As a member of the Thomas Nelson Review Blogger program http://brb.thomasnelson.com/ , I had the opportunity to review the unique bible in magazine-like format, Revolve 2010 The Complete New Testament. Turning the bible/ new testament text into a magazine format is a creative outreach idea, that I believe will be an effective means by which to draw more interest to the bible. Specifically, this particular bible-zine is geared towards the stereotypical teen aged girl.
The full new testament text of the easy to read NCV version is presented along side articles and full color eye-catching graphics and photographs. The presentation is visually superior. Nevertheless the content of some of the “articles”, such as the articles on health & beauty I found, to be some what less than inspiring, and bland. Furthermore, the so called advice columns/ articles on dating, seemed too much of a cliché, and they added no value whatsoever. Some of the supplemental material, such as the articles, interviews and quizzes, were just too stereotypical. Obviously the inclusion of these elements is an attempt to include popular content in the style of traditional teenaged fashion/ beauty magazines.
The side bars/ mini articles on the characters of the bible, and the historical articles about biblical culture and places were very informative and highlighted the relevance of the bible to modern day culture and society in a way the a teenager could appreciate. Biblical verses in “text” shorthand were pretty clever as well!
Overall I believe this new testament format is a great idea. Regrettably, I feel the inclusion of some of the fashion/ beauty/ dating material will alienate many of the teenaged girls that do not quite fit into the typical stereotypical image of a teenaged girl. In the future, I would like to see Thomas Nelson publishers produce more themed magazine new testaments for young people to represent other popular subcultures such as the gothic sub-culture, environmentalism/ science, as well as music/art.