ESV Teen Study Bible Review

ESV Teen Study Bible

Crossway released the ESV Teen Study Bible this year. This Bible was created to help teens grow in their walk with God through study, worship, and living each day for Christ. It was edited by Jon Neilson and includes devotions adapted from his book, God’s Great Story.

ISBN:9781433590474     Printed in China

Crossway provided this Bible in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to give a positive review, only an honest one. All opinions are my own.


This Bible is available at (includes some affiliate links)


Christian Book

and many local Bible bookstores


Table of Contents

    1. Construction and Materials
    2. Typography and Layout
    3. Study Helps
    4. Concordance
    5. Maps and Illustrations
    6. Other Features
    7. Final Thoughts on the ESV Teen Study Bible

Construction and Materials


We were sent the two-tone Wellspring (light blue and teal) hardcover version of the ESV Teen’s Study Bible. It measures about 9 x 5.5 x 2″ and weighs 2 lbs, 2 oz. The front and back covers are plain. The spine has the ESV logo, the Crossway logo, and the title of the Bible.

ESV Teen Study Bible Liner

The text block is sown and the liner is paste-down with thick yellow-green paper. Like most hardcovers, it has no trouble laying open.

Genesis 1

The paper is 30 gsm, white, and glare-free. The pages turn fairly easily. The show-through is noticeable but rarely distracting.

This Bible is available in three other color hardcovers: Cliffside (dusty blue and navy), Desert Sun (Orangish Tan and Pink), and Wildwood (two shades of muted green). It is also available in a dark gray paperback cover and either a burnt sienna or seaside blue TruTone imitation leather cover.

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Typography and Layout

ESV Teen Study Bible Font

The ESV Teen Study Bible uses an 8.5-point font.

It is laid out in a standard ESV double-column paragraph layout with poetry in stanzas. It is a black letter edition with a medium darkness ink that stays very consistent throughout.

ESV Teen Study Bible Poetry

Guide verse for the Biblical text and titles for the extra content are in the outer corner of the header. Page numbers are usually found in the center of the header. Devotions and the first page of introductions or Biblical books don’t have page numbers. Most pages to introductions past the first are numbered in the center of the footer.

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Study Tools

The ESV Teen Study Bible was created to help teens grow in their walk with God by strengthing their minds, softening their hearts for worship, and encouraging them to live every day for Christ. They have included many different kinds of study tools mixed in with the Biblical text to accomplish this.

As with all study Bibles, some doctrinal bias is present, especially in the study notes and devotionals.


Book Introduction - Acts page 1

Book Introduction - Acts page 2 and 3

There are book introductions that include a timeline, background, setting, thematic summary, key themes for understanding, an outline, and usually a relevant map or chart. Many study Bibles include book introductions and I find these do a good job of giving an overview for those who aren’t Bible scholars in a concise and easy-to-use manner.

Study Notes

ESV Teen Study Bible Study Notes

There are around 12,000 study notes included in the main part of the Bible. They are separated from the Biblical text with a light dotted line and use a smaller sans-serif font. These are adapted from the ESV Concise Study Bible and their main focus is understanding Scripture and comparing Scriptures. They are not aimed at any particular age group.


ESV Teen Study Bible

365 devotions adapted from God’s Great Story by Jon Nielson are included. These are aimed specifically at teens. They were written to help young adults grasp God’s full narrative. They build off of each other and include an application and prayer point at the end.


Each devotion is marked with a small gray rectangle with a white heart in the upper side margin.

Reflections Reading Plan

The index for these is the Reflections Reading Plan which is found in the front of the Bible. It lists the key passage for the devotion and the page where the devotion can be found as well as boxes to check off as each devotion is read.


ESV Teen Study Bible

There are 200 sidebars that define key doctrines and help teens apply Scripture to their own lives. These are set apart on a light gray background with a dark gray title strip at the top.  A hand outline indicates an application note while the outline of a person’s head and shoulders indicates a doctrinal sidebar.


I find these sidebars, especially the application ones, to be one of the best features of this Bible. They really seem to target questions young adults might have and issues they may have to deal with.

Sidebar Index

An index of all the sidebars, divided up between application and doctrine, is included in the back. The index is helpful but I think it could have been better if it was broken down a little further by topic (or a second detailed topical index had been included).

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This is the same concordance you will find in many of Crossway’s study Bibles. It is 52 pages long and has 3 columns per page. It includes proper names of the most prominent people and places.  It’s a good concordance for personal study.

ESV Teen Study Bible Concordance

Sample entries include:

  • Christ – 16
  • Christ’s – 4
  • Christian – 2
  • Faith – 28
  • Faithful – 10
  • Faithfulness – 6
  • Faithless – 1
  • God – 49
  • Godliness – 4
  • Godly – 3
  • Gods – 2
  • Praise – 19
  • Praised – 2
  • Praises – 2
  • Pray – 11
  • Prayer – 10
  • Prayers – 6
  • Praying – 3

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Maps and Illustrations

Back of the Bible Maps

ESV Teen Study Bible Color Maps

In the back are the 15 Crossway maps printed on thick semi-glossy paper. The maps are printed with earth-tone colors and include distance, topography, borders, routes, rivers, kingdoms, etc. It doesn’t have an index to maps, but they are labeled well.

Maps include:

  1. The Middle East Today
  2. The World of the Patriarchs
  3. The Exodus from Egypt
  4. The Tribal Allotments of Israel
  5. Israel Under Saul, David, and Solomon
  6. The Kingdoms of Israel and Judah
  7. The Assyrian and Babylonian Empires
  8. The Persian and Greek Empires
  9. Isreal Under the Maccabees
  10. Jerusalem
  11. Palestine Under Roman Rule
  12. The Apostle’s Early Ministry
  13. Paul’s First and Second Missionary Journeys
  14. Paul’s Third Missionary Journey and His Voyage to Rome
  15. The Spread of Christianity in the First Two Centuries

In-Text Maps, Illustrations, and Charts

Well over 100 black and white in-text maps are also included, as well as several illustrations and numerous charts and diagrams.

ESV Teen Study Bible


All of these seem well placed, near where the information would be useful while studying.

Index for Charts, Illustrations, and Maps

An index of all of these is also included.

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Other Features

Topical Articles

There are 14 articles in the back dealing with basic Christian principles and issues teens in particular might face.

Articles include:

  1. What is the Bible?
  2. The Church
  3. Online Life and the Importance of the Church
  4. Discipleship
  5. Discerning God’s Will for My Life
  6. Evangelism
  7. Relationships with Parents
  8. Doubt
  9. Anxiety, Depression, and the Bible
  10. Identity
  11. Sex and Gender
  12. Sexual Purity
  13. Dating and Marriage
  14. Justice

These articles are my other favorite feature of this Bible. They pack a lot of information in a short article and do a good job of presenting a Biblical viewpoint without divisive terms. All the topics are core ones that teens who want to stay Christians will have to think about and find answers for. These articles are a great starting point even if the teen needs more advice or ends up with an answer that isn’t exactly what is printed here.



A 13-page glossary will help teens understand many Biblical terms and a few other terms that come up frequently when studying God’s Word.

Reading Plan

Reading Plan

A 4-passage-a-day reading plan is also printed in the back of the Bible. The 4 readings a day is not my favorite reading plan but many people find it very useful for reading the Bible through in a year. Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 is a great reading to start the year off.  I do wonder about the order they chose for the New Testament readings since it is neither in Biblical order nor order written but doesn’t have you read Acts right after Luke.

Other Articles

ESV Teen Study Bible

A few other articles are spread throughout the Bible. These are primarily for helping teens better understand life in biblical times, relationships between books, and literary features of some books.

Section Introduction

These include an overview of the Bible an Introduction to the ESV Teen Study Bible, Introductions to the Old Testament, New Testament, Pentateuch, Historical Books, Poetic and Wisdom Books, Prophetic Books, the Gospels and Acts, and the Epistles. The articles talk about the ESV Translation, the time between the Testaments, daily life in first-century Palestine, and the life of Jesus.  All of these could be helpful to understanding while studying the Bible.

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Final Thoughts on the ESV Teen Study Bible

ESV Teen Study Bible

The ESV Teen Study Bible is a good study Bible. Its features are designed to help facilitate deep engagement with the Scriptures, impacting the minds, hearts, and lives of teen followers of Christ. The teen-oriented tools are the best parts in my opinion. I can see this being a useful Bible for teens who are trying to learn more about the Bible and stay Christian-minded or anyone who answers Biblical questions for young adults.

ESV Teen Study Bible

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This Bible is available at (includes some affiliate links)


Christian Book

and many local Bible bookstores


Photography by Lucinda Brown

Crossway provided this Bible in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to give a positive review, only an honest one. All opinions are my own.

About The Author

Lucinda Brown

Homemaker, Pastor's Wife, and former homeschooler (my kids graduated). I love to read (especially God's Word) but am a reluctant writer. Besides reading I enjoy cooking, gardening, and a large variety of crafts. I don't consider myself an expert at any craft and am always finding new crafts and art mediums I want to try.

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