Tuesday, December 1, 2015

NIV: Understand The Faith Study Bible - A Review

NIV Understand The Faith Study Bible.cover.jpg

A Review

This Bible is titled “Study Bible”, but it is really a compromise between a Study Bible and a Devotional Bible. Many different types of help are provided; but few are truly exegetical, as I would expect in a Study Bible. The editor has used the following categories to describe the type of helps provided:

  1. Book Introductions
  2. Doctrine 101 - an introduction to commonly accepted theology
  3. Everyday Faith - devotions (the editor’s term, not mine) connecting theology to practical life
  4. Cultural Connections - Connections between the world’s culture and Biblical faith and doctrine
  5. Living Parables - examining events in the lives of saints (using a broad term) who have served the church in past generations
  6. Up for Debate - Looking at doctrinal issues that are not quite as settled as those discussed in Doctrine 101, above
  7. Charts and Graphs - used to describe concepts and arguments
  8. Subject Index
  9. Glossary - of theological terms

One might be more likely to label this Bible as a “Theological Bible”, rather than a “Study Bible”. The articles are interesting and worth reviewing as one is reviewing theological topics. They are less helpful when studying individual passages of scripture.  

The subject index makes finding individual articles a bit easier, but it would be nice to have a list of article  titles included with or near the book’s table of contents.  In lieu of this, an electronic index or an electronic version of the book would make the various articles increasingly accessible.  I would love to see this included in the LOGOS or WordSearch on-line libraries. Maybe one, or both, may choose to license the material for use with their on-line tools. Till this is available electronically, this Bible will not be my book of first choice, but it will be near my fingertips as a helpful reference tool when theology is the topic of interest.

Published by the well-respected editors of Christianity Today, the book will serve as a valuable resource on the pastor’s or knowledgeable layman’s bookshelf.  This would be a helpful gift from a church member to a pastor or a Bible College or seminary student.

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.

No comments: