I want to get my nephew (who is 15) a Bible for Christmas but I don't know which one to buy. I went to the bookstore the other day and just got confused because there were so many choices. Do you have any suggestions?


First, let me commend you for wanting to give your nephew a Bible for Christmas. I can’t think of a better gift for him — especially since his parents aren’t religious (as you say elsewhere in your letter). The Bible is God’s Word, and God gave it to us so we could know Him and live for Him.

Yes, it can be confusing to see row after row of Bibles in a bookstore. But let me suggest two guidelines to help you select one for your nephew. First, choose an accurate modern translation — i.e., one that uses language he will understand. (I usually use the New International Version for this column, but other reliable modern translations are available also.) Jesus said the Word of God is like seed sown in our hearts, and it will bear fruit in the life of any person “who hears the word and understands it” (Matthew 13:23).

Second, ask to see some Bibles which include explanatory notes written for people his age. Some study Bibles may be too detailed for your nephew — but some aren’t, because they include materials designed to help young people study the Bible for themselves and apply it to their lives.

The most important thing you can do, however, is to pray for your nephew, and encourage him to give his life to Jesus Christ. Christ will give him a new purpose in life, and a new strength for daily living.