Wednesday, December 11, 2013

NIV Essentials Study Bible - A Review

A Review

The NIV Essentials Study Bible is the best Study Bible to be added to my library.  Pulling resources from six classic study and devotional Bibles, this volume contains a vast amount of resources in one book.

The six resources are well documented:

  • NIV Study Bible
  • NIV Quest Study Bible
  • NIV Archaeological Study Bible
  • NIV Student Bible
  • The Great Rescue Bible (a devotional Bible from Walk Thru the Bible)
  • The Essential Bible Companion (a short Bible handbook)

Unexpectedly and occasionally entries are taken from other resources which are individually cited in the text.  An example is given below.

Though the editors responsible for choosing each entry are not given, the chosen topics are interesting and helpful - with a mix of study and devotional materials.  The source of each entry is clearly identified, with the exception of those from the Essential Bible Companion.  The assumption is the the book descriptions for each book of the Bible are pulled from this source, but it is not clearly stated that this is so.  Almost every verse has at least one note associated with it - some have two or more from different sources.  For example, Psalm 23 has footnotes from the NIV Study Bible and a devotional from the Quest Study Bible.  Finally, a good ⅓ page is devoted to a selection taken from The Zondervan Illustrated Bible Commentary.  

The one issue I had with the book was its font size - fitting this much content within the 1700+ pages of this book requires a small font.  The font is clear and readable, but I suspect that at some point a magnifying glass might help in reading some of the notes.  Of course, this has been true of other Study Bibles and is not an unexpected problem for a good study Bible.  Much of the content might better be read with the help of a good electronic Bible (e.g. Word Search).  The catch is that not all of the resources used to build the NIV Essential Study Bible are available in compatible electronic formats.

As hinted at earlier, this is one of the most complete study Bibles to cross my path.  It is a pleasure to add it to my library - both for review and for daily use.  

This review is based on a free copy provided by the publisher for the purpose of creating this review.  The opinions expressed are mine alone.  

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