*Transformed by Truth by Katherine Forster

Transformed by Truth offers a lifelong approach to Bible study with practical helps for teens and adults.

*Transformed by Truth: Why and How to Study the Bible for Yourself as a Teen by Katherine Forster. Crossway, 2019, 183 pages plus notes and index.

Reading Level: Teen, ages 15-18

Recommended for: ages 15-up

Every Christian knows, or should know, the importance of studying the Bible, but we don’t always know how to do it. The author, managing editor of the teen website TheRebelution.com, has the advantage of a godly upbringing. Drawing from her experiences as a Bible Bee champ and as a student of great teachers like John Piper and Jen Wilkin, she has written a concise, clear guide to in-depth Bible study for teens. But don’t let the title fool you: The approach is good for anyone, whether new to the word and steeped in it for decades.

“When I was eight, the Bible was boring.” Young people can relate, even well into their teens. Parts of the Bible may speak to us, other parts sing to us, but reading as a whole—with its genealogies, pages of arcane laws, dense doctrine—the words can just start to go over our heads. But all of Scripture is inspired, and all of it is useful. Part One sets forth the “Why?” of Bible study by mapping the “metanarrative,” or story arc, and showing how it reveals God’s will to the world—and to each of us.

Part Two gets into the How? with tips for finding your best time and place and avoiding distractions. Next, a deep dive into the inductive method of Bible study, with the three stages of Observation, Interpretation, and Application. The author uses III John as a practice passage, with plenty of sample questions and notations. This is not for a daily three-chapters-a-day Bible reading plan; it’s real work!

A warning: Parents should exercise judgment about which of their children will benefit from this level of study. A seventh-grader may be ready, while a high-school junior may just feel intimidated by it. But digging into the Word of God for ourselves is something every Christian should aspire to, and Transformed by Truth shows one way to do it.  The appendix includes a list of (mostly) free online resources, such as concordances, cross-references, and lexicons, as well as a chapter on memorization.

Overall rating: 5 (out of 5)

  • Worldview/moral value: 5
  • Artistic/literary value: 4.75

See our list of classic teen Bibles at “Words for Life: Bibles for Teens and Graduates.”

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Janie is the VERY senior staff writer for Redeemed Reader, as well as a long-time contributor to WORLD Magazine and an author of nine books for children. The rest of the time she's long-distance smooching on her four grandchildren (not an easy task). She lives with her equally senior husband of almost-fifty years in the Ozarks of Missouri.

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