Wednesday, July 23, 2014

NIV Essentials Study Bible

Publisher: Zondervan
November 2013
ISBN: 978-0310442417
Genre: NIV Bible/study guide

The NIV Essentials Study Bible helps you quickly and easily understand, interpret, and apply God’s Word to your life. The variety of features in this Bible presents a multifaceted, exciting format for studying Scripture.

There are many different ways to explore God’s Word: question-and-answer studies; detailed in-text study notes; timelines, photos and charts; helpful devotional insights; and profiles of Bible characters. Now you don’t have to choose, because the NIV Essentials Study Bible provides you the chance to explore the Bible using all these study methods and more. With each of these lenses included in one Bible, you will discover how to best understand the essentials of Scripture.

This edition includes the entire NIV Bible text with the world’s best notes for learning. It incorporates the finest content, images, and study tools from the most popular Bibles that are loved and used by Bible readers just like you. It features:
* Flyover Lens: Start each book of the Bible with the right perspective from easy-to-read introductions from the popular Essential Bible Companion.
* Unpack Lens: Easily understand and interpret Bible passages with bottom-of-the page study notes and in-text charts from the best-in-class NIV Study Bible.
* Dig Deep, Look Close Lens: Understand the fascinating historical significance of the Bible with articles and photos from the bestselling NIV Archaeological Study Bible.
* Q and A Lens: Get concise, easy-to-grasp answers to your most perplexing questions about the Bible with questions and answers from the beloved NIV Quest Study Bible.
* People Lens: View Scripture from the perspective of the 100 most important people in the Bible with notes for the student of any age excerpted from the timeless NIV Student Bible.
* Guided Tour Lens: Get a bird’s eyes view of Scripture with a Guided Tour, also excerpted from the category-leading NIV Student Bible.
* Insight Lens: Find meaning in the Bible by reading these magazine-style call-outs from the NIV Student Bible.
* R and R Lens: Reflect and Respond with this quick inspirational focus time, which unveils the sweeping narrative of the Bible as seen in the award-winning The Great Rescue, NIV.

When I was offered the NIV ESSENTIALS STUDY BIBLE to review, I jumped at the chance. My oldest son is considering going into the ministry, and he asked for a good study Bible so I wanted to see what this one is like.

This one appears similar to every other NIV study Bible on the market and has pretty standard layout, with maps in the back. I did like the archaeology information that are scattered through out, but mostly, some of the lenses are distracting. Sometimes there are so many lenses, over such a short period of time, it feels overwhelming. There is a wealth of information, but not all of it is helpful or of the same quality.

Strengths - it's very well layed out; it uses the NIV which is a "dynamic thought-for-thought equivalent" version; i.e. it's modern-day language communicating the intended thoughts of the scripture passage. It takes into account the poetic passages, and marks them out as such; the Psalms, for instance - the first line is regularly printed, the second line that corresponds to it is slightly indented, showing a faithfulness to Hebrew Poetry. It's got a ton of references, explanations, and insights for application.

The negative - There is no room for the reader to interact with the scriptures; he's basically told what the passage is intended to communicate. In other words, there is no room for the Holy Spirit to freely work on the passage. For a beginner, this could be a good thing.

I would recommend you going to an actual brick and mortar store, and doing an in person comparison with the different ones out there before you decide for yourself.  $35.63 hardcover. $33.85 kindle. 1763 pages.

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