Not quite a study Bible, but more than a devotional Bible, this version belongs in the church library and on the layman’s desk.
The major feature of this book gives it its name - 1700 short and brief descriptions of key Hebrew and Greek words that will help the reader better understand the meaning of scripture. The major drawback is that the descriptions are all too brief to be of use to the preacher or scholar without further study in more formal sources (i.e. Bible Dictionaries, Encyclopedias, etc.).
Though the provided word studies are too brief, the accompanying indexes do give significant value to the work.
- English Word Index
- Scripture Passage Index
- Strong Number Index for both Hebrew and Greek Words
- Concordance (typical to that found in most study Bibles)
Also included, throughout the text, are cross-references pointing to a scripture reference where a word study can be found (see “create” and “male” in the image above). What is missing from the basic definitions provided are descriptions of antonyms and synonyms that might help justify the use of one word over another, or a comparison of Hebrew and Greek words used to express similar ideas or which are tied together by their parallel use in the Septuagint. The inclusion of these three pieces would provide a more complete study Bible and one more helpful to the pastor and scholar.
Bottom line: Thomas Nelson has made a great first start to what could become an extremely useful Study Bible. With the contributions of a few additional scholars and a willingness to allot more editorial space to the definitions, this could become a wonderful reference book. For now, it has not quite reached that level.
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. I actually had pre-ordered a copy of this book prior to receiving notice that I was going to be allowed to review the book. I retained one copy. I passed the second copy to my pastor for either his own use or to pass onto a lay member of the church in need of a Study Bible.