknowledgement perhaps that guys do much of their other reading on devices.)
Third and finally, there are the weekend readings. Set out as Myths, the series of 52 two-page articles cover ideas that are common in society and sometimes even found within the church, such as:
- It’s possible to get something for nothing
- Sexual thoughts are harmless
- The purpose of the church is to meet my needs
- Image is everything
- This world is all there is
- Christians are guaranteed health, wealth and a stress-free life
and some of these will resonate with some guys more than others. Generally, I found this approach more topical than is usually found within the pages of a Bible, but the second page — the response — drives you back into scripture. Some guys will want the extra day to cover the material in these weekend readings.
A subject index at the back is extremely helpful for returning to previous topics.
I hope this Bible is doing well as anything which plunges guys into scripture is a resource that needs to be celebrated. Is there a young man you can think of who might appreciate this?
Note: The Myth section readings appeared previously in Manual: The NIV Bible for Men, published in 2009.
Thanks to Mark at HarperCollins Christian Publishing Canada for an opportunity to have a closer look at this product many months after its release date.
ISBN 9780310409625; 1,684 pages; hardcover; black-letter, double-column format; $34.99 US