Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Chronological Study Bible - A Review

The Chronological Study Bible is first of all an rearrangement of the Biblical text into its chronological order rather than its canonical order. But, beyond this, additional notes and helps add considerable value to this tome. A number of comments may help the reader understand its value.

It should noted that this book has not been updated since 2008. I own a personal copy of the 1st printing of this work; I was provided a copy of the 15th printing for the purpose of creating this review.  The two editions are page for page exacting the same with two exceptions. First, the new edition adds two reading plans for reading the Bible Chronologically - a one year plan and a two year plan. The two plans are exactly the same, except that in the two-year plan, each suggested reading is allocated to two days, rather than a single day.

The second change is the addition of a new set of maps. The first printing uses maps copyrighted in 1983 by Thomas Nelson. The fifteenth printing uses maps copyrighted in 2008 by GeoNova.
This reviewer noted one additional difference between the 1st printing and the 15th printing. Though not part of the Bible itself, the purchase of the newest printing of the Chronological Study Bible allows the user to download an additional 500 pages of Bible study materials. This material is available separately (if one wanted to purchase it), but it does add value to the purchase.

With the exception of these three changes, all comments apply equally to both the earlier edition and the latest edition provided for review.

A number of useful indexes are included as part of this Bible:

  • Cultural and Historical Topics
  • A Glossary
  • An extensive Concordance
  • An Index of Scripture Passages - allowing the reader to find the page number for each passage of scripture

It should be noted that the concordance is a bit difficult to use. As with most concordances, the user is pointed to the passage where the words are used. But since the Bible is not in Canonical order, the user will need to consult the Scripture Passage Index to find the page where that passages is actually located.

The editor has divided the Biblical timeline into nine “epochs” - six epochs focus on the Old Testament, one epoch focuses on the intertestamental period, two epochs are devoted to the New Testament. These are consistent in the table of contents, in the body of the work, and in the reading plans. Along with the rearranging of the Bible text, a good many notes and other helps are included.

The volume that I was sent for review was nicely bound in grey and navy “Leathersoft” imitation leather cover. This material is said to have the longest life expectancy of the various leather and leather like materials used for binding books. The pages of Bible are quite thin, which is not in itself a problem, but the pages stuck together. It took more effort than one might expect to separate those pages; though once separated, the pages were easy to manipulate and read.

Provided a pastor does not own an earlier edition of The Chronological Study Bible, this volume would make an excellent gift for a pastor or any serious student of the Bible. Thus it would make a suitable graduation gift for the college or seminary graduate.  The Bible would also make an excellent addition to a local church library.  

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.

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