The Best Bible for Young Adults

If you are in a hurry and just want to find out what the best Bible for young adults is then I’d recommend NIV, Understand the Faith Study Bible by Zondervan as the best one.

The transition from childhood to young adulthood can be overwhelming. Their life is full of transformations and the list is endless. One moment they are dependent on whatever their parents have to say.

Next, they make their own decisions and live their own life. Perhaps this is their first time to face every setback and insecurity in their lives. Some even struggle with serious issues like identity and they don’t know where to turn to. As early as their childhood, we should teach them that the word of God is their haven.

As parents, we need to anchor young Christian adults in the truths of the scripture. One way to strengthen the core issues of their faith is by leading them to study the Bible. We help them see that the Bible is full of guidance, truth, and hope that young adults so desperately need.

Here are the Best Bible for Young Adults we’ll be reviewing:

Why do Young Adults need to Study the Bible?

Young adults need to make time to read the Bible even in their busy lives. The point of studying the Bible is to learn and absorb the words of God. You will learn how to live a life more like Jesus and you will learn how to apply the scriptures in your daily life.

Studying the Bible will help you understand how those verses can be translated into reality. If you really want to strengthen your walk with God, find the time, and make yourself available to read the verses.

The truth is, many young adults find reading the Bible more like a chore. They don’t actually look forward to the idea of spending time to learn about the scriptures. Maybe because in this age of social media and the internet, their brains are rewired to other things. One way to engage these young adults to study the Bible is to let them know the benefits of reading the Bible, which include:

  1. God’s Word is a source of renewal
  2. God’s Word provides answers to life’s questions and reasons
  3. God’s Word promotes closer relationships
  4. God’s Word gives direction and purpose
  5. God’s Word transforms lives

Best Bible Versions for Young Adults

It’s tough to engage young adults in studying the Bible. With the different versions sold on the market, it’s a little confusing for them. To help them choose which Bible is best, remind them that all scripture is from God and is useful for us in all areas of life. The best translation of the Bible is easy to understand and is true to the original texts.  Here are some of the translations relevant in this aspect while remaining consistent with the original text. 

New International Version (NIV)

The New International Version (NIV) is a completely original translation of the Bible. It is developed by more than one hundred scholars working from the best available Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek texts. Considered as one of the few translations that try to balance literal translation with emphasis on meaning. This kind of translation is often clear and easy to read.

New Living Translations (NLT)

The New Living Translation (NLT) is based on the most recent scholarship in the theory of translation. It started as a revision of The Living Bible and became a full translation from the first language.

Only you can decide which version is best for you. Whatever edition, the words of God should make a big impact on your lives. Below are some of the books that have a proven track record of helping young readers in their Christian walk.

NIV, Understand the Faith Study Bible by Zondervan

The NIV, Understand the Faith Study Bible by Zondervan features a solid understanding in discussing your faith with others. The content from Christianity Today International provides a deep grounding towards your faith. You will value how easy it is to read the scriptures and inspire you to live like God. It is designed to make the gospel joyful. It is easy to read especially when addressing questions about what Christians believe.

This study Bible is the most popular. It has a complete text of the accurate, readable, and clear New International Version. The articles highlight proverbs, stories, and sayings to illustrate classic Christian doctrines. The Living Parables commentaries show how contributions of past Christians remain vital today.

I can say that this is a compromise between a study Bible and a devotional Bible. The Everyday Faith devotions use stories and anecdotes to illuminate God’s glorious nature.  It would be a helpful gift to first-time Christians in search of a good study Bible.


  • Charts and graphs add summaries of different theological concepts and arguments
  • Indexed page edges to easily locate Bible Books
  • 9-point type size
  • The subject index makes finding individual articles a bit easier
  • Debate tables present many viewpoints on topics about which believers disagree


  • There were no study notes to match-up with the scriptures

NLT Christian Basics Bible by Martin Manser and Michael Beaumont

The Christian Basics Bible is designed for new Christian converts in search of the word of God. This Bible is really for readers who became a Christian recently or if you want to deep dive into the scripture.   

It is filled with features designed to connect and apply biblical teachings to Christian beliefs. It is unique in providing an overview of God’s word and Christian concepts. What is best in this Bible is how the concepts are provided as short articles rather than verse-by-verse commentary. I love that it is available in NLT and there could not be a better choice.

But, the variety of material and its length can seem to be overwhelming for new readers. The teachings can be difficult for readers new to the scripture. It’s not easy for them how to establish the Christian beliefs in its pages. But, understanding them will provide the best foundation for a grounded Christian belief. Being the Finalist for the 2018 Christian Book Award for Bible of the Year can become the catalyst for living a vibrant Christian life.


  • It is available in hardcover with a dust jacket
  • With topical guides to help you understand and find answers to God’s word
  • Book introductions with a detailed explanation of the book’s relevance for today
  • Includes two Bible reading plans great for Bible study
  • Added features include timelines of events in the Bible and short articles about issues that need answers


  • The type of paper used is a thin kind and slightly rough in texture
  • Some of the articles include theological bias

NLT Life Application Study Bible by Tyndale

Discover how you can apply the Bible today with the NLT Life Application Study Bible, Third Edition. The study Bible was popular for winning the 2020 Christian Book Award for Bible of the Year.

The updated and expanded version offers relevant insights for more understanding of God’s Word. It features a fresh two-color interior design for visual clarity. It also has an extensive side-column cross-reference system for easier Bible study. The Christian Worker’s Resource is a special supplement designed to enhance the reader’s ministry effectiveness.

The full text of the NLT is combined with the latest biblical scholarship in clear, natural English. There are 8 different translations available that help young readers apply the scriptures in their life. If you already own one of the original editions of this study Bible, you will not be disappointed to move to this new edition.


  • The third edition is available in NLT and NIV edition
  • Durable Smyth-sewn binding perfect for frequent use and lays flat when open
  • Introductions and overviews for each book of the Bible for easy reference
  • With added color and distinctions compared to the original edition
  • Approximately 35% of the study notes and other features are new


  • Font too small even for young adults
  • Dull interface for visually impaired

NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible by Craig S. Keener

One may ask, does it really help to learn from this kind of study Bible? For me, Bibles emphasizing cultural backgrounds is necessary. Many will agree with me that context changes everything. Looking at all the Bible stories and articles you have read, don’t you think many behind-the-scenes are missing? What we want is that little context to discover the meaning behind those stories in the Bible.

The NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible features all that. Every page is packed with new dimensions of insights into biblical times. The explanations about customs, culture, and literature bring passages into sharp focus. To be able to truly understand the texts read as they did, we want a window into their world and language. I am convinced that this will be a great resource during Bible study. Reading it will let you understand the cultural context which is so different than our own. The many articles included are of quality and not lacking in quantity either.


  • The complete text with precise, readable, and clear New International Version (NIV)
  • In-depth articles on key contextual topics
  • Words of Jesus in red
  • Cross-references, a concordance, indexes feature great for Bible study
  • Dozens of charts, maps, and diagrams in vivid color


  • Font too small for visually impaired people
  • The ink density is too light

NKJV, Apply the Word Study Bible by Thomas Nelson

Featuring the New King James Version for Christian readers in search of this kind of book. The Apply the Word Study Bible gets you to an intimate understanding of the scriptures. Young adults will enjoy the fresh style of the feature articles. This Bible will serve as their guide to approach life with the mind of Christ.

The NKJV Apply the Word Study Bible is a great companion in your Bible studies. The best study Bible will guide you through many different aspects of life. It enables young readers to practice how to live a God-centered life. This book offers guidance to Christians seeking ways to bring their convictions of faith to life’s daily challenges. You can find little blue boxes of important people in the Bible, including questions for a devotional response.


  • Hundreds of sidebar articles used to see the relevance of Scripture for everyday living
  • Insightful introductions to the books of the Bible
  • Informative notes about Biblical people and places
  • Full-color page design and maps for the visual encounter of the scriptures
  • Concordance for helpful reference


  • Small print
  • No index on the application notes


It takes a village to raise a kid, and I say especially to young adults. “By their fruits, you shall know them” (Matthew 7:16). Successful parents will be known by their godly children. The family is one of the battlegrounds of spiritual warfare today. Hence, intentional discipleship of the family is absolutely crucial.

Studying the Bible shouldn’t be a chore for our young readers. It should be something they look forward to. That is why it’s essential to own a Bible that they feel comfortable with. They need a book more in-depth than a children’s Bible, yet not quite as intimidating as an adult’s Bible. Bibles made specifically for them will help them to grow in their faith and pursue God in a whole new way.

I recommend the NIV, Understand the Faith Study Bible by Zondervan to be their first Bible. They will appreciate the joyful nature of the gospel and the pressing questions about faith. The biblical principles will help you understand what and why you believe while inspiring you to live for God.

Alex Shute
Alex Shute
Alex is a family man and entrepreneur based in Los Angeles. His passion is to serve the global Church and bring people of diverse backgrounds together to learn & grow. In his free time, he enjoys perfecting pour-over coffee, smoking meats, and discovering new cycling routes around Southern California.