New Living Translation
WOW ... Wow ... wow ...
Tyndale may have just introduced the next generation Study Bible. By combining a well-known paper translation (which must be purchased) with notes, videos, graphics, and devotionals, supplied digitally (via a free app), the reader is introduced to the best of two worlds. Fonts in the printed version can be larger — space does not need to be consumed by the Study Bible notes. Fonts in the notes are not scalable, but they are larger than those found in many Study Bibles. The notes are helpful and thorough. It is unclear who are the individuals involved in preparing the study notes for each section. Credit is given for each devotional entry — being drawn from a variety of previously published resources. Credit is also given for some of the videos to The Bible Project, a non-profit animation studio whose mission is to make the biblical story accessible to everyone, everywhere.
Given the new format, it is difficult to compare the amount of content present to a more traditional Study Bible, but my first guess is that there is more material than would be found in other similar resources. Even if the notes are comparable to a more traditional resource, to that one must add the devotional material and the audio/visual material — the result is a generous set of resources.
A couple of concerns should be mentioned. I already mentioned that the text is not scalable — not a big problem for this reader, but it might be for some. Another issue that should be made clear up front is that audio/visual resources require that the tablet or phone being used to scan page number require that the device is connected to the Internet. Study notes and devotional material are supplied with the app. Finally, notes that one may want to incorporate into one’s personal Bible Study or into a set of digital sermon preparation notes (e.g. OneNote or Evernote) will need to be copied/typed by hand. At this point, there is no Windows version of the app. One workaround would be to mirror the phone screen onto a desktop or laptop — but until a later version of Windows 10 is released, that is not part of the default operating system.
In addition to addressing the above issues, the app might be embellished in other ways. It would be interesting to see the app integrated with publicly available websites containing public domain resources. Similarly, it might be interesting to see the app’s search tools integrated with one of a major Bible Software programs (e.g. WordSearch or LOGOS). The product could also be enhanced by introducing material found in other Study Bibles which are sourced using The Living Translation.
This new approach to Bible Study will find a home in the hands of any serious Bible Student — college student, seminary student, layman, or pastor. I hope that Christian Bookstore can make a sample version along with a tablet available for customers to try. Once a user has had the opportunity to experience this new Study Bible, it should easily sell itself.
This review is based on a free copy provided by the publisher for the purpose of creating this review. The opinions expressed are my own.