The “NIV Life Journey Bible” is neither a study Bible or a devotional Bible. I would rather call it a “Self-Help Bible” - though I have never heard that term used before. Written by the authors of the well-known Boundaries series, it continues to offer help, quotes, and insight to those seeking “spiritual, personal, relational, and life growth”.
As I have over the last few months, I again explored this books notes on James - the current source of my preaching. The authors include three half-page notes on James. The first is a short statement on how James assists the Christian’s growth - including comments on the value of trials and the power of our words. Second, the authors include additional comments on “The Power of Words” drawing from James 3:1-12. Finally, the book examines “What Motivates Our Desires/” using James 4:1-3 as a starting point for this discussion. James appears to be typical of kind of comments found throughout this Bible version.
I appreciated the fact that most of the material included in the notes appears to be new - neither borrowed from the authors previous work or from other writers contributions. This means that the reader will not be rehashing content that he or she has previously read - the concepts may be the same, but the presentation will be new and directly related to the scriptures in which they are found. Having said that, it would have been helpful to find a couple of “To Learn More” references to the topics being discussed. A ⅓ to ½ page helpful reading can provide a small introduction to each topic. The typical will need additional guidance - if they are working with a counselor, that guidance may be available, but the casual reader would benefit from additional reference material.
The book jacket indicates that there are 30 biographical sketches and 20 essays discussing principles of spiritual growth - sadly, I cannot find a listing of these in either the Table of Contents or as part of an Index, making them less accessible than might be hoped.
The book ends with a number of “Study Helps”:
- Table of Weights and Measures
- Reading Plans
- A Tour of the Bible
- 30 Days for New Christians
- 30 Days With Jesus
- 30 Days in the Psalms
Where to Find It Index
The book concludes with 9 blank, though lined, pages for personal notes.
The NIV Life Journey Bible would be a help to anyone who is struggling with life’s issues. It would make a great gift for a new believer just starting to discover the faith or for an established Christian seeking new refreshment on the journey.
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.