Released on 8/25/2015, the NIV Zondervan Study Bible in standard print may be one of the most thorough offerings ever published in the English language, for a number of reasons.
The 2,880 page Bible, edited by D. A. Carson, contains a vast array of topical analyses of each book of the Bible, in great detail, as well as study notes for major and minor issues in both Old and New Testaments, detailed commentaries for every book and the supporting historical timelines, archaeological findings, maps, photographs, and secular cross-references that go to support the Bible story from Genesis to Revelation.
Each book is treated as a related, but with a separate subject area, and is tied together. Each book also has its own subject matter expert doing the commentary, making it even more interesting and arguably more scholarly, considering the wide variety of seminaries and religious schools the contributing scholars attended.
The timelines, maps, and other graphics offer pertinent support for the Bible and the commentaries are superbly supported with cultural facts of the times in which the Scriptures were written. The quality of the maps is particularly vivid and focused on the Scriptural writing.
With regard to the commentaries for each writing, they are easily accessible on the same page and well enough detailed to give an excellent explanation of why the reading is important in the present time and how it relates to the Gospel story, which is the stated subtitle of the work:
“Built on the Truth of Scripture and Centered on the Gospel Message”.
There is an additional concordance which is quite broad in its reach, and a separate section of commentaries for many issues that link Judaism and Christianity, also. They include The Priesthood, Shalom, Creation, and Holiness among others.
- A. Carson, General Editor of this Bible states in his preface five main things this new Study Bible was to accomplish in those who wrote it as well as those who study by it:
- All contributors revere Scripture as the Word of God and seek to be mastered by The Word
- The NIV remembers the original languages of Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic and their idioms, phrases, and sentences must be taken into account
- This study Bible aims to provide enough detail to answer the big questions readers raise when studying without the need for separate or specialized commentaries
- In addition to the graphics, the brief essays dealing with historical circumstances provide additional and needed insight
- Finally, Biblical theology is emphasized so that the reader is encouraged to spot themes for themselves and become adept at tracing themes throughout Scripture
This extraordinary hardcover work is a bargain for the price of $49.99 and one that the entire family will use again and again for generations. Carson’s five points are achieved many times over in this Bible.
I have a number of Bibles from which I study and teach and this has become a new and important tool in my arsenal to touch and educate those in every stage of their walk toward salvation or reconciliation, if they have lost the well-lit path the Lord has prepared for them to walk in.
I highly recommend the purchase of this NIV Zondervan Study Bible.
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