Sparkhouse’s new “Connect Bible” is an exciting edition of the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible; it has all the components necessary to be used as stimulating study Bible.

Set up as a storybook, The “Connect Bible” tells the story of God and God’s people. The Old and New Testament are divided into seven sections, which include all 66 books. The seven sections group similar books together in both the Old and New Testament. They are: Pentateuch, Historical Books, Writings, Prophets, The Gospels and Acts, Letters of Paul and General Letters and Revelation. The sections help divide the books into smaller groupings as well as help teach youth about the kinds of writings in the Bible. The sections also help readers dig deeper into the stories.

Another exciting element of the “Connect Bible” is that it encourages marking up the Bible. As the introduction says, “The Bible wasn’t meant to be unread or untouched.”

To help in the marking, there is space in the left and right margins for questions, comments or surprises! Throughout the pages are boxes with activities. The activities include drawing, games, writing and brainstorming. The “Connect Bible” really helps young people think about the story and search for a deeper meaning as it urges them to write questions, highlight favorite verses and do the activities. This Bible is meant to be an interactive story. Within this Bible, there are two types of main lessons: “Holy Moly” and “Connect.”

The “Holy Moly” lessons are indicated by an exclamation point in the corner of the activity box. One example of a lesson is in Genesis 1.

“God created monkeys and apple trees. That makes God creative. God created blowfish and praying mantises. That makes God really creative. God created you and gave you the gift to create! If you were to create a new plant or animal (or planimal), what would it be? Draw it here!” Have the youth draw their new creation and share them with the whole group, the responses are sure to cause discussion and laughter.” These lessons make the stories relatable and interactive, helping draw youth in in fun ways.

“Connect” lessons are symbolized with a light bulb. An example is in Luke 2:1-7. The activity box has a symbol of the story, an explanation, the Bible verses and an activity.

“Draw something powerful. Then draw something weak. Then draw Jesus. Jesus wasn’t the powerful man the world expected. He was a humble king and savior of all.”

The interactive aspect of the “Connect Bible” is continued through the “Connect” DVD. This DVD corresponds to the “Connect” lessons throughout the Bible and contains a 2- to 6-minute clip about the story being read. Each section begins with two students discussing an aspect of life that relates to a Bible lesson.

For example, when talking about Noah’s ark and the floods, the students are in an auditorium that floods while they are in the room. After the flood is over, there is a rainbow in the auditorium, and they are reminded of the promise God made to Noah to never flood the earth again. Although, the graphics are a little quirky, the ultimate message of the story is what matters. The students in the story portray modern stories, which relate to the Bible stories and tell the stories in a fun and creative way.

The new “Connect Bible” is worth taking a look at. All of the components are interactive, thought-provoking and invite learning more about God’s story. The Bible will encourage youth to not only read the text but delve into the story and see how it connects with their life.

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