The New International Version is my personal favorite because I find it very easy to comprehend, although I think I'll always miss the poetic rhythm of the King James Bible I used in my youth. In the Rock Solid Faith Study Bible (which I'll refer to simply as the "Rock Solid", from here on), there are things that I like and a few that I feel area a little weak. I'll just list the characteristics.
One of my favorite things about the Rock Solid is the typeset. The font is clear and the type size is reasonable for older eyes. While this particular version is directed at teens, who typically have good eyes, I am currently using this Bible as my primary Bible because it's so clear and easy to read.
The study notes
There are summary notes and teen-directed verbal illustrations which explain portions of whatever story you're reading (we're currently studying tiny Jonah). The study notes are labeled "Rock Solid principles" or "Rock Solid truths", etc., and they explain what they mean pretty clearly: how to apply the truths, principles or other concepts in those verses. I will say I didn't necessarily agree with at least one of the "truths" that I read, so you should bear in mind that the opinion of whoever wrote those study notes shows up. There are also "Unshakeable People" notes, which describe Biblical characters who refused to waiver in their faith.
The teen-directed portions are stories in modern terms that illustrate the principles one can learn from the portion of the Bible they're reading.
Both of these - notes and modern stories - are minimal, which I personally like. Some study Bibles are simply overwhelming, with so many notes (I always feel obligated to read them all) that it seems to double your study time.
Extra study helps at the end of the Bible:
- Table of Weights and Measures with approximate American and Metric equivalents (a "cubit", for example, is approximately 18" or 45 centimeters).
- What Do I Read Today? Suggested reading and a place to mark off the chapters read in every book of the Bible.
- Rock Solid Truths Index - An index by topic, such as Accountability, numerous topics about Jesus and God, Judging, Uncertainty, etc.
- Rock Solid Promises Index - In Biblical order, the beginnings of selected verses in which God makes promises to us.
- Rock Solid Principles Index - Also topical, but using only one or two words: Cliques, Falling Away, Divorce, Friends, and Grief are a few.
- Rock Solid Plans Index - Verses about a little of everything, actually, in relation to looking ahead and planning as a Christian.
- Unshaken People Index - "Peter obeyed God rather than people" with the page number on which the event occurred is one example.
- Unshaken God Index - Characteristics of God and where you can read about them.
- Concordance and Maps - As in other Bibles, but again . . . clear typeset, including that on the maps, makes these very easy on the eyes.
The Bottom Line:
Recommended, with one aside. I'm going to continue using this Bible! I absolutely love the clear type. The aside: I think the notes can be a little iffy, at times, and if I were handing it to a teenager or a child of my own, I'd tell them I don't necessarily always agree with the opinion of the writer of those notes and offer to talk about them. My youngest son actually dislikes study Bibles but he might find this one tolerable because of the minimal amount of interruptions in the text.
Click here to get a sneak peek into the NIV Rock Solid Faith Study Bible for Teens.