Identity: Identified, Navigating the challenges of life

Living a life of faith in our modern world is challenging, especially when things don’t go right for us. We often struggle and have doubts.

May 12, 2023

When I was asked whether I wanted a copy of Identity: Identified, Navigating the Challenges of Life, I thought that the book would only add to the other four Bibles that I already have in my collection. The four Bibles, all different versions, were either given to me as a gift or purchased throughout my journey as a believer. However, since I was told that Identity: Identified presents the Word of God in an unconventional way, I decided to get a copy. I wanted to explore what it contains. The book turned out to be a good investment, and I am inspired to write a review of it.

First Impressions
At first glance, Identity Identified does not look like a Bible simply because the word ‘Bible’ is not stated anywhere on the cover like other regular Bibles, e.g. Good News Bible, Revised New Jerusalem Bible, The Catholic Youth Bible, etc. Instead, its full title, Identity: Identified, Navigating the Challenges of Life is printed in blue and black coloured fonts on its front cover.

On the back cover is written the following text:

“Do you ever wonder “Is all this God-stuff real? “Does God care when I am troubled?”

Living a life of faith in our modern world is challenging, especially when things don’t go right for us. We often struggle and have doubts. Even St Mother Teresa of Calcutta had spiritual doubts, despair and loneliness, and it lasted most of her life.
If you have long or short periods of doubt, you are not alone!”

The text gives a glimpse on the contents of the Bible and its focus on using the Word of God to help young people navigate through the challenges of life.

The idea for the book was conceived during the Synod on Young People held in 2018. During the synod, Pope Francis spent a week with Catholic bishops from around the world discussing some of the painful and confusing issues that young people are commonly faced with.

The book is a collaborative effort of three parties, i.e. Cardinal John Dew of the Archdiocese of Wellington, New Zealand, John Bergin, who is the liaison and consultant of the United Bible Societies in the Asia-Pacific region; and the Office of Evangelisation of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences (FABC).

It is published by Bible Society New Zealand on behalf of the Bible Society of Malaysia.

The book was launched on October 21, 2022 during the general conference of the FABC that was held in Bangkok, Thailand. In Malaysia, the book was officially launched on Jan 9, 2023 at the solemn declaration of the Minor Basilica of St Anne in Bukit Mertajam, Penang.

Identity: Identified uses text of the second edition of the Good News Translation. It only contains books from the New Testament, i.e. the four Gospels, the Acts of the Apostles and the Letters of Paul. It would have been good to have all 73 books of the Catholic Bible in a single book, however that would make the book bulky and heavy to carry around.

There are three things that makes Identity: Identified unique. Firstly, the book contains 24 inserts that were designed to help the reader work through issues such as anxiety, loneliness, peer pressure and rejection. Even though these issues are usually experienced by young people, anyone for that matter could also be facing similar challenges. Therefore, the book appeals to everyone.

Secondly, the book contains hundreds of key passages of Scripture that are highlighted in yellow, similar to how you use a highlighter to highlight Bible passages or important notes in textbooks.

Thirdly, there are QR codes throughout the book which lead to video clips on young people sharing their stories and how they cope with life. The clips are from the Bible Society of New Zealand’s YouTube page, and were uploaded nine years ago. This shows that the challenges faced by young people have vaguely changed even after almost a decade has gone by.

Size and weight
The book’s compact size of 12cm x 18cm makes it easy to slot into bags, good for reading whilst commuting, or whilst on long journeys.

Its 0.5kg weight may be heavy for some of us, especially if you have to lug it around for long periods of time. This is because the book is printed on thicker, high-quality paper — the type that does not bleed ink through when you highlight or write on it.
Where to purchase a copy

Identity: Identified would make a great gift for a young person; to help them understand the Word of God better, and more importantly, to let them know that God is always walking with us through challenges that we may be going through.
In Malaysia, the book can be purchased online through the Bible Society of Malaysia’s website:

(Julie Lim Seet Yin believes that a satisfied life measured by one’s heart, mind and soul is better than a successful life measured by worldly yardsticks. She works for a Japanese bank and is responsible for its Public Relations and Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives. She can be reached at: [email protected])

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