Bible Commentaries for Youth


young adult bible study
Youth group bible study

Many Christian young adults have the desire to understand the bible just like many older adults do. And just like older adults, some books of the bible, and many of the passages within them, are not immediately clear when they are first read ans studied.

Even when the stories, parables, prophecies, proverbs, and other literary forms are understandable, teens and young adults may need help applying those teachings to their lives, as most Christians do. Bible commentaries can help readers with all of these challenges.

Some people think of bible commentaries as being just for pastors, seminary professors, and bible scholars. This may have been true historically, but it is not true now. Today, there are excellent resources to help youth and teens understand and apply the bible.

Bible commentaries that would be helpful to young people come in three forms: (1) one-volume whole bible commentaries, (2) bible commentary series, and (3) study bibles designed especially for young adults.

Best One-Volume Commentaries for Youth

One-volume whole bible commentaries contain explanations on every book of the bible. They are great resources for young adults because they provide overviews that helps the reader understand the big picture of a particular section of Scripture. Since they are overviews, however, one-volume bible commentaries do not comment on every verse or word of Scripture.

TitleTranslation/
Approach
Why it’s
good for
young people
Browse
Baker
Illustrated
Bible
Commentary

baker one volume commentary
NIV/
broadly
evangelical
This is a well-reviewed
one-volume commentary
that contains hundreds of
color illustrations, maps,
and photographs
Amazon
New
International
Bible
Commentary

new international bible commentary
NIV/
broadly
evangelical
This one-volume
commentary won the
Gold Medallion Award
when it was published.
Amazon
The
MacArthur
Commentary

john macarthur bible commentary
NKJV/
Reformed
This popular pastor’s
one-volume commentary
is easy to understand.
Amazon
NIV
Bible Study
Commentary

NIV Study Bible
NIV/
broadly
evangelical
Basic information that
gives the reader a
general overview.
Amazon
The
Tony Evans
Bible
Commentary

Tony Evans bible commentary
CSB/
conservative
evangelical
Evans’ comments are
easy to understand,
devotional in nature,
and even humorous.
Amazon
Wiersbe
Bible
Commentary

weirsbe bible commentary
KJV/
Baptist
Combines all of
Wiersbe’s “Be”
commentaries.
Amazon
Zondervan
Bible
Commentary

zondervan bible commentary
NIV/
broadly
evangelical
Adds pictures to
New International
Bible Commentary.
Amazon

Best Commentary Series for Teens

Commentary series often devote a single volume to one or two books of the bible. For example, in many of the series listed below, there is one volume on Genesis, one on Proverbs, one on John, and so on. Some volumes combine two biblical books, like 1-2 Kings or 1-2 Timothy.

The advantage of these commentaries is that they go more in-depth than one-volume commentaries. The challenge is that some young adults may not be ready to for a more intermediate or advanced bible resources.

It would be best to browse these volumes online ans read excerpts from them in order to know if its the right study level for a particular reader.

TitleTranslation/
Approach
Why it’s
good for
young people
Browse
Christ-Centered
Exposition
Commentaries

ecclesiastes commentary cover
HCSB;
broadly
evangelical
It explains the
basic meaning
of passages and
gives applications.
Amazon
Focus on
the Bible

Focus on the Bible commentary
author’s
own;
Reformed
This series reads
like a sermon, so
youth will be able
to follow it well.
Amazon
Living Insights:
Chuck Swindoll
Commentaries

corinthians commentary cover
NASB;
broadly
evangelical
From a popular
pastor known for
stories. Volumes
very user friendly.
Amazon
Thru the Bible:
J. Vernon McGee

proverbs commentary cover
KJV;
Presbyterian
Easy to read,
contains helpful
illustrations.
Amazon
Wesleyan
Bible Study

wesleyan commentary
NIV;
evangelical
Designed as an
introductory
resource for
bible studies.
Amazon
Zondervan Illustrated
Bible Backgrounds
Commentary

revelation commentary cover
NIV;
broadly
evangelical 
Filled with color
photos, charts, and illustrations.
Amazon

Best Study Bible for Youth

Study bible can be considered introductory-level bible commentaries because their notes, summaries, and explanations help young adults understand the passages and verses of Scripture.

Many also help readers apply God’s Word as well, so they essentially function as commentaries.

TitleTranslation/
Approach
Why it’s
good for
young people
Browse
Bible for
Teen Girls

Bible for Teen Girls
NIV/
broadly
evangelical
Easy to read
translation with
application help
for young women.
Amazon
Teen
Study Bible

Teen Study Bible
NIVProvides basic
overviews and
gives insight into
difficult passages.
Amazon
Teen Life
Application
Study Bible

Teen Life Application Study Bible
NLTPopular, accessible
translation combined
with application.
Amazon
Student
Study
Bible

Student Study Bible
ESVWell-reviewed
translation, growing
in popularity with
helpful study notes.
Amazon
Bible for
Teen Guys

NIV Bible Teen Guys
NIVAims to help
young men grow
and mature in
their faith.
Amazon
Extreme Teen
Study Bible

Extreme Teen Study Bible
NKJVWell-liked translation
with basic explanations
on Scripture’s meaning.
Amazon
Girls Life
Application
Study Bible

Girls Life Application Study Bible
NLTAccessible translation
combined with
application help
for young women.
Amazon
Boys Life
Application
Study Bible

Boys Life Application Study Bible
NLTAccessible translation
combined with
application help
for young men.
Amazon

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