Friday, August 14, 2015

The Apologetics Study Bible For Students ~ Review

Can you tell me why you believe Christianity is true? Knowing it's true and explaining why are two different things altogether. When Sean McDowell was faced with that question on a plane one day, he didn't have a good answer. Now he does. He is the general editor of the Apologetics Study Bible for Students. The subtitle is Hard Questions Straight Answers. I've got a few of those hard questions myself. I know my eldest son has them. I'll bet we all have a few if we're honest.

Using the Holman Christian Standard Bible as the base text, McDowell and his staff added a lot of really helpful features.

~Each book has an introduction, the author, date, and a feature I really like, What in the world is going on?, which is a timeline that fits the book into history.

~120 Articles such as
  • What are Worldviews and Why Are They Important?
  • Evidence for God: The Moral Argument?
  • Why Does God Allow Evil?
  • Same-Sex Marriage: What's the Big Deal?
  • Are There Contradictions in the Bible?
  • What's the Big Deal with Wicca?
  • Is Religion the Cause of Evil in the World?
  • Does the Fossil Record Support the Bible?
  • Is Pornography that Bad?
  • Is Alcohol Bad?
  • In What Ways Did Jesus Fulfill Prophecies?
  • Why Are There So Many Translations of the Bible?
  • Are There "Lost" Gospels that Were Left Out of the Bible?
  • Can Something Be True for You but Not for Me?
  • Is Homosexuality Natural?
  • What is the Connection Between Christianity and Judaism?
  • How Do We Know the Bible Includes the Right Books?
  • What are the Crucial Differences between Muhammad and Jesus?
  • Can God Make a Rock So Big that He Can't Lift It?
  • Aren't All Religions Basically the Same?
  • Should Christians be Tolerant?
  • What do Buddhists Believe?
  • Why are There So Many Denominations?
Well you get the idea...there are nearly four pages listing the questions. The answers are sprinkled throughout the book.  
~Twisted Scripture Notes. These are scriptures that are often taken out of context and misinterpreted either by accident or on purpose.

~Bones & Dirt Notes. These are archaeological and historical notes included throughout the text. They give more information about locations, artifacts, and people.

~Personal Stories that show how people found answers and God.

~Fast Facts including:
  • Darwinian Evolution
  • Abortion in the Light of Scripture
  • Miracles
  • Bible vs. Koran
  • America's Christian Heritage
  • Religious Pluralism
  • Mormonism
  • The God of Islam vs. the God of Christianity
  • How the Bible Came together
~Tactical Questions and Tactical Awareness for Apologetics

My Kids' Thoughts
  • I think it is a very nice Bible. I like the translation because of its easy-read factor. I love all the footnotes according to the verses. The footnotes teach you stuff, and they are not complete references to other verses. I also like the introductions to the books. I like that it was hardcover. Over all, I definitely recommend it.  -Amy, 13.
  • I love the footnotes. I'm not crazy about the translation. I like the study guide things. I like the feel of the Bible. -Emily, 17
  • I thought it was good. I really liked it. I liked the timeline because it helped put it in perspective. It's nice that it has the book tabs for the books. I liked the introduction in each one of them and all the little notes they put in there. It's cool. I like it. -Michael, 15 
My Thoughts
We are homeschoolers who live in a small town. We do not watch t.v. My kids are aware of the culture, but they are not immersed in it. They do, however, go to church with kids who do not have those advantages. They will also soon be grown and making their own way in the world.  They will face things in our culture that are twisted, untrue, and yet made to sound right. This Bible has the potential to help my kids face the culture shock and hold fast to the Truth. 

My teens really like this Bible. In fact, the best recommendation I can give is that they are all using it! I keep it on the shelf in the living room so that they can share it. They all like it. I like it. 

The Website is terrific. It includes free resources, study guides, and apps to download as well as Sean McDowell's videos. I loved his answer to "Can God Make a Rock So Big He Can't Lift It?" I'll bet you've heard that question, too. I love how down-to-earth the videos are. They address some of the issues and questions we face in real life. Sean McDowell inspires confidence in his answers.

Watch this, then check out more.

Give Your Student the Gift of Confidence
Multiple research studies have shown that spiritual focus often weakens among teenagers as they head into the attention-dividing realm of young adulthood. Up to 66 percent of them leave church altogether. The Apologetics Study Bible for Studentsworks against that trend by helping anchor younger Christians in the truths of Scripture, equipping them with thoughtful and practical responses for whenever the core issues of their faith and life are challenged, while helping them better articulate their beliefs with non-believers.

A Few Features of The Apologetics Study Bible for Students HCSB:

- Book Introductions for each of the sixty-six books of the Bible.
- Study Notes provide evidence of the reliability and truthfulness of Scripture.
- 120 Articles written by today's leading Christian thinkers dealing with life's ultimate questions.
- 60 Twisted Scriptures address ways that various religious movements distort Scripture to support doctrine contrary to historic Christian teaching.

Also, this summer, the gift of Confident Faith is being celebrated with 16 brand new, but energetic and brief videos featuring Sean McDowell, free resources like Bible studies and articles as well as wonderful specials on apps and Bibles.  There are new resources every week - a full 16 weeks of resources when it is all done.  AND, if that weren't enough, a Confident Faith Sweepstakes is being offered to give away Bibles, free mini libraries of B&H's best apologetics resources and even a trip for two to the National Conference on Christian Apologetics (NCCA) being held October 16-17, 2015 in Charlotte, NC where some of the world's leading thinkers will offer insights and teaching. 


"Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC. Opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

This article was published in issue #137 of 




  1. I've enjoyed Josh McDowell's books for ages, so I'm sure to appreciate Sean McDowell's work. Thanks!

  2. Favorite verse: one of them anyway is Romans 8:28. Such hope! dorene(at)pine(dot)net

  3. Romans 8:28 - such hope! Thanks!

  4. I love them all! But, one of my mainstay verses is Isaiah 41:10, "Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness." Thanks for the chance to win!!

  5. A favorite verse of mine is Timothy 1:7 -it has been a help in time of fear.

  6. There are a lot of tough questions, and I have young friends who ask them. One young friend would like to know why if his Dad said he was a Christian did he beat his Mom, and physically abuse him? He said his dad used the excuse that because he was the dad and he used the Bible as a shield to back him up, saying he was the head of the house, and he wasn't sparing his rod. Misusing the Word, does not justify things like that. Hoping these kids find the help and answers they need. Life is tough.

  7. Actually hard to choose a favorite verse. I think it changes over time. This was a great review. I came by because you visited me.
    Your blog is a blessing. I'm going to check out your little shop.
    You had visited my Fall sewing post with the quilt I finished.
    Today I'm posting about more sewing. I'm working on an I Spy book for my school class room. I'll be posted when I'm done visiting here. It was nice to meet you. I'll look for your follow button! Come by any time I love the company.

  8. That's heartbreaking Annie. May God bring salvation and healing to that family, I ask it in Jesus' Name. I was an abused child. God used my forgiveness to bring my abuser to salvation.

  9. I'll bet you will Darla. Thanks for talking back!

    Yes indeed Dorene! Thanks for talking back!

  10. I wish we had this around when I was a student. :D
    Never too late though, I'd say.

  11. One of my favorite verses is Romans 12:12
    Be joyful in Hope, patient in affliction and faithful in prayer.

    I grew up listening to Josh McDowell at summer festivals. I'm sure I'll enjoy Sean's good work as well!

  12. I had to look that up, Julieanne. Wonderful! Thank you!

  13. You're a doll, Annie. Thank you.

  14. I love Jeremiah 29:11! kristiedonelson(at)gmail(dot)com Thank you.

  15. That's the most important, Renee!

  16. I'd love to have this just for the articles on pornography and same-sex marriage. I'm curious to see if it aligns with God's word and my belief.

    Be sure to bring another book-related post to Literacy Musing Mondays this next week!

  17. Laura, this sounds like such a wonderful resource. It isn't easy to explain why you believe. Once when someone was questioning and trying to get me frustrated by throwing questions at me I finally just had to bear my testimony as to why I believe. Luckily it shut them up. :) Thanks for sharing with SYC.

  18. HI Jann, I'm hoping it will help me to be able to explain.


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